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The shipping season on Lake Superior should start in the next couple of weeks. On Tuesday and Wednesday of last week US Coast Guard Cutter Alder

started breaking ice. It was tough going. On Tuesday it made it out of its moorings  and broke ice past the St. Louis River toward Superior. Some of the ice was over 5 feet thick. On Wednesday it made its way to the Superior Entry and out into Lake Superior for 12 miles.Coast-Guard-Cutter-Alder-at-Wisconsin-Point-14-3-_0920

We had been over at the Apostle Islands Ice Caves in the morning. On our drive back to Duluth we noticed the Marine Traffic website that the Alder was out in Lake Superior so we drove down to Wisconsin Point to see if we could see it.Coast-Guard-Cutter-Alder-at-Wisconsin-Point-14-3-_0926

On our first attempt we didn’t have much luck. It was very windy and cold. I walked out toward Wisconsin Point Lighthouse but couldn’t see the ship so we drove to the end of the road. There was another person sitting in his car and I assumed he was waiting for the Alder to return through the Superior Entry.Coast-Guard-Cutter-Alder-at-Wisconsin-Point-14-3-_0929

We waited a while then noticed that the Alter was continuing out into Lake Superior so we started driving back toward Duluth. Just as we exited Wisconsin Point I asked my wife to make one last check on the status of the Alder. As luck would have it the Alder had turned around was heading back to Superior so we turned around and headed back to the Wisconsin Point Lighthouse.Coast-Guard-Cutter-Alder-14-3-_0919

We watch on Marine Traffic as the Alder neared the Superior Entry. Once again I walked out toward the Lighthouse. There was a fisherman ahead of me and I watched him go out onto the ice. It was really cold and the wind was blowing. I thought he was nuts but when the fish are biting you have to go.Wisconsin-Point-Lighthouse-14-3-_0917

As the Alder entered the port I took some photos. I then notice another photographer heading out onto the ice from a parking lot next to the south breakwater. He walked out to where the Alder had made a path on its way out of the harbor and started taking photos. If you look just in front of the Alder you can see him. This is a fellow I’ve met before. He works for the harbor taking photos of ships. He is one lucky fellow because he has access to places others don’t have including the bridge operators house on the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge.Coast-Guard-Cutter-Alder-at-Wisconsin-Point-14-3-_0939

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