Sailing “The Loop” Barkers Island , Duluth area Sept 30

Spirit Lake Marina and Sailing the Loop

This marina is little off the beaten trail- its a combination of rv park and marina with a bit of WWII history as well.    A walk around the marina with a camera shows the kitschy side; its not about the glitz or highbrow “yacht Club” persona.

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Last Sail of The 2012 Season

It didn’t take more than a few hours in port to make new friends.   A few inquisitive boaters invited us to join them at a campfire that evening.  Sept 2012 159

After sharing boating stories, we learned that the popular day trip was to motor back up the St Louis River 6 miles  to Duluth and sail the “LOOP”.

Our Local Tour Guides for the Day

We invited John, his wife and their two dogs to join us the next day for a fall sail, and to guide us around the loop.

Turned out to be  a brisk fall day, but perfect for a final sail of the season.

We motored back up the river, with the plan to cruise by Barkers Island, out beyond the Point and return along the outside shore of the peninsula. this would lead us back to the Aerial Lift Bridge and into the canal again.

Sept 2012 Dredging in Duluth

Dredging near Barkers Island

Scenery along the river and canal included dredging of the channel near Barkers Island.  huge cranes were methodically pulling silt off the lake bottom and dropping it onto barges.

Sept 2012 Industrial Duluth

Ore Docks and Grain Elevators

Along the shores are Active Ore Docks and Grain Elevators ready to load and unload the lakers that arrive from all over the great Lakes.

Sept 2012 Duluth Bong Bridge

Enjoyed the day of sailing

Enjoyed the day of sailing

Captain Dave with the Aerial Lift Bridge in background

Captain Dave with the Aerial Lift Bridge in background

Sept 2012 Duluth Swing Bridge

Sept 2012 Duluth Lift Bridge

Sept 2012 pilings by swing bridge

Pilings by the Grassy Point Swing Bridge St Louis River

Sept 2012 Grassy Point Swing Bridge Duluth

Stuffed Animals on the Grassy Point Swing Bridge Duluth

Sept 2012 Grassy Point Bridge Stuffed animals

Sept 2012 Grassy Point Train Bridge

The structure of the swing bridge is amazing to see from the water.

Grassy Point Swing Bridge Closeup

Grassy Point Swing Bridge Closeup

The photos may not do justice, but the mechanics are huge , rusty and in good working order.

This trip, the bridge was already in the open position both going and coming back.  We got a good look at the stuffed animals that have been attached to the bridge.   It is a bit eerie to see them hanging there.   Other blogs have described how they came to be attached to the bridge.

The loop was another opportunity to see the river and canal traffic.  There were dredges working on keeping the channel open, Charter Fishing Boats and several sailboats coming and going from Barkers Island.   Barkers is located on the Superior Wi. side.  There is a breakwall and Superior Lighthouse marking the entry from the harbor out into Lake Superior.     We allowed several hours to complete the tour and had a great day learning about some of the local destinations.  Can’t wait till spring to explore the area again.

Sept 2012 Duluth entrance

Superior Entry Lighthouse near Barkers Island

Entrance to Barkers :

Sailing under the Duluth Bridges

Sailing under the Duluth Bridges

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Grassy Point Swing Bridge Duluth Mechanism

Grassy Point Swing Bridge Duluth Mechanism

Open Swing Bridge St Louis River Duluth

Open Swing Bridge St Louis River Duluth

Open Grassy Point Swing Bridge, Bong Bridge in Background

Open Grassy Point Swing Bridge, Bong Bridge in Background

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About mnsailors

Sailing Lake Superior out of Bayfield WI. Sailing from Racine WI to Bayfield in 2012
This entry was posted in Bridges, Duluth Minnesota, Lake Superior Sailing, Sailing, Sailing Duluth and Spirit Lake Marina and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Sailing “The Loop” Barkers Island , Duluth area Sept 30

  1. Northern Narratives says:

    You probably know that Barkers Island had a lot of damage from the flood.

    • mnsailors says:

      This area of Duluth and Superior still show signs of damage from the floods this past summer. The lake it self was discolored and full of branches and debris for a long time – we could even tell the difference in the water near the Apostle Islands in the aftermath of the storms.

  2. Clownshoes says:

    The first picture of the dog….maybe 6th pic down….He looks so sad, as if to say “No! Not the last sail! Don’t let the sailing stop!” :-)

    Hope you guys have a good, relaxing winter.

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