Monday, September 12, 2016

Vacation 2016 Day 3

We rose early to finish packing, take down the tent and make it to Ludington port by 7:30 AM. There we boarded the car ferry SS Badger, which was designated this year by the U.S. Department of Interior as National Historic Landmark.

Ship Facts:

  • 410' largest car ferry to sail the Great Lakes'
  • can carry 620 passengers and 180 vehicles
  • travels at roughly 18 mph 
  • makes the crossing in 4 hours
  • 40 staterooms, outside deck and varied indoor entertainment
  • named after the mascot of the U of Wisconsin
  • maiden voyage, March 21, 1953, carrying paper from WI to MI
  • the last large coal-burning steamship in the nation
  • Initially transported railroad cars
  • Now a leisure boat that takes people and their vehicles



Goodbye Ludington

We had a good breakfast in the aft restaurant and then stood on deck in the beautiful sunshine and watched the departure, taking in details of the landscape, the calm lake, and the churning waters of the wake. (How many times had we done that on the M/V Doulos?)

When we wandered indoors through the corridors. I noticed the children's playroom.
(And remembered the poop deck on the Doulos where baby Sam spent many hours.)

At the gift shop we purchased a deck of cards and spent the morning playing Kings in the Corner. Mike discovered a subtle strategy to win every time and I spent the rest of the day trying to guess what it was.

Landing in Manitowoc
As the welcome sign suggested, we proceeded to visit the nearby Maritime Museum, which included a tour of the submarine SS Cobia, now a memorial.

 I couldn't stand back far enough to get a picture of the whole sub. However, from there I looked across and saw the SS Badger.

The tour guide who took the group through the very tight quarters of the submarine, talked very fast. I felt sorry for the Mexican Americans who were trying to interpret for their visiting relatives.

Here are a couple of facts I remember: Life on a submarine = 90% boredom + 10 % terror. Hard to imagine life for 80 human beings living and breathing in those very cramped quarters for long periods of time, some sleeping in bunks directly over the torpedoes.
Another statistic: submarines were only 5 % of  the fleet and yet responsible for 55% of the victories.
A couple of expressions I learned: Go to the head; freckle maker. Can you guess what they mean?

Explaining one of the numerous control panels
 My favorite cubicle was the one that reminded me of my tiny study/office on the Doulos--a converted bathroom--smaller than this.

This day ended with a wonderful meal at a Chancery Restaurant and a night at a Baymont Inn in Mequon, WI.
Oh, and more Kings in the Corner! (I still haven't figured out Michael's secret.)

1 comment:

The Bug said...

Well, I go to the head several times a night, so I know what that is. But I DON'T know what a freckle maker is. Hmmm...