After about three weeks at anchor on Lake Superior offshore from Duluth - its second lengthy stay at here in a year - the saltie Cornelia passed through the Duluth ship canal on Thursday afternoon, bound to pick up a load of grain.

The Cornelia first stopped at the Port Terminal, and was set to shift to the Riverland Ag elevator later in the day.

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It had arrived in Duluth on Oct. 16 and initially dropped off cement at the CRH US terminal, before heading back out onto the lake a few days later.

It had been waiting at anchor since then, apparently waiting all that time to reach a deal to take on a cargo of grain.

And it was grain that the 575-foot-long oceangoing freighter had picked up last November when it was detained for six weeks for an investigation of environmental regulations. Its German owners eventually were hit with $1 million in penalties after pleading guilty to dumping oily wastewater into the Great Lakes.

In the past 13 months, the ship has spent more than two months at anchor offshore from Duluth.

Its arrival in Duluth last month was its first trip back to the port since the penalties. It is now flying the flag of the Cook Islands, after having previously been a Liberian-flagged ship, and appears to be under new ownership.

The U.S. Coast Guard had said there was nothing out of the ordinary about the Cornelia's return trip to the Great Lakes.

"Business as usual," Petty Officer 3rd Class Christopher Yaw told the News Tribune last month. "As far as anything that happened last year, it was investigated. It would be similar to if a ship ran aground, went through the process to get repairs and made it back."