No ice today, just wind and sleet and cold

I know the weather is a little bad today but I wasn’t expecting to see the best ice breaker on the Great Lakes in town today (Saturday, November 26, 2011). The Canadian flagged Samuel Risley, usually here only when the ice is very bad, came to get a buoy that the Alder picked up for them. They are now docked behind the DECC, at least until Sunday and perhaps longer if the weather on the lake acts up, as is expected.

Risley arrives just in time

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The Canadian ice breaker Samuel Risley arrived Duluth late Friday afternoon (above). It will help the James R. Barker make the dock at its winter layup at Midwest Energy Resources and then assist the John G. Munson get to its winter layup at Fraser Shipyards. The Barker should have arrived last night and the Munson is expected this morning.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 01-22-2005

Samuel Risley here to work

The Canadian ice breaker Samuel Risley will be here today or tomorrow to assist the last two boats coming to the Twin Ports this season, the James R. Barker from Presque Isle, Michigan and the John G. Munson from Algoma Steel near the Soo Locks. The Risley was last here in April, 2003 to help the Sundew break open the Duluth entry from a severe ice jam. Ice closed the Duluth entry on April 1. It did not open up for ship traffic until April 21st when the wind cleared away the ice. The picture above was taken on April 5, 2003, just outside the Superior entry. With help from both the Sundew and the Risley, the Superior entry stayed open.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 01-21-2005

Oh yes, the old days; remember when we had ice and snow in the winter?

The Canadian icebreaker Samuel Risley had some time off last weekend, according to the Windsor Star. Not enough ice to keep the best ice breaker on the Great Lakes going seven days a week, their usual winter schedule. Not so in the above picture I took aboard the Sundew on April 5, 2003. Since the crew isn’t around here any more and are out of earshot, I  can mention that at the time I took this picture, the Sundew was stopped in the ice, just off the Superior entry. On the other hand, that was the winter that the Duluth ship canal was clogged full of ice, probably because of a stiff east wind blowing Lake Superior’s remaining ice to Duluth. The Risley came down to break that up but took one shot at the ice pack, and bounced off. They called the Sundew reporting no can do. I lied about the Risley being the best Ice Breaker on the Great Lakes. She is second. Spring is in first place and we had to wait until April 19th that year before she could open up the ship canal.