The Capt. Shepler – St. Ignace, MI
Feeling the wind whipping our hair and sea breeze on our face brought back childhood memories of ferry rides across the Mississippi River. While once the main mode of transportation across the Mississippi, the ferries in our area have long ceased to operate. Not so in Michigan. Ferry service is the only means of transportation between the mainland and Mackinac Island. Little did we know our ride would link us to Louisiana.
When planning our trip to Mackinac Island, everyone we spoke with encouraged us to take one of the ferries which passed under the “Mighty Mac” Bridge. So our plan was to take the 9am ferry to the island and enjoy the view of the bridge from the water. Arriving at the Shepler’s Mackinac Island Ferry dock we realized we were too late to have a seat on the open air top deck. Knowing that was important to us, we decided to wait for the 9:30am ferry. Since we were first in line, we were assured a seat on the top deck.
Boarding the Capt. Shepler and locating seats on the top deck, we settled in for the ride. As the ferry pulled away from the dock and headed into open waters, we enjoyed the sea breeze on a cool, clear morning. The view of the “Mighty Mac” Bridge from the water was truly awesome. The Mackinac Bridge is the longest suspension bridge in the western hemisphere and we could only imagine the building of the bridge. We were glad we decided to take the ferry offering a side trip to the bridge.
As we headed to Mackinac Island, the captain told us a little history of the ferry. Capt. Shepler is 84’ long and carries 265 passengers. The ferry was built in Morgan City, Louisiana in 1986. That got our attention, we sat up and really took notice of the ferry.
It is always fun and interesting to find connections to Louisiana in our travels. Who would have know, on our trip to Mackinac Island we would board a ferry built in Louisiana.