A native Michigander, I’ve lived in Wisconsin for over thirty years now. My roots and family are still in Michigan. I’ve had the occasion several times to save myself the hassle of driving around the bottom of Lake Michigan while traveling by taking the S.S. Badger car ferry across the lake.
The S.S. Badger is truly a floating museum. The ship is a National Historic Landmark, and during my trips on her, I’ve taken many pictures to document my experiences. The galleries below share those photos.
In 2012, I completed two round trips on the Badger, one in May and another in October. My first trip was delayed a day due to the breakdown of one of the Badger’s two engines. Strong south winds in the Manitowoc vicinity pushed the ship hard up against the shore on the north side of the harbor. With only half-power available, the ship was unable to get back to its dock on the south side of the harbor under its own power. A tug was needed to push the Badger back to the dock. The passengers who boarded in Michigan, were delayed five hours before they could disembark in Wisconsin. After the passengers and vehicles were offloaded, the vehicle deck was pulled up in order for the repair crew to get down to the engine beneath that deck. Certain parts had to be fabricated in a machine shop locally and installed before the engine was operable again. This cancelled the return trip to Ludington that day, and I was unable to sail until the next day.
In 2013, I sailed on the S.S. Badger, returning to Michigan to attend a family reunion.
In 2017, I lost a cousin in Michigan and again sailed on the Badger to attend his funeral.