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It seems like every year at the Duluth Tall Ship Festival there is a day or two of stormy weather. This year was no exception.

When and If

When and If

Appledore V

Appledore V

Pride of Baltimore II

Pride of Baltimore II

We had a chance to visit the Bentleyville Tour of Lights this week. It is Billed as America’s Largest Free Walk Through Lighting Display. This year it is bigger and better than ever with new displays covering a larger area. Visitors are is located at Bayfront Park on the shores of Lake Superior in Duluth, Minnesota. Even better they have complimentary hot cocoa, cookies, popcorn and roasted marshmallows! If you haven’t had a chance to visit the display and you are in the Duluth area be sure to stop in. You can even purchase a book entitled “Bentleyville Tour of Lights” with many of my photos in it.

More Photographs from the Tour of Lights can be found on my website.







If there is heavy surf on Lake Superior I like to walk out onto the South Breakwater and watch the waves crash into the breakwater.




I’ve been going through my lost Duluth photos. They really weren’t lost but I had forgotten all about them as I went on to photograph the fall colors. At the end of August the Tall Ships visited Duluth Minnesota. I wandered around during the event taking pictures of the tall ships. One of my favorite was the El Galeón Andalucía.  The Galeón Andalucía is a replica of a 16th-17th century galleon, the only one in the world that sails in present days.






This past August we drove up to Duluth Minnesota to attend the Tall Ship Festival. This is a huge event in Duluth and it is the second time we have attended.There were nine ships at this year’s festival.

As we drove into town we noticed that the Pride of Baltimore II was tied up at the docks in Superior, Wisconsin so we drove over to take a look.


We were a bit disappointed with this years festival. The crowds were so large that it was almost impossible to get on the ships. This year they sold special passes that allowed you to go to the head of the line but even those lines were long. the last time it was held it was relatively easy to get on the ships but not this year. We had friends come up to visit the ships but they decided it wasn’t worth standing in line. They weren’t the only ones that gave up. We decided to skip the ship festival and drive up to Gooseberry Falls State Park. Turns out a lot of other folks had the same idea and there were no places to park at Gooseberry.

In addition to the problem of getting on the ships it was very difficult to move around the waterfront. The famous Blue Bridge was a huge bottleneck with long lines waiting to get across the bridge. It was even worse when the bridge had to open to let ships through. There was another bottleneck in back of the aquarium. There was an art show taking place at Bayfront Park and several times we just gave up and went back to the condo because the crowds were so large. I suppose the event was a success for the city but it was a very negative experience for the visitor.

My wife was particularly disappointed that the Norwegian Viking Ship  Draken Harald Hårfagre  was not able to make it to the festival. We had followed their five weeks from sail from the North Sea, across the Atlantic. We just missed seeing it in Iceland. As it turned out the ship couldn’t couldn’t navigate Lake Superior’s pilot laws. Apparently they were unaware that they had to have a pilot on board and didn’t have the funds to pay for one.

The El Galeón Andalucía was my favorite ship. Unfortunately it didn’t give rides and were weren’t able to get on it this year because of the crowds.

El Galeón Andalucía

El Galeón Andalucía

The Zeeto was docked behind the Mist of Avalon in this shot.



The When and If was giving rides and is shown here entering the Duluth Ship Canal with the North Breakwater Light and Duluth in the background.

When and If

When and If

The US Brig Niagara is showing entering the harbor during the Parade of Tall Ships. We watched the event from the War Memorial Park. The festival did offer an opportunity to sail on one of the Tall Ships during the parade and that is something I would seriously consider doing during the next event.

US Brig Niagara

US Brig Niagara

I happened to catch the Mist of Avalon sailing out of the harbor, early in the morning, as it was leaving Duluth for it’s next destination.

Mist of Avalon

Mist of Avalon

The Denis Sullivan was heading for the docks in Duluth Harbor.

Denis Sullivan

Denis Sullivan

Appledore V under sail in Duluth Harbor.

Appledore V

Appledore V

The Abby Road was a late entry into the festival. I happened to catch it entering the harbor right behind a large ship.

Abby Road

Abby Road




On the way back from one of our trips to the U.P. of Michigan we decided to drive over to Cornucopia, Wisconsin and see if Halvorson Fisheries had any Whitefish available. Fortunately it was one of the last days of the season they would be open. While my wife purchased the fish I spent a little time photographing around a little park next to the docks.


These old fishing boats are a frequent subject of photographers in the area. Cornucopia is a jumping off point for the Apostle Islands Sea and Ice Caves.




On our way back from Oberg Mountain we decided to stop at Gooseberry Falls State Park for a short hike. There were way too many folks around to photography the waterfalls so I concentrated on intimate photos of the fall colors.





As I mentioned in earlier blogs the fall leaves were not that great this year in Wisconsin and Minnesota. Everyone blamed it on the wet weather we had. Our only fall excursion in Minnesota was a short trip up the North Shore to Oberg Mountain. If you can catch the leaves just right it can be a spectacular location for photography. This was taken on an earlier visit.


This year the leaves didn’t have much color and heavy winds had taken down many of the leaves. There were a few patches of color and some nice color in the sheltered areas on the loop trail.





I watched the Great Lakes Trader sail into Duluth Harbor. This is an unusual type of ship for Duluth because the Great Lakes Trader is a barge and is pushed by  the tug Joyce L. Van Enkevort.




The Pilica had been setting outside the Duluth Harbor for a few days waiting to load grain. Apparently if they enter the harbor they have to pay a fee for each day it is in the harbor so ships anchor out in the lake until their dock is open. I hadn’t realized the Pilica was entering the harbor until I saw the pilot boat returning. It had gone out to deliver the pilot to the Pilica.




The Pilica was met by a couple of Great Lakes Tugs that will help it navigate to the docks.