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Shipping under way

Off to slow start with ice clogging east end of lake

March 23, 2013
By JOHN PEPIN - Journal Staff Writer ( , The Mining Journal

MARQUETTE - With the Soo Locks set to open for the shipping season Monday, the first ore boat of the year scheduled to reach Marquette's Upper Harbor was stuck in the ice at Whitefish Point Friday night, although the first boat in, a coal boat from western Lake Superior, arrived Thursday evening.

The Manitowoc, which had been laid up at Essar Steel Algoma Inc. in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, for the winter, was scheduled to arrive in Marquette at 9 p.m. Friday, where it was expected to fill up with ore at the Lake Superior and Ishpeming Railroad Ore Dock.

Workers at the dock said if the ship was freed from the ice and left for Marquette this morning, it could arrive tonight.

Article Photos

The Mesabi Miner is shown at the lake Superior & Ishpeming Railroad dock in Marquette’s Upper Harbor on Friday. The boat was the first one to dock in the harbor this shipping season and was carrying a load of coal from Superior, Wis. The Manitowoc was due in Friday night, but was stuck in ice in Whitefish Bay. (Journal photo by Matt keiser)

Thursday night, the Mesabi Miner came to Marquette from Superior, Wis., where it had loaded coal earlier in the week, according to Art Pickering, who filed a vessel passage report on the popular "boat nerd" website, which is a go-to place for fans of all things related to Great Lakes shipping.

The Mesabi Miner left Marquette at about 2:30 p.m. Friday, headed back to Superior.

On March 15, in advance of the season's first boats, the U.S. Coast Guard cutter Biscayne Bay arrived in Marquette, breaking ice on its way to Duluth, Minn. The cutter was in the Lower Harbor at Marquette and left Sunday on its westward journey.

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Next week, the H. Lee White is scheduled to dock in Marquette at 2:30 p.m. Monday, with several additional arrivals expected throughout the week, including additional visits from the Manitowoc.

All of the schedules are subject to weather and ice conditions.

For more information on Great Lakes ships and their passage, visit

John Pepin can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 206. His email address is



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