Friday, May 3, 2013

Shaking Down with the M/S Mount Washington

Getting ready to board the ship. This couple wanted to be first in line.
 I love my job, but some days I really, really love it and am extra thankful for days spent out of the office doing something fun. Because the PR agency I work for also works with the M/S Mount Washington, I had the opportunity to go on the vessel's annual Shakedown Cruise on Lake Winnipesaukee. This marks the beginning of the ship's season, when it has been cleared by the fire marshal for safety and all permits have been obtained for it to set sail. 

I always enjoy going out on the Mount, but the weather the day of the Shakedown Cruise was especially perfect-warm and sunny. It was a perfect day to be on the lake. I attended a prom on it in high school; a booze cruise in college; some casino nights for my dad's old company and a Captain's Cruise when I worked as a newspaper reporter. 

One of the highlights of the Shakedown Cruise is being able to go up into the Captain's Quarters, meet the Mount's great staff and have the opportunity to "steer" the ship. 

The Mount has changed over the years. The original S.S Mount Washington ship burned in a dock fire in 1939. Though attempts were made to free the ship, it was stuck in the shallow mud of the bay and was burned along with the boardwalk and railroad station. A new ship from Vermont, which happened to be for sale at the time, was brought in from Lake Champlain. The ship was 203 feet long and constructed of iron. The ship was sent in pieces from Vermont to Lakeport, where it was reassembled. 

Great view!!!
The ship has seen many changes over the years. Twin diesel engines were added in 1946 and its length was extended 25 feet in 1982. It was after both of these changes that it would become the M.S. Mount Washington it is today. It holds up to 1,250 passengers and is a true gem of the Lakes Region. It's very own Captain Jim is also well-known in the community for his dedication to tourism and his community. 

I am looking forward to getting back out on the water this summer for another cruise. Check out the Mount's schedule here

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