Thunder Bay, ON, and Duluth, MN, tipped their Top Hats to the first ‘salties’ of the season last week. The ocean freight vessels nipped at the heels of ‘lakers’ (lake freighters) which cruised into port days before.
As reported by TB Newswatch, the MV Federal Barents took the honour in Thunder Bay, arriving in port on Tuesday March 29th. Captain Karl Fernandes and crew were awarded by the Thunder Bay Port Authority at Richardson’s main elevator. Along with others before him, Capt. Fernandes signed his name to the inside of an actual top hat to mark the occasion. The MV Federal Barents is hauling 21,000 tonnes of lentils to Mersin, Turkey.
The MV Federal Barents missed breaking records by only two days. It is the second-ever ocean vessel to enter port before April. Port Authority CEO Tim Heney explained that the Barents arrived Tuesday, but didn’t cross the breakwall until later, at an unspecified time. The ship is not recorded until it passes the breakwall. “It would have been a record,” he told TB Newswatch.
Photo credit of the MV Federal Barents to nikkiidiixon14, via TB Newswatch.
The Duluth News Tribune reported that the Albanyborg crossed into the Duluth Harbour on Sunday April 3rd at 7:41pm. Officials from the Duluth Seaway Port Authority greeted Captain Igor Bunenkov and his crew with gifts.
In addition to being the first ocean vessel to Twin Ports, the Albanyborg was the first saltie to enter the St. Lawrence Seaway on March 23rd. The ship delivered wind turbine parts from Emden, Germany to Port Colborne, ON and continued on to Duluth to receive a load of grain.
Though the Albanyborg is from a Dutch fleet, its crew hails from all over the globe. Capt. Bunenkov is from the Ukraine, one of his first officers is Vietnamese, and much of his crew hails from the Philippines. The ship is part of the Royal Wagenborg fleet, with whom the Duluth Seaway Port Authority has a good relationship.
The Albanyborg can be seen entering port in this video below, by YouTube user @alaricdogface.