The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Mackinaw will spend the weekend in Chicago after unloading valuable cargo that was piled high on its deck. Being the largest cutter in the Great Lakes fleet, the Mackinaw has plenty of room for over 1,000 Christmas trees. The trip is timed for the weekend after Thanksgiving and has been going on for 20 years. It's not all games. Serious work is done on the trip down according to Lieutenant Junior Grade Carolyn Smith. Over 70 buoys have their hulls swapped out for the winter version to ensure their safety during colder months.
Switching out the navigational aids lengthens the trip from one day to four.
(Photo courtesy of Coast Guard Compass blog. Taken by Commander John M. Stone.)