©Paul Scinocca. Used with permission.

The party that is spring and summer in the Northland begins with a icebreaker - or two.  The U.S. Coast Guard Cutters Mackinaw and Alder have arrived to get the party started, and you can watch in person or keep track online.

More information about boats, ships and shipping can be found here:




BM1 Sayers/U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Alder

Phenologist Sparky Stensaas has been keeping journals and recording events in the natural world since he moved here in 1981. Flipping back through the pages, he saw entries for the first laker leaving Duluth under the lift bridge: 1997, March 20 ... 1999, March 17 ... 2001, March 17 ... 2002, March 21..."

But even though the Duluth Seaway Port Authority said in a news release this week* that they'll start ice-breaking next Wednesday, the first laker probably won't be leaving any time soon.