Alder back on the job

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

Alder gets attention

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

Alder training new officers

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

Alder breaks free

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

Alder ready to work

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

Watch Duluth battle ice in 2008

krnface2Watch from the Alder pilot house as she and the tug Kentucky help the Mesabi Miner get to her layup dock after getting stuck in the ice just after going under the Lift Bridge.

2008Jan21_4200Two months later, the same actors were on the same stage as the Miner looked for help with the ice as she started the new shipping season. Watch Miner Captain Scot Briggs plan the next day’s departure in the Alder wardroom (officers mess) with Alder Captain Kevin Wirth.