Message discovered 27 years after Duluth academics launched it into Lake Superior
At the bottom of the boat was written the words: “I am going to the beach.”
Although a small boat has not sailed from the Superior Sea all these years, its story has been around the world ever since it was discovered on the other side of the ocean.
Lynn BeBeau, from Bayfield County, was walking along a remote beach off the coast of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore when her husband saw red wood come out of the sand.
Lynn and Mike BeBeau found a wooden boat painted on the distant shores of the National Island Lakeshore Apostle 27 years after entering Lake Superior. (Photo courtesy of Lynn BeBeau)
“We couldn’t believe it when we turned around and saw this,” BeBeau said. “We were amazed when we found out how old it was. We thought,” Oh, he must have sent it last year. “
The couple found the boat on October 7. Messages from the boat requested that anyone who found it return it to the water and inform the school of its location. So the next morning he called Lakewood Elementary School.
“I’ve been working on the legal system for many years, and I’m so retired from trial testing, that I’ve always been very curious about this whole issue,” BeBeau said.
With the help of a Facebook post in the area, the secret was removed within 24 hours of the boat’s launch, and Bonnie Fritch stumbled on the site.
Bonnie Fritch and Brenda Schell set up their water boats at Lake Superior in 1993-94. (Photo courtesy of Bonnie Fritch)
“The amazing part was that it wasn’t far away. It’s still in Lake Superior,” Fritch said. “I was expecting it to reach as far as the Great Sea.”
Fritch, who now lives in Lake Nebagamon, said he and Brenda Schell, another former Duluth teacher, used the event as part of a course for second-degree graduates. The duo coached part of the history of Duluth and Lake Superior. As part of the students’ class the class read a children’s book “Paddle-to-the-Sea” written by Holling Clancy Holling.
It’s a story about a boy who carves a small wooden boat with a picture on it called “Paddle-to-the Sea.” The story follows the journey by a small boat across the Great Sea before reaching the sea.
BeBeau had never heard of the book before he found a boat. He also said that he bought copies for his grandchildren to read.
Both teachers launched a small boat at Lake Superior in 1993-94. Although he had not heard of Schell’s boat, Fritch was seen once in the North Shore two years after its launch.
The finder placed another seal on the boat and returned it to the water.
BeBeau thought the boat had been buried for a long time before it was discovered, especially considering the boat’s maneuver after 27 years.
From there he pulled the boat out of the water.
The article was taken by CNN Travel and other international media outlets and received much attention from television.
“With all that going on, the epidemic, the politics … I think people are interested in the good news,” BeBeau said. “This little boat is so far away from the ocean.”