MacMillan navigating from 'ice bucket,' 1940


From high on the mast of the schooner Bowdoin, Captain Donald MacMillan could see a long way. Through the megaphone, he directs the helmsman on deck to steer the schooner closer in to land.

The "ice bucket" was so called because from there the navigator could spot leads or open areas of water in an icefield. Working a vessel through the ice requires experience and confidence in the vessel.

MacMillan's schooner was stoutly built in wood, with a rounded hull designed to pop up on the ice rather than being crushed by it.

"Mac" had decades of experience sailing and navigating in the Arctic. Those who sailed with him remarked that he always kept his cool, no matter how harsh the conditions.

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