Is that water out there??

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Taken on March 2, 2015

Not too many boats, but 4 horses

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The Duluth Police Mounted Patrol is back in business and out on patrol. Here they are working the sidewalk in front of the World Headquarters of the Duluth Shipping News, next to the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge.

A balloon, a boat and a bridge

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The Isadora is at anchor waiting to come in to load grain at CHS. The bridge is the bridge. And the balloon may or may not rise to the occasion.
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Dewey’s Dumpster Delight

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Bob Hom, formerly second in command at the DECC, recently retired, but Hom does not know the meaning of the word. When he isn’t out working on the crew of a Heritage tug , he is a builder of boats. His brother Dewey found this boat in a dumpster. Where some people see garbage, Bob sees another boat. He cleaned, sanded, filled and painted it to look like new, as you see above. I wrote an article about Bob and his boat building skills in the Winter 2011-12 issue of the Port Authority quarterly, North Star Port, which you can read here.  (page 5)  Thanks to Captain Tom Mackay (Ret.) for alerting me to this and taking the picture.

Bridge from web cam in window

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http://duluthshippingnews.com/dsntv/

Fishing OK, walking around not so much

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It was a good day for fishing in Duluth on Sunday, August 26, 2012. Not so walkparkinglot20120826_5365good if you wanted to walk by the fishing boats or get from the boat to your car. To the surprise of many, including the fishing boat operators that I talked to, no one told them a race would be going on the sidewalk by their boats this Sunday morning. Pedestrians, and their baby carriages, had to walk in the parking lot while the runners commanded the sidewalk.
bluebridge20120826_5339It didn’t help that the Blue Bridge was not operational, forcing more than the usual traffic into the tunnel and sidewalk by the fishing boats if they wanted to get to the other side.
volunterpointing20120826_5334Over at the  Marine Museum, workers arriving there had no knowledge that a race was set up on their side walk, with a water stop next to the tug boat and volunteers directing visitors and tourists to stay out of the way when runners were coming thru. To make matters worse, it was a two lap race, very strung out to begin with. It was going when I arrived in the morning around 9 and was still going strong at noon. Since it was a triathlon, it was going slower than a usual running race.
What I saw was apparently the running portion of the Superior Man Triathlon, not surprisingly the first year for the event. All the volunteers I talked with were polite, friendly and totally unaware that waterstop20120826_5369race officials apparently forgot to mention to, at the least, the fishing boat operators and the folks at the Marine Museum, that their race was going right by and right through, respectively, their place of operations. Having run many races myself, I am sure the runners assumed that race officials had received the necessary permissions to run the race and provided notice to any folks who might be inconvenienced.
bbclouisiana20120826_5327 Happily, the swimming portion of the race was over before the BBC Louisiana appeared with wind turbine parts from Denmark around 11 in the morning.

Traffic jam on Helberg Drive

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The morning after (the marathon)

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In the beginning, the Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin (left) and the Perelik shared the lake with a small boat and the South Pier Light.
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Then the fishing boats went out  …
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… the early runners appeared on the scene
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… and finally, the walkers arrived
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Kara Goucher heads for home …

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… her home town; a big crowd greets her as she runs for first place in the U.S. Half Marathon Championships in Duluth on Saturday morning, June 16, 2012. She will represent the US in the Olympic Marathon in London later this summer. Official time: 1 hour, 9 minutes, 34 seconds.
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Such a beautiful day in Duluth

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More from the bear

Gary Hopp sent this note and the 2 pictures here taken by Buzzy Winter who works for him at Great Northern Services, Inc. 20120515-3715-Watermarked20120515-3729-Watermarked

That silly bear was napping in a tree behind our house on Park Point from about 9am to 10am before making his assault on the South Pier. He eventually went to the bay side of park point then swam across the bay to Bayfront Park. I have not heard any additional reports of where he went from there.
 
 

Our new bear cam

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bear20120515_2119…caught this bear walking along the South Pier this morning (May 15, 2012) Click to enlarge. Below, the bear climbed down from the pier, on its way to the beach. I first heard about it when the Chief Bridge operator, Ryan Beamer made an announcement on the bridge public address system. And you think you had troubles today!, Ryan recalled his announcement for me here.
And then he told me  some of what happened, starting by describing what the man at the end of the pier was doing.
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That’s Aerial Bridge operator Dale Mitchel with the stick (actually a pole they use to clean lights high off the ground). When he saw the bear, he jumped up from his chair in the bridge house, picked up the closest thing he could find and then went out to make sure the bear was being a good citizen. The bear had just jumped over the wall on the beach when Dale arrived at the wall. Below, several squad cars soon arrived to check out the situation.
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No snow but lots of water

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I keep hearing on the radio that we are getting lots of snow, but I can’t find it. Lake Superior, however, rarely disappoints. Throw in some rocks and a lighthouse, and you can get a nice picture.

That was then …

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and this is now: For immediate release: Sunday, February 19th, 2012

Duluth, MN. —U.S. Coast Guard Station Duluth is issuing a warning that the unusually warm temperatures observed this year have greatly increased the possibility of weakened ice.
"Ice conditions are deteriorating rapidly, major wet cracks and ice breaks have been recognized the last few days, with forecasted temps climbing to the high 30’s, this will only accelerate weakening ice " said Boatswains Mate Third Class Matthew Murphy, Coast Guard Station Duluth, MN.
The combination of warmer temperatures and shifting winds has caused extremely hazardous ice conditions in the St Louis River. The Coast Guard cautions those ice fishing and transiting on the ice due to the unpredictability of the ice breaking apart. (Picture taken on February 17th, 2007.)

Bentleyville opens!

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Statue of Liberty revisited

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It has been pointed out to me that I did not have to fly all the way to New York City to see the Statue of Liberty. Any one want to guess where in Duluth this one is located? Beth Duncan, at the Marine Museum, is not eligible to enter this contest since she told me where to find it. After everybody is done not knowing where this is, although Beth told me she has mentioned this to many people over the years, I will add some additional information. (As almost always, click to see larger version.)

3 boats off the Duluth piers

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Becca Nelson, foreground, was giving some kayaking tips to Victoria Pfingsten while the Baltic Carrier was sitting at anchor off the Duluth piers. This on October 1, 2011; notice no ice or snow, or falling leaves for that matter, but Becca’s woolen cap is proof enough that it was a bit cold out there.

Matt the Electrician comes to Duluth

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Flying cameras, Yikes!

Dennis O'Hara and his OktoKopter at the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge I went down behind the Aquarium last night (June 29, 2011) to take a picture of the salt water vessel Orsula coming into port. With tugs helping out and the sun just sliding over the hill behind me, it seemed like a good thing to do. Then I noticed a cute couple watching the ship too. Upon further investigation, they seemed too serious to be simply visitors out for an evening stroll.
Dennis O'Hara and his OktoKopter at the Duluth Aerial Lift BridgeWhen Dennis O’Hara turned and said, Hi Ken, I realized I was not alone, or rather I was alone. All I had was my little camera. Dennis had his wife Debby with him, a couple of interesting boxes and an even stranger, bug-like contraption sitting on the grass in front of him.
Dennis O'Hara and his OktoKopter
Upon further investigation, I realized it was a helicopter. Knowing Dennis, I looked underneath the helicopter and saw what looked to be a camera. A closer look at that box revealed the controls you usually see in the cockpit of an airplane. Despite being a licensed pilot, Dennis had spent a  good part of the winter learning how to fly his OktoKopter.  Octo from the Latin for 8, meaning 8 blades.
OktoKopter takes off to get a picture of the incoming ship Orsula
And the first step for that is to know precisely when to take off so you can get your picture and get back with a safe landing. A slow moving ship can cause a problem so they carefully judge the speed of the ship as it came under the Lift Bridge. I assigned myself the task of announcing that important moment in the countdown to lift off. You can see the bow of the ship just coming under the bridge, the tug ready to help and the OktoKopter just taking off. My work was done, successfully, I might add.
OktoKopter in the air
Having lost the battle to get exclusive pictures of the Orsula, I decided the only thing left was to get exclusive pictures of Dennis and Debby taking pictures of the Orsula with the OktoKopter.
Dennis O'Hara guides his OktoKopter so he can get a picture ofhe incoming Orsula
This is not your average model airplane. For one thing, it will be flying over water so stalling in midair, or worse, is not an option. Nor is your battery running low. Happily all this technology includes a voice that announces how many minutes the battery has left, from the 7 it had when it took off.
Dennis O'Hara hat and his OktoKopter
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I thought of one problem, but they had that covered too. How do you know what the camera is seeing. Debby took care of that with a totally separate system; she was watching a live feed from another camera on the OktoKopter showing her what the camera in the sky was seeing. That allowed Dennis to maneuver the OktoKopter into position. He had rigged it to take a picture every 2 seconds after he pressed the button. Can’t expect him to pilot the aircraft and take pictures at the same time.
Meanwhile, the voice was giving Dennis an update of the status of the battery. Click here to go to his web page at Northern Images to see the picture he, Debby and the OktoKopter took last night. His home page at Northern Images Photography is here.
The OktoKopter comes back to earth

Tent on the way, pizza here now!

brad20110613_3521This is day one of Grandma’s Marathon week. As of noon today (Monday, June 13, 2011), the Grandma’s Marathon tent is not up but Brad Erickson has his new Vitta Pizza place up and running; it is day one and you can find him and his Neapolitan Style, 97-seconds from his oven to your table, pizza now. If you try to buy a book at Northern Lights Books and Gifts you will find him instead as Anita has moved on to other things, including the Gift Shop on the lower level of the Maritime Museum down by the Lift Bridge. She brought her impressive collection of books on shipping with her. Brad and his delicious pizza, with outdoor seating, can now be found at 307 Canal Park Drive. Buy a book at the Gift Shop and then go get a pizza and sit outside and read and eat. (Click pic to see pic big)

Friends, the Sundew and the Rookies play the Icebreaker

sundew20110611_3456In the old days, I took a lot of pictures of the US Coast Guard cutter Sundew. That was back when the ice breaker was breaking ice. Then it became a museum and when that didn’t work out, Jeff Foster bought her and does a lot of different things with the boat. I imagine you could get married on it or perhaps, at the other end, talk Jeff into spreading your ashes on the lake. So I don’t take pictures of her working her old-time job, but I do take pictures of people taking pictures of her. I was talking to my new friends John McLaughlin and Rodeane Widom, from Glendale, Arizona when John spotted the Sundew sundew20110611_3458coming under the Lift Bridge and took his camera out. That’s him taking a picture of the Sundew. Then I saw the Sundew turn left and create a perfect picture with the North Pier light so I took a picture. And then, I noticed some other people in red suits posing for a picture while they were ‘working out’ on the anchor dug deep into the ground in the front yard of the Marine Museum. They are the Rookies from St. Paul. They probably didn’t know the Sundew was behind them; they were too busy getting ready for the fast pitch softball game they have tomorrow with a team from Superior called Icebreaker.
sundew20110611_3463John and Rodeane get in their RV every year on May 1st and don’t return home until at least November. Of course they are wired for the trip; Rodeane let me hold her Ipad, the first one I ever saw, much less held. They are on the way to Halifax and I appointed them official Duluth Shipping News photographers whenever they find an interesting ship, in Halifax or anywhere. They will check in here to keep us updated. You can always find their page by clicking on my new category called Friends. This is not a speed trip for them; they are in Duluth for about 2 weeks; they will leave Tuesday, couple days before Grandma’s Marathon. Rodeane passes time on the road playing Scrabble with a bunch of different people all over the country. She has 8 games going now; dial her up and maybe you can get a scrabble game with her. Yes they are married and plan to see their children when they come back across the country from Halifax. If you look closely, you can see that day’s issue of the Duluth Shipping News tucked under her Ipad. (Click all these pictures for larger versions)

Two Canadian boats arrive in Duluth

Atlantic Erie arrived Duluth to load coal; passes the Canadian Navigator on the way
On Sunday night, June 5th, 2011, the Atlantic Erie (above) came under the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge and made her turn up the Duluth inner harbor to the Midwest Energy Resources coal dock in Superior. She is loading 30,000 tons of coal for Belledune, New Brunswick, a port on the Atlantic Ocean. She is about to pass the Algoma Navigator, (below), formerly known as the Canadian Navigator. She actually arrived 11 minutes earlier. The Navigator was on her way to Burlington Northern in Superior to load iron ore pellets.
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Recently, Algoma Central purchased the fleet of the Upper Lakes Group Inc.  Most of those boats have been renamed, as with the Navigator. To my knowledge, this is the first trip to the Twin Ports by one of their new vessels that has the new name on the boat.

The Hon. James L. Oberstar makes his …

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presence felt again in Duluth. The ‘boat’ was pulled to the dock behind the DECC for her re-christening on Tuesday, May 23, 2011

Elton John in Duluth

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I was going to visit the Algolake last night but they wanted to know about the Elton John concert. Since I am the Duluth Shipping News, I had to help them out so I went to the concert instead and reported back this morning. It was great. On stage above, Elton John is seated at his piano just behind the left of two hands raised up in the air to the left of center. I asked everybody to keep their hands down but evidently, that person didn’t hear me. (To get a closer look at the hand, click picture for larger version)

Running in the spring in Duluth ha ha ha