Joe Walters returns to the Sundew

A few months ago, Kiyi captain Joe Walters took a lunch break at the Deep Water Grill in Ashland. Joe worked on the Sundew from 1994 to 97 as chief warrant officer. He got lots of experience navigating the vessel around the Great Lakes. He left the Coast Guard in 2000 and started work for the Lake Superior Biological Station at Ashland, Wisconsin as the captain of their research vessel Kiyi, a boat that comes to the Twin Ports a couple times a year. He had read in the paper that his old ship had been sold to Jeff Foster Trucking in Superior. When he saw someone at the restaurant wearing a Jeff Foster jacket, he walked over and introduced himself. It was not Jeff, but after their discussion, the message got back to Jeff that Joe was in Ashland.  Jeff needed a licensed captain to take the Sundew out of the slip next to the William A. Irvin, and knew that Joe would be a good person for the job. Partly out of coincidence, the Kiyi was scheduled to be in the Twin Ports this week, the same time that Jeff wanted to move the ship out. If all goes well, Joe will take the wheel of the Sundew for the first time in 13 years on Tuesday or Wednesday morning. That’s Joe on the bridge of the Kiyi on Monday afternoon. In the background, you can make out the Sundew, waiting for his arrival.


  1. Capt. Ed Montgomery says:

    I agree, it is terrific to see the venerable SUNDEW moving on her own power once again. Hat’s off to Jeff Foster for his enthusiastic interest in our area’s maritime history. Hopefully, he will have some worthy and interesting activities with her that will defray his cost of keeping the ship in good condition. Mr. Foster is a good businessman with a level head, consideration for others and humble personality. Notice that this benefactor wasn’t standing around in his tuxedo, sipping wine, while everybody else worked. He has been putting on his coveralls, pitching in and getting dirty. That is typical Jeff, who regardless of his income and standing in the community, has time to talk to a dock worker as well as a Senator or Governor. I also agree that there isn’t a better Skipper to handle the SUNDEW on her second maiden voyage than Joe Walters. Joe embodies the best traits of being a vessel Captain — Prudence in operation, Pleasantness in personality and Respectfulness of others. As a fellow International Ship Master Association member, I salute our local Twin Ports Lodge #12 President Capt. Joe Walters (Three Longs, Two Shorts!). So, to the SUNDEW I repeat the old seaman’s good luck wish of “Fair Winds and Calm Seas”.

  2. Paul Badovinac says:

    Real neat story. What a better skipper to move the Sundew than Joe. Small World we live in.

    Galveston Island, Tx

  3. Jane Peterson says:

    Wonderful story. We are proud of you. Congrats. See you soon.

  4. Rhonda Aton says:

    Wow, that is awesome. Jeff Foster couldn’t have picked a better person to move the Sundew. I am glad it has worked out so well. We do need you back on the Kiyi though. Congrats, Joe!

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