Washington Island, Wisconsin August 6 through August 8, 2021
For our first Wisconsin stop, we went to Kap’s Marina on Washington Island. The price per foot for the marina slip was close to twice what we had been paying for all the Michigan marinas. Naturally, I expected to find a pristine, luxurious, beautiful marina. Nothing could be further from the truth! Kap’s Marina has seen better days. Only a few slips, grass (weeds) unkempt, dirt or gravel walkways. The restrooms were fine, at least. We were appalled, frankly! There was a restaurant right at the marina. Dan stopped in and decided to buy 2 of their cinnamon buns – price was $9.50!! Yikes, they were pretty proud of their pastry!
After our initial reaction, we talked to some people from the Looper Forum to get some perspective. The Michigan harbors were all largely funded by the State taxes, have mostly all been redone, with excellent docks, facilities, and the price was about $61 per night. Wisconsin marinas are on their own to finance their operations. Paying over $120 per night for a marina that was so lacking was irksome. But, the people who owned the marina were very nice. And, once we looked around the island, we could see the charm of the island.
There are only about 175 people who live on the island year round. The island’s total industry is tourism. Ferries come constantly from nearby Wisconsin ports, at times adding 1,000 people a day! Many just come for the day, and they enjoy renting jeeps, bikes, kayaks, for exploring the 10 mile long island.
We were docked beside a Coast Guard boat, and the “Coasties” were housed just across the road. Dan and one of them had a very involved conversation about Dan’s career with the SEALs. I enjoyed watching these young men, young enough to be my grandsons!
We met a couple from another dock (Joy and Larry Wissing), and hit it off nicely. We enjoyed conversations with them and had dinner with them at the restaurant. They aren’t “Loopers”, just fellow boaters with plenty to talk about.