The comic book fan site interview
Retired engineer and geologist David Hoag wrote in a Jan. 22 Duluth News Tribune op-ed piece that he feels, “It would be much better to retreat,” than to “shore up, harden, and improve the lakeshore in areas near the Lakewalk and Brighton Beach that were battered by recent storms.”
Retreat to where? Are we going to let the lake have the rail line, and Fitger’s? Are we going to cede Canal Park to the lake? Are we going to abandon all infrastructure because it needs fixing? Are we going to tear down the bridge and the canal and move them to higher ground? Set fire to the ports? Should we flood the highway and designate it “boats only”? Is Leif Erikson Park to be abandoned to the waves, and we’ll just watch as it crumbles? Should we watch as Lake Superior undermines and claims the Rose Garden? Are our Park Point citizens to be forgotten?
Another cruise line is planning stops in Duluth. WDIO News reports that Viking Cruises plans to bring its Viking Octantis, currently under construction, to port here multiple times in 2022. Two weeks ago the Duluth Monitor reported Hapag-Lloyd Cruises will bring the Hanseatic Inspiration to Duluth twice this summer.
A crowd of photographers and ship watchers convened at Canal Park on Jan. 14 to watch the Oberstar glide through the icy water concluding its final voyage of the shipping season. Come along for the ride as the ship chugs out hot plumes of steam and cuts a path through the ice.
It would be possible to dive to the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald on the strength of a single breath. Even at the wreck’s depth of 530 feet, it might actually be safer to dive unsupported by scuba tanks than to scuba dive to it. This essay is intended to hypothetically explore the intersection of different types of diving, the wreck itself, and the lake in general. At a minimum, I am suggesting that the freediving possibilities of Lake Superior have not been fully explored.
My interest is provoked because I utilize some freediving breath-hold techniques in my underwater videography as Lake Superior Aquaman. I have never scuba dived, and so I think of the lake in freediving terms. I do not intend to offend the families of the deceased by invoking the Fitzgerald tragedy. However, its iconic stature as a deep wreck in Lake Superior makes it ideal for these illustrative purposes.
I am not suggesting any actual dives to the Fitzgerald. For one thing, both freediving and scuba diving present significant risks, especially beyond 100 feet deep. Also, it has been illegal to dive to the wreck since 2006, unless approved by the Canadian government in whose waters it lies. This is because of successful lobbying by the victims’ families to keep the wreck sacrosanct.
It was a good summer. The lake was warm enough to swim for a span of several weeks. I took full advantage of the aqua-recreational opportunities, which I chronicled here. I have no natural love of fall, but this year I am looking at it as what it is: the long, slow, beginning of winter. And since I feel fortified against the coming colder weather, snowfall, and ice conditions, I am making plans.
I first launched this sort-of virtual tour of the area in January 2018. I just updated it with more than 30 new features, including more than 130 new photos, several video links, links to news articles, the paths of my various “skate patrols” and “flamingo patrols,” The People’s Free Skate, a greater spread through the region, and all my latest activities. Enjoy.
Minnesota-based nature photographers Jon Smithers and Craig Blacklock shot this video near Shipwreck Point on Lake Superior’s Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore at Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. When a section of the sandstone cliff collapses, a group of kayakers is just far enough away to avoid injury.