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 Great Lakes Shipwreck Preservation Society

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

News Stories

2017 - Cruise to Spirit Lake & Buoy removal - Closing Report

Phil Kerber | Published on 9/12/2017
Closing Report:

The event of moving the GLSPS Research Vessel the RV Preservation back to its main Port of Call Spirit Lake Marina, takes many hours of planning. Planning things such as the fuel consumption, food previsions and diving operations aboard the vessel have to be accurate. We need to make arrangements to remove three to four shipwreck moorings on the way back to Duluth. This we we only had to remove three since the mooring was lost on the SP Ely and was never installed. Planning, Timing and the weather is crucial!

To start off the planning there is a very important planning procedure to implement, and that is to arrange vehicle transfers. We all meet at Silver Bay Marina, board the RV Preservation and for the next couple days, stay on board cruising down the north shore removing shipwreck buoys, eating sleeping and just having a great time cruising the other side of the lake.

This year we had a small obstacle we encountered and that was the winds but not the weather. This year we had great weather but a little wind and waves to endure until mid Saturday afternoon. It was a challenge to remove both mooring buoys in two to three foot waves but, we got a little break when the winds shifted and calmed the waves to be more manageable.

After we removed the Madeira's mooring buoys and departed, the rest of the trip wasn't so bad for winds and waves. The waves calmed to about one to two feet with trailing seas. That is where they come up with the saying, "May the Winds be at your back". All seaman love trailing seas! It also speed-ed up the cruise and arrived in Two Harbors early for our overnight stay. The winds picked up a little while we were docked but where we moored for the night on the break wall, we were protected by the wind. We had fun talking with the many people stopping by to ask about the GLSPS and what we do. We pointed all of them to the website.

Later on when it was time for dinner, we had special made burgers that evening so we didn't go into town to sample any of the local cuisine. With full tummies and a desire to fall asleep, we had a great night of sleeping because all were tired! We woke up around 7:00 AM and checked the weather and winds and decided that we were getting trailing seas again so we made breakfast and then departed from Two Harbors MN at 9:30 AM to make our second and last leg of the trip to Duluth.

After arriving in Duluth 1:45 PM, we stopped at the Lake Head Marina to take on fuel and a restroom break. We then departed the marina at 2:10 PM and cruised the rest of the way back up the St Louis River to our final destination Spirit Lake Marina. We arrived at the marina around 3:15 PM. We quickly locked down the boat and loaded minimal gear and loaded into Phil K's Suburban then departed at about 4:30 PM for our trip back up to Silver Bay Marina (via the road) to get our vehicles in Silver Bay.

When we arrive at Spirit Lake Marina in Duluth, we need to get back up to Silver Bay to collect all of our vehicles in order to return home again. Since Tim P and Phil K have done this already we have it down to a science. Phil K leaves his seven passenger Suburban at Spirit Lake Marina, catches a ride from Tim P or another participant and travel to Silver Bay Marina to meet others that are joining us. We then depart Saturday about 8:00 AM to remove the Hesper Shipwreck Buoy, drop off at the Silver Bay Marina for winter storage, then depart again for the Madeira to remove two mooring buoys at that location.

Thank you to all the Members that joined us on the Cruise Back to Duluth on-board the RV Preservation. A special thanks to Tim Pranke and Jeff LeMoine for their help in diving and removing the mooring buoys! We had a great time and completed removing the mooring buoys for winter storage. The buoys were handed off to Steve Daniel to store at his house for the winter. Thank you again Steve for doing that for the Society!

Thank you to all that helped plan, implement and help us during the cruise. We really appreciate your involvement and volunteering in the Society. We hope you can join us again for another GLSPS Project in the future.

I hope to see you on a future project,