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      Marina readies to close for the season

      Boaters are enjoying their last few days at the docks before the Escanaba Marina closes for the season on October 5.

      Over 100 seasonal boaters came to the marina this year. They generate three quarters of the marina's revenue, and 211 transient boaters passed by this season.

      Marina workers were out on the docks removing buoys and taking out ladders as part of the winterization process. Officials say boaters often remark how much they enjoy the marina.

      "It's really spacious, which is a plus for a lot of boaters," said harbormaster Larry Gravatt. "Boaters are used to coming into harbors that are tight. Ours is really open. We're surrounded by a park. Everybody that comes here really enjoys the marina simply for that reason."

      The harbormaster says this boating season is the earliest he can remember when the first boats arrived March 27. They normally arrive weeks later.