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Ice Skate Sailing in the Duluth Superior Harbor

A friend and I went skating last week, on the harbor ice past Sky Harbor Airport. The ice was smooth and free of snow, and the winds were just right.

It was the afternoon, and with a full day of warm sun and winds, the ice was moaning and creaking enough to make you just a *little* bit nervous. On ice, that’s not a bad thing. Next time, I’d probably feel better going in the morning, after a nice cold night.

You may notice my ice skates at the beginning and end of this little clip – I have clip-in ‘ice blades’ that I picked up from The Ski Hut a few years ago. They are great, because you can wear your regular cross country ski boots, and you can clip in and clip out, to walk on or off the ice. They’re great!

A few people have asked if we had contingency plans, in case we fell through the ice. In winter, I typically just keep ice picks in my backpack until spring – they are lightweight, and in my top-zipper compartment, they are easy to get to. However, in this case, we had another factor making us more comfortable – the water in this part of the St. Louis Harbor is between knee-deep and waist-deep, and it’s not a high-flow area. For us, it was an acceptable level of risk.

When you go out for an adventure, it’s important to do things that are more or less within your tolerance for risk. If you don’t do this, you may find yourself in a situation you hadn’t planned for, and don’t know how to get out of.

For some folks, sitting on a warm beach is about as much risk as they’re looking for. I’m wired just a little bit differently.

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