I could not see the Barker's draft markings, but he was heavily loaded and running deep.
Yep. It was quit impressive.
I looked up it's draft. It's 28' at max. Then I looked up the depth of the Deluth shipping channel. It's also maintained at 28'. That doesn't mean that it's not deeper than 28'. That's the minimum depth, I'm guessing. If water levels drop, or silt builds up, the ships have to load less cargo. That have that issue in the river and harbor at St. Joe, Michigan. The recent high water levels have been a gift to shipping there, as they can take more tonnage, which means more profit per trip, and, less expense for customers.
It just amazes me that a ship that large can navigate areas within just feet of its bottom and sides. We've been to the locks several times. Watching a 1000' ship navigate into the locks unassisted and have just feet on each side and stopping within feet of the end of the lock is a definite thrill to observe.