The red, white, and blue ship was found in a remote area off the Apostle Islands National Seashore in Wisconsin with a very deliberate message on the ground.
“I’m going to the ocean. Please put me back in the water. Mail information about your whereabouts to: Lakewood School Room 116 & 118 5207 N. Tischer Duluth, MN (zip code noted) 53304,” the message read.
There was no date and no one knew where it came from until the school did a little digging.
It turned out that two teachers, Brenda Schell and Bonnie Fritch, were given a lesson on the book “Paddle-to-the-Sea” in 1993 and 1994 and two wooden boats were part of the lesson.
“We have planned the canoe trips through the Great Lakes,” Fritch told the school, Duluth Public Schools ISD said in a recent Facebook post.
“A friend of Brenda’s made the boats for us and our classes painted them and added the message below. On our year-end excursion for our Duluth unit, we stopped at Brighton Beach to start the boats.”
After nearly 27 years, the boat was still in good shape when it circled the lake, although obviously it is not known where it was all the time.
“I’m not sure what happened to Brenda’s boat, but my boat was discovered on the north coast a year later. People put a second coat of paint on the boat and restarted it. I thought we wouldn’t hear about it. Amazing it’s still out there, “added Fritch.
Lynn BeBeau and her husband discovered this small wooden boat while hiking on the lakeshore across from Eagle Island.
“It was a very fun and unexpected – extremely – unexpected discovery,” BeBeau told CNN.
“We decided to explore this area and my husband can see this red wood sticking out. He picks it up and it’s that crazy little boat!”
She said they didn’t expect it to be as old as it was. They assume a storm brought it to this beach years ago based on how protected the area is from the elements.
“This little boat took its own journey,” BeBeau said.
After taking photos that were on the, they dropped the boat back into the water as indicated in the inscription, but the experience left BeBeau with a sense of wonder and a greater appreciation for the unknown.
“You just never know what you’ll find, so get out there and explore because there are things to be found,” she said.