CNN

A tiny boat was discovered on a remote beach 27 years after it was launched by teachers

Oct 16, 2020, 7:45 AM
The boat was found near a remote island in Lake Superior 27 years after it was launched.
Credit:	Co...
The boat was found near a remote island in Lake Superior 27 years after it was launched. Credit: Courtesy Lynn BeBeau

    (CNN) — A mystery from Lake Superior has been solved, after a tiny boat ended up on the remote shores of one of the Great Lakes.

The red, white and blue vessel was found at a remote area on Apostle Islands National Seashore in Wisconsin with a very intentional message on the bottom.

“I am traveling to the ocean. Please put me back in the water. Will you send information on your whereabouts to: Lakewood School Room 116 & 118 5207 N. Tischer Duluth, MN (scribbled out zip code) 53304,” the message reads.

There was no date, and no one knew where it came from until the school did a little digging.

It turns out two teachers, Brenda Schell and Bonnie Fritch, did a lesson on the book “Paddle-to-the-Sea” in 1993 and 1994 and two wooden boats were part of the lesson.

“We mapped out the travels of the canoe through the Great Lakes,” Fritch told the school, Duluth Public Schools ISD said in a recent Facebook post.

The inscription on the bottom of the tiny boat had no date, only instructions.
Credit: Courtesy Lynn BeBeau

“A friend of Brenda’s made the boats for us and our classes painted them and added the message to the bottom. On our end of the year field trip for our Duluth unit we stopped at Brighton Beach to launch the boats.”

After almost 27 years, the boat was still in good shape making its way around the lake though, obviously, it’s not known where it was the entire time.

“I am not sure what happened to Brenda’s boat but mine was spotted a year later up the North Shore. The people put a second coat of varnish on the boat and relaunched it. I thought we wouldn’t hear any more about it. Amazing it is still out there,” Fritch added.

Lynn BeBeau and her husband were the ones who discovered this little wooden boat while out hiking on the lakeshore across from Eagle Island.

“It was a very fun and unexpected — extremely — unexpected discovery,” BeBeau told CNN.

“We decided we wanted to go check out this area and my husband sees this red wood sticking out. He goes to pick it up and it’s this crazy little boat!”

She said they didn’t expect it to be as old as it was. They assume a storm put it on that beach years ago, based on how protected the area is from the elements.

“That little boat took on a journey of its own,” BeBeau said.

After taking photos that are on the They released the boat back into the water like the inscription instructed, but the experience left BeBeau with a sense of wonder and greater appreciation for the unknown.

“You just never know what you are going to find, so get out there and explore because there is stuff to be found,” she said.

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A tiny boat was discovered on a remote beach 27 years after it was launched by teachers