The Boatnerd Gathering series for 2001 started off with a trip aboard the Carferry Badger. The Badger is the last operating carferry on the Lake Michigan, at 410-feet she is steam powered and coal fired.

The crossing took us from Ludington, MI. to Manitowoc, WI.

Our group was treated to tours of the pilothouse and engine room of Badger. This was a rare opportunity
to see the two Skinner Unaflow Steam engines that generate a combined 7,000 horsepower. 

The Badger Gathering start on Friday, June 1 with some joining the Badger in Manitowoc.

Badger arrives in Manitowoc Friday afternoon. Steve Haverty
Backing to the dock. Steve Haverty
At dock. Steve Haverty

Right on schedule the Badger arrived in Ludington entering the break wall about 7:00 p.m. Friday night.

Coal smoke over the horizon.
Entering port.
Stern view.
Dropping the anchor to turn and back to the dock.
Wide view turning.
Fleetmates Spartan, Arthur K. Atkinson and Barge P.M. 41 in lay-up.
Another view.
Panoramic of the Badger at the dock.
Panoramic of the Spartan at her lay-up dock.

Once onboard those attending the gathering were treated to tours of the Badger

Tour of the pilothouse Steve Haverty
Pilothouse Chadburn
Steve Haverty
Radar image of Ludington Harbor Steve Haverty
Steve Haverty gives the wheel a spin.

Max Hanley (left) leads a tour through the engine room.
Chadburn and throttle controls for one of the Skinner Uniflow engines.
Automatic coal stoker.
Fire box opened.
Builder's plate in the engine room.

We departed Ludington on Saturday morning heading into a foggy Lake Michigan. 
Badger at the dock.

Crews prepare the stern for departure.
Sea gate is lowered on the stern as we pull away from the dock.
Group shot on the bow.
Builder's Plate.
Scott Best

We arrive in Manitowoc, WI to find the Armco anchored off the port waiting for the winds to calm.

Passing the lighthouse.
View from the dock.
Vic DeLarwelle
Passenger watch the docking.
Close up.
Badger docked.
Vic DeLarwelle

In Manitowoc we had the opportunity to tour the Wisconsin Maritime Museum 

World War II Submarine USS Cobia at the Maritime Museum.
Vic DeLarwelle
Another view. Steve Haverty
Engine display in the Marine Museum.
Scott Best
Sailing ship display. Scott Best
More displays.
Well stocked gift shop.
Touring the USS Cobia.

The winds have calmed and the Armco makes its way into port.

Preparing to get underway.

Entering Manitowoc.

Approaching the dock.

Close up of her stack.

Dragging the anchor.
At the dock the anchor is raised.
Crew member is lowered to the dock.

Anchor is hosed off.
Unloading begins.

Water is sprayed as the coal is unloaded to reduce the amount of dust.
Boatwatchers brave the drizzle to capture the Armco on film.
Panoramic of the Armco preparing to unload. Steve Vanden Bosch    
Another view.

We prepare to depart Manitowoc heading back to Ludington

Returning to the Badger.
Capt. Fitch guides the Badger from the pilot house.
Pulling away from the dock.
Passing through the breakwall into Lake Michigan.

Bridge crew working in the Lake.
View aft from the pilothouse.
Scott Best
heelsman steers his course.
Heading for Ludington.

Our Gathering ended with the return to Ludington, we had a great group of people and everyone had a good time. The staff and crew at the Lake Michigan Carferry Service went out of their way to see to it that we had an enjoyable trip.

Our sincere thanks to:

Sara Bedford
Max Hanley
JoLynn Hanley
Thom Hawley
Heather Hodges
Megan Maltbie
Sharla Manglitz
Mike Martin
Steward - Laura
and the rest of the crew and staff at the Lake Michigan Carferry Service.

Jay Martin, director of the Wisconsin Maritime Museum and his friendly and knowledgeable staff. 

The Clipper City Cab Company for providing shuttle service.

If you missed the Gathering you can still ride that Badger during the regular sailing season: Official Lake Michigan Carferry web site.

Also visit the Wisconsin Maritime Museum.

Missed the Badger Gathering? Click here for other planned events in 2001

Return to Great Lakes & Seaway Shipping