Wednesday, September 13, 2006

SS Badger




Ludington is the home port of the last coal fired steamship operating in the Great Lakes, maybe anywhere in the US. I've posted a couple of pics of the ship docking last night.
Badger was originally a railroad ferry, but has been refitted as a luxury passenger/car ferry. She can carry 620 passengers and 180 cars. She's 410 feet long and has staterooms, 2 restaurants, shops, etc. just like a cruise ship.
Watching her pull in last night and then leave this morning, I was amazed at how quiet she is. No throbbing diesels, just the hiss of the steam engines. She seems to glide silently through the water, amazing for such a big ship. It makes me think how majestic the old steamers like Titanic must have been in their day.
Another interesting thing was how the captain pulled her into the dock. The stern opens up to allow cars in and out, so he had to back into the slip. To turn the ship in the narrow harbor channel, he dropped an anchor and spun the ship around by swinging on the anchor. It was something to see.

3 comments:

Diane Gorch said...

Arrr, Captain Mike, it's Skipper Rachael (Diane and Randy) back at the office, wishing we were somewhere other than here. Glad to find your site. We will follow your trip with interest and good wishes. WEather is clearing here, weekend looks fair. Hope to be up on the boat again in 2 weeks. Enjoy Michigan, and drop me a line at dgorch@ingham.org. all the best, d

Anonymous said...

How about some more pictures of your beautiful boat?

Anonymous said...

Mike
I was fortunate to meet you in Campbellford, Ontario on July 15th in the office, while we were both on the internet. My Husband, Jerry, and I are the folks who chased you up the Trent/Severn in the old Pacemaker with the Golden Retriever who climbs the ladder to the swim platform. We exchanged business cards at, I believe, Kirkfield. I am sorry we didn't get a chance to know you better. We have enjoyed following you on the blog and reading about your trip. When you were talking about each Trent Severn lock or port of call we knew where you were. Now, we are using our imagination and maps to find you. What an amazing trip you have embarked on. Thank you so much for sharing on your blog. We will continue to follow you, Bev and your travels. May the water be calm and God be with you.
Jerry & Judy Grant