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 Great Lakes Shipwreck Preservation Society

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News Stories

2019 - Cruise to Silver Bay & Setting Buoy's - Closing Report

Dale Koziol | Published on 6/16/2019
Closing Report:

The R/V Preservation departed Spirit Lake Marina the morning of 15 June with Jimmy Christenson, Andrew Goodman, Ken Knutson, Dale Koziol and Mike Mack on board. Captain Tim Pranke had the helm. We had blue sky, sunshine and light winds making for excellent cruising weather as we headed up the St. Louis River toward the Duluth harbor.

Along the way we put our new Garmin radar unit to use. It is a vast improvement in technology over the old Raytheon set. Monitoring the old radar involved trying to interpret a set of green blobs on the screen. The new digital screen has the radar superimposed over GPS navigation charts, allowing you to not only see what is around you, but also see where they are on the map. We were able to even detect small, sport fishing boats on the river.

We, of course, had a fine ride through the harbor and under the lift bridge, seeing several ships along the way. We made a stop at Knife Island to dive the Niagara before continuing on to Two Harbors. As usual, we tied up on the south break wall and dove the S.P. Ely before setting its mooring buoy. We then moved the Preservation over to the north break wall, where we moored for the night.

Sunday started off cloudy and rather cool. We moved the boat back to the south break wall so that Tim could try out his home-made, triple Go-Pro drop camera rig on the Ely. It was the first field test of the system and it produced mixed results. Nonetheless, it was fun to try it out. Lessons learned from the Beta test would be applied toward future design improvements.
We then cruised up the North Shore to Gold Rock Point and Split Rock lighthouse were we set mooring buoys on the wreck of the Madeira. The divers got plenty of bottom time in exploring the wreck. Then it was onward to Silver Bay.

We were not able to set the mooring buoy for the Hesper, which was postponed for a later trip. However, we did get to watch the thousand footed James R. Barker steam into Silver Bay to load taconite. That was a sight to see before we made the long ride back to Spirit Lake Marina to retrieve our vehicles.