Mar 12-09

Past-E-Mail: Cam Notes - 2009: March: Mar 12-09
Ice Breaker Mackinaw    ...scroll down to share comments
Photo by Cindy Freeman
At rest    ...scroll down to share comments
Photo by Cindy Freeman
Spring job awaits    ...scroll down to share comments
Photo by E. Neil Harri

Mary Drew at Pasty Central (Mdrew) on Thursday, March 12, 2009 - 07:47 am:

According to the Army Corps of Engineers webpage for the Soo Locks, the Great Lakes shipping season opens back up on March 25th, less than two weeks from now. But in the meantime, Cindy Freeman spotted the Coast Guard Cutter Mackinaw at her winter port of Cheboygan and snapped today's first two shots of her. I'm sure the crew is gearing up and readying the boat for the task of breaking the ice on the Great Lakes so that the shipping season can resume on schedule. According to the Lake Superior ice cover photo that Charlie posted on Sunday, they'll have their work cut out for them.

You can get an idea of the job ahead in the third photo today, from E. Neil Harri. That's actually the decommissioned Old Mackinaw breaking ice a few years back. It now serves as a Maritime Museum in Mackinaw City. Our 'Day in History' sponsor Keweenaw Video has an exciting and informative documentary about this tradition.

Happy and safe sailing to all the sailors aboard the Ice Breakers as they head out for the new season.

By Kathyrn Laughlin (Kathyl) on Thursday, March 12, 2009 - 08:01 am:

I love the old Mackinaw, and remember when she was white. It looks like Cindy Freeman took a tour of my old stomping grounds up north, what with the pictures of the park in Mackinaw and this marina; thanks for the pictures, Cindy.

By Alex "UP-Goldwinger" (Alex) on Thursday, March 12, 2009 - 08:03 am:

Can't wait for the spring preparations to begin.

By Janie T. (Bobbysgirl) on Thursday, March 12, 2009 - 08:07 am:

Opening day March 25th, not that far away. It will be good to see Laker action once again on the Soo webcams!

By Thomas Baird (Thomas) on Thursday, March 12, 2009 - 09:58 am:

Great pics! I was in the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary for 12 years, and 4 me it's the best branch of the U.S. Armed Forces.

By mickill mouse (Ram4) on Thursday, March 12, 2009 - 10:05 am:

We went down to Detroit and saw the old Mackinaw ice cutter docked . I thought to myself as I walked down the side of it how big it is. I took quite a few pictures. The new one does not look as big.

By Bob Jewell, Farmington Hills (Rjewell) on Thursday, March 12, 2009 - 10:35 am:

According to the newspapers the Mackinaw along with the Biscayne Bay and the Katmai Bay were scheduled to begin clearing the St. Marys River last Saturday. The Biscayne Bay and Katmai Bay were to remain in the St. Marys and the Mackinaw will move into Lake Superior to clear ice.
The Mackinaw had been working in the Straits of Mackinac area.

By Cindy, New Baltimore, MI (Cindy) on Thursday, March 12, 2009 - 11:07 am:

I actually tried to take a picture of the Mackinaw the day before this one was taken, but there was a blizzard going on when we got there and you couldn't even see it. It was a total white-out, so we went back through Cheboygan from Mackinaw City on the way back home the next day. I love Neil's view. It's amazing to see it from that perspective.

By Richard A. Fields (Cherokeeyooper) on Thursday, March 12, 2009 - 12:18 pm:

According to the Daily Press, The Mackinaw was in Escanaba breaking ice on Tuesday and Wednesday. They have a picture of it docked on the website. Funny, I was going to ask folks here if this is the new one, and what do I see but pics of the Mac and comments about the old one. Sometimes you folks scare me by knowing what I am interested in before I even open this site!

By Kathyrn Laughlin (Kathyl) on Thursday, March 12, 2009 - 12:58 pm:

Cindy, you know the one in Neil's photo is the previous/old icebreaker Mackinaw, right? I think the new Mackinaw would look quite different from the air.

Thomas, here in the Great Lakes, the Coast Guard is all about rescue and safety---at least that's my take---and I think well of them. When I was a kid, there were Coast Guard guys manning the Poe Reef lighthouse. I remember us taking our boat out to visit them; they were quite happy to get visitors.

By Cindy, New Baltimore, MI (Cindy) on Thursday, March 12, 2009 - 02:02 pm:

Kathyrn, I can tell the old ship is different, but how does the size of the new one compare to the old one? To me, the new one seemed huge! Aside from its height, was the old one much smaller? To see all that ice from Neil's view is awesome. It probably could make any ship look small being surrounded by all that.

By Iron Range Dave (Blackhawk) on Thursday, March 12, 2009 - 03:22 pm:

Cindy, new icebreaker dimensions: 240'x58' and 3350 tons displacement. Old dimensions: 290'x74' and 5200 tons displaced. So in reality, size wise, the old one was bigger but not necesarily better. All though I know there are plenty of nostalgia buffs who really liked the old one better. I think she has prettier lines but the new one is more efficient and can perform duties that the old one couldn't. Personally all the Coast Guard vessels are beautiful ships!

By Cindy, New Baltimore, MI (Cindy) on Thursday, March 12, 2009 - 03:36 pm:

Thanks, Dave. That is interesting. I agree that all Coast Guard ships are beautiful.

By E. Neil Harri (Ilmayksi) on Thursday, March 12, 2009 - 07:33 pm:

My photo is of the old Mackinaw. I took a series of it breaking ice off Eagle Harbor in 94 or95. I was still using film and that image is a low resolution scanned image.I should rescan them at high resolution sometime for the historical record.

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