Lake Superior Posts

Lake Superior Aquaman on Community Connection

On underwater microphones and the acoustics of Lake Superior

In this video, the Embassy‘s Sub Superior Festival (feat. Troy Rogers AKA Robot Rickshaw) teams up with Cafe Scientifique Twin Ports. They address the technical challenges of producing an underwater music festival, review favorite moments, and dream about the future of Sub Superior. Broadcast live from the Embassy’s secret Industrial Temple.

Late on the Water

I arrive at the paddleboard shop on Barker’s Island in Superior just before noon. Because I learned to paddleboard last spring, and because winters are long, I need a refresher on how to attach the folding seat and ankle strap to the board. (I don’t need a crash course on how to tie my shoes—they have Velcro straps.) Last year after I connected the seat and strap to my board, they stayed put until I deflated it in the fall. Heather, co-owner of North Shore SUP, helps me. (She’s friendly and supportive and would show me how to tie my shoes, if needed. It took me a long time to learn to tie them when I was a kid.)

It’s July 16, and I will paddleboard for the first time this summer. I’ve lost a month because a long, cold spring latched onto the heels of a long, cold winter. Toss in stormy weather plus the three days a week I provide daycare for my grandkids, and getting out on my board slid to the bottom of my list.

Lake Superior Whale Shark

 

Recent Aquaman banners from PDD’s Facebook page

 

The colors of water

 

 

Red: Whiteface Reservoir. Orange: French River. Yellow: French River. Green: Lake Superior. Blue: Lake Superior

Stock Lake Superior with Seals and Orca Whales: A Modest Proposal

To the Mayor of Duluth and the City Council: I propose that the city stock Lake Superior with seals, and a community of orcas to keep the seals in check. This plan increases annual tourist revenue by $300,000,000. I outline my proposal below with expenditures.

Seals can live in freshwater. The only population of exclusively-freshwater seals is native to the ratchet Lake Baikal in Russia, the Baikal seals. But geopolitical issues preclude obtaining breeding pairs. Therefore we need to look closer to home: Quebec has harbor seals in a couple lakes, a subspecies of the common seal called the Ungava seal. But, the Ungava is endangered so if we import them, we should establish a breeding program, increasing expenses.

Fortunately, Iliamna Lake in Alaska has a population of common seals trapped there. I suggest we capture and import specimens from that population to get ours started. Technically saltwater seals, the common seals’ adaptability to freshwater has been proven which will give them a head start in Lake Superior. I’ll throw in a couple Ungavas on the house to increase genetic diversity. Estimated cost of capturing and importing 100 breeding pairs of seals from Lake Iliamna: $3,500,000.

This Tugboat Just Sank at the Slip

Picture from last winter skating at the Slip by the tugboat Lake Superior. Paul Scinocca broke the story with a photo of the wreck on his social media. The boat had been out of service for some time, and will be so yet, I reckon.

“Wild ice conditions perfect on Lake Superior”

It was wild ice for a minute.

Winter of Discontent: Lake Superior Wild Ice Report 2021-22

The Wildest Wild Ice

This winter I operated as a lake observer from my hillside fortress of solitude. I dug my binoculars out and pegged them by the window to study the lake’s changes. Obsessed with the wildest wild ice — skating the big lake — I track everything to do with Lake Superior freezing. I track wind speed, wind direction, temperature, and preciptiation daily. In summer this helps me predict local water temps and clarity related to underwater video. In winter this relates to skateable ice on the biggest lake in the world.

Nat Harvie and Adelyn Strei ice sheet jam sesh

The Institute for the Study of Light and Water

I am the founder and only member of the Institute for the Study of Light and Water. In truth its membership includes all who live. Data-gathering continues from my top-floor hillside apartment, the observatory. Generous windows on every side provide views of the lake and the sky. I must complete the Institute’s studies.

PDD Headshot Backstory

When joining Perfect Duluth Day’s “Saturday Essay” roster, I was asked for a headshot and I submitted this which accompanies my essays. It is a video still from an old GoPro on a stick. The camera has broken through the water, and my face is about to break the surface. Water depth @ 20-30 feet, off the sand beaches of Park Point. It was late summer and I wanted one more batch of diving photos in my Aquaman colors.

Lake Superior Eats Lesser Bodies of Water for Breakfast

Lake Superior is the biggest lake on Earth. And it’s the best. Want to fight about it?

If you’re like me, sometimes you mention Lake Superior in conversation, and you find yourself saying, “Lake Superior is the biggest lake in the world — by surface area! But if you’re judging by volume, the biggest lake is Lake Baikal!” But screw that. It’s time to take a stand. Now I say, “Lake Superior is the biggest lake in the world and those other janky lakes can suck it.”

What is a Lake?

The issue is nuanced, which triggers me. The definitions we use for lakes are arbitrary. I looked it up on Wikipedia and it just made me angry: “Lakes lie on land and are not part of the ocean.” Is it not obvious that oceans also lie on land? What is an ocean on, if not land? The ocean is not bottomless. The bottom of the ocean is land — they checked. Another irritating part of the definition is that lakes are “surrounded by land.” Now, don’t tell me oceans are not surrounded by land. There is no difference between oceans and lakes. The definition of a lake as “laying on/surrounded by the land” means oceans are, in fact, lakes.

“Shrinking Winter” — Great Lakes Now episode

Great Lakes Now is a production of Detroit Public Television. Footage of Duluth @11:44-12:00.

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