What's another sign of spring in the Northland? Well, the annual ice-breaking ritual of course.

The U.S. Coast Guard cutter Hollyhock was a mission to break up ice and clear a path for ships in the Duluth Harbor.

What a name, and apparently many of the cutters get nicknames from past and current crew members. According to the U.S. Coast Guard History Program, here are the current nicknames for the Hollyhock:

  • "Hock"
  • "Hockey-puck"
  • "Neversail"
  • "Everdock"
  • "Building 220"
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The Hollyhock is a 225 foot Seagoing Buoy Tender responsible for nearly 150 aids to navigation on the Great lakes. The cutter was built in 2003 to replace the WWII-era cutter Bramble (nicknames for this cutter are "Arctic Aristocrats" and "The Bumble"). The Hollyhock's primary missions are to aid in navigation, search and rescue, environmental protection, and domestic icebreaking.

I want to know who comes up with the names, but the nicknames are pretty good too. You can get full list of all the nicknames here. Check out the "Hock" doing what it does best, as MPR posted some cool videos of the "Neversail". You can check out a time-lapse of the cutter breaking up ice for a path in the Duluth Harbor below:

They also posted another cool video interviewing Lieutenant Commander Stephen Brickey of the Hollyhock. Not only does the Hollyhock break up ice, but there also has been occasions where the crew has had to break out vessels stuck on the lake. Check out the video of the interview and some pretty cool footage below:

Shipping news has been crazy lately, from the tugboat 'Lake Superior' sinking in the Duluth Harbor, to the Great Lakes Fleet up for sale.

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