Toy boat washes onto shores of Lake Superior 27 years after launch
While searching for rocks on the shores of Lake Superior in their home town on Lake Wisconsin, Mike and Lynn BeBeau found something red, white, and blue peering through the sand.
At first the couple thought it was a piece of buoy. However, upon further inspection, they found that it was a wooden toy boat, the paint was peeling, and its faded and deliberate instructions were written on the bottom:
“I am going to the sea. Please put me back in the water. Send information about your whereabouts to: Lakewood School Room 116 & 118 5207 N. Tischer Duluth, MN 53304, ”it says.
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In choppy and high water conditions, Mike and Lynn waited to send the little traveler back into the water, instead staging a sunset photoshoot and posting the story on social media, where the story caught the attention of hundreds of people – including educators Duluth Public Schools.
“We love to take the less traveled road, that’s exactly what we are. We have always been like that,” Lynn told the Free Press on Monday. “You never know what you will see, you never know what you will find. This is just an unexpected surprise. “
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Through the magic and mystery of social media, Lynn connected with teachers Bonnie Fritch and Brenda Schell, who launched two boats as part of a class on paddle-to-the-sea, a children’s book from 1993-94, during a class field trip to Brighton Beach 1941 by Holling C. Holling.
“We planned the canoe trips through the Great Lakes,” said Fritch in a Duluth Public Schools Facebook post. “A friend of Brenda’s made the boats for us and our classes then painted and added the message below.”
While one of the boats was discovered a year later, the other was out on the water never to be heard from again until 27 years later Mike and Lynn found the wooden ship on a secluded beach along Apostle Island National Lakeshore near Eagle Discovered Iceland.
“I think the biggest advantage of this is that this little boat is on a journey to the sea. Well, I think it’s got it,” said Lynn, 63. “It hasn’t reached the ocean yet, but it has already crossed it. It was on its own journey and reached so many people and put a smile on their face. What greater journey is there than this? And that’s what we need nowadays. “
Lynn – who loves getting out and about and traveling with her husband – says her story teaches people to be more adventurous and explore their surroundings.
“People say, ‘Oh, I have nothing to do. ‘Go outside, guys. Put on a pair of walking shoes and go outside, ”she said. “There is so much to see, you just have to look for it.
“Sometimes it shows up when you aren’t even looking for it, and that’s exactly what happened to us. We didn’t go looking for a boat. It found us. “
Contact Miriam Marini: [email protected]