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Seeing and riding SS Badger is a goal that’s been acomplished, a pilgrimage made. And I will return to more fotos of Badger soon, but along the road we looked for nirvana, too. Nirvana, Michigan . . . it’s a place name on my road atlas, and unsuccessfully I looked for a post office and a zip code. Alas! But journeys are comprised of what unexpected places you find and take time to savor. Here are some of what can be discovered between Manitowoc (home of Sputnikfest!!) and Port Huron (home of Thomas Edison Depot Museum).
SS Badger runs on coal, transformed by an engineroom crew of 20 into torque on the twin cast steel 166″ diameter propellers.
Tourism . . . largely derived from the vessel on the welcome sign . . . buoys this town of less than 10,000.
Turn any direction, almost, and you’ll see the importance of the SS Badger and
things Michiganite in this town.
Halfway across this section of the state a billboard brought us to this bakery/coffeeshop, which appeared caught in a timewarp. Here’s the history, and here’s
Now I’ve known the boatnerd website for a long time, but I hadn’t gathered this . . . world headquarters set within Great Lakes Maritime Center. The sixth boro needs something like this . . . maybe this will be my retirement project?? It will need a benefactor or many . . . like Dr. James C. Acheson. More on this renaissance of land once used for scrap.
I plan to do a whole post about this place, for now, let me share an artpiece inside that resonated with me. Read the name on the stickie note. I’ve already befriended a lot of nuts along the fringes of the sixth boro. And they’ve enriched my life.
I love the weathervane on the pilot station and
the exotic small boats passing by, like PonTiki and
this Sea Skiff and
this 42′ vessel–same age as Badger–named for this island,Lime Island.
Are the Great Lakes great? Greater than great, but there are too many great places for me to discover before I cease these gallivants. All fotos here by Will Van Dorp.
This does not look like a highway scene, yet
it IS the stretch of Route 10 that will get you the best fuel economy and can accommodate quite oversized loads
whether they come from Manitowoc or Chengxi or
anywhere else, Badger can move backward
driven from here or
forward . . .
to get you there. It has for a long time, and we hope will continue that role.
This last foto from the Badger onboard museum. All others by Will Van Dorp, who will continue along Route 10 today. More Badger soon. Click here to learn more about the imminent threat to the ferry.
A salmon-fishing dog in a kayak being paddled by a human and tailed by a Coast Guard RIB . . . that’s intriguing, but the 50 or so folks with me at the end of the jetty were not there to greet the pooch. We were there to see the badger,
Badger entered service about the same year I did and
now she’s threatened, at least in her current state of being a coal-fired steam-powered ferry. For part of the year she shuttles between Ludington, MI and Manitowoc, WI . . . as she has for 60 years, but
take a ride, which I’m about to do. More soon from the 60-miles one-way trip between the two Lake Michigan ports.
All fotos by Will Van Dorp.
Click on the image below and you’ll see how I posted it just over five years ago. So what do the big blue tug Powhatan below, Ellen McAllister, USCG Katherine Walker, ATB Brandywine, ATB Dublin Sea. and the Staten Island Ferry Spirit of America (as well as ferries Molinari and Marchi) all have in common?
For starters, the Menominee River in Wisconsin. And from that, given corporate acquisitions, an “in-law” relationship exists with Fincantieri vessels including Costa Concordia as well as the caissons that’ll try to re-float her.
But closer to home, the list above was built at the same Wisconsin shipyard as seven fleet ocean tugs, four of which are active in Military Sealift Command today. Click here for the 2012 MSC vessels poster, one fifth of which is reproduced below. MSC operates over 100 vessels today using 5500 civilian mariners. Civil servant mariners!!
The DonJon Marine Powhatan above has since 2008 become Inebolu A-590 of the Turkish Navy.
And they do long, large tows. Here about a year ago, Apache begins to tow a decommissioned USS Nassau to join the reserve fleet in Texas. Click here for more context on the foto, taken from USNS Grapple, another MSC vessel that may appear on this blog soon.
In the next post, we look inside Apache. Next question . . . does this marlinespike seamanship have a name? Would this have been original to this 1981 vessel? By the way, Apache’s 31st b’day (technically d’day . . . D for delivery) is late July.
Only the first and last fotos are by Will Van Dorp. The second and third from last are thanks to Birk Thomas. All the others come from Military Sealift Command. Many thanks to Susan Melow, MSC Public Affairs Officer, for setting up a visit and to Apache Second Officer Michael R. Rankin for guiding the tour.
Finally, once again, does anyone remember when Apache visited NYC? Is there an archive online for vessels visiting during Fleet Weeks going back to 1982?
This is the work and play post . . . the real connection is that although we all have to work, an important secret is to enjoy what you do. Imagine this enthusiasm in a co-worker or yourself on Monday morning, whether you’re struggling to finish a group report or
the folks at NYS Marine Highway, now shipping corn–yes–corn–out of Ontario and into the Erie Canal. How long has it been that agricultural commodities have been shipped on the Erie Canal . . . how long have people talked about shipping same on that waterway that revolutionized NYC . . . or international shipping entering the Erie Canal, but Margot (over a half century young) and its crew
doing it! Bravo to the folks at NYS Marine Highway. Click here for lots more fotos of Margot.
South African fotos come compliments of Colin Syndercombe; the Oswego/Erie Canal fotos, . . . Allan and Sally of Sally W, and all the others by Will Van Dorp.
Related: Here’s another ALE job.
Unrelated: The longest marathon swim starts tomorrow morning over 100 miles up the Hudson.
Not all . . . . but some boats turned blue as in in this post here. Like Cheyenne, whose
Birk and Harold in their site here.
has worked for over half century. Birk and Harold have some documentation of her past lives, although I’m wondering if anyone can help with fotos of her West Coast lives.
But as I said . . . not all GET blued. Some start their lives in DonJon blue. I have not seen this vessel yet, but zoom-eyed Isaac up in Detroit has. Admire the blue vastness of Ken Boothe Sr. and her endless barge Lakes Contender. Isaac posts lots of fotos, so you’ll have to enjoy almost 20 fotos before you get to Ken Boothe Sr.
All fotos here by Will Van Dorp.
Chain link fence topped by accordion razor wire coils stand exposed only after a solid steel door is raised and an even heavier drawbridge lowered . . . what is this?
Unrelated . . . Grande Marocco left not quite a week ago for . . . Dakar. With all those cars up on the top splash deck (monkey deck??), I’m left wondering . . among other things . .
I’m wondering what Grimaldi ships to places like Cotonou and Banjul in West Africa.
Graphics on ships . . . if Charles Fazzino has been designated official artist of OpSail NY 2012, I wonder if we can expect designs like these on tall ships in less than a month . .. How did he get chosen? By whom? To what end? Who else was considered?
And one more from the north coast by Michigan Exposures . . . who might be planning a foray into the sixth boro . . . it’s Arthur M. Anderson. If Titanic had its Carpathia, then Edmund Fitzgerald had its Arthur . . . unfortunately too late. I love the mild-dazzle paint on these vessels. Arthur is a product of the American Ship Building Company yard in Lorain, OH . . . another manufacturing center transformed into . . housing. If you don’t know the Lightfoot Fitzgerald song, here’s the link. Otherwise, check out this supremely moody foto of a laker.
Here was RS 18.
Let’s start with two fotos from Ken on the North Coast. In fact, this first foto shows American Spirit on the legendary Whitefish Bay. Note all the wind turbines on the distant ridge. The 1000+ footer was built in Ohio and operated by American Steamship Company of greater Buffalo, NY.
Here the Wisconsin-built John G. Munson enters the Soo Locks, at the southeast corner of Whitefish Bay. No visitors to the sixth boro have quite these hull designs, which border on neo-razzledazzle a la bowsprite.
or NYK Demeter, Ulsan 2008, stopping in NYC once every few months on its trans-Panama shuttle between eastern US and China;
or Korean-built MSC Emma . . . operating between eastern US and
eastern South American ports, although registered in the Marshall Islands. In the shot about, it’s Moran’s Laura K near Emma‘s stern and Barney Turecamo,passing to port.
One more . . . Korean-built sixteen years ago . . . it’s another Panama Canal-frequenter APL Spinel, here escorted in by Louisiana-built Amy C. McAllister.
Top two fotos thanks to Ken of Michigan Exposures; all others by Will Van Dorp.
When I saw this unit arrive, I thought maybe I’d see one of the larger tugs painted in Kirby colors, like
Finally . . . I’ve failed to publicly praise tugboathunter for his site about Detroit River traffic. Check it out here.
Whatzit??? Answer follows.
Note what’s on the deck of USCGC Mackinaw WLLB-30, built in Wisconsin and homeported in Cheboygan, MI. Foto thanks to Kyran Clune.
Last shot . . again, no government boat is this, but exactly a year ago today, Papillon came ashore . . . prompting many hours of visitation of government employees . . . if not boats. Here and here are two of my posts; go back to the April 201 archives for many more. Ironically, I have never been able to find out what became of the vessel.
Happy April! Again thanks to Kyran for his Lake Michigan foto. All others by Will Van Dorp.