Several months ago, Jeff Foster purchased the Sundew …,

jefffoster20100215_1512

… the former Coast Guard cutter that was built in Duluth in 1943 and served many years here before retiring into the tourist business. Happily, very happily, Jeff plans to maintain the Sundew’s presence in the Twin Ports. Here he is checking out his new purchase on February 15th. He plans to start working on the ship in the beginning of April so he can take her out of her home for the last 5 years and put her back in the Twin Ports waters again. He is not sure yet what is in store for the future, but being seen a lot in the Twin Ports is very much a part of the plan. (Pictures from the Sundew’s past)

Comments

  1. Eddy L. Arnold says:

    Station on the Dew from 77-79, first Coast Guard Cutter right out of Boot Camp. Loved the small town after living in a big city . I really miss those days in the service, hard to believe that it will be 20yrs January since I retire from the Coast Guard in 1997.

  2. Chuck mosher says:

    Served on the sundew 1970-72. I was third class engineman. Had many great memories on the dew. My one of things I would like to do is go aboard the sundew once more.. We use to take our motorcycles with us when we sailed to other ports. Have many pictures to post if possible . Love to have reunion with all old shipmates.

  3. BMCM Carl Lawson, USCG, Ret. says:

    Served aboard the Sundew 1960-1964….My first CG ship..great Ship, Great Town ( Charlevoix Michigan)..and most of all a Great Crew.

    Carl Lawson

    • Sue Miller mezzano says:

      Hello, looking for information on the Sundew and found your post. My dad Carter Miller also served near the same time you did. He was a corpsman.

  4. 20 July 2013. Vacationing with my wife in Bayfield WI and had the distinct privilege of talking with several crew members with the Sundew moored at the end of the public pier. They were happy to provide information and perspective. I learned it is a “180.” One of the former CG men recalled that his ship had been called on to assist the Fitzgerald, but it was far too far away. I saw the Sundew off the next day as it departed about 1045 for the run back to Duluth. As a former submariner it was great to see this proud ship sail north through the Apostles, having been saved by Foster and a dedicated volunteer crew. My old boat, also a diesel-electric, was sold to Venezuela. Thanks to the Sundew crew; you definitely made my day.

  5. Daniel Parks says:

    The Coast Guard Cutter Sundew
    By Daniel Parks

    Poem featured in soon to be released book of poetry entitled, “Poetic Scenes and Mystic Dreams

    The ice still lay thick from winter’s cold hand,
    bitter cold keeps its hold on the way.
    Ore freighter are held in Superior’s Duluth,
    as the ice still imprisons the bay.

    Lake freighters are locked at their moorings and docks,
    giant ore-laden ships have to stay.
    Till the ice can be cleared, loosing winters firm grip,
    and ice-breaking ships fair the way.

    In the port of Duluth a ship starts to move,
    as the crew gets the ship underway.
    With power and steel the Cutter Sundew,
    bends itself to the task of the day.

    The ship’s striking form moves like a storm,
    and the ice won’t stand in the fray.
    As it heels and it lists and heaves on the crust,
    ice buckles and groans, and gives way.

    With pathway soon cleared, huge freighters are steered,
    from Duluth to the Locks known as Soo,
    And winter’s cold blast is broken at last,
    by the Coast Guard Cutter Sundew.

    • holly jorgenson says:

      daniel, that’s awesome!

      • Where was Jeff Foster when we needed him? I still have tears in my eyes from when I learned that the USS Coral Sea (CVA-43) was going to be sent to the scrap yards. The once mighty Lady that spent 11 months in the South China Sea, the longest deployment of a Carrier in history, is now just a memory in the minds of those of us who loved her. The Great Lakes needs an Aircraft Carrier in the Port of Duluth.

        Mid-Watch on the Coral Sea
        By Daniel Parks

        ‘Tis midnight on the flight deck
        of the Carrier, Coral Sea.
        War’s sorties flown, the day is done,
        out on the China Sea.
        The night is black, no moon or stars,
        I walk the deck alone.
        I’ve got the watch, the mid’ to four,
        and wish I could be home.

        Flight op’s secured, the flight deck’s cleared,
        all hands have gone below.
        The only lights are running lights,
        I feel so all alone.
        With planes chained down, the only sound,
        ship’s angry engines groan.
        The cold wind blows, the ocean’s cold,
        my thoughts drift back to home.

        Far off away, the distant blaze
        of lightning lights the sky.
        Off to the west in Vietnam,
        so many men have died.
        I pause to hear the sound, if near,
        of distant thunder’s moan.
        But there’s no sound but blowing wind,
        across the ocean’s foam.

        It’s zero-one, an hour’s gone,
        my watch is slipping by.
        I think about their loved ones,
        and how they must have cried.
        Off in this land, so far away,
        what purpose could there be?
        And are we really doing this,
        to keep our homeland free?

        In the darkness, watch your step,
        the deck’s edge could be close.
        Watch for chains, arresting gear,
        and aircraft catapults.
        Ship changes course and heels to port,
        a wide turn in the sea.
        I wonder if back home tonight,
        my love still waits for me?

        We lost two men just yesterday,
        their crippled plane went down.
        No hope of rescue from the sea,
        it’s sure they both had drown.
        I spoke to one before his flight,
        he said he had no fear.
        But then again, how could he know,
        his death would be so near.

        It’s zero-two, I’m half way done,
        I pull my arms in tight.
        And brace myself against the wind,
        it feels so cold tonight.
        When I get home, I’ll hold her close,
        that girl who waits for me.
        And maybe then I’ll soon forget,
        about this troubled sea.

        The darkness swallows up our wake,
        cold, misty clouds eclipse.
        Horizon scanned for distant lights,
        strained eyes can see no ships.
        It seems we’ve sailed so far away,
        no other ships allied.
        My thoughts, once more of Vietnam,
        and of the men who’ve died.

        The carrier sails forever on,
        it’s like we’re far at sea.
        Unnerving thoughts of fear and death,
        are watching here with me.
        Trying to dispel their dreadful hold,
        I think again of home.
        But they persist, won’t give me rest,
        while watching here alone.

        It’s zero-three, an hour more,
        and then my watch is done.
        Ship’s stacks are belching acrid smoke,
        the sulfur burns your lungs.
        I inward weep for those in war,
        that had to give so much.
        And thankful be out on this sea,
        away from death’s cold clutch.

        Brave men have died in Vietnam,
        and on this troubled sea.
        And for their country, sacrificed,
        so others can live free.
        The war has taken from our best,
        young men who’ll never know,
        Of love and peace and happiness,
        the things they wanted so.

        It’s zero-four, my watch relieved,
        another takes my place.
        I turn to go, but looking back,
        it’s written on his face.
        He’s seen the dark, forbidding forms,
        the ghosts of fear and dread.
        He walks alone….the cold wind blows,
        thoughts swirling in his head.

        • holly jorgenson says:

          daniel, these poems of yours are beautiful…are you published?

          • Daniel Parks says:

            Good morning Holly,
            Yes, my poetry is published in a book entitled, “Poetic Scenes and Mystic Dreams.” While it’s not yet available on Amazon, a copy can be purchased from “www.lulu.com/spotlight/desertdan” using your bank card or paypal.

            My youngest son, Jarrod Parks, was a crew member on the Sundew and I served in the Navy with Fighter Squadron VF-151, deployed on the USS Coral Sea for the longest cruise, December, 1964 through November, 1965.

            Have a wonderful day.

            Daniel

        • Michael Zukerman says:

          Mr Parks did you by any chance know my father on the USS Coral Sea CPO Harry Zukerman ? Please contact me mwzuke@gmail.com

    • Awesome poem! I was stationed on Sundew from 1990 to 1993 as a Third Class Petty Officer. This poem brings back memories.

  6. Gary Schmidt says:

    I have seen the Sundew come in and out of Duluth Harbor lately. Is it available for rides or ?

  7. Watch the Sundew come into Duluth port July 26, 2011. Looks to me Mr. Foster did a great job of getting her up and running. Hope he keeps it up.

  8. CHRISTOPHER says:

    WORKED IN THE ENGINE ROOM OF THIS SHIP FOR ALMOST A FULL YEAR. USE TO GIVE TOURS DURING THE SLOW TIME OF SUMMER. REMEMBERED AT LEAST ONE SIGN ON THE SHIP, PERHAPS TWO, THAT THIS SHIP WAS BUILT IN DULUTH IN THE YEAR 1944. ABOVE STATES 1943. LOOKS LIKE IF IT WAS TRULY BUILT IN 1943, THEY WOULD NOT ERECT SIGNS ON THE SHIP THAT IT WAS BUILT IN 1944. SUPPOSE THIS DOES NOT MATTER TO MOST, BUT TO SOMEONE WHO SERVED ON THE SHIP, IT DOES MATTER. HOPE THE SKIPPER CAPTAIN J. V. ONEIL IS STILL TICKING.

  9. STATIONED ABOARD THIS SHIP ’76 AND ’77. MISSED BEING ONBOARD. I WAS A SIMPLE FIREMAN APPRENTICE WHO WOULD RATHER BE UP ON DECK, INSTEAD OF BELOW DECK. REMEMBER QUITE WELL WHEN A VERY TOUGH LOOKING FIRST CLASS NAMED “TINY” REDICULED THOSE WHO COULD NOT TAKE WAVES OF SIX FOOT OR MORE. THEN ONE DAY, WHEN THE SHIP WAS TAKING ON THREE FOOT WAVES, TINY GOT SICK HIMSELF. REMEMBER WHEN THE SHIP WAS BEING SWITCHED AT THE BALTIMORE SHIP YARDS FOR THE CUTTER MESQUITE. THE SUNDEW SUFFERED MINOR DAMAGE BY UNDERESTIMATING BRIDGE HEIGHT WE HAD TO GO UNDER. TOOK OFF SOME OF OUR COMMUNICATION EQUIPMENT. PRIOR TO THIS THOUGH, SUNDEW HAD TO TAKE ON A NORTH ATLANTIC STORM WITH THIRTY FOOT WAVES. REMEMBER BEING ON THE CONTROL DECK LOOKING OUT. LOOKED AS IF I COULD PLACE A COFFEE CUP OUTSIDE AND CAPTURE A CUP OF OCEAN. ALOT OF PEOPLE GOT SICK. BELIEVE I HEARD THE CAPTAIN EVEN GOT SICK. I WAS ALRIGHT THE FIRST DAY, BUT THE SECOND DAY, I WANTED TO DIE. TRIED CRACKERS BUT THIS DID NOT WORK. REMEMBER LAYING SICK AT THE BOTTOM OF STEPS LEADING UP TO THE CONTROL DECK, SEVERAL OFFICERS HAD TO STEP OVER ME. BEST MEMORY WAS ICEBREAKING AT NIGHT IN ONE OF THE GREAT LAKES. SNOW FLYING AND IN FRONT OF THE SHIP, LOOKED LIKE A LARGE WHITE FLOOR. MISS OUR HOMEPORT OF CHARLEVOIX, MICHIGAN.

    • William L Wenzel says:

      I was the corpsman aboard the Sundew in 76. I remember “Tiny” too. He was a big baby. I have some great photo’s of icebreaking

  10. RANDY RICHTER says:

    I WORKED ON THE IRVIN THE BIG RED SHIP I AM FRIENDS WITH HIM AND I GOT A RIDE ON THE SUNDEW FROM DULUTH TO TWO HARBORS AND BACK WE LEFT 12:00 AND GOT BACK AT 10:30

  11. I served on it from December 1975 to March 1976. I was pretty old school even then. Nice to see it’s till around.

  12. Ted Johnson says:

    The Woodrush was stationed inDuluth longer then theSundew,it should have stayed in Duluth instead of going to Sitka Alaska.
    Ex engineman 2nd. class from the Woodrush, Jan. 57 untill Oct. 58

  13. Charles Bliss says:

    I served on the Sundew 2/49-9/49 as a second class petty officer {machinist] after returning from duty in the so. pacific. [Iwo Jima, guam etc] I sure would like to have a ride on the ol’ sundew again! The area we covered was from Holland up thru the upper paninsula of Mi. and on down to Milwakee which was our home port. We were in dry-dock in Manitowak for a change of screw from 3 blades to a 5 blades, so that what we couldn’t “bull” our way thru, we could do a 180 and “chew” our way thru the ice. I was dischaged after 3 years and one day of service while were moored at Escnaba,Mi. I worked on the Cooper-Bessemer mains and the GE prime movers that furnished ship’s power. Good duty, and sea stories abound!

  14. Mr. Foster purchased the vessel at auction. It was sold due to the lack of people paying to tour her. With her upkeep, and possibly a slow economy, the city was losing $$$ and had no choice but to let her go. But Mr. Foster will keep her in good shape and running around the Twin Ports. This is the best-case scenario IMO.

  15. I am glad that it is not going in the scrap yard.

  16. I am confused by this story. When we were up there last summer the Sundew was next to the Irvine for tours. Are you saying this ship is going to leave this spot and do something else now? Not very clear to this reader! Thanks!

  17. Good. I hope that tourists will be able to "participate" in having it nearby.

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