We had a beautiful, sunny day for crossing under the Mackinac Bridge that separates Lakes Michigan and Huron. They’re technically really one lake, and share the same water level, but I won’t argue with hundreds of years of tradition. Our destination for the afternoon would be Beaver Island, and with Perky running like the proverbial top, we had no worries at all.. This was a fairly short day for us, and with smooth water we managed to start late and finish early.
We pulled into the very well protected St. James Harbor and headed for Beaver Island Marina. Be sure to follow the marked channel because it gets pretty shallow in parts of the harbor. Our friendly and efficient dock hands parked us right next to a Hatteras 52 motor yacht. Our friendly neighbor explained that they had previously sailed the world but settled for a few years in Beaver Island. Now they were preparing the big Hatteras to head south, to the Gulf of Mexico, having experienced one too many Beaver Island winters. We met plenty of friendly people on Beaver Island. We did some minor re-
provisioning at the grocery store, conveniently located just across the road from the rustic marina. Be prepared to pay island prices
though. Downtown was a pleasant, and scenic walk away.
Beaver Island was settled by Irish immigrants and the entire town has a nautical Irish flair that seems to fit this island just right. We would heartily recommend Beaver Island if you’re looking for a laid back, relaxing town surrounded by wilderness. This is not a tourist trap type of place, but they do welcome boaters. Nautical architecture and Irish heritage was a bonus for us.
More than just a stepping stone to other destinations, Beaver Island deserves to be a destination in it’s own right, but maybe that would spoil it. Take a trip and judge for yourself.