Archives for December 5, 2007

St. Clair arriving Twin Ports harbor

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On Sunday, only 3 boats went under the Lift Bridge, Monday saw another 3 and Tuesday only 1. It is too early to say that the season is winding down but it is definitely slowed up by a combination of high winds, cold temperatures and ice. The Coast Guard announced the beginning of Operation Taconite yesterday, a somewhat early effort to keep shipping channels open on the St. Mary’s River below the Soo Locks and in Duluth. Our Coast Guard cutter Alder is in the St. Mary’s River, below the Soo Locks, removing aids to navigation buoys, a little earlier than usual. Some of the buoys have been damaged by the ice in the river, although no serious damage is reported, meaning they will be put back in the water in the Spring. The cutter Biscayne Bay has been dispatched to Duluth although they will stop in Marquette first, probably sometime later today, arriving here at the end of the week. They were here last winter several times. Even though the Alder is ‘our’ coast guard cutter, it is primarily a buoy tender and the buoys in the St. Mary’s River needed tending. The Biscayne Bay is an ice breaker, coming here to break ice. The only question left is where the ice problems in Duluth are located. They should have sent a snow plow instead. The St. Clair, seen above making the turn into the Duluth harbor in October, should be here now for coal and will likely leave later in the morning. Photo taken on October 25, 2007
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 12-05-2007