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Tag Archives: Ice Breaker Mackinaw

The morning following the arrival of the icebreakers in Duluth I walked down to the harbor to take a few photos of the Mackinaw. It was tied up at the docks next to the convention center. I took a few photos but there didn’t seem to be much activity so I started walking back to the condo. I happen to hear the Mackinaw blow it horn so I walked back down to the harbor.


Sure enough it was already out in the harbor and it looked like it was heading to Wisconsin Point. I hightailed it back to the condo to get the car and started driving down toward Wisconsin Point.

At a stop sign I checked on Marine Tracker and discovered that the Mackinaw was already headed back toward Duluth. It was really moving it out. I pulled into Barkers Island Just in time to get some photos of it breaking ice in Superior Bay on it’s way back to Duluth. I Followed it on Marine Tracker for a while and decided that it was done for the day.


We happened to be in Duluth, Minnesota over the weekend when we notice a ship out on Lake Superior. Turns out it was the U.S. Coast Guard ice breaker Mackinaw. The Mackinaw is the largest ice breaker on the great lakes. It has a unique propulsion system with two aft-mounted azipods, and one bow thruster.. It has 10 officers and a crew of 46. They have been in the Twin Ports for the past several days breaking ice in the harbor and between Duluth and Two Harbors. The goal was to break the ice up so the wind could push it out into the lake.


When we first saw it coming toward Duluth we thought it was going to head into the harbor but as we walked toward the harbor we noticed it stop and do a 180 degree turn and head back out toward Two Harbors. It continued to make trips back and forth for the rest of the day. It’s job finished in Duluth it headed for Whitefish Bay on Sunday.