“Lack of Ice-Breakers Delays Great Lakes Shipping” – CSA

The following article is from the Canadian Shipowners Association.  Ice-Breakers are still important and necessary today!


Posted by Michelle Howard from the Canadian Shipowners Association

Tuesday, March 18, 2014, 10:49 AM

With the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway facing the thickest and broadest ice cover in years, the Canadian Shipowners Association (CSA) is extremely concerned that Canada’s ice-breakers will not be able to create and maintain the routes needed to move key cargo to Canadian and American industries.  The Canadian Coast Guard is doing its utmost to work with resources across a large geographical area subject to heavy ice, but this situation is rippling into Canada’s transportation and economic system.

Concerns over ice conditions and the ability of the Canadian Coast Guard to provide sufficient ice-breaking has delayed the opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway past opening dates achieved in recent years. Despite Canadian government efforts to encourage the movement of Canadian grain, it will remain stored in ports such as Thunder Bay until ice breakers open ports and support ship movements. Not only are Canadian grain movements threatened by insufficient ice-breaking, so too are other industries with already low stocks of commodities such as iron ore, construction materials, salt and petroleum products which are moved by ships.

CSA and its members have advised the Canadian Coast Guard of the need to employ three ice-breakers to support the opening of the Great Lakes- Seaway system. Disappointingly, the Canadian Coast Guard’s effort to commit the necessary resources appears to be late as it manages challenging winter conditions in many regions.

The Canadian Coast Guard’s fleet of ice-breaking ships is aging and too few in numbers to support the economic and environmental benefits of short-sea-shipping in Canada. The CSA calls on the Canadian Coast Guard to fulfill its support to maritime commerce immediately by deploying three additional ice-breaking assets to support shipping throughout the Great Lakes – St. Lawrence Seaway system while also meeting obligations to support navigation in the St. Lawrence River and Maritimes. Furthermore, CSA encourages the Government of Canada to find a longer-term solution to augment assets.

For more information about the Canadian Shipowners Association, visit http://shipowners.ca/index.html.

Meet Gerry Roberts!!!

Ben & GerryIn photo (left to right): Ben Koether and Gerry Roberts

The Glacier Society is proud to introduce the newest member of our crew! Gerry Roberts will be volunteering his time as the Glacier Society’s Director of Programs.

Gerry is an Ensign in the US Naval Sea Cadets Corp, instructor of Emergency Preparedness, liaison for US NAVY ship commissioning, and a former USCG Auxiliary Flotilla Safety Officer. In addition to his affiliations, certifications, and years of Homeland Security and Federal Emergency Management Agency experience, he is the former Public Safety Liaison for the City of Fort Lauderdale, regarding Unified Incident Command and Emergency Contingency Planning. He is a member of the Regional Domestic Security Task Force on Maritime Port Security and advisor to the Federal Bureau of Investigation`s Special Event Team. We at the Glacier Society are proud to welcome Gerry aboard our mission!

Contact Gerry Roberts at:
(954)394-2673 cell

Russian Cruise Ship Stuck in the Ice!

MV Akademik Shokalskiy stuck in the ice

Yesterday, December 25th, the MV Akademik Shokalskiy, a Russian cruise ship,  became stuck in ice off the Antarctic coast https://vine.co/v/h9zWrM5bBZ3. Rescue vessels are still at least 24 hours away. Luckily, everyone on board is in good health and spirits.  I would suppose the Russians are pouring lots of free drinks!!   Because the ship is so far from land, normal air rescue operations are not applicable. The ship will have to hang tight while three ships with ice-breaking capabilities make their way to the remote location. These ice capable ships are in no way comparable to the now departed USS Glacier AGB-4!  True icebreakers are designed to navigate ice-covered waters, making these ships the best option for rescue for the current situation.

Many Glacier sailors will remember being BESET!  But we never sent out an SOS for help because we were out of air range and we were the largest icebreaker at that time!

There was nothing capable of coming to our rescue. It was “sink or swim” time, more aptly put, break out or succumb to the lack of fuel and food.  I am writing this so you know the answer Captain Philip Porter, Jr. and his able crew beat the odds and broke out of compressed pack ice of 20 to 40 feet thick.

We wish a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all Icebreaker sailors and especially to our loyal supporters of the Glacier Society.  We need you’re your continued support, come sail with us!

To read more about the developing story, go to http://gma.yahoo.com/blogs/abc-blogs/cruise-ship-spends-christmas-stuck-ice-off-antarctica-161901748–abc-news-topstories.html.

2013 Winterfest Boat Parade

The Glacier Society is proud to sponsor the Spruance Division of the U. S. Naval Sea Cadets, aboard the 68 FT MV EXPLORER.  They are participating in the 2013 Seminole Hard Rock Winterfest Boat Parade in Fort Lauderdale, Florida tomorrow, December 14th.  The parade will begin at 6:30pm in the downtown area! It will continue traveling East on the New River in Fort Lauderdale and North on the Intracoastal to Lake Santa Barbara in Pompano Beach.

Ben is thrilled to be part of this event and is excited to display the EXPLORER among the other incredible boats participating in the event.  Approximately 25 sea cadets will join Ben on vessel #30, following the large Charter Cruise boat Musette.  Anyone in the area is encouraged to attend the parade to cheer on the EXPLORER and all other boats! If you are not in the area, tune in!

For a live stream, go to http://eyeonsouthflorida.com/.  It will air on other stations as well! Follow this link to find out what channel: http://www.winterfestparade.com/index.php?p=content&categ=71For any additional information about the parade, visit http://www.winterfestparade.com/.

Thank you for supporting the Glacier Society! Now is the time to make your year end 2013 contribution! Please go to http://glaciersociety.org/donate/.

We would also like to give a special thanks to those who have sponsored or supported us for this event:  Captain Steve Willard, Tripp Scott Law Firm, Cable Marine, and Marine Waste Management, Inc.  Rodney and Kenia Fulton of Marine Waste Management have donated all of our sewage removal.  We could not have participated in the parade without our sponsors.  We recommend any of these companies for future needs.  Visit their websites below!




On Board the Henri Lloyd Video

Those of us at home could only imagine the extreme conditions aboard the Henri Lloyd during George’s leg of the race.  Thanks to the Clipper Media crew, we are now able to get a feel for the experience!  Follow the link below to a short video containing the extreme footage from on board the Henri Lloyd.

In the upcoming new year, we will keep you posted on other CURE events.  To continue making donations to the cause, please go to George’s blog at  http://cureepilepsy.donorpages.com/ClipperRoundtheWorld/2013/.

Also, if you would like to donate to Glacier Society, please go to our donate page: http://glaciersociety.org/donate/.

Clipper Round the World Final Results

Early this morning, George Koether and the crew of the Henri Lloyd finished their leg of the Clipper Round the World race in second place, only missing first by 27 minutes.  After a long and treacherous journey, the crew could not be more humbled and excited about this accomplishment.  According to Eric Holden, the boat’s skipper, “To win, you risk equipment damage and we have none so are really happy.”

To read more of Holden’s daily journal, go to https://www.clipperroundtheworld.com/skipper-report/1372.

Go to http://yb.tl/clipper2013-race4 to go back and view how close the Henri Lloyd was to beating GREAT Britain and taking first place!  You can also  stay updated on the remaining boats.

Thank you for going on this journey with us and for supporting George and CURE!!  To continue making donations to the cause, please go to George’s blog at http://cureepilepsy.donorpages.com/ClipperRoundtheWorld/2013/.

Henri Lloyd in FIRST PLACE

Congratulations to the Henri Lloyd crew who have taken FIRST PLACE in the Clipper Round the World race!!

 Please follow this interactive link to stay updated on their progress:


Also, download the FREE yellowbrick app to have quick and easy access to the race as well:


Henri Lloyd 11.15

As of today, November 15th, George Koether and his fellow shipmates upon the Henri Lloyd have been experiencing some rough waters and strong winds.  Although these two setbacks have caused them to teeter back and forth between second and third place, their spirits are far from being low.  They’ve implemented “Smile Day” in order to keep spirits bright as well as to remind one another why they are on this journey.  In addition to their positive vibes, they have also taken care of some maintenance issues they had been having towards the beginning of the race.

Read more at https://www.clipperroundtheworld.com/skipper-report/1165.

Follow the interactive map to see the Henri Lloyd’s progress:  http://yb.tl/clipper2013-race4

Supporting CURE One Nautical Mile at a Time

We are proud to support George Koether as he participates in Clipper Round the World’s yacht race to raise awareness for CURE (Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy), a non-profit organization and the largest non-governmental group funding epilepsy research. Clipper Round the World, consisting of twelve identical 70 foot yachts and crews with levels of training ranging from novice to proficient, has raised over $26 million for research program activities. Koether’s goal is to build more awareness and open discussion within the sailing community about epilepsy and raise up to $25 USD per mile.

Please follow George’s journey with us by going to http://yb.tl/clipper2013-race4.  He and his team are currently in SECOND PLACE aboard the Henri Lloyd, the black boat.

Go to http://www.3sheets.us/ to read a daily blog about the journey of the Henri Lloyd crew.

For more information about CURE, please go to http://www.cureepilepsy.org/

If you have any further questions or would like to donate, please comment below or click the “contact us” button in the bottom right corner!


Here is George’s most recent update!!


November 08, 2013

Caught a quick break with a storm system to catch a ride on to AU.  Just after we crossed the agulas current which we tracked by logging water temperature. It is further north than expected which means the weather is not as cold as expected. In fact, it is hot below deck.  We had the port holes open before the storm for air, but that is impossible now…

Last night at our crew meeting, we all committed to breaking the 300 mile in 24 hour mark and catching up to Qingdao but we had a line wrap on a winch, which cost 30 minutes of speed loss.  Twice had to lower the yankee for repairs to hanks that were coming off.

Wind is a constant 35-40 knots with our highest gust seen at 61 knots. Sailing with 2 reefs in the main and a No. 3 yankee.  With that, last night we broke HL speed record hitting 33.7 knots.  I was at the helm, Sarah beside
me (always two in these strong winds), and Kevin holding the yankee sheet in case we needed to dump the main.  We caught a wave at 15 knots of boat speed and accelerated down the wave building speed and a wave of water coming over the side into our faces.  Last number Sarah saw was 29 before the water was too much to see through and I called out for Sarah to grab the wheel because I could not hold it alone.  Kevin gets credit for not dumping the main. We could see absolutely nothing and not just because it was 2 AM raining and total overcast. I must admit I was not sure where the boat would be when we came out of it and just tried to keep it straight which we did, a big cheer by all the crew after that.

I was on the helm for 5 hours just last night and helped James, our engineer, fix a water leak from the fresh water maker which was filling the bilge. I got 10 minutes of sleep and was woken to take the yankee down with the on deck watch to replace hanks. Slept one hour. This is fantastic!  Now all we need to do is catch Qingdao!

Please pass on to family and friends.

Time to make dinner and get this boat to Sail fast!


Arctic Scout Thank You Public Relations Cruise

Ben, ready to start his trip!USCG Eaton's Neck & GS Crew
Click here to see more photos!



The Arctic Scout has entered Delaware Bay after a successful visit in New York Harbor and a stop at Cape May USCG Base. A welcome respite it was and the USCG Team was very hospitable, offering us full use of the base facilities. We stocked provisions, hit the hot showers, and hosted visitors from the base, active and retired and family.  Visitors included ex-Wind class Icebreaker sailors and Deep Freeze participants.  BZ to Cape May TRACENWe write while underway steering 330 M making 9.2 KTs. at 1600 RPM.

Mark Solimando has the CON. Weather continues to be perfect, glassy sea, little wind, sunny sky!  We are headed to USCG Curtis Bay where we picked up the near scrapped ASB, now the pristine ARCTIC SCOUT!Stewart Honeycutt and Don Bruska have made the arrangements for our arrival 08:30 Monday morning. Arctic Scout will be “chopped” to Curtis Bay Command for their use for public relations and enjoyment.

After this visit we will enter Baltimore Harbor for a visit to the John Brown and then head to Annapolis for a reunion with GLACIER Antarctic Explorers the week of Sept 23 to 27. Details to follow.

If you wish to meet or join the ARCTIC SCOUT for a portion of the trip contact the Glacier Office at 203-380-3444 or call my cell aboard ship 561-543-1288. Email benkoether@mindspring.com

Bernard G. Koether, II


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