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The Four

Captain of Over 30 Years Gives Great Lakes Boat Tours in Harbor Springs

Captain John Shaw has been a captain for over 30 years. He’s done a lot during his time on the water, but he says his favorite job he’s had is giving tours of the Great Lakes in Harbor Springs.

Captain Shaw is about to kick-off his busy season of giving tours on the Pointer Boat and he has a wealth of knowledge and experience to share.

He gave a more in depth look into his experiences as a captain and what tourists and community members can look forward to on their boat tour in Harbor Springs.


Captain Shaw said that being a captain was not his first plan. In fact, it all transpired from a spontaneous night with his friends more than 30 years ago.

“I think it was probably due to too many beers. We shouldn’t have bought the boat the way we bought it. And we ended up sailing from here to Jamaica to Trinidad Tobago and back” Captain Shaw said.

One thing Captain Shaw said he’s come to appreciate more than ever being a captain is how lucky we are to have the Great Lakes.

“I had a woman and her family from India a couple of years ago, and she was amazed at this water. She said this is salt water? And I said no this is fresh water. She said you could drink this? And I said, Yeah, you can drink it. She said, you have no idea how lucky you are. Where I live in India. And she mentioned some little town I never heard of. She says we’re 300 miles from the nearest fresh water, and it’s not that fresh,” Captain Shaw said.


Captain Shaw spends his days giving tours of the Great Lakes alongside his first mate, Carol, where they tell the history of Harbor Springs, and everything it has to offer. He said he hopes to keep doing this for a while.

If you’re interested in taking a tour of the Great Lakes and learning about the history of Harbor Springs, you can find more information here.

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