Photos: Ride with Duluth's icebreaker tugs

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1 Tug Helen H captain Mike Ojard surveys the slip surrounding the Presque Isle during ice-breaking operations Thursday, March 20, 2014 in the Duluth-Superior Harbor near Duluth, Minn. 
2 Humans and tugboats weren't the only active objects in the Duluth-Superior Harbor. Here, a seagull makes a pass at a Snowy Owl that took up residence near a chunk of ice close to where the tug Helen H was breaking up ice around the Presque Isle Thursday, March 20, 2014 in the Duluth-Superior Harbor near Duluth, Minn. 
3 The tug Nels J operates in the Duluth-Superior Harbor during ice-breaking operations Thursday, March 20, 2014 near Duluth, Minn. 
4 The tug Helen H approaches the Presque Isle during ice breaking operations Thursday, March 20, 2014 in the Duluth-Superior Harbor near Duluth, Minn. 
5 During a momentary break in action, Captain Mike Ojard surveys the Duluth-Superior Harbor during ice-breaking operations Thursday, March 20, 2014 near Duluth, Minn. 
6 The ice near the Presque Isle was over 40 inches thick in many places. It would often take the tug Helen H a couple times to break through particularly thick stretches of ice. When the Helen H could not break through, its front would leave indentations in the ice as it did Thursday, March 20, 2014 in the Duluth-Superior Harbor near Duluth, Minn. 
7 The tug Nels J assists the Cason J. Calloway with an anchor issue during ice-breaking operations Thursday, March 20, 2014 in the Duluth-Superior Harbor near Duluth, Minn. 
8 With ice over three feet thick surrounding the Presque Isle, large chunks of ice broken by the tug Helen H would surface and find resting spots in the sun Thursday, March 20, 2014 in the Duluth-Superior Harbor near Duluth, Minn. 
9 The tug Helen H approaches the Presque Isle during ice-breaking operations Thursday, March 20, 2014 in the Duluth-Superior Harbor near Duluth, Minn. 
10 The tug Helen H's ice breaking work would operate within a few feet of the Presque Isle as the tug worked to clear ice that was over 40 inches deep in places Thursday, March 20, 2014 in the Duluth-Superior Harbor near Duluth, Minn. 
11 At times during ice-breaking operations, the tug Helen H was so close to the Presque Isle that its crew could talk over the sound of cracking ice with Helen H captain Mike Ojard Thursday, March 20, 2014 in the Duluth-Superior Harbor near Duluth, Minn. 
12 The tug Helen H anchors for lunch after a morning of ice-breaking operations Thursday, March 20, 2014 in the Duluth-Superior Harbor near Duluth, Minn.