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Tag Archives: Wisconsin Point Lighthouse

We happened to be in Duluth, Minnesota when a Nor’easter came through with gusts up to 50 mph. Unfortunately my wife had gone shopping so I was without a car. I spent the morning watching the waves crash into Park Point Beach. Just as she returned from her shopping trip I noticed the Lake Guardian was going to enter Wisconsin Point so we jumped in the car and drove over to Wisconsin Point to check out the waves and the Lake Guardian.

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We reached Wisconsin Point just as the Lake Guardian entered the harbor. The Lake Guardian is the largest research vessel on the Great Lakes. It goes out several times a year to carry out research activities. This was the first opportunity I had to photograph the Lake Guardian. he wind was blowing so hard I had trouble walking down the breakwater. The waves were crashing over the breakwater as the ship entered the harbor.

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There were a large number of Ring-billed Gulls on the breakwater trying to stay out of the wind.

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More Wisconsin Point photos can be found on my website.

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.

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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.

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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.

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

Just about every year I head out to Wisconsin Point Lighthouse. I think the best time is around the end of June when the sun rises to the north of the lighthouse and then passes over the lighthouse. This phenomenon last for a couple of weeks. Here are a few shots from this year’s event.

More sunrise photos from Wisconsin Point can be found on my website.

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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