Stopping at the Great Lakes Maritime Museum...
...which includes a tour of the Col. James M. Schoonmaker!
Built in 1911, it was the biggest ship on the Great Lakes for three years- just to see if a boat too big for the locks could be built!
|Wow... stay off Lake Michigan!|
There was a lot of great stuff to see in the museum- a lot of the interactive stuff was a little problematic, though.
|Here's Laurie trying to master semaphore. We both failed miserably. Thank God we weren't on the Titanic!|
|I want that above my bedroom door!|
We were amazed that this bit of floaty foam and netting was considered a life raft. Even more amazing:
|FIFTEEN PERSONS? Was this from the SS Seven Dwarves?|
|Good news: Here's a much better raft. Bad news, it's from the Edmund Fitzgerald.|
|Much like what our ship looked like.|
|A Lyle gun- shot a lead line to another ship to help rescuing.|
|A chunk of the USS Michigan, the first iron-hull ship.|
|Hand held Lyle gun- formerly a Civil War carbine.|
This model is from a ship with a fascinating history. During the war, Bethlehem Steel needed more cargo tonnage and no way to get it. So they bought a ship called the Notre Dame Victory, anchored in the Atlantic, and added 160 feet in the middle to make it an iron hauler. They had to bring it to the lakes by towing it down the Atlantic, across the Gulf, down the Mississippi and Illinois rivers, scraping bridges on its way into Lake Michigan- and the trip took just 37 days! It was re-christened the Cliff's Victory.
|That gentleman id Edmund Fitzgerald.|
|And it's time for the ship!|
For those of you not in the know, I have an ever-increasing fear of heights, and this thing started triggering it about three steps from the deck. Still, I soldiered on...
|Waiting our turn to check out the hold...|
|How big? See below.|
|Laurie in one of the crew bedrooms...|
|...me in another. They were four person (2 on, 2 off) rooms.|
Coolest of all for me was the engine room.
Here we find the officer's mess...
|The stern end.|
|Chillin' with the gang...|
Next, we went to the Bow end- and this is where it really got interesting...
|What lies up the stairway?|
|...passed out here?!|
|The Captain's office|
|And his phone. Just set the dial to the right "extension", and crank.|
And now, things came to a problem for me. There were two higher levels, which had to be reached from the outside. My knees went into "lock mode" two steps from the first one, and I made Laurie look to see if it was worth it before I took those steps. It took three more steps after the stairs to force my knees into the "upright" position. By the time I entered the room at this level- the Passengers' observation lounge- Laurie had discovered that we could go up one MORE set of stairs to the pilot's room. My reaction: "One more higher? F--- you." She took the camera and went aloft, whilst I looked around and regained my composure.
|The cool stuff and views my fear of heights denied me...|
What will happen next? Will Chris be forever a prisoner of the observers' lounge? Tune in tomorrow for part two!