Saturday, June 30, 2012

Ship Month - James M. Schoonmaker / Willis B. Boyer

OK, here's a completely different kind of ship docked in Toledo, Ohio (open til Labor Day 2012; I'd assume summer hours next year, maybe with more restoration done!).

The James M. Schoonmaker (formerly the Willis B. Boyer, and before that, the James M. Schoonmaker again!) is a lake freighter built in 1911, right around the time of Titanic.

Aside from her enormity the SCHOONMAKER displayed unparalleled elegance. The showpiece of her owner, William P. Snyder, and flagship of her fleet, The Shenango Furnace Co., the SCHOONMAKER provided luxurious passenger accommodations which rivaled the “appointments of such magnificent transatlantic express steamships as the Lusitania and Olympic.”

Not for the faint of heart, you travel up a slightly steep, small-looking (but safe) gangway to get onto the deck. The whole place has several flights of stairs and is not for those who are afraid of heights, unless they love ships.  (I am afraid of heights, but I love ships, so it worked out fine.)  They charged me $4--I thought I'd read it would be $7, but I couldn't complain.

The inside is like a museum, not all that polished yet, but that's one of the things I loved about it!

They have some displays in the lowest level (the "ground floor," though this is several stories up).  I believe this was higher-up crew members' quarters.

If I recall correctly they had two functioning bathrooms!  That is something I haven't seen in many museum ships.

This is in the Grill Room, a passenger lounge.

Electric fireplace in said room.

Heading upstairs!

You slip outside...


and head up to the next level, the "Texas Deck." The Observation Room was hard to photograph.

I THINK this was still on the Texas Deck, but it could've been one level up.

Anyway, one more flight of stairs gets you to the Pilothouse!

This looked so Titanic-y.

All in all it was a great little museum. As it stands, 30 minutes would probably be plenty of time to tour, even if you like to read everything; 20 if you're in a rush. You can spend a bit more time if you love taking photos or just standing on the deck and relaxing. Well worth the trip.

If you want to read more about Great Lakes freighters, well, the volunteer who showed me around the lowest level asked if I heard about them through Boat Nerd (I hadn't). I looked recently and didn't see info on this particular vessel, but I'm sure there is some.

Hope you enjoyed ship month!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Ship Month! - HMS Surprise

Julie again!

So the HMS Surprise is a 1970s replica of a 1700s ship at the Maritime Museum of San Diego. But she's a beautiful ship. You may recognize her from Master and Commander, though I understand she has a brief stint in the 4th Pirates of the Caribbean movie.

I assume there is a cannon on the other side of that wall!

OK, this is just a little surreal.

Like the Columbia in Disneyland, this ship has an impressive captain's room. Unlike the Columbia, you could walk around in it!

One last look.

I have more on the H.M.S. Surprise on my personal blog.

Next week, a more modern ship to wrap up Ship Month. Just haven't decided which one yet!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Ship Month! - Star of India

Julie again.  Here's the Star of India, dubbed the world's oldest active sailing ship. It resides at the San Diego Maritime Museum.

I hate to admit, lifeboats do kind of clutter a deck.

This little restroom is less than appealing.

The Star of India was an immigrant ship for much of its life...I wonder if women had to try to use that with their hoop skirts. Though the ship had a long useful life, so maybe they had different heads back then.

And I believe this was the captain's cabin. Pretty swanky, huh?

We'll end with a nautical term here.

I have a lot more pictures and information on the Star of India on my personal blog here and here.

Next week, we'll spend some time aboard the H.M.S. Surprise!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Ship Month! - The Californian

Julie here.  So here are some shots from the Californian, another replica ship, this one at the Maritime Museum of San Diego.

One major difference between this one and the Columbia is that this is a functioning vessel...most obvious by the sails! Also, there are a lot more lines.

The main thing I learned on this voyage was that ships sail by hitting the wind at an angle, not straight on. I believe it's the same principle as an airplane wing.

The boom is VERY low, which probably makes sense for a ship that's built for speed. The railing was very low too! I'm not sure if the ropes that block people from falling off are period-authentic or not, but given the number of landlubbers taking cruises on the ship, it's probably good that they're there.

I didn't get any good pictures of the ship itself, though you can make it out in the sunset here.

I have a lot more pictures of the Californian on my other blog.

We'll be back at the Maritime Museum of San Diego next week!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Ship Month! - The Sailing Ship Columbia

Julie here. This month I'm going to be posting ship pictures. Why? Because ships are neat.

Here's one that should be familiar to most Disney fans near the West Coast.

This is the Sailing Ship Columbia!

Below deck is a pseudo-museum of sorts. The ship is based on the Columbia Rediviva, the first American ship to circumnavigate the globe.

Here's where the crew might have slept. (At most the crew could have been about 30 people...still, not much room on the ship!)

Here are some tools a ship's carpenter might use, which of course makes me think of Aridin. The corkscrew thing is an auger. The thing to the right is almost certainly a brace, a tool still used today (precursor to a modern electric drill).  Btusdin has a great picture, and Musings from the Workbench has great photos of old-fashioned tools as well, including a brace. I suspect those peg-looking things are chisels, but it's hard to tell in photographs.

It is rather small below decks.

While The Healer and the Pirate is set in a world more like medieval or early Renaissance times, the ships are closer to this 1700s know, grand age of piracy and all. In fact, in the show Fantasmic! the Columbia gets transformed into a pirate ship.

I have a lot more pictures on my personal blog, and might put up some more at the end of the month.

Come back next week to see pictures of another ship!