USCG Cutter Spar sails into Port of Duluth-Superior

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After a year of maintenance, the USCG Cutter Spar has arrived in her new homeport, Duluth-Superior. She sailed in during the tail end of a spring storm on Wednesday morning.

Families of the crew gathered to welcome them home, since they had been gone for about three months.

Andy Robb, who is 8-years-old, made quite the sign for his dad, Tony.

His older brother, Jacob, said, "I’m really excited. Kind of nervous. I haven’t seen him in three months."

And wife Marilyn added, "I’ve waited 87 days to kiss my husband. I’m really excited for him to come home. And spend time with the family. It was a long winter without him."

The wait was over when the vessel docked and the crew was allowed to greet their families, and then bring them on board.

The Spar is a 225 foot buoy tender, and her crew came from Baltimore, through the St. Lawrence Seaway, to its new homeport. Most of the crew were also aboard the Alder, which has been reassigned.

The Spar was originally home-ported in Kodiak, Alaska, and was commissioned in 2001, according to the Coast Guard. A great deal of work was done to get her ready.

"What you see today, was nothing what it was like. There were cables hanging down, and the dust was unbearable. It was a construction scene," shared the captaint, Lt. Commander Joel Wright. "It’s a credit to this crew that we arrived on schedule."

There’s still some more repairs that need to be made, before she’s mission ready in the fall. But Wright hopes they can do some buoy work this spring.

She’ll now work to maintain aids to navigation, do domestic icebreaking, search and rescue and other law enforcement tasks in Lake Superior and northern Lake Michigan.