Icecubes, anyone?

Here’s one for my readers in the Frozen North, otherwise known as the Great Lakes, where I understand icebreakers are still having to cut channels for shipping.  Here’s a video clip of an icebreaker carving through ocean ice, filmed by members of its crew who disembarked and went ahead of it in order to film it passing them.  It’s fascinating to hear the ice crunching beneath its bow as it passes.

Like the man said, “That’s cool!” (Very!)



  1. Back in the late 1970's, the Coast Guard and shipping companies tried two years in a row to keep the Great Lakes shipping running year-round. Then they gave up because so few Great Lakes freighters have ice-breaking capability and the wear and tear on the Coast Guard ships was too much. Now they shut down every winter and use the time to overhaul the ships and the Soo Locks that everything going to or coming from Lake Superior has to pass through. And when the original ice breaker Mackinaw, WAGB-83, retired a few years back, an era of winter navigation ended. But then original Mackinaw was a bit long in the tooth, having been first commissioned in 1944. Now it's a museum ship in Mackinac City.

  2. Shame they didn't have some foam covers on the microphone to cut down on the wind noise. That's pretty much all I could hear.
    Sounds just like my electronic muffs on a windy outdoor range.

  3. Every time I see stories and documentaries about such icy regions, I offer thanks for the existence of the Gulf Stream current going about its business less then a mile from our front door. We are slightly north of Ontario, but rarely see temperatures below zero degrees(C).
    A light dusting of snow comes our way once every three years or so, and in the last twenty years I can recall just two winters where snow stopped traffic for a day or two – 2ft of snow may as well be 20ft if the equipment is not on hand to deal with it!

  4. Are you sure that's an icebreaker? Looks like a normal freighter to me.

    Every icebreaker I've ever seen has the superstructure of the ship way forward to add to the weight bearing down when the bow rides up on the ice..

  5. I flew over the length of Lake Superior twice in the last 3 weeks.

    Wall to wall ice, except for parts of a narrow open channel in the middle (current?)

    I'd never seen that much ice in Superior before.

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