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The Last Saltie
Abstract: Bishop Noe-Effingway blesses last ocean-going vessel to leave Duluth in 2007.
On Friday evening December 14, clergy from the Central Great Lakes Synod led by Bishop Thorvald ("Wally") Noe-Effingway braved below-zero temperatures to bless the Isadora the last ocean-going vessel ("Saltie") to depart the port of Duluth in the 2007 Shipping season. From the deck of a tug boat just outside the Lift Bridge, Bishop Noe-Effingway conducted the rite of blessing with prayers for the protection of the ship and its crew and used an evergreen aspergillum to "baptize" the ship. Captain Zdzislaw Iwanowski sounded the ship's horn in acknowledgment.
Blessing the Last Saltie is an annual Advent ritual in the Central Great Lakes synod (which serves island churches through the Great Lakes). Throughout the synod, churches along the shipping route send parties to greet the ship and offer prayers for the safety of ship and crew.
The 655-foot Isadora carried a load of wheat destined for Barcelona.