Ice conditions delay arrival of first salties to Duluth
Well, what else is new? The first ocean-going vessels expected in Duluth this morning were delayed overnight by ice conditions on northern Lake Superior, meaning the first salties won’t arrive until 8 p.m. tonight at the earliest.
Ship tracking showed the Diana and Zealand Delilah rounding the north side of Isle Royale at 8 a.m., the time the Diana was expected to sail under the Aerial Lift Bridge in Canal Park. The 12-hour delay means any kind of welcoming ceremony won’t happen until Thursday or Friday, said Adele Yorde, spokeswoman for the Duluth Seaway Port Authority.
The Diana, which flies under the flag of Antigua and Barbados, is coming into the Superior port to load grain. Ice conditions have slowed all ships on the Great Lakes this spring. The first saltie into Duluth usually comes in late March or early April. Rivers and locks along the St. Lawrence Seaway opened late as unprecedented ice conditions prevailed.
The Zealand Delilah, which sails under the Netherlands flag, is headed for the Duluth port.
Meanwhile, the Hon. James L. Oberstar is expected to come into port Thursday morning as the funeral for its namesake begins in Maryland. The ship is expected to approach the shipping canal at 9:30 a.m. Once it reaches the Aerial Lift Bridge, the ship whistle will blow two long blasts and three short with the bridge master following suit.
Those watching the ship will be asked to participate in a moment of silence after the whistles. The Lake Carriers’ Association asked earlier this week that all U.S. ships sail the American flag at half mast.