For the past 15 years, the annual re-enactment of the original Christmas Ship, Rouse Simmons, by Chicago’s maritime community and the Coast Guard has resurrected a storied tradition dating back to the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. People have come to know the Coast Guard Cutter Mackinaw as the modern day Christmas Ship, and some await its arrival the same way people did on the banks of the Chicago River more than 100 years ago.
Tag: coast guard cutter mackinaw
On most days, Coast Guard Cutter Mackinaw keeps Great Lakes channels and harbors open to navigation to meet the region’s winter shipping needs. Saturday was not like most days. Mackinaw served once again as this year’s “Christmas Ship.” Loaded with more than 1,200 Christmas trees, the icebreaker played homage to an annual Chicago tradition from the late 1800s and early 1900s.
This year’s ice-breaking season has been a busy one filled with successful missions and a few unexpected challenges. One of the latter was a major electrical failure on board the ice-breaking tug Biscayne Bay, homeported in St. Ignace, Mich. While this would be a lofty challenge to overcome, the centralized depot maintenance – resulting from modernization of the Coast Guard’s Surface Forces Logistics Center – repaired Biscayne Bay in a record 44 days.
Loaded with more than 1,300 Christmas trees from northern Michigan, the crew of Coast Guard Cutter Mackinaw once again served as Chicago’s Christmas Ship, continuing a tradition from the late 1800s in Chicago and resurrected 13 years ago. The original Christmas Ship, the schooner Rousse Simmons, made the same transit down Lake Michigan each year, bringing trees and wreaths to the people of Chicago. Setting up shop along the Chicago River in downtown, Capt. Herman Shuenamann and his crew became a well known and expected group as each Christmas season neared.
Since 1790 the Coast Guard has safeguarded our nation’s maritime interests, providing a 24/7 presence along America’s rivers, ports, coastline and on the high seas. But while the Coast Guard’s presence and impact is regional, national and international, our operations are often out of sight. Coast Guard Compass set out to change that. From July 30 to August 5, Coast Guard men and women captured a week in the life of the Coast Guard to highlight the missions we perform on a daily basis.
Posted by Cmdr. Glynn Smith on behalf of Coast Guard Vice Commandant Vice Adm. Sally Brice-O’Hara. Vice Admiral Sally Brice-O’Hara, Vice Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard, observes icebreaking operations from the deck of Coast Guard Cutter Mackinaw with Rear Adm. Michael Parks, commander, 9th Coast Guard District, and Capt. Joseph McGuiness, commander, Coast Guard
Post written by Petty Officer 3rd Class George Degener. Coast Guard Cutter Mackinaw arrives at Navy Pier carrying more than 1,200 Christmas trees destined for deserving Chicago families. The trees were offloaded by volunteers from groups including the Sea Cadets, Sea Scouts and Young Marines before being distributed to familes selected by the Ada S.
Coast Guard Cutter Mackinaw breaking ice in this illustration of a Coast Guard photo by Ensign Guillermo Colom. Click the image to watch a video of ice breaking operations aboard the Mackinaw. While last weekend may have marked the official beginning of Spring, the Coast Guard finds itself operating in a bevy of different weather
As the Arctic becomes more accessible to shipping traffic, the Coast Guard will be presented with new scientific research opportunities as well as marine safety and homeland security challenges. Earlier this week, journalists were invited on the final Arctic Awareness flight of the year and given the opportunity to discuss the Coast Guard’s Arctic missions
So, it looks like the CGC Bertholf virtual tour was a hit. I saw several people passing the link on and getting involved in the conversation. We found another virtual tour of the CGC Mackinaw, a 240-foot ice-breaking cutter on the Great Lakes. Although this tour is not as sophisticated as the Bertholf’s tour, it