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Adrift for 27 Years


In 1993, second-grade teachers Brenda Schell and Bonnie Fritch of Duluth, Minnesota, threw two little wooden boats into Lake Superior after their class finished reading the book Paddle-to-the-Sea, a story about an indigenous boy who builds a boat and puts it in the lake in the hopes it will make it out to the ocean.

They never imagined that 27 years later one of those little boats would be found, but that is exactly what happened.

The little craft with its red, white and blue paint scheme and a magic marker message on its bottom was found by Mike and Lynn Bebeau who were leaf-peeping near Lake Superior’s Apostle Islands. They took photos of the little boat before dutifully returning it to the water, as requested by the message on its bottom, and then contacted the Duluth school system.

Schell said she was in disbelief that the boat was still around after 27 years. She figured it might last a couple of years. Instead, it lasted more than a couple of decades, and counting.

You can read more about the small wooden vessel’s extensive voyage on the Fox 21 local news website.


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