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Tugs preparing for winter fleet departure

While some look for robins for guidance when it comes to the start of spring, you can count on the tugboats in Sturgeon Bay to tell you about the dawn of a new season. With some assistance from the U.S. Coast Guard, the tugboats of Sarter Marine Towing Company in Sturgeon Bay were in action Thursday as they helped shuffle freighters around so the John G Munson could depart for Two Harbors, Minnesota. The opening of the Soo Locks on Lake Superior marks the start of the goodbyes to the vessels that were docked at Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding the last few months as a part of the winter fleet. Tugboat captain Steve Ross says it is an exciting time for his crews.

Ross adds that departures of the ships can be a spur-of-the-moment ordeal for the tugs, but they are ready for when the moment arrives. MarineTraffic.com and BoatNerd.com showed the Wilfred Sykes, the Herbert C. Jackson, the Mesabi Miner, and John J. Boland still docked near Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding as of Friday morning. You can follow those sites to keep track of where the ships are, where they are heading next, and approximately when you might be waiting at one of Sturgeon Bay’s three bridges for them to pass.

 

Photos courtesy of Paul Haan

 

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