All aboard the Pelican Breeze II
Published 11:11 am Wednesday, July 22, 2015
Cruise on Albert Lea Lake offers insight on history
The traditional Pelican Breeze summer boat cruises have been brought back for the 19th consecutive year.
As the summer interns, Madeline Funk and I decided to join a cruise for the Pelican Breeze experience.
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As we set off, our tour guide, Al Batt, spoke without a pause about Albert Lea Lake. He knew everything from the birds around us to the shallowness of the water.
We learned that the Pelican Breeze — either the present boat or its predecessor — has been giving cruises
on Albert Lea Lake since 1997. The boat ride consists of main Albert Lea Lake attractions such as the pelican sand bar and the I-35 bridge, in which we rode under.
From there we saw canoers, an island of pelicans and New York Point.
We were taught the history of Albert Miller Lea, the geographic setup of the lake, the wildlife and the vegetation around the lake.
Batt told previous generations who have worked hard to make sure the lake will get cleaner as the years go on.
The Pelican Breeze has been open from late May to early October in all past years.
With a half dozen first mates and a half dozen captains, the boat has always been in good hands. To make each experience unique, the boat has brought on guest speakers.
This is the second Pelican Breeze boat in the past 19 years. The most recent boat has an on-board restroom and a larger seating area.
When we asked why people should come and see what the cruise is like, First Mate Karla Kelly said, “Because they need to learn about it. A lot of people have bad opinions of our lake.”
Boat cruises are provided for the open public at 1:30 p.m. Sundays, in which the boat takes off from the Frank Hall Park boat landing once 10 riders have boarded. This hour-and-a-half ride costs $10 for each passenger.
The Pelican Breeze also has 6 p.m. Friday pizza cruises that riders can make reservations for. It costs $20 to be a passenger.
Private charters can be reserved whenever available for a $395 two-hour cruise.
Reservations for these cruises can be made by calling 507-383-7273 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.