U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Alder Heading for New Home Port

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STANDALONE PHOTO -- The U.S. Coast Guard cutter Alder breaks ice near a windsled Wednesday, April 3, 2013 near the harbor in Bayfield, Wis. on Lake Superior. The Madeline Island ferry plans to resume running on Friday. Most traffic across Lake Superior between Bayfield and Madeline Island is either via the ferry or, in the depths of winter, the ice road. But when the ice is either breaking up or settling into its winter thickness, people can get across only by the wind sled - an enclosed boat-hulled craft with huge fans on the back that push the vehicle across the shifting ice.. The wind sleds are usually in action for 10 to 14 days at the beginning of winter and about a week in the spring, though the duration varies each year. MARK HOFFMAN/MHOFFMAN@JOURNALSENTINEL.COM
STANDALONE PHOTO -- The U.S. Coast Guard cutter Alder breaks ice near a windsled Wednesday, April 3, 2013 near the harbor in Bayfield, Wis. on Lake Superior. The Madeline Island ferry plans to resume running on Friday. Most traffic across Lake Superior between Bayfield and Madeline Island is either via the ferry or, in the depths of winter, the ice road. But when the ice is either breaking up or settling into its winter thickness, people can get across only by the wind sled - an enclosed boat-hulled craft with huge fans on the back that push the vehicle across the shifting ice.. The wind sleds are usually in action for 10 to 14 days at the beginning of winter and about a week in the spring, though the duration varies each year. MARK HOFFMAN/MHOFFMAN@JOURNALSENTINEL.COM

Duluth / Thunder Bay – A familiar site each spring in the Thunder Bay Harbour has been the United States Coast Guard Alder.

This July, Coast Guard Cutter Alder will depart #Duluth and sail under the Aerial Lift Bridge for the last time after spending over 16 years home-ported in the Zenith City.

ALDER and her crew will transit across the Great Lakes, through the Saint Lawrence Seaway, and south along the East Coast to the U.S. Coast Guard Yard in Baltimore, Maryland. Once in Baltimore, Alder will undergo a yearlong maintenance period, before transiting to her new homeport of SanFrancisco, California.

ALDER’s current Duluth based crew will return to the Twin Ports to await the completion of maintenance on the Coast Guard Cutter SPAR (WLB-206), another 225’ buoy tender which will replace Alder in Duluth in spring 2022.

SPAR (WLB-206), originally homeported in Kodiak, Alaska, was commissioned in August 2001, she is named after the former U.S. Coast Guard Women’s Reserves, also known as SPARS. She is the second Coast Guard Cutter by this name, the first was SPAR (WLB-403) and was built here in Duluth in 1943!

SPAR (WLB-206) maintained aids to navigation along the Aleutian Islands and the Bering Sea until the fall of 2020, when she departed for the Coast Guard Yard for maintenance.

Upon arriving in Duluth, SPAR (WLB-206) will assume ALDER’s current area of responsibility, and continue the missions of maintaining aids to navigation, domestic icebreaking, search and rescue, and law enforcement.