Last spring I said, "This summer I will explore Wisconsin!" Then the price of gasoline--well, we've all been bitch-slapped by the Invisible Hand, no need to dwell on it. (Drill, baby, drill!)
So today I finally took off driving. After being pulled off the interstate by the siren song of "Quilts n Silks", where I engaged in a mutually beneficial transaction motivated by selfishness, greed, and cute cat fabric *hee hee*, I realized that despite all the times I've been to the quilt shop in Manitowoc, I've never been to the Wisconsin Maritime Museum across the street.
There weren't quite enough exhibits to keep me occupied while I waited for two groups of seasoned citizens on bus trips to go through the submarine before my tour was called (admittedly, I skipped the "children's activity" sections), but they sell cold root beer called "Torpedo Juice" and I carry a notebook for just these situations. The exhibits concentrated on the people involved in ship-building and fishing; could have gone further into details of how ships were made *nerd*. I also enjoyed "controlling the steam engine", although it was hard to miss the hydraulics that were moving the pistons in lieu of steam. And the models--like the antique cars, I had almost no idea what I was looking at, but I could appreciate the time and skill that went into crafting them.
The tour of the USS COBIA was excellent, and I recommend it for all short people interested in military history. Our tour guide was a retired Marine drill sargeant (I don't think "Listen up, people!" was in the original script :) and quite funny. Relayed lots of stories told to him by men who had been stations on submarines. Tour lasted about an hour, and by the end I was anxious to get topside and breathe some fresh air. I am in awe of everyone who served in "The Silent Service."
Afterwards, I noticed a lighthouse. Bit of a hike around the marina, but a nice, cool breeze. Nice day to be out--dogs, nuns, teenagers sucking face, old biker-looking dudes catching huge fish just feet from the shore. While I was out on the breakwater, there was a freighter! And it went into the harbor!
("So what?" you say. The biggest body of water near my hometown is a 98.5-acre fake lake stocked with crappies. Anything larger than a canoe fascinates me.)
The Michipicoten! I love the Internet! She's Canadian, no doubt delivering poutine or back bacon or liquored-up kickers.
And as usual, there is a set of pictures on Flickr.