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Category Archives: Duluth Ship Canal

When someone goes down to Canal Park to watch a ship come in and two ships come in and/or go out it is called a twofer. On this particular day the Michipicoten was coming in.

The Walter J. McCarthy, Jr. was on its way out of the harbor.


When we are in Duluth I like to walk down to Canal Park to watch the sunrise. On this particular morning I was setting up and heard a loud splash. A little while later I noticed that a couple of young men swimming out to Uncle Harvey’s Mausoleum. This the first time I had seen anyone on the Mausoleum at sunrise.

I took their picture then did a couple of panoramas from the same location.

There were some beautiful clouds in the sky over the harbor entrance.

As the sun rose the South Breakwater Light just glowed.

There were some great shots of the South Breakwater Inner Light which is privately owned.

Sunlight and water always make for some nice shots.

My wife and I frequently walk down to Canal Park in Duluth, Minnesota to watch the ships arrive. On this night we were able to catch two ships as they arrived about an hour apart. The first to arrive was the Baie Comeau flying the Canadian Flag.

Between ships we walked out to the North Breakwater Light. There have been a large number of Double-breasted Cormorants hanging around the harbor this year.

There was some nice light and clouds behind the North Breakwater Light.

We watched the Herbert C. Jackson approach the ship canal.

Throughout the evening there were some interesting lake/sky photos.


The Indiana Harbor arrived in Duluth while I was photographing the Sunrise.

We were driving back to Duluth from Wisconsin and noticed as we crossed the Blatnick Bridge that the Joyce L. VanEnkevort and Great Lakes Trader was approaching Rice’s Point so we exited the bridge and drove down to Rice’s Point to watch it go under the bridge. You will notice that the Joyce L. VanEnkevort is a tug and Great Lakes Trader is a barge. The back of the former ship has been modified so the tug can insert itself into the barge. Apparently it is far less costly to run a tug/barge combination than it is to run a ship.

A day later I happened to be down in Canal Park when the Joyce L. VanEnkevort and Great Lakes Trader was leaving Duluth Harbor through the Ship Canal.

On a recent visit to Duluth I managed to capture a few photos of the North and South Breakwater Light. There was only on other photographer around and he was really wrapped up in his work.

In the past I saw large numbers of Common Goldeneyes in the Duluth Ship Canal and Harbor but after the brutal winter of 2014 when everything froze up they seemed to disappear. This year they are back although in smaller numbers.

I was up early to watch the American Century leave Duluth.




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.




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