Ask Jeffery!

Jeffery the Gull!

I have been hanging around the harbor all my life, so, I know a lot about everything. I'm probably the smartest bird around.  If you have a question, just ask, and I'll answer if I can and if I can't, I'll make something up anyway.

Leave your questions in the comments section below and I will get back to you.
Jeff!

Q. What is that faint sound on the canal cams sometimes that keeps repeating.

A. The sound is a small electronic fog signal located on the South Pier Lighthouse. The signal is maintained by the Coast Guard and is triggered by a humidity sensor. The signal sometimes may be falsely triggered in high humidity even on clear days.

135 comments:

  1. Howdy Jeffery,How is "clay" loaded and unloaded on ships?

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    1. From what I can tell from the air, it appears to be pallets of bagged clay.

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  2. Thanks for asking that question. I knew what it was but not where and how it worked. Thanks again. Thanks Jeffery.

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  3. Hello Jeffery, On the lower left of the HARBOR CAM, there appears to be a freighter's bridge assembly sitting on the jetty. Do you know what ship it's from?

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    1. That's a good one, I'll ask my buddy and get back to you.

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    2. After checking with my friend Capt Tom McKay who lives over on Park Point, here is the scoop on the old pilothouse.
      It is from the IRVIN L. CLYMER which was built in 1917 at the American Ship Building Company in Lorain, Ohio. She was 552 feet long with a 60 ft. beam and a 32 ft. draft. Launched as the self-unloader CARL D. BRADLEY (1) for the Great Lakes Fleet, she made her maiden voyage from Lorain Ohio to Calcite MI on June 10, 1917 for a load of stone. She sailed under that name until 1927 when she was renamed JOHN G. MUNSON (#1). In 1951 she was again renamed, IRVIN L. CLYMER. The boat was scrapped at Azcon. The pilothouse is only remaining part of the boat.

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    3. That's Tom Mackay - rather than McKay -- as Jeff referred.

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  4. 3 years ago you stole the remainder of my sandwich off my picnic table over by playground. Is that the main way you get food?

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  5. Hey Jeffery!
    I have just started to run into your posts and have been a long time admirer of the work of your friend, Mr. O'hara. I was just wondering about the usage of the term "seagull". If you spend most of your time in the bay, wouldn't you be known as a bagel? One other quick question. Have you ever done an ancestry check to find out if any of your relations did any collaborative work on the book "Gulliver's Travels"? Who knows? You might have some royalties coming. All for now. Keep up the good work!!

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    1. I keep the old guy on because I like him and he need something to do. I'm not sure what a royalty is, but a few fries would be great.

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  6. Jeffery, When do you get spots on your tail? they are pretty awesome. I come every morning to see what you are up to. What a bird! Personification is a great way of life. Betty

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  7. Does Jeffery have a license to be teaching?

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    1. I'm not sure what a license is, but, I know just about everything. At least according to me.

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  8. Jeffery, have you ever rode on the lift bridge as it went up, and down ?

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    1. No, I have not. The lift bridge is a work of art, but, it is too slow for me. There is also a bunch of really mean falcons that nest on the bridge and I stay clear of them.

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  9. Why do some seagulls explode?

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    1. They probably have eaten left over fireworks -- it happens.

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  10. Why don't humans eat seagulls like we do chicken or turkey?

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  11. How to Cook a Sea-Gull.

    I have been dipping into an old favourite recently – The Curiosities of Food; or, Dainties and Delicacies of Different Nations (London, 1859), by Peter Lund Simmonds – and a new (to this blog) idea was right there, on page 153.

    “The Chinese shoot sea-gulls in large numbers, which add to their stock of food. A man is constantly engaged in the bay of San Francisco, California, shooting sea-gulls, which he sells to the Chinese at the rate of 25 cents each.”

    I am quite certain that I have never before given instructions for the cooking of seagulls – and indeed, the method was not easy to find. Would you believe I did finally find a recipe in the book I used as inspiration all last week, and said I was done with for the time being?

    Received wisdom says that the flesh of sea-birds is nasty and oily and fishy, and the dearth of recipes suggests that in spite of their noisy numbers, they have been favoured only in relative extremis, when a ship has been long becalmed or wartime has necessitated the broadening of the definition of game.

    Sea Gulls, to Cook.
    Take a sharp knife and put in under the skin at the back part of the neck, and carry down to the tail feathers; after which pull off the skin down to the middle of the legs, and next take out the intestines. Leave the birds in salt and water for eight hours, when their fishy taste will be found to be quite gone, and you can either cook them as you would pigeon pie or in any other way.
    The country house, a collection of useful information and recipes, ed. by I.E.B.C. (1866)

    Seagulls’ eggs are also not generally raved over, and I doubt appear on any or many menus of seaside restaurants anywhere in the world. Should you chance upon them, and be keen to try them, here is some advice on their cooking and eating:

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    1. Ha! we are a protected bird (I hope)

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  12. Jeffery, I have always wondered where you hang out when the Bay and the Lake are frozen solid? The Canal is about the only open water around and there sure can’t be much to eat there. Do you fly south with the rest of the birds? If you stay here, how do you find food? There aren’t many tourists to steal from during the winter!

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  13. Hi Jeffery, in the lower left hand side of the harbor cam there appears to be a house sitting at the end of a slip. What is it used for? Is this the object the pilothouse from the ship mentioned in an earlier post?
    Why do they keep it there?

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    1. Yes, it is in storage. Probably waiting for someone to make an offer!

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  14. Hi Jeff, you answered to my question before I could ask. I had been wondering about the fog horn blowing twice every minute (?) on clear days, even when the sun was shining. Well, now I know, so thanks, Professor Jeffery.
    Sylvia

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  15. Jeffrey did you return those items you stole from the people you stole them from?

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  16. does the cam on wi point ever scan? never seen do so, if so when? jerry

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    1. It will scan once every 15 min. However, occasionally it gets hung up, so, I switch it back to manual for awhile.

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  17. Hi Jeffrey, when you look off in the distance in the harbor cam you see a large white building with a slanted roof. Do you know what that building is? Thank you.

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  18. Hi Jeff, Do you know why they only use one dock in Superior? I have never seen a ship at any of the other ones.

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    1. Lotsa man power and trains to load at the old gravity feed docks. The BN dock with its conveyor system of getting the Iron Ore Pellets out to the dock and then conveyor loaded into the ships is way more faster and efficient.

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    2. I assume the person is seeing the old coal shed with its slanted roof. It was used years ago to store hard coal out of the elements.... It is now used for warehousing.

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  19. Jeffrey, Why hasn't the Minnesota Point Lighthouse been kept up and developed? That would have made a great tourist attraction for Duluth. I have never understood why it was left to ruin.

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    1. The Minnesota Point Lighthouse was built in 1855 and had already deteriorated to it's present condition by 1907. So, not much left, but, the ruins have a long and interesting history.
      I fear the Wisconsin Point Light is rapidly heading to the same demise without someone who cares.

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  20. Jeff, unlike the many salties I know, all the lakers sailing into Duluth have a square stern. Do you know why?
    Sylvia

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    1. What I was told years ago was in the cost of building ships the compound curves of the hull is what is so expensive. Thousand footers and the newer lakers are made with large rectangle plates. Even the bow has mostly only curved plates, not the extreme compound curves of other and older ships. With their large size and with lots of shaft horsepower they can achieve around 15 - 17 mph, about the same as an older laker or a saltie.
      ctm

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  21. What's going on with the ship at the fueling pier ? It looked like it was towed there the other day.

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    1. The salties are escorted by tugs. Th Yulia is fueling and then unloading pallets of clay for a few days.

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  22. How deep is the canal?

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    1. The canal is 26-30 ft depending on lake levels.

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  23. Hi Jeffery, would you fly over to the silos visible from the hillside camera and tell me what that yurt like round structure is just east of the old silos? Maybe there is some food hiding in there for you to check out.

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  24. Jeffrey I asked you a question yesterday about Minnesota Point Lighthouse. You said that the Wisconsin Point Light is heading in the same direction without anyone that cares for it. What did you mean by that statement? Has the Coast Guard abandoned Wisconsin Point? Thank you for answering these questions. I really like that lighthouse.

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    1. People can access the inside of the light and vandalize the building. The lighthouse was for sale, but, I'm not sure who owns it now. The Coast Guard still maintains the navigation light. It is a beautiful building, I hope it falls into the right hands.

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  25. John in west central MNJuly 23, 2018 at 9:08 PM

    Sometimes on the evening watching the harbor cam, I see bright strobe lights flashing on the horizon above Superior. Any idea of what they are? Thanks for being an amazing teacher!!!!

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    1. Radio towers in South Superior. It's very convenient when I travel to the Superior landfill in the fog.

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  26. Jeffery... Where are the baby seagulls? I think they don't exist!!!

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    1. Much of the nesting is further up the harbor on an island just to the west of the Blatnik Bridge by Midwest Energy. -- Lot's of chicks for future generations.

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  27. Hi head master. My question. Is the clam bucket dredge doing routine work on the channel or did one of the big boys scrape the bottom out there?

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    1. Routine, however, this years heavy rains has made dredging more important then ever.

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  28. Hi Jeff, another question concerning the gull chicks. What about the survival rate of Duluth chicks of the year? Are there many birds of prey around? The "two mean Lift Bridge falcons" you mentioned the other day, scared me...
    Sylvia

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    1. Lot's of eagles and falcons around especially around the bridges. As long as we stay together, the losses a minimal. Crows give us trouble also. I also once lost a few tail feathers to a drone, I wasn't paying attention and ran into the stupid thing.

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  29. Hi Jeffery. I was wondering what you think of the group A Flock of Seagulls?

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    1. I'm not sure what group A is. I never got any A's in flight school!

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  30. from a birds eye view can you tell what's going on over at the Husky fueling dock at 9:30 Wednesday morning? I see white smoke coming from the dock and a boat tied up there

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    1. Dust from the clay unloading. gets in my nostrils!

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  31. Hello Jeffery, do you ever vacation up to Two Harbors? I wondered why there are often two people sitting under a blue shade umbrella, just watching the boat launch docks. They look like official workers, but I'll be darned if I can see any work! Could be government I suppose. Thanks! A Fan.

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    1. I have checked out the tent people thinking they might be smelters or bait salesmen with surplus fish. Actually they are workers inspecting boats for invasive species making sure people clean their boats off thoroughly. drat!

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    2. Thanks, that makes sense Jeffery! You are a font of information, and a spiffy dresser. Pretty good singer too, even if you're just winging it.

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  32. I noticed a ship on the Hillside cam, across from the building with the white roof this morning. It looks like it was surrounded by steam. Is that to clean it, or were they loading something?

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    1. It looked like stream, but actually it was dust from the Yulia clay unloading operation at the port. Looks like a messy job. Might be cleaning out the holds on the boat.

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  33. jeff got a stuck hillside cam???

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  34. Why are we receiving lots of limestone these days? Dump the stone in Duluth then zoom up to Two Harbors to load up with taconite....

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    1. The taconite plants are using more and more limestone in the pellet process -- that's why the big demand.

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  35. Hello Jeffery, Is there any way that you can push the canal cam to the left a little bit so I can watch the sunrise come up on the lake?

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    1. Sorry, Dennis won't let me, but, the sun is moving south again and should be in view soon.

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  36. Hey Jeffery,
    Do you know why the Wisconsin Point Lighthouse has been dark all week?

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    1. Nope. Is use the light to navigate the Superior landfill.

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  37. I am very intrigued about the lighthouse on the Wisconsin Point cam, does someone live there?

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    1. The Wisconsin Pt light is a beautiful structure. The light is automated now, but, when there were keepers there, they lived in the houses near the canal.

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  38. Jeffery Good Morning

    what is that big pile of what looks like salt on harbor cam used for it goes in that building or goes in trucks that I can see Wish I could see what you can see


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    1. Road salt stockpile. I usually drop a few crystals on my fish dinners.

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  39. Why doesn't any body fish the Duluth canal? I would think You'd get lots of bait to eat.

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  40. Greetings Jeffery...
    What's the latest on the Arthur M. Anderson? After her long term layup, will she ever sail again? Also, if ships are called "She", but have a male name, do they suffer from gender identity confusion?

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  41. I just read that the American Victory is on its way to be salvaged in Turkey... What a crime! I realize restoring and caring for these freighters is an enormous undertaking, but was there any attempt to save this WWII-decorated ship and venerable Great Lakes traveler?

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    1. Lead and asbestos removal in the U.S. is extremely expensive.

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  42. Hi Jeffery,

    Since you probably send a bit of time in the water, what is the summer temperature of the Lake vs the Harbor? Or is it about the same?

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    1. Below the top couple feet of water, the water temp is 39 deg F. Water in the bay is much warmer, probably about 65 right now.
      I prefer my baths in the harbor!

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  43. Hi Jeff, Are you and your lady friend going to the Blues Fest and so, where will you be?

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  44. Jeff, thanks for answering everyone's questions. Here's mine: Beginning with this shipping season, I've noticed the bell that rings when the lift bridge is going up or down is not ringing anymore. At least, I can't hear it on the webcams anymore. Have you noticed this? Is there a reason that you're aware of? Thanks!

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    1. I’ll listen next time i’m Over that way. Might be just the wind making it hard to hear.

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    2. It still rings. The Bridge cam sound is louder then the Canal cam sound on my laptop so maybe you just need to turn up the volume??:)

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  45. Morning Jeffery

    I see people getting lake water at the Two Harbors boat launch all the time. Do you know what they use it for?

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  46. Being a wise and thoughtful gull didn't seem to get you a starring role in Alfred Hitchcock's "The Birds." Were any Jeffery relatives frolicking in the background?

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    1. That movie was scary. Those were mean birds and picked on people for the fun of it.

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  47. I hear about the bow thrusters on the large ships. My question is are these used to "steer" or turn the boat quicker like as they come through the canal and under the bridge and turn left into the harbor or are they generally used more for when they need to "spin" the boat or push sideways into a dock or lock? Thanks

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    1. Both -- the bow thrusters are part of the overall ship steering system. The thrusters are very powerful and very necessary, especially on these 1000 footers.

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  48. Jeffery is it possible to put a couple of cams over by the loading and unloading docks so we can watch the iron and coal action. Like the shades

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    1. Very unlikely. Private companies prefer not to have public cams overseeing their operations. Of course, gulls can drop by anytime.

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  49. Is the rumor true that Jeffery's friends name is "Gulloria".
    Is it possible to post the most recent questions / replays first so Jeffry fans don't need to scroll through so many items

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    1. My girlfriend's name is Amelia! She is so sweet and fly's with such grace. We'll be married soon!

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  50. Jeff, how much clearance is there between the harbor bottom and the deepest ships?

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    1. Dennis O'HaraAugust 5, 2018 at 6:53 PM

      Only a few feet within the shipping channel and fully loaded boats. That is why dredging is so important.

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  51. Greetings Jeffery. Congratulations on your new friend. We were trying to figure out her name. Might it be Gulloria?

    Thank you sharing your vast knowledge of the Duluth Superior area. Is there a way to publish the most current questions first instead of the end? It's a long way to scroll to get to the most recent inquiries.

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    1. Sorry, not possible with the blogger platform. If the old guy (Dennis) every decides to switch to Wordpress, it can be done.
      Hard to get him to do much these day, busy taking pictures.

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  52. Amelia! A beautiful name for your beautiful girlfriend. Are your friends invited to the wedding ceremony?
    Sylvia

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  53. Jeffrey where do you sleep at night and you do migrate right?

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    1. I sleep out on the nesting islands in the harbor.
      In the winter I pack it up and follow the retirees to the southern states for a few months.
      I love the cajon chicken in the southern dumpsters.

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  54. Jeffery. You need to have Dennis hook a mic to your camera. It appeared you were giving quite a lecture on something this afternoon but I couldn’t hear a word. Can’t read lips or I guess beaks either.

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    1. Actually I will have my assistant, turn on the mic so I can serenade you occasionally.

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  55. If there's a perfectly good entrance to the harbor at the end of the spit, why spend all the time and money with the lift-bridge?

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    1. In 1870 Duluth wanted their own entrance for economic reasons, so they dug one. I wasn't around then, but, I think Dennis was.

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  56. I like to watch the boat launch cam at Two Harbors. Every once in a while a see a banner in the ground and a person who seems to be checking the private boats before they launch or when they come out of the water. What's the story?

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    1. Invasive species boat inspections

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    2. Along same lines, is the heavy set guy who appears out of no where and inspects incoming boats at Two Harbors a DNR fish inspector? Looking for wrong catch or wrong size catch. See him lol up frequently!

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  57. Head master. Any chance you know what happened to the Herbert Jackson. Was supposed to be loading and departing,but came into the channel and made a straight run into the dry dock at the repair yard. Just curious as to what happened or scheduled maintenance.

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    1. Probably just a quick fix!

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  58. Is their a curfew or something to when the ships don't blow their horns?

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    1. No, but most captains well not salute when it is too late at night.

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  59. What is all that dirt work being done on the second slip over on the harbor cam? Where is the fuel dock located? Why don't they announce all the info on ships "before" they start blowing their horns interrupting everything???

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    1. The announcers pause when the horns are blowing. Actually they do make additional announcements about the boats prior to arrival, it just isn't on the recording.

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  60. Jeffrey, Could you please ask Dennis to hurry with the Two Harbors cam??? We have missed a LOT of boats in two days. Thanks, keep cool!

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    1. The old guy has his hands tied. Only licenced electricians can access the equipment that is wire into the light post. Contractors are lined up for this week.

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    2. Please tell Dennis and worker thanks...for the Two Harbors repair!!!

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  61. When watching the GLA cam, I have occasionally noticed people going swimming from boats, is swimming allowed in the harbor?

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    1. Sure, the bay is much warmer then the lake. Gulls and people alike enjoy the bay. Need to watch the current though.

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  62. Thank you, Jeffery for all the answers. I see so many questions that I have had over the years, asked and answered. As a former Duluth gal, the cams are a wonderful way to be "home".

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  63. Hi Jeff, it's me again...
    Those Canadian wildfires did draw beautiful pics of a pale sun rising but watching you on the GLA cam right now, it seems to get worse. Is there any danger ahead for the Duluth region? I do hope there isn't...what can you say to calm me down?
    Sylvia

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    1. No dangers in the Duluth area. The first frost is only 5 weeks away!

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  64. If I canoe under the lift bridge and signal with an airhorn, will the lift operator respond?

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  65. O Great Bird of the Harbor: Don`t remember ever seeing the departure of Herbert C. Jackson and the marine traffic map even showing it. Fly over to the dry dock and see if it`s still in there. Considering how Old it is, don`t think she has to much time left on the lakes. Just curious. Thanks

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  66. Jeffery, what is the average summer temperature in the harbour?

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    1. Water temp about 65 F, Air temp 70. Good for a quick dip anytime.

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  67. on the canal cam people are sanding in the park looking at the rocks and water, sometimes theirs a lot of people their, what do they see..???

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    1. Sometimes folks are watching waves and duck and just the lake. Lake Superior is as mesmerizing as the ocean -- peaceful.

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  68. Hi Jeffrey
    do you know why Marine Traffic doesn't show the blue water for Lake Superior? I am having a hard time with the new format.

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  69. Hi Jeffrey,
    What is the highest waves height you see in the harbor?

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  70. Hi Jeffrey,
    Could you please fly over to the Two Harbors boat launch and check out what the orange and black thing hanging on the kayak launch railing is. Thanks Jeffrey, it should be a nice flight over there.

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  71. In your travels Dd you see any cams that show the ships going thru the Soo Locks.

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  72. Jeffrey, thank Dennis for enlarging Pier B cam when a boat is coming in. Thanks Dennis.

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  73. Jeffrey could you pass along a message to Dennis please? I've notice some issues with the Canal Park webcam lately in that it seems to buffer or hang up frequently and now at night the view from it is really dark, can't hardly see anything and when I go full screen it is very distorted. his has been just recently and i have checked it on my other devices and have the same issues. Has anyone else reported the same problems?

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  74. Jeff, can you please tell me what happened to the many gay colored four-wheel bikes which we used to watch on the Channel walk way? I haven't seen one so far this year.
    Sylvia

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  75. Hi, I was watching the canal cam about 3:42 this aft and saw two very large objects go across the screen above the water outside the breakwater, any idea what they were?

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  76. Hey Jeffery , Have you ever taken a ride on one of the boats?

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