On the Great Lakes: A Mackinaw Dance for U.S. Steel

"The uniform of the day," says Captain Gordon Hall, watching his parka-clad deck crew scramble around on the slippery bow, "is anything to keep warm." It is 0900 hours, with a —15° F wind-chill factor, and the U.S. Coast Guard icebreaker Mackinaw is about to slip her berth in Sault Ste. Marie. She is headed for Whitefish Bay, a shallow and troublesome body of water leading into the treacherous inland sea that is Lake Superior. In 1975 the ore carrier Edmund Fitzgerald, eulogized by Singer Gordon Lightfoot, was heading for shelter in the...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!