Tour the Icebreaker Mackinaw Maritime Museum in Mackinaw City

6-23-16

Icebreaker Mackinaw sign

Icebreaker Mackinaw marker

Icebreaker Mackinaw Maritime Museum in Mackinaw City

We finished our day in Mackinaw City by exploring The Icebreaker Mackinaw, a decommissioned Coast Guard ship built to keep an open waterway in the winter.  It is open May through early October, admission is $11 for adults, ages 6-17 are $6. Get your tickets at the end of the pier in the ticket building.  It looks like a buoy.  There is also a ship propeller on display. The marker above is also nearby.

Icebreaker Mackinaw Ticket booth

We began our walk towards the ship, there were informational signs along the way.

Icebreaker information

 Al served in the Navy in the 1980’s, and he informed me that rank and decorations for service are the same in Coast Guard.  Al showed me the decoration he earned during his years of service.

Al's NAVY Medal

We approach the gangway and are welcomed aboard.  The staff are friendly and are there to answer any questions you might have.

Mackinaw gangway

We began with an orientation before our self-guided tour.  We saw a short film about the ship and it’s important role keeping the seaways open during WW II and after. The citizens of Mackinaw City didn’t want this ship to be sitting in a scrapyard after it was decommissioned. They banded together and purchased the ship and converted it into a maritime museum.  We are so glad they did!  The way between levels are essentially ladders, watch your step!

Icebreaker orientation and video

 

Stairway on Icebreaker

 The Ward Room

Ward Room on Icebreaker

Chief Petty Officer Mess

Chief Petty Officer Mess

1st Class Petty Officer’s Lounge

First Class PO Lounge

Battle Lantern

Berthing Crew Quarters for the Women Crew Members

Berthing Quarters on Icebreaker

Berthing Quarters locker

Watch your step!

Door on Icebreaker

If this ship were operating, you would get a pair of ear plugs before entering the Engine Room, our next stop.  Jim told us about how the engine worked.

Ear Plugs and Engine Room sign

Stairway to Engine Room

Engine Room of Icebreaker

Jim on Icebreaker describing engine

The engine room was impressive even silent, we could imagine the power it would have running.  We went back up the ladder to the Main Deck again.  The route is clearly marked with arrowed signs.  Saw this plaque commemorating 50 years of ice breaking on the wall.  Congratulations on a half-century of fine service to the fleet!

50 Years of Ice Breaking

Since I am a cook, the galley was of particular interest to me.  I took a picture through the plexiglass.   There was a small monitor with a video describing kitchen operations. One of the docents answering people’s questions in this area offered to take me inside the kitchen, thanks!  This kitchen is bigger than I expected for being on board a ship, very impressive!

Galley sign

Ship Galley facts

Icebreaker Galley

Galley in operation on Icebreaker

Icebreaker Galley inside

After the galley went out to the deck. we are looking to the former Railroad Dock area of the marina.  On shore is a marker describing it.

Railroad Dock in Mackinaw City

Railroad Dock marker

Now we enter the Enlisted Crew area.

Mess Deck info

Scullery and enlisted crew

Engineering Office

IMG_2118

HALON Storage

Halon Storage

Executive Officer Office

Executive Officer office on Icebreaker

Log Room

Log Room on Icebreaker

Now we head upstairs to the deck and Pilot House.  What a great view up here!

Icebreaker deck

Pilot House on Icebreaker

Inside Pilot House on Icebreaker

And now the view from the deck!  Ferries, freighters and  parasailing all at the same time.  This is a very busy place in the summer!

Parasailing and Mac island

Freighters passing each other

Flag on Ice Breaker

Our tour is at a conclusion.  Allow yourself at least 2 hours to explore the ship, and be sure to pick a memento at the Ship Store.  If you don’t have time to take the tour, you can still stop in the store.

Ship Store sign

We highly recommend coming here for the tour.  We learned a lot and had a great time.  It’s not every day you get to see the inside of a Coast Guard Icebreaker.

Icebreaker Mackinac Museum selfie 2 IMG_2111

UPDATE 8-1-17!

The Icebreaker Mackinaw is in need of a complete repainting to preserve the hull. A Gofundme

account has been set up for donations. Please help if you can!

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