Great Lakes - Duluth MN- SS William A. Irvin move out of Minnesota Slip
After being laid up for eight years, in 1986 the City of Duluth bought the Irvin for $110,000 dollars.
Irvin's inch-by-inch voyage -- Ship moves across harbor for first time in 30 years
It took 4 hours starting at 2230 it was 0230 before the Irvin was out of the slip and taken in tow by tugs. Two video clips, one 50 seconds, the second 1 minute 53 seconds, and one still picture:
They used a series of crawler excavators on the shore port side, and on a series of flat-top barges to move the vessel stern first out of the slip. They hung huge tractor tires from chains on the bottom of the excavator buckets. They pressed the tires against the side of the hull then swerved the buckets to move the vessel. Once out of the slip two Heritage Tugs, one on the bow, the other the stern took over the tow.
Two timelapse videos first clip 35 seconds filmed by Denny O'Hara from the shore east of the slip showing the Irvin's starboard side during her four-hour move out of the slip.
Second timelapse clip 6 minutes 15 seconds using DHC Pier B, GLA and Harbor Cams.
Heritage Tug Fleet photographed by Denny O'Hara of DHC fame, in 2015 with one of his drones, "Buzz".
Out in the harbor the tugs turned the vessel around and towed it bow first to Frazer's shipyard in Superior, WI. The Irvin will be dry-docked for the first time in nearly 40 years. There is some bottom damage and wastage that needs to be replaced, the underwater portion of the hull will be painted then re-floated. Spring 2019 the entire vessel above the waterline will be repainted before being moved back to Minnesota Slip.
The main reason for the move is that Minnesota Slip needs to have work done to mitigate decades if not a century or more of metals and chemicals falling into the slip.
Instead of excavating then disposing of the contaminated sediment the slip will be capped with a clay material with rocks piled on top to hold it in place.
Duluth Harbor Cam.com GLA - Great Lakes Aquarium - Cam
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END POST 1
Post 2 tomorrow
Vista, California, USA
Note the two permanently installed yellow painted steel access ladders to the ship via side ports, one about midship the other in the stern. The midship access opens into a meeting room built in the upper portion of the cargo hold.
The white building to the left now a hotel was once part of the Marshall-Wells wholesale hardware company, that had a series of buildings between here and the Duluth entry ship canal. The eastside of the Minnesota Slip was an open quay where package freighters docked and discharged hardware items delivered to Marshall-Wells. Back at the end of the 1800's and the early 1900's items delivered may include steam traction engines - steam farm tractors. Built somewhere around the Great Lakes. The two tower water tanks shown used to be labeled Marshall-Wells.
My parent's were married February 6, 1940. In February 1990 for their fiftieth anniversary Mom and Dad flew to Hawaii where they stayed three weeks. They did this so we kids could not put on a shindig for them.
Actually we kids had been planning said shindig for two years. No one wants to go to Duluth in February so we planned for August. Over 200 people attended, boyhood friends of my Dad came from Seattle, Washington, and the Pacific Island of Guam.
My sister Kay, who lives in Duluth, took care of things on the ground while both my brother and I live in California. Considering the number of people we were bringing to town we negotiated discounted rooms in several different levels of hotels and motels. We put together a printed brochure that we snail mailed to attendees providing all of this information.
Mom and Dad thought nothing of it when we all showed up in August. Considering the number of people who knew of our plans it was a minor miracle that no one spilled the beans. Mom and Dad were astounded. We hired a large two-horse carriage to pick up Mom and Dad at their apartment. All of their grandchildren and great-grandchildren rode with them in the carriage.
The Carriage let them out curbside by the midship Irvin ladder, our event was held in the hold meeting room; it was a huge success.
These are a set of cross-compound marine steam turbines. Steam from the boiler enters the high pressure turbine on the right, the exhaust from the HP goes into the low pressure turbine on the left. The astern turbine is built within the LP turbine. Exhaust from the LP goes into the main condenser that is located in the lower engine room beneath the LP turbine.
The surface condenser condenses the LP exhaust back into water using sea/lake water as a cooling medium via the main circulating water pump. The main circ sucks the sea/lake water from a low suction built into the bottom of the hull or a high suction built into the side of the hull. Some ships have scoops built into the bottom of the hull that allow the main circ pump to be shut off when operating at full sea speed.
Condensate pumps move the water through various heat exchangers, a grease extractor, high pressure and low pressure air ejectors, then on to the direct contact deaereating feed water heater and storage tank located in the smoke stack at the top of the boiler room. The dc heater is supplied with 10 or 15 pounds of otherwise waste steam from the 10 or 15 pound common exhaust line. 10 pound steam heats the feed water to 240 degrees F while 15 pound steam to 260 degrees F. I sailed ships with 10 or 15 pound exhaust lines. This was decided when the steam plant was designed.
The boiler feed water pumps are located in the lower engine room beneath the boilers. For every foot of distance from the dc heater in the stack to the boiler feed pumps in the lower engine room a suction pressure of .434 psig is generated. If this distance is 100 vertical feet that would give a positive pressure of 43.4 psig - pounds per square inches per the gauge - at the suction side of the boiler feed water pumps.
The boiler feed water pumps raise the boiler feed water pressure in excess of the boiler operating steam pressure. The boiler operating steam pressure was decided when the steam plant was designed. Boiler operating steam pressure may vary from 240 psig to 600 psig. I sailed plants with both those pressures as well as 450 psig.
The boilers on some but not all ships I sailed had economizer heat exchangers built into the top of the boilers, located within the boiler combustion exhaust stream below the stack. Boilers that did not have economizers instead had combustion air heaters in the same place.
The boiler feed water entered the boiler within the steam/water drum located above all of the boilers' generating tubes. 450 generating tubes were common. All of the generating tubes terminated at the drum. Within the drum the bottom half was water while the top half was steam. Heated steam would bubble up from the water part and escape the boiler via the saturated steam outlet on the drum.
Saturated steam was commonly used to power reciprocating steam engines and reciprocating pump prime movers. High pressure steam turbine powered pumps were operated on super-heated steam. The steam-water drums had a high pressure gauge glass located on the centerline of the drum. Looking at this gauge glass we could visually see the boiler water level within the drum. Steam above water below the level.
Super-heated steam was created within the boiler by a bank of super-heater tubes that were supplied with saturated steam say at 450 psig and 456.8 degrees F.
I have my book entitled Steam copyright 1963 by the Babcock and Wilcox Company. Thirty-seventh edition, fifth printing sitting on my lap open to the facing Saturated and Superheater steam tables. B & W were (are?) boiler makers. I know that B & W have designed and built US nuclear electric generating plants in the past.
Commonly 450 psig saturated steam would be raised from 456.8 degrees F to 750 degrees F within the super-heater tube bank. The super-heater steam outlet would drop from 450 psig to 430 psig but at 750 degrees F. Super-heated steam was piped to the high pressure propulsion steam turbine and the boiler feed water pumps. Super-heated steam was much drier than the saturated steam.
You see the Blue Bridge. In the early days of the Blue Bridge it repeatedly failed while in the open position. It had to be rebuilt each time using more robust materials for the lift apparatus. You can see this 2018 project to replace the original wooden timbers and sand and dirt on the westside of Minnesota slip. It used to be between the concrete sidewalk that ran along the street with concrete curb and the west slip bulkhead was a grass area that Duluth Parks Department maintained.
The black building to the left opposite the Irvin bow, where you see all of the vehicles parked is a multi-screen movie theater. You can see the vehicle entry to the parking lot behind that closest red crane. There is a small kiosk at the entry. You pay $5.00 when you enter and the clerk provides a large ticket you place on your vehicle dashboard in front of the driver. That $5.00 provides parking up to midnight on the day you arrive. You can leave the lot and come back as often as you please until midnight. The next day cost you another $5.00. Private parking lots within the Canal Park zone charge from $8.00 dollars an HOUR and up, sometimes way up.
When I am in Duluth and want to go to the ship entry I park here. Then I walk around the Irvin bow and down the former quay on the right. Back in the day those blue and red and white buildings were not there, that was all a wide open quay.
The line of small boats on the right is a marina. The recreational boats are privately owned. Look way up forward opposite the bow of the Irvin you see some larger boats. These are all high speed planing off-shore day trip fishing out on Lake Superior. They all leave Duluth in the morning before dawn. They all leave at the same time and parade one after another alongside the Irvin to the Aerial Lift Bridge. When they are all there the bridge lifts up half way so they can sail out. All of these boats have flying bridges and long poles standing straight up so they cannot fit under the closed bridge.
The fishing boats transit the ship entry canal at a sedate speed. Once clear of the piers the water at their stern's froths, the stern's squat, and the bows come up as they pour on the coal and get up on plane and scatter and soon disappear over the horizon out on Lake Superior. They all come back around noon gather at the piers and the bridge lifts and they sail to their docks. The boat operators clean catches on benches located at each vessel' dock. Then they all go out again in the afternoon returning around supper time.
I never hear any of the fishing vessels blow their whistle's to open the bridge. They may contact the bridge operator on VHF marine bands radio? Or perhaps the bridge operator looks at a clock then looks out the window of their operators building located on the bridge? Note that the bridge has two radar antenna's operating all the time. I don't how they communicate with the bridge operator or if they do it at all?
On the left close to the Blue Bridge used to be a building used by:
The Vista fleet used to dock at this building where they sold tickets and where people boarded the tour boats. Back in the day when Goldfine's owned and operated this business there were one and a half-hour tours of the bay every two hours.
Goldfine's sold the fleet a few years ago and the new owners have drastically cut the number of daily tours. Now only one bay trip per day is offered at 0955, but you need to be there by 0900. While my sister Peggy and I would like to make this trip this is too early in the day for we two natural born Night Owls both in our 70s. This tour goes out the Aerial Bridge and wanders along the Duluth shoreline then comes back under the bridge and into the bay.
They sail up the St. Louis River to the (now Canadian National - though back in the day it was first the DM&N - Duluth Mesabi and Northern railroad, later DM&IR Duluth Mesabi and Iron Range railroad) iron ore loading docks in the west end of Duluth. They go into the slips around the loading docks. Then they sail away's up the St. Louis river to the west but I do not know how far? Then they return to their dock.
The CN docks of today load Taconite pellets into 1,000 feet long ships - there are 13 American flag self unloading 'footers' on the Great Lakes that carry up to 65,000 tons of Taconite each load. The Canadian Great Lakes fleets there are no footers. The number of Great Lakes Canadian flag vessels number perhaps three or four times that of the forty-five US flag Great Lakes vessels. Most, other than the footers, are also Seaway Max or shorter but rarely do they leave the Lakes winters.
Most Canadian Flag Great Lakes vessels are built to the 730 feet length overall Seaway Max due to the sizes of seaway locks. Many of these Great Lakes vessels leave the Great Lakes in the fall and operate off-shore in the winter such as bringing iron ore Taconite pellets from Brazil.
The Vista fleet tickets are now sold within the DECC - Duluth Entertainment Conference Center - and vessels tie up out on the face of the DECC alongside the bay. The Vista fleet building was torn down to do this upgrade of the Minnesota slip bulkhead.
January 2018, 4 minutes 45 seconds video using chains saws and crawler excavators to free Irvin from ice in slip. That entire shore wooden timber bulkhead along the port side of the Irvin needed to be replaced. They have been working on this project all year so the vessel has been closed to the public all year.
SS William A Irvin 610 feet 9.75 inches (186.1757 m) overall with a beam (width) of 60 feet (18 m) and a depth of 32 feet 6 inches (9.91 m). Her carrying capacity is 13,600 tons. William A Irvin was one of few lakers built with a three-tiered bow cabin, as opposed to the standard two. The extra deck is used to house a suite of 4 guest cabins and a guest lounge. Also a part of the guest accommodations was a guest dining room located where the number two hatch would be on most lakers. Those parts of the boat are trimmed in oak paneling and walnut veneer with brass handrailings. William A Irvin and her sisters were some of the first to be powered by DeLaval Cross (Compound) steam turbines as opposed to the standard reciprocating triple expansion steam engines. William A Irvin also included welding in much of her construction and was also the first to have all areas of the ship accessible from the interior of the ship which allowed the boat's crew to stay inside during rough weather.
All parts of William A Irvin, from the woodwork in the guest quarters to the brass in the engine room, have been well cared for. She is also known as the Haunted Ship in October. During the month of October, volunteers decorate the ship and host a "Haunted Ship" attracting tourists from all around.
Bow at Blue Bridge.
This was published by the Duluth Shipping News
Ken Newhams of Duluth Shipping News fame is in failing health so could not attend the Irvin move himself. A fellow named Steve Sola took this picture and supplied it to Ken who posted it on his site.
There was a variously reported 14 or 15 inches of clearance for the sixty feet Irvin beam. The Irvin had been in the slip twelve years before the first Blue Bridge was built.
The month of October each year the Irvin becomes a haunted ship. Volunteers rig up some nasty scenes on board to scare the beejesus out of visitors. Ken Newhams took and published this picture on his website in 2015.
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Vista, California USA
Duluth Harbor Cams dot com
This camera is on the roof of the GLA - Great Lakes Aquarium.
This camera, right, on an existing light post at the Wisconsin Point ship entry to the Allouez taconite loading dock is the new design that Denny is now using. The previous design like at GLA above is plagued with spiders that spin webs over the camera lens. This new camera design eliminates this problem, and, these new camera's all scan. Denny typically sets these cameras to scan to the left then to the right of where they are usually pointed twice an hour every thirty minutes.
The dish mounted on the left side of the light pole sends the Wi-Fi signal to Duluth Harbor Hub, located way up on the hill above downtown Duluth and the harbor. When ships transit the WI canal the ships get in the way of the Wi-Fi signal when the vessel is passing in front of the dish since the ships are taller than the dish and block the signal. You can see the bow of ships coming out but then the signal is lost until the ship unblocks the Wi-Fi signal. Then one sees the stern of the vessel departing. The reverse is the case for ships entering.
Pictured the Wi-Fi receiving dish on Duluth Harbor Hub receives the WI point cam signal. The three camera's pictured are the Bayfront, Hillside and Harbor cams.
When the previous Hillside cam failed Denny replaced it with the new scanning version same as the WI point cam. Normally pointed at the Pier B Resort complex every thirty minutes it scans to the left to show the western downtown Duluth Buildings including the DECC - Duluth Entertainment Conference Center complex. Then it reverses and scans to the right past Pier B Resort over to Rice's Point / Garfield Avenue grain elevators before scanning back left and stopping at Pier B Resort.
Installed on the roof of the Maritime Museum at the Duluth Ship Entry canal the camera on the right pointed west is the (Aerial) Bridge cam while the other camera pointed east is the Canal Cam. July 2018 Denny added the automated weather station atop the cameras mounting pole.
Tomorrow's post I will include screen captures from Denny's MarineTraffic.com AIS and the weather output from the canal weather station both located at the bottom of the index page. Also the link list of all ten cam's located at the top of the index page.
The AIS shows all AIS equipped vessels in and around Duluth, all commercial vessels are required to use AIS, recreational craft it is optional but some do have AIS - Automatic (Ships) Identification System.
The weather station displays the Canal temperature in degrees F. Humidity, Dew Point, Rainfall in inches, Barometric Air Pressure in inches of mercury, wind direction and wind speed in mph - miles per hour.
I will also post a picture Denny put up of his three drones: Skeeter,
Batman and Buzz.
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Vista, CA USA
My excuse is that the Marine Engineer in me made me do this:
Please check my math: William A. Irvin LOA 611 feet x 12 = 7,332 inches divided by (4 hours transit time) 240 minutes = 30.55 inches per minute -- 2.5458 feet per minute?
Clicking on a ship symbol causes this information block giving the vessel heading and speed to open.
While back in the day Pennsylvania and West Virginia coal was lifted to Duluth. Today Superior SMET is the main shipment point for coal mined in Wyoming and delivered to Michigan, Ohio and Indiana electric power generating plants and steel plants.
Denny O'Hara's drones. Please note that the propellers on all three drones have been removed.
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Vista, CA USA
William A Irvin in Howards Pocket
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Do not ask me why but this stretch of water is known as Howard's Pocket per DHC - AIS:
The shipyard is ahead of the Great Republic. Frazer's has one dry dock, it is a graving dock. For non sailors a graving dock is like a lock at the Soo but it has only one gate.
It took me awhile to find these 2009 pictures showing USCG Ice Breaker Mackinaw # 30 in the Frazer's graving dock.
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First a correction I now know that Frazer's Shipyard in Superior, WI has TWO graving docks.
A couple of days ago Dennis O'Hara of http://www.duluthharborcam.com/ fame posted two drone pictures of the Irvin in one of the two graving docks.
Screen Capture from Frazer's website
Picture from Frazer's website
Irvin in drydock. Northern Images is Dennis O'Hara's photography business name. Just add .com for his very colorful and interesting site.
Invin in the dock. Note at the top of the screen three of the four tugs of the Heritage Tug fleet, the 4th is based in Two Harbors.
As long as his drone was in the neighborhood Denny includes this aerial shot of the Duluth Port Authority, Clure Marine Terminal "Lay-Down-Area". This area used to be TWO huge grain elevators that were closed then torn down.
A Liberian flagged ship named Industrial Strength left this morning after delivering a shipload of windmill generator sections. You can see previously delivered generators, lined up alongside the ends of tower sections; alongside the blue hull ship and further back towards the bay, where that crawler crane is.
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