Jan 08-10

Past-E-Mail: Cam Notes - 2010: January: Jan 08-10
Invincible/McKee Sons    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos by Rod Burdick
Saginaw and Mississagi    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos by Rod Burdick
Manitowoc    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos by Rod Burdick
Canadian Steamer Saginaw    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos by Rod Burdick

Mary Drew at Pasty Central (Mdrew) on Friday, January 8, 2010 - 07:25 am:

In case you haven't heard, there has been some heavy boat traffic at the Upper Harbor ore dock in Marquette. According to Rod Burdick, who also supplied us with today's photos: The steel mills have increased demand as the season winds down, so the mines are trying to ship ore before the Soo Locks close on January 15. During the past week or so, four to five boats have been in port each day, two or three secured at the ore dock and two or three at anchor off the harbors.

The top photo is a scenic view of the ITB (Integrated Tug/Barge) Invincible/Mckee Sons at anchor, as it awaits it's turn to load ore at the Upper Harbor dock. The next is a double header, with Canadian Motor Vessels Saginaw and Mississagi sharing the north side of the Upper Harbor ore dock as they wait to load.
In the third shot we see the U.S. Motor Vessel Manitowoc loading ore with the U.S. Motor Vessel Lee A. Tregurtha (bow view), at anchor. And last, but not least, the Canadian Steamer Saginaw at anchor off the Lower Harbor and Marquette Light.

So now my question to you boat watchers that are in the know, is this: When there are a number of boats like this waiting to get to the docks, is there a Harbor Master or someone there directing traffic, telling them who is next in line? Or is it just an unspoken rule about who goes next?

Kudos to Rod, for feeding our "boat nerd" addiction with photos and information to share. :->

By Janie T. (Bobbysgirl) on Friday, January 8, 2010 - 07:35 am:

These laker pictures are Superior! I'm waiting now for eddyfitz to tell a tale of his shipping days. I enjoy and appreciate his recollections of those days...better than text books!

By john mich (Johnofmi) on Friday, January 8, 2010 - 07:38 am:

Looks like Marquette is having an after Christmas sale on iron ore pellets. I believe that that the boats are serviced on a first come, first served basis unless they have a really good excuse. Something better than "the dog ate my ore pellets"

By Kenty (Dashamo) on Friday, January 8, 2010 - 07:38 am:

Good morning all. Got a few inches of snow last night down here in Motown. A mere dusting for a Yooper. I'm going into work late so I can avoid the people that think they can still drive 80 miles an hour in rush hour traffic with snow covered freeways.

By Alex "UP-Goldwinger" (Alex) on Friday, January 8, 2010 - 07:42 am:

...or is it a case of the biggest ship having the right of way, I wonder.

By Yooperguide (Huntandfish) on Friday, January 8, 2010 - 07:42 am:

Only 128" of snow in my neck of the woods.

By Joy Brewer (Joy) on Friday, January 8, 2010 - 08:16 am:

Rod,thank you for the photos. When I was growing up in the UP, it was very common to see trains moving the iron ore out of Dickinson County. In a restaurant in Marquette County, there is a sign that says “Mining supports my family and pays my taxes!” It was mining that brought my ancestors from northern Europe to have a better way of life, and my parents had a better way of life then their ancestors because of mining in the UP. I have friends who worked in the mines to earn their college tuition for Northern or Michigan Tech. It was hard work, but like a friend told me it was good pay. Again, thanks for the photos, and have a wonderful day everyone!

By Mel, MN (Mehollop) on Friday, January 8, 2010 - 08:22 am:

Is there an ore dock down in Escanaba as well? I noticed a lot of loaded ore trains headed south while I was in the area. That'd be a way for them to avoid the Locks and keep shipping until freeze-up.

By Mike (Upboundeh) on Friday, January 8, 2010 - 08:41 am:

Great pics! Love watching the big boats slowly come in. Kenty be carful and wish I was up there in Yooperguide territory. 500 miles south we got about 5-6 inches. Schools are all closed.

By Eddyfitz (Eddyfitz) on Friday, January 8, 2010 - 08:43 am:

Thanks for the great pictures today of the iron ore dock in Marquette. Last week there was a picture of the same dock with 3 freighters loading or waiting to load. Just saw on Boatnerd that the iron ore shipments were the worse since 1938 so this would give a good indication how our economy is humming along this year. Way back in the "olden days" we would ride our bikes down to Mason and with the blessing of Mr. Koepel were allowed to board some of the coal boats that had local men working on them. To a ten year old this was like visiting people on another planet as we had no idea where the cities of Cleveland, Lorain, Ashtabula were. In that era we were able to visit the ship from one end to the other and even had our visions of sailing the seven seas as we stood on a stool to practice steering thru the "cuts". When the coal boats came into the dock in Hubbell we also had complete access to them and the "gang" would climb the piles of coal that were delivered for the C & H power house. There were always footraces on the dock with the winner getting one of those huge Sunkist oranges. "Those were the days"

By Steve (Chevysac) on Friday, January 8, 2010 - 08:57 am:

Mary - The LSI&I ore dock does set up their loads for each boat to determine the tonnage. Weight distribution is more critical in the late shipping season as the captains must balance revenue and safety. I think Captains have the final word on the loads. There are specifc achorage areas designated in the chart where ships can drop anchor and go to a sort of stand-by status with less lighting but they still monitor radios at all times. Ships moving in tight quarters (channels, in harbors, etc.) make "Security" broadcasts over the VHF Marine frequencies to most critically let the other large vessels know what their moves are before they happen. Even the smallest of boats with a VHF marine radio benefit by hearing the broadcast and hopefully using the information to stay out of their way. Large vessels are also required to montior multiple radio frequencies with one of them designated as a Commercial Bridge to Bridge (Helm to Helm, not a bridge over water) channel 13 that also must be monitored by large vessels at all times and should not be used by pleasure craft. I was "home" in Marquette recently skiing at Marquette Mountain where watching the increased traffic was an added benefit to the great view from the chairlift as well as the top of the runs.

By Steve (Chevysac) on Friday, January 8, 2010 - 09:07 am:

OOPS - LS&I (Lake Superior aand Ishpeming) not LSI&I. But even that maybe the old name...perhpas it's part of CN now? My age is showing, I still think of the Tregurtha as the Walter A. Sterling in Cleveland Cliffs colors.

By Lisa R. (Sisugirl) on Friday, January 8, 2010 - 09:26 am:

Great pics today. The last one is especially beautiful with the lighthouse off to the side in the foreground. Here in northern FL, we've gotten freezes at night (upper 20s) and 40s during the day. Not too bad. I like this cold much better than the summer heat/humidity, but the natives down here sure don't like it much. It's all in what you're used to, I guess! Happy Friday, all!

By Lisa R. (Sisugirl) on Friday, January 8, 2010 - 09:28 am:

BTW, I hope the bitter cold and wind chills up there aren't too bad for you all, but I don't see anyone complaining too much here, so I guess it must not be too bad. Warm thoughts your way!

By Mary A. Heide (Mheide42) on Friday, January 8, 2010 - 09:46 am:

Eddy, brother Bob always talked about going on the boats with my Dad, Mr. Koepel, and getting the big organges. My dad would never take the girls and this made me mad as a kid. Still don't under the double standard. Enjoy your comentary.

By Deb L. (Lakegirl) on Friday, January 8, 2010 - 09:53 am:

Awesome pictures. I have not been into town to see any vessel traffic in Duluth but have been hearing on the news that some of the taconite mines in upper Minnesota are starting to come "back on line". Which is super great to hear-was a tough year or so for many of the folks that work up that way--we'll for everyone too. Soo locks close on the Jan. 15 and will reopen in March, I think around the 25, not positive. There should be more vessel traffic than this past "09" after that, rumor has it. Thanks for sharing the super photos.

By Stephanie Rose (Steppy) on Friday, January 8, 2010 - 10:51 am:

Why does the Soo Locks shut down on that exact date?
I love the pictures posted here, beautiful! Makes me feel like I am right there. Thanks for sharing!

By David S. (Yooperdfs) on Friday, January 8, 2010 - 11:04 am:

Yup, just a week left before the shipping closes down. The Weather Channel reports that this is the coldest winter so far in 25 years. At 10a.m. this morning Bismarck, N.D. is showing -30. WOW!! So much for the global warming scam, or was it actually 'global whining'?

By Greta Jones (Urbanescapees) on Friday, January 8, 2010 - 12:20 pm:

More like global control. There's a frozen statue of Al Gore breathing hot air in Fairbanks Alaska again this year. Ha!
BTW - great pictures. Have a good weekend everyone.

By Rowdy (Roudymi) on Friday, January 8, 2010 - 01:40 pm:

Mary: I think Richard Speck (sp) visited the coal dock via the boats. Your Dad was wise.

By Thomas Baird (Thomas) on Friday, January 8, 2010 - 03:50 pm:

Like those Great Lakes boats, especially the ones with the pilothouse at the bow.

By Fran in GA (Francesinga) on Friday, January 8, 2010 - 09:21 pm:

Speaking of Richard Speck. He was taken off of a ship to St Joseph's hospital.My mother was in there at the same time. I think maybe it was in 66. The news of his murdering all those nurses in Chicago came out later.

By Morning Glory (Lucylu) on Saturday, January 9, 2010 - 04:41 am:

Great pictures. What is that red building in the last picture?

By FRNash/PHX, AZ (Frnash) on Saturday, January 9, 2010 - 11:59 am:

Morning Glory (Lucylu):
"What is that red building in the last picture?"

The Marquette Light (lighthouse).

By Mary J. Bailey (Zimo1) on Monday, January 18, 2010 - 11:01 am:

Enjoy reading everyones comments. I was born in Mason and my dad worked on the boats until he became a welder and worked in the reclamation plant. Mr. Koepel brought our mail every day to the plant where the residents of Mason had post office boxes. It was social event to pick up your mail. Our world was small.

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