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Tag Archives: U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Alder

As I was photographing the sunrise in Canal Park I noticed a ship on the horizon. After waiting for about an hour the ship entered the Duluth Ship Canal. It turned out to be the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Alder which had been out in the lake.



As we were leaving Duluth I notice on my Marine Tracker that the Indiana Harbor going to come through Wisconsin Point on its way to winter Layup. It was one of the last ships to enter the harbor during the 2014-15 shipping season and the last one to come through the Wisconsin Entry.


Ironically I was at Wisconsin Point to see the first ship of the season enter the harbor through the Wisconsin Entry. That was the Coast Guard Cutter Alder shown here as it returned from its first ice breaking run. We were on our way back to Duluth from a visit to the Apostle Islands Ice Caves when we noticed the Alder was returning to Superior.

Coast Guard Cutter Alder

Coast Guard Cutter Alder

It was a really gloomy day when the Indiana Harbor came through the entry. It rained as we drove out to Wisconsin Point. Fortunately it quit while we were waiting for the Indiana Harbor to arrive. I suspect the crew was happy to be done for what turned out to be a long season fighting the ice.


As usual there were quite a few boat nerds out taking photos of the ship as it came in. I’m on a first name basis with some of them since I see them frequently when I’m out photographing around Duluth/Superior.


The great lakes shipping season will start again in late March.

We woke up with the intention of going cross country skiing but saw that it was going to be a warm day. The day before it had been -10 but this morning it was pushing +20. I happened to notice that the U.S Coast Cutter Alder was out in the harbor breaking ice so we put the skis into the car and drove over to Superior to see if we could catch the ice breaker at work.Alder-14-1-_0372

It was a frustrating experience. The Alder was really moving it out and by the time we reached Barkers Island it was already down at the Superior entrance to the harbor. We waited for it to come back but it then went out into Lake Superior. We thought we might get a photo of it coming back into the harbor and started driving over to Wisconsin Point. It soon became obvious that it was traveling too fast and would be back in the harbor long before we reached Wisconsin Point.Alder-14-1-_0400

We then headed back down to Barkers Island to see if we could get a photo of it passing Barkers Island. It turned out to be a race because the ship was moving faster than we could drive through traffic. We quickly pulled into a parking area before Reaching Barkers island and I was able to get a few shots of the Alder as it passed. It was a strange sight with the ice breaker breaking up the ice and people fishing and driving cars on the ice just a few yards from the ice breaker.Alder-14-1-_0405

We then noticed that the Alder heading up the Saint Louis River to break ice by the taconite loading docks. We drove down to Rice’s Point to try and get a few photographs as it came down the Saint Louis River into Duluth Harbor.

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