|I took the picture above and to the right this morning, January 26, 2017. I was curious why the Alder was going out since the season has been over since the Lee A. Tregurtha came under the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge on January 16. I do not remember the Alder ever moving after the end of the season, much less 10 days after. Shortly after I took the picture, she turned around and returned to her dock at Coast Guard Station Duluth. We are having a very mild winter. That is open water on the bottom of the picture, even if it looks gray. I think she made that short trip to reposition herself at the dock for her first trip out in the ice in early March to break up the ice in preparation for the new season. By then, it might be a very cold winter. Since she breaks ice, she is the first ship to move in the new season, often around March 8, and that means she needs to break her own ice that has formed since January around the vessel before she can help other vessels.|
|January, 2008 was a very cold winter. I took the picture of the Mesabi Miner (right) arriving Duluth on January 21, 2008. She was the last traffic for that season. I went back to the South Pier Inn to warm up when the night nurse there told me there was a ship outside the window that was not moving. I politely suggested that he was wrong since I just took a picture of her going under the Lift Bridge. I looked anyway. Sure enough, she was sitting in the ice, not moving (below). This was big news; Duluth was about to wake up and see a 1,000 footer stopped in the ice just behind the DECC.|
|The Alder was planning to leave her dock about this time so she would be out to open up the channel for the Miner and wait to make sure she had no problems. This was a problem! I had been invited to go out with the Alder but had decided to stay warm in my office. I immediately drove down to Coast Guard Duluth and boarded the Alder just as they were ready to leave the dock. They were monitoring the Miner’s problem. Captain Marty Lightner was ready to get his tug Kentucky away from her dock to help the Miner get to her winter layup dock at Midwest Energy. He reported trouble getting away because of ice. The Alder fired up her engines and found she could not break out of the ice that had formed around her hull. Here were 3 boats stuck in the ice, and two of them were ice breakers that were supposed to help the other boats. After a few minutes trying to get away, the Alder decided to fire up her buoy crane so she could move it back and forth from one side of the boat to the other.|
|In the top right portion of the picture below, you can see the crane has been moved over the ice on one side of the ship; it was then moved to the other side as they tried to rock the boat out of the ice. It worked. As we were moving out, Lightner reported that he was also under way and was close by the Miner, helping her to break away. That worked too. Three vessels got stuck and unstuck before they created a scene to show the populace of Duluth as they were getting up for work.|
|We have it pretty good this year (so far).|
|All hands on deck aboard the Alder on December 14, 2016, breaking ice on their deck as they moved across Lake Superior. All of this while US Coast Guard Sector Soo began Operation Taconite, their annual push to clear shipping channels of ice so lakers can get another 2 or 3 weeks before the season ends. For now, the Alder was assigned the western end of Lake Superior for their ice breaking operations. That seems logical but in others years, they were breaking ice in Lake Michigan and cutters like the Biscayne Bay came here to break up our ice. All pictures here courtesy of the Alder.|
|Alder approaches the Portage Lake Lift Bridge in Houghton, Mich., Dec. 16, 2016.|
|Alder breaks a path through the ice in the Keweenaw Waterway near Houghton, Michigan on Dec. 16, 2016.|
|Join the Alder and 25 members of LSMMA as they open the 2016 shipping season in Duluth Minnesota|
|Our Coast Guard cutter Alder made a quick trip into the harbor this morning (February 22, 2016) to reposition the ship, bow pointing out, for her first ice breaking session this season, sometime in early March. In the pictures here, she is slowly backing into her mooring.|
|The Alder was out this morning (Wednesday, January 13, 2016), preparing a path for the last vessel traffic of the season. (see picture of harbor and the tracks the Alder laid down at the bottom of this page)|
|Information from the Duluth Seaway Port Authority
Duluth-Superior shipping season winds to a close;
7 lakers to be in Port for winter layup
Duluth, Minn., U.S.A. (1/12/16) – The Port of Duluth-Superior is welcoming seven ships for winter layup this year. In fact, the Indiana Harbor laid up early (on Nov. 3) and a major repowering project is already underway at Fraser Shipyards on the Herbert C. Jackson, in dry dock since early December.
The Soo Locks (at Sault Ste. Marie) are set to close at midnight on Friday, Jan. 15. By then, four more wintering vessels are expected to have arrived in the Twin Ports beginning Thursday morning with the anticipated arrival of the Edwin H. Gott, followed Friday or later by the American Century, the Kaye E. Barker and the Philip R. Clarke. We say “expected” to arrive as transit times vary with wind and weather.
Boatwatchers will have to wait just a little longer for the arrival of the very last laker – the Paul R. Tregurtha – as the thousand-footer is making one or two late season, intra-lake deliveries of iron ore. Her arrival beneath the Aerial Bridge next week will officially mark the end of the 2015 Great Lakes shipping season here in the Twin Ports. [Note: Last ‘saltie’ of the season, Federal Bering, departed Duluth on Dec. 18; the St. Lawrence Seaway closed on Dec. 31.]
In all, seven (7) Great Lakes freighters will be wintering in the Twin Ports this year:
Vessel Location ARRIVAL
Indiana Harbor Enbridge Dock 11/03/15
Herbert C. Jackson Fraser Shipyards 12/11/15
Kaye E. Barker Fraser Shipyards
Edwin H. Gott Port Terminal Berth 1
Philip R. Clarke Port Terminal Berth 4
American Century Port Terminal Berth 6/7
Paul R. Tregurtha Midwest Energy Resources Co.
While ships’ crews will take the next few, well-deserved weeks off, there is no real ‘down time’ on the waterfront. Hundreds of workers – engineers, welders, pipefitters, mechanics, electricians and others –will spend the next eight weeks doing heavy-duty maintenance and repair work so these vessels are ready to sail when the Soo Locks reopen on March 25 and the 2016 Great Lakes-Seaway shipping season gets underway.
|Dave Campbell, Chief operator on the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge, LCDR Anthony J. Maffia, Commanding officer Coast Guard cutter Alder and Vanta E. Coda II, Executive Director of the Duluth Seaway Port Authority are just outside the bridge on the Alder enjoying the almost warm weather this morning (March 12, 2015).|
|Listen as we salute the bridge while going out to the lake. You will first hear a warning they gave us just before blowing the whistle; I think it says, “Ears on deck,” meaning hold your ears.|
|The Alder was the first vessel to go under the Lift Bridge this season. That gave a chance for Campbell to go under the bridge. He has gone up with the bridge thousands of times; this was only his 3rd time to go under the bridge.|
|Below, we are just about to leave the ice and go for a short trip on the open water of Lake Superior, about 5 miles out.|
|The temperature was pretty warm for March 12, but inside the pilot house, where the smart people stay, it was nice and warm.|
|We returned using the track we had opened up on the way out; notice the wind was already moving it around; we left a straight track behind us.|
|Some of the bridge operators had to say hello to the boss as he passed under them.|
|Great Lakes Towing Company tugs North Carolina, Arkansas, Indiana and Minnesota are already in open water. Behind them, the American Integrity spent the winter at the Port Authority dock at Holcim Cement.|
|The Mesabi Miner has been at Midwest Energy Resources for the winter. With no cargo, she is high in the water (ice) but will soon be loading coal and will likely be the first commercial boat to depart the port within the next week.|
|The US Coast Guard cutter Alder departed her dock right on time, 9 am, March 9, 2015. As always, she was the first vessel movement in the port since January.|
Click on any picture to see a larger version
|This is what I think, but don’t bet on it. The Presque Isle left here on March 22th with a partial load of pellets and I think loaded pellets at Two Harbors and then tried to get to the other end of Lake Superior but had ice trouble and came back here for repairs, arriving on March 29th still with her pellets. Some of those pellets were off loaded into the American Spirit, which had not yet left Duluth. She offloaded pellets to make repairs easier. The American Spirit left here on April 7th with pellets loaded from the Presque Isle. She went to Two Harbors to load pellets and then came back this morning (above) with both loads of pellets. To wait, I presume.
Back on March 24th the Mackinaw, Katmai Bay and Morro Bay arrived Duluth and left here on March 26th. Two days later, on March 28th, the Alder arrived Duluth with an ice-wounded Morro Bay lashed to her side with the Katmai Bay leading them under the Lift Bridge.
|Several days later, the Katmai Bay departed to return to ice breaking duties while the Morro Bay stayed here for repairs to her rudder. That happened early this week and she left but did not go very far away. The Katmai Bay returned to Duluth this morning, April 9th (above), and the Morro Bay was back at the DECC with the Katmai Bay by late this afternoon.|
|Meanwhile at the other end of the Lake, late this afternoon, the Canadian ice breaker Pierre Radisson left the Soo leading a convoy of boats trying to get to Duluth (Click on the the map above). The Mackinaw was going to be with the convoy but as I write this, she was still at the Soo.|
|So here is my guess. When the convoy arrives here, perhaps on Thursday or Friday, we will have 5 ice breakers here, counting the Alder. All of a sudden, we will/may have a bunch of boats here to load cargo and then go back out to the lake, I would guess with the help of some of our flotilla of ice breakers. And presumably the American Spirit came back and is waiting to be a part of that convey. Or Not!|
|You can find the satellite images here: http://coastwatch.glerl.noaa.gov/index.html Just click on MODIS Imagery; Great Lakes MODIS True Color; and then select the lake you want, such as Superior|
|The US Coast Guard cutter Morro Bay left here a week ago and today (March 28, 2014), she was towed back to port by the Alder after sustaining damage to her rudder while breaking ice. Outside the Duluth piers, they lashed the Morro Bay to the side of the Alder for the trip through the ship canal. The Katmai Bay, also here a week ago, led them in to port. The Presque Isle is also coming back to Duluth to repair damage to her hull caused by the ice.|
|This video was taken March 10, 2014, and is a little less polished than others but I wanted to get it posted quickly.|
|Dan Rau took this picture on Wednesday (March 5, 2014), as the Alder was returning from a long day breaking ice. While following the path she opened on the way out, you can notice the ship has moved to the right so she can widen the original path for the next trip. (click pic to enlarge)|
|Our current US Coast Guard cutter Alder (above) was out this morning opening up the shipping channels for boats returning to Duluth for the winter. The Sundew, our ‘old’, and now retired, Coast Guard cutter (foreground), was sitting at her dock waiting for summer. And a good thing for those sailors on the Alder. The pilothouse is warm and comforting on the Alder, while the Sundew had an open pilothouse, not the best place to spend a winter day in the Northland.|
|On March 11, 2013, the Alder broke away from the ice around her dock and began her task of clearing the shipping channels in the Duluth Superior harbor, as well as breaking ice and working buoys in other parts of the Great Lakes. Today, April 7, 2013, almost a month later, she came back home. She won’t have to break any ice in the port since the ice is pretty well beaten up first by the Alder, Biscayne Bay and Mackinaw and then by a steady stream of Great Lakes freighters that have been kicking the ice around since the Mesabi Miner departed here on March 20th.|
On March 13th, 2013, the US Coast Guard cutter Alder made her second ice breaking trip of the new season. She retraced some of the tracks she broke out on Monday and went under the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge to open a track to the end of the ice pack, about 5 1/2 miles out.
Click to see new video looking back at the winter (spring?) of 2007
|More ice breaking videos:
March 9, 2011; watch the Alder break ice in Duluth
January 9, 2008: Alder out breaking ice as last boats come in for layup
January 6, 2008: The ice breaker Biscayne Bay in DuluthNote: the Biscayne Bay will NOT be here to help the Alder break ice on Monday, March 11, 2013. The Alder will be breaking ice in the harbor and perhaps out in the Lake on Monday.
|The Alder returned to the Twin Ports early Friday morning (January 25, 2013) and went right to work clearing the path for the John G. Munson to take when she comes in, later today, to move to Fraser Shipyards for winter layup. Below, at 12:15 in the afternoon, the Munson finally came in (below) and officially closed the shipping season, we assume.|
|Go here for latest information: www.duluthboats.com|
|Nice for the boats; winter arrived here within minutes of the Heritage Marine tug Nels J making sure the last boat to come in, the Edwin H. Gott, was secure against the dock at the Port Terminal on Wednesday morning, January 18, 2012. The temperature plunged, down to -31 at my home, and a big snow storm, the largest we have had yet, at least ¾ of an inch, maybe even 1/8 more. The Alder was close by but was not needed, so she went back to her dock, probably not moving from there until March 7th or so.|
|The Paul R. Tregurtha departed Duluth on Monday morning, December 26, 2011 after loading 64,000 tons of coal for her usual destination, the Detroit Edison power plant at St. Clair Michigan. A little over an hour later, the Lee A. Tregurtha (right) came in to get fuel and then load iron ore pellets at the CN dock in West Duluth. An hour before, the Alder was out in the harbor but there was not much ice to break.|
(Click each image for larger version)
|I have a live web cam pointed at the Lift Bridge so we can watch the ships that come and go under it, but there is probably only a ship in the picture 10 to 20 minutes a day. While you can see traffic going over the bridge most all the time, we can already see traffic and don’t need a web cam to watch. The folks in New York City have done me one better, or worse. The Statue of Liberty was dedicated on October 28, 1886, just 125 years ago today.
|In honor of her birthday, they have placed a live web cam up on the torch of the Statue of Liberty, looking down. At least our bridge, opened 20 years later, goes up and down; I have not heard of the Statue of Liberty moving at all in her 125 years of life. I captured this picture from the torch cam on Friday evening on her birthday. Besides the torch cam, they also have a crown cam and a live streaming view of New York harbor from the torch.|
|But Ken, why are you writing this in the Duluth Shipping News? Glad you asked! The best way to see the Statue of Liberty live, if a statue is live at all, is by going on a trip on the Staten Island Ferry, perhaps on the one called the Guy V. Molinari.|
|I first saw her while she was being built at Marinette Marine in Wisconsin. She sat right next to our Coast Guard cutter Alder when she was launched at the same ship yard on Feb 7, 2004. In the picture here, (above left) the Alder is still on the rails, about 24 hours away from her launch. The cutter Mobile Bay is out breaking some ice and the cutter Sequoia Bay is next to her and next to her is the Staten Island ferry, specifically the Guy V. Molinari. Connection made.|
|The Alder looked like they had a lot of folks on board enjoying the sun when they came into port on Saturday, October 22, 2011. They may have some sunny days from now until the end of the shipping season in mid-January, 2012 but the days won’t be so warm and the blue water will be replaced by lots of white. Listen to her celebrate her arrival nonetheless.|
|The US Coast Guard cutter Alder broke away from her dock and seemed to have an easy time moving around the harbor. Here she is passing by the American Century at her winter layup dock at the Port Terminal.|
|Note from the ship: We made it safely through the harbor finding different thicknesses anywhere from 6 inches plate ice to re-frozen brash up to about 30 inches in some spots. Alder made it all the way through the Superior Front Channel and out to Lake Superior today.|
|When the Coast Guard starts Operation Taconite, their effort through out the Great Lakes to keep the shipping channels free of ice. The project started today (Monday, December 6, 2010). In an announcement made today, they said:
Initially, only one Coast Guard icebreaker will be assigned to Operation Taconite. Coast Guard Cutter Katmai Bay, homeported in Sault Sainte Marie, has been ordered to make its way west towards Duluth, Minn., to provide ice breaking services while Coast Guard Cutter Alder is underway working aids to navigation. Additional Coast Guard ice breakers will join the operation in the coming days and weeks.
|The Katmai Bay is a 140 foot Bay-class Icebreaking Tug. In the picture above, the Katmai Bay is seen entering the Duluth Ship Canal on October 21st, 2005.
Click here for more information about the Alder
|The Duluth Coast Guard cutter Alder left today (above, November 29, 2010) to finish up their year’s work on Aids to Navigation before coming back in December to battle the Duluth Superior ice.
Aids to Navigation are man-made objects used by mariners to determine their position on the water or to maintain a safe course. They include buoys, day beacons, lights (lighthouses), radio beacons, fog signals, marks and other devices used to provide "street" signs on the water. Aids To Navigation include all the visible, audible and electronic symbols that are established by government and private authorities for piloting purposes. You can go here for more information.
Commander Mary Ellen J. Durley and her crew will work the Eastern side of Lake Superior, the St. Mary’s River, and Northern Lake Michigan.
|Alder commander Mary Ellen Durley reports that the Alder should be coming under the Lift Bridge on Saturday morning, around 9:00, possibly later depending on weather. She sent along a picture of the Alder as they were passing by a Greenland glacier. The coming Duluth winter shouldn’t be much of a challenge now; no glaciers anymore! Just ice and some fog once in a while.|
|The US Coast Guard cutter Alder, just before she departed her dock on March 8, 2010 to take a first look at ice conditions. They report ice up to 20 inches thick, better than last year, and the warm weather suggests it could end up being very much better than last year. They will go out again on Wednesday, as originally planned and may not be out again until just before the first boat moves in the harbor, probably the James R. Barker leaving with coal for a Lake Superior Port, maybe on the 19th.|
|It wasn’t quite so bad that July was a record cold month in Duluth, and it wasn’t so bad that the temperature today on August 2nd is 55 degrees F. But the ICEBREAKING Coast Guard cutter Alder came home from her annual summer ‘vacation’ on Lake Erie this morning a little early. Do they know something we don’t about how cold it really will be? Soon??|
|On July 8th, 2009, Commander Kevin Wirth handed over command of the Alder to Commander Mary Ellen Durley.|
|Thursday April 2: The Walter J. McCarthy Jr., the Edwin H. Gott and the Edward L. Ryerson were set to depart on Wednesday evening. If they did not make it, they will probably try today. The Lee A. Tregurtha made it to Two Harbors last night, the Gott should be there some time today. Both are there to load iron ore pellets.Very cold temperatures in December suggested we could have a tough spring fighting thick ice to get the season moving. The ice never seemed to be as bad as those cold temperatures suggested. Turns out the other end of the deal, when the ice starts to break up in the spring, might cause more problems. The severe east winds on Tuesday pushed a lot of ice, much of it broken up, right to the Duluth shore line, although not into the ship canal. The Lee A. Tregurtha was the first to find out about the problem, departing Duluth around 9:15 am and getting stopped in the ice not long after that. The Alder went out to help. Around 11 am, the Alpena was approaching the bridge and pulled up, deciding to wait. The picture shows the Alpena waiting in the water. It is not very often one sees a boat at that spot and not moving. The boat should have stayed. It decided to go out around 2:30 in the afternoon and not much beyond the piers; it too was stopped in the ice. Late in the afternoon, a west wind eased the ice jam. The Lee A. Tregurtha did get to Two Harbors, the Alpena was on the way home, and there was open water in front of the Duluth piers at 7 pm last night. The Alder left for Lake Michigan and an expected trip to Duluth by the Mackinaw was canceled. However, the Biscayne Bay left for Duluth last night from Thunder Bay. It will be here later today after a stop in Two Harbors to break a little ice.|
|*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 04-02-2009|
|April 1st, 2009 •
Coast Guard, US Boats
7:05 Thursday morning. The Alder is on her way to Lake Michigan to tend buoys and the Alpena is probably getting close to the Soo. Instead of the Mackinaw making her first visit to Duluth the west wind arrived and moved the ice away. The McCarthy left this morning at 6:06 and as you will note just below, the Biscayne Bay arrived Duluth at 7:05 this morning. We are back in business with our usual number of Coast Guard cutters. But we are watching the flags fly and hoping we will not see a return of a stiff east wind. The winter is not over yet.
|7:15 Wednesday evening. The Mackinaw will not be coming to Duluth today and the Alder was planning on leaving later tonight for Lake Michigan to tend buoys. The Biscayne Bay is on her way to Duluth at present but will stop in Two Harbors first for a little ice breaking.|
|6:45 Wednesday evening. Never mind. It appears that the Lee A. Tregurtha is at Two Harbors, the Alpena is headed home; the Alder is still breaking some ice before turning into the Lake and going down to Lake Michigan for some buoy tending. I assume,
but don’ t know yet, that the Mac and the Biscayne Bay may not be coming. We go from 3 ice breakers here on Thursday to perhaps one. Oh, one more thing; as you will notice in the picture below, taken a few minutes ago, the ice seems to be leaving too. That’s a lot of open water.
|4:15 Wednesday afternoon. The Alder has moved away from the Tregurtha and is operating on the edge of the ice pack, estimated by the Coast Guard to be 6 miles out from Duluth. It appears to me that the Tregurtha has moved closer to the Alpena. The picture below was taken around|
|4:05 pm. The Alder was visible with the naked eye but not my camera’s eye. The Coast Guard reports the ice is about 26 inches thick. If still coming, the Biscayne Bay will be coming from Thunder Bay, the Mackinaw from the Soo.|
|2:45 Wednesday afternoon. The Alpena tried to depart, going under the Lift Bridge. It appears to be stopped in the ice just beyond the ship canal. The Coast Guard cutters Mackinaw and Biscayne Bay have been dispatched to Duluth. Biscayne to arrive around first light on Thursday morning; the Mackinaw later, perhaps early afternoon. More pictures coming.
The Alpena joins the party
|The Alpena is still moving here but very slowly and now it appears she is also stopped in the ice|
|Above, the Lee A. Tregurtha stopped in the ice off the Duluth piers; at right the Alder is out to help; more info soon|
|The Alpena is waiting just behind the Lift Bridge on the harbor side for the ’situation’ just off the piers to resolve.|
|Monday was the day the shipping season started; Tuesday was a day when it didn’t move much further along. High winds from the east effected boat traffic as much as it did the rest of us. The Walter J. McCarthy Jr. was expected to move over to Midwest Energy Resources last night to load coal. That would put it under the Lift Bridge on the way to Detroit sometime this morning. Last season, it didn’t start the season until April 6th, when repairs were completed after it collided with the dock while coming in for winter layup on January 14, 2008. The McCarthy spent the winter layup this year at the Port Terminal. On Monday, the Alder was out breaking ice in the harbor when it passed behind the McCarthy at the Port Terminal (above).|
|*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 04-01-2009|
|I had a chance to take a ride of the Alder this morning, but I had to tell them I was too busy taking pictures of them. Here, she is coming right at me with the Walter J. McCarthy, Jr. on her right and the Edwin H. Gott on her left. The McCarthy is due to depart with coal on Tuesday; the Gott may leave with iron ore pellets on Thursday.|
| The Alder went out for a quick trip through the harbor and out into the Lake on Monday, March 16th. With no traffic set until the 29th, there was not a lot that could be done. Tuesday afternoon, she left for Thunder Bay. They will see traffic before we will. In the picture, we were headed out into Lake Superior on Monday after just going under the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge. We returned about 20 minutes later.
The Alder goes into Lake Superior for a quick check on ice conditions. We found a lot of water.
|Elsewhere in the Great Lakes: I received the picture below from the Mackinaw on Tuesday afternoon. It is their picture and caption. Click picture below for more pictures of the Mackinaw breaking ice.|
|U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Mackinaw breaks ice in Whitefish Bay, Mich., In support of Operation Spring Breakout, March 16, 2009. Spring Breakout encompasses northern Lake Michigan, northern Lake Huron, the St. Marys River and helps facilitate the spring shipping season in the Great lakes. (U.S. Coast Guard photo/Petty Officer 3rd Class George Degener)|
|I will be going out on the Alder on Monday morning (March 16th). They will be checking the ice thickness in the shipping channels in the harbor; I will try to get some good pictures and video. Keeping the shipping lanes open in the harbor is the direct responsibility of the Alder. Local tugs handle the work closer to the docks; the Alder only goes in there on request, when needed.|
|This is the last ice breaking season here for LCDR Kevin Wirth, commanding officer on the Alder for the last 3-years. He has been a great leader, on his ship and within the community. He will be missed by many. Wirth and many of the officers and crew will be replaced in June, rotating off the usual 3-year tour of duty with our local cutter. That’s him at the right on the bridge of the Alder as she went under the Lift Bridge this past January 16th. This will not be a major ice-breaking trip since the first ship movement in the port is not expected to get under way until March 29th when the James R. Barker should be leaving with coal and the American Mariner is expected in to load iron ore pellets.|
|The Alder announced their initial plans for the new season. See just below, dated March 5, 2009|
|Commander Kevin Wirth expects to break out from the Alder’s winter moorings at their dock on Park Point at 8:30 on the morning of March 10th. They will also scout the offshore ice to determine thickness and coverage. They should return the next day, probably using the Superior entry again.|
|They will likely return to their moorings sometime later on Tuesday, March 10th. The first commercial shipping activity for the Twin Ports is expected to be the departure of the James R. Barker on March 29th.|
|The Coast Guard cutter Alder was back from an ice breaking trip to Thunder Bay on Thursday morning. Above, it is seen departing the Twin Ports for the trip to Thunder Bay on Monday. It will be out just after first light today to assist the Edwin H. Gott and the Edgar B. Speer into their layup berths at the Port Terminal. Both boats may be at anchor waiting for the Alder to clear the ship channel in the harbor. The Speer and the Gott will be the 11th and 12th boats to arrive in port for winter layup, and they will be the last boat traffic for the season. Photo taken on January 15, 2009|
|*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 01-16-2009|
|The Coast Guard cutter Alder came home for winter on Wednesday, bringing some extra ice with it (above). The cutter and the crew are ready to break ice in the harbor when needed. At CHS in Superior, the Romanian crew on the Tatjana should complete loading spring wheat some time today. They will depart the CHS dock for Italy, leaving it open for the last foreign flagged ship of the season, the Beluga Revolution. It arrived on December 12th with the parts to two cranes that will eventually go to Alberta. They will load spring wheat for Great Britain. For pictures of the discharge at the Port Terminal, you can go to: http://www.lswci.com/belugarevolution2008.html
Photo taken on December 17, 2008
|*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 12-18-2008|
|Yesterday, we had a picture of the Coast Guard cutter Alder taken from the stern as it sat on blocks on the bottom of the dry dock at Fraser Shipyards. On Tuesday morning, they started to fill the dry dock with water, a process that would take 4 or 5 hours. At a certain height, the water slowly lifted the ship off the blocks. In the picture above, taken from the bow, the ship is still resting on blocks as water fills the dry dock and would soon lift the ship off the bottom. You can see the gate behind the ship. It is holding back the water from the harbor, as it has since the Alder entered the dry dock. Sometime today, with the Alder side of the gate at the same water level as the harbor, the gate will be opened and the Alder will return to business. Photo taken on August 19, 2008|
|*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 08-20-2008|
|Our Coast Guard cutter Alder spent most of the summer in the dry dock at Fraser Shipyards in Superior (above) for a 4-year inspection. While in dry dock, the vessel is supported on blocks. This morning workers at the shipyard will fill the dry dock with water. That will slowly refloat the Alder to the same level as the water just outside the dry dock. It will stay there for 24 hours for a final check and then the gates will be opened, probably on Wednesday. Commander Kevin Wirth will move his vessel out of the shipyard and into the open water of the harbor. Photo taken on August 18, 2008|
|*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 08-19-2008|
|The Coast Guard cutter Alder was out Friday making sure shipping channels were open for the boat traffic expected this weekend. Shipping channels are not the only areas in the harbor where the ice must be broken up. Boats that come to port usually have to make a turn somewhere since they will be going back out. The Alder was paying particular attention to the turning basin in the harbor behind the Roger Blough. The Blough spent the winter at the Port Terminal but was expected to back away from that berth sometime Saturday and move over to the CN Dock in West Duluth to load iron ore pellets. Above, the Alder, finished for the day, was coming into its dock around 2:30 on Friday afternoon. You can see the stern of the Blough behind the Alder and to the left. Photo taken on March 21, 2008|
|*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 03-23-2008|
|Alder Commander Kevin Wirth (left) invited Mesabi Miner captain Scott Briggs (right) and his first mate, and relief captain, Tom McMullen (middle), to join him aboard the Alder yesterday (above) while they broke ice in the harbor. Briggs was scheduled to take his 1,000-footer off the dock at Midwest Energy today at 8 am to head for Marquette with a load of coal. He was able, while on the Alder, to provide some excellent guidance to Wirth on exactly what he needed to make a successful departure through the ice today. Briggs also brought the Mesabi Miner into port in January, the last vessel to arrive in port last season. The Alder was out helping the Miner then also. It was a short vacation. Today, they will be the first vessel moving this season. Photo taken on March 15,2008|
|*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 03-16-2008|
|Took a ride on the Alder on January 9, 2008. Watch them break ice in the Duluth Superior harbor as the last boats are coming into port for the winter layup.|
|The last salt water ship left the port on Friday. On Sunday, the locally based Alder arrived back in Duluth (above) after doing buoy work on Lake Michigan, a duty they share with several other Coast Guard boats. They are home for the winter. After a couple days rest, the Alder will go out in the harbor to maintain tracks through the ice. They will respond to other situations as needed. They brought in relatively warm weather and will not likely be out in the Harbor until Friday. The Coast Guard cutter Biscayne Bay arrived a couple weeks ago, but brought very cold weather and lots of ice with it. Photo taken on December 16, 2007|
|*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 12-17-2007|
|Around 3:30 Tuesday afternoon, the Alder moved away from the dock on Park Point for the first time this season. The delayed start was due to a hydraulic oil leak in the cutter’s controllable pitch propeller system. In its place, the cutter Biscayne Bay was here for several days breaking ice. After getting away from the dock, the Alder went under the Lift Bridge (above) and out into the ice field that is still standing just beyond the Duluth piers. About an hour later, the ship came back under the bridge and tied up at the Coast Guard dock on Park Point. Photo taken on March 20, 2007.|
|*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 03-21-2007|
|There was a waiting line at the Midwest Energy Resources coal dock last night. That means we started the day with departures from there. The American Mariner may have already departed and the Algolake should complete later this morning. That should give the Walter J. McCarthy Jr. a clear shot at going right in to take on its load of coal when it arrives this afternoon. The Alder came back to town yesterday after 19 days of buoy tending on Lake Superior and Lake Michigan. Above, the Alder is moving through the harbor as a photographer follows. Shortly after this, the ship turned toward its dock to tie up for a holiday break. It will then be ready to break some ice, if there is any.|
|*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 12-19-2006|
|The Coast Guard cutter Alder departed Duluth (above) on Wednesday morning October 4, for a training mission just beyond the Duluth piers. With four new officers joining the ship this summer, it was a chance for them to operate the ship. The strong current provided a chance to navigate under some stress. Some emergency procedures were also simulated. When their training is complete, they will function as Deck Watch Officers, meaning they will be in operational control of the ship, stationed on the bridge. There is a lot to learn on Lake Superior, within the harbor, and on the St. Louis River. With new personnel coming on board every year, training is a year-round activity on the ship.|
|*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 10-05-2006|
|The Soo Locks do not open until March 25. Until then, the only boat traffic will be moving between ports on Lake Superior. Traditionally, a thousand footer spends the winter at Midwest Energy Resources in Superior and loads coal there for several trips to Lake Superior ports before any other boat traffic moves. This year, as last year, that boat is the James R. Barker. It should depart today with coal for Taconite Harbor and return for more on Friday and again on Monday. Above, the Alder had no trouble getting away from the dock yesterday on its first ice breaking venture of the new season.|
|*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 03-14-2006|
|Today is the last big day of the season for Twin Ports shipping. The James R. Barker, the American Mariner, the Edgar B. Speer and the Presque Isle have been crossing Lake Superior in a convoy. The Presque Isle will peel off and load briefly at Two Harbors during the night, while the Barker, Speer and Mariner should all arrive Duluth this morning between 6 and 8 am. The Coast Guard Cutter Alder and local tugs will be prepared to depart their moorings around that time to provide assistance as needed. Photo taken January 5, 2005.|
|*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 01-17-2005|