This  litte port, like Charlevoix, I’d put on the Looper’s can’t miss list:  a new municipal marina, four places to buy espresso drinks in a two-block radius, restaurants galore (including Su Casa, a very good Mexican place we tried, and Clementine’s, a tablecloth place with lines out the door).  Also a grocery, UPS store and hardware.

And a bakery  (Golder Brown).  Bakeries are becoming the test of a Memsahib- friendly town.   A bakery seems to signal three things 1) people who care about fresh food 2) a town with enough tourists wandering around  to support the other good Looper things (cappucino, bookstores, places that grind their own sausage) 3) a breakfast that I don’t have to make.

But food and shoppes are never enough, and South Haven also has the very excellent Great Lakes Maritime Museum ,with a well-preserved fishing tug (I found out they don’t call them boats), a recreation of a war of 1812 sloop, and a very well done Coast Guard exhibit.  Also, the requisite War of 1812 exhibit (that’s three this trip).  Really ugly in these parts — mostly raiding back and forth across the lakes in retribution for previous raids.  The War of 1812 was a mess like most wars and I’ve been hit with a lot of it on the trip.  It is surrounded by the glow of the successful  war at sea and the birth of the U.S. Navy.  But it was a waste and disaster in terms of life and property loss on land and should have never been fought.  It was the Iraq/Afganistan of 200 years ago and nothing much seems to have been learned from it.

Spent some time with another great diesel engine on the fishing tug — a Kahlenberg semi-diesel.  They start with gas to warm the cylinders, then run on the equivalent of heating oil.  The thing is, the fishermen started them on Monday, and shut them off on Friday, running continuously in between.  That’s not odd for these old, simple diesels — I just read a story about a Gardner diesel in a Scottish fishing boat being converted to a yacht that was started in Scotland, and turned off next in Panama.  Some of us spend our declining years fascinated by old cocktail waitresses. I am more inclined to old diesel engines.

South Haven Marina — Almost Empty Post Labor Day

South Haven Shoppes

Great Lakes Maritime Museum

Great Lakes Fish Tug