Wednesday, September 13, 2006
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.