Hello aboard the USCG Cutter Hollyhock during an icebreaking mission

On Friday, they invited the media on board, and it was a great day to learn about the mission. After listening to part of the navigation briefing on the bridge, it was time for a ride.

BM1 Nicholas Cavallaro also gave us some talking points. “Once you’re on deck, we each have a different job to do. Of different ranks and different operations. Each has an important job, whether it’s steering the ship or planning where the ship is going to the day.”

Inside they have spaces for eating and sleeping. There is even a health services technician who takes care of their medical needs.

On the buoy deck are three NOAA buoys that will help industry understand the weather there.

“These are placed in the lakes, so they can read the size of the waves, the air temperature and the water temperature. This will give lakers and the shipping industry an idea of what the elements are, in the middle of the lakes,” Cavallaro explained.

A large crane is ready to lift the buoys or heavy rocks and the chains used to anchor them.

But breaking the ice is LTJG Maxwell McClay’s favorite mission, especially to help free ships stuck in the ice.

“We want to make sure they can go, go, go. That’s an important aspect of being in the Great Lakes. Making sure the shipping channels are open. We like to do our part,” he said. -he declares.

And it’s like a home away from home, and the crew consider themselves family.

She’s handling icebreaker duties for now, until the Spar is fully mission-ready. Expect to see her for at least another 10 days. Then she will return to her homeport of Port Huron, Michigan.

The Spar are assigned to Duluth, but won’t start breaking the ice this season.

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