help_outline Skip to main content

 Great Lakes Shipwreck Preservation Society

Dedicated to Preserving our Shipwrecks and Maritime History
"From Prevention to Preservation"

News Stories

2019 - Cruise to Spirit Lake & Remove Buoy's - Closing Report

Dale Koziol | Published on 9/15/2019
Closing Report:

The R/V Preservation departed Silver Bay Marina the morning of 14 September after starting the day with an engine repair. The starboard engine had developed a valve cover oil leak, which was remedied with the installation of a new gasket.

With Jimmy Christenson, Wim Wilke, Dale Koziol and Mike Mack on board and Captain Tim Pranke had the helm, we set out on our first task, retrieving the mooring buoy from the Hesper. That ended up being a challenge, since what we thought was our buoy turned out to be a temporary channel marker for the taconite plant. Our buoy had disappeared! After some searching, our lookouts spotted the buoy wedged in the rocks of the break wall. We returned to our slip in the marina and a shore party set out to retrieve the wayward buoy. It was not an easy task, but we succeeded in prying it out of the rocks, hauling it over massive boulders, and then hauling it up to the marina office for storage.

After that we had blue sky, sunshine and a cool breeze for our voyage down the coast to Gold Rock Point. We found that we were not alone. There was a dive boat tied up to one of the mooring buoys and more divers swimming out from shore. It took a bit of coordination to insure a safe work area as we carefully removed the buoys from the Madeira.

We spent quite a while to getting both buoys on board. By then the clouds were starting to move in and the breeze was freshening. We had a bit of a bumpy ride back down to Two Harbors, but made the trip without incident.

At Two Harbors, we found the Algoma Strong field on the hook outside of the break wall, waiting for the loading dock to clear. They were still sitting there on a foggy Sunday morning as we motored over to the south break wall to retrieve the S.P. Ely’s mooring buoy.

During the cruise back to Duluth, the skies cleared and we had smoother sailing. Once in port, we cruised around a bit, paying courtesy calls to the Edward Ryerson and the BBC Rio Plata. Then it was time to head up the river past the stuffed animal decorated Grassy Point swing bridge to Spirit Lake Marina.