In mid-December, ships launched in Lake Superior to clear the path for commerce and commence ice-breaking in Superior and the western Great Lakes.

The Coast Guard does not get Winters off- in fact, some of their toughest work happens while beach-goers are far away from the coasts of the Great Lakes. Duluth News Tribune reports Operation Taconite "is the Coast Guard's largest domestic ice-breaking operation, encompassing the St. Marys River, the Straits of Mackinac and Lake Michigan as well as Lake Superior," and began on December 15.

Ships work all throughout the Michigan Winter to keep the shipping lanes clear so freighters can use the Soo Locks to get to their appointed docks and destinations.

Bonus Video: Peaceful Lake Superior Sunset