Friday, June 27, 2008

Tall ships coming to Duluth Harbor!

On the first weekend of August the SKOAC Renegade Racing Team will be competing in the annual Two Harbors Kayak Festival's races. Some more motivated members will do the 18 mile marathon and some members, more concerned with being in shape for Happy Hour, will do the Betty's Pies five mile race. Yours truly is in training for the five miler and actually had some pie at a fund raiser last evening. This will be the teams first and likely only kayak event, since many members are still reeling from the Vasaloppet ski marathon in -16F (-27C) conditions last February. In addition to the kayak festival in Two Harbors, there will be three 'tall ships' in Duluth Harbor for the weekend.

The ship in the photo is the Pride of Baltimore II, functioning cannon and all. The other two ships will be the US Brig Niagara and the Schooner Madeline. The Madeline is a replica of Great Lakes schooners that sailed Lake Superior 150 years ago. One of my favorite stories (and favorite places) is how Capt Robert McCargo escaped American warships during the War of 1812. Captain McCargo was employed by the Northwest Company and sailed his schooner into what is now known as McCargo Cove on Isle Royale to escape the marauding Americans, who had burned the NW Company post at Sault St Marie earlier. Its one of the nicest spots on the island whether you are a kayaker or hiker, because the water is warmer, its sheltered from the weather, fishing is good, and at some point in the 19th century a miners wife likely planted thyme which still grows there and can be used to season the hated pasta based dehydrated backpacking meals. The schooner Madeline is a descendant of Capt McCargo's ship, the Recovery, and should be very interesting to check out. I'm sure a pilgrimage to Duluth will be added to the Two Harbors agenda in early August. The summer 'dance card' seems to be rapidly filling up!


JeremiahJohnstone said...

Daveo, We went to Duluth in 1976 when the tall ships came to Duluth. We waited in line for hours to get on board the Christian Radich, which was moored in Duluth harbor. We even got to go out on a boat in the harbor to watch the boat go under the lift bridge. I think it cleared about 5 meters or less. We then came back in and waited in line for hours to get on board and get our picture taken with the ships captain. Two things I remember the most is that the Norwegians didn't throw their trash out until they got into Duluth and it was piled up on the deck while crews were removing it. I also remember my youngest brother getting lost and it took my family hours to find him. One the ship left back to Oslo, it got in a storm and lost her entire mast and sails in a storm. You would be glad to know that it's still moored in Oslo harbor to this day.

DaveO said...

Sounds like quite the adventure. I'm looking forward to seeing those ships although I'm thinking I would only be good for about a half hour of line waiting. Unless beverages were served, of course.

WiscGirl said...

Sorry I just saw this and missed the tall ships. Captain McCargo was my great-great-great grandfather.