The ship from Gilligan's Island returns to sea

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"Just sit right back and you'll hear a tale, a tale of a fateful trip, that started from this tropic port, aboard this tiny ship."

Recognize those words? Of course you do! It's the start of the theme song from "Gilligan's Island," the 1960s TV show. "Five passengers set sail that day for a three hour tour. A Three. Hour. Tour."

The tiny ship SS Minnow wasn't lost. Or at least one of the four models used during filming wasn't. A Canadian named Ken Schley says he has bought the original boat shot for the opening credits of the show, setting out from port in California.

Says the Times Colonist: Gilligan's Island used a handful of replica SS Minnows.

Some TV trivia bloggers are debating whether he means the opening credits of the first or second season. Whatever.

The important thing is that this boat looks exactly like all of the boats used as the Minnow on the show, and that Ginger and MaryAnn once sailed upon it.

Scheley plans to set up public tours of the vessel. The first groups will hop on board this month, he says. Prices haven't been set, but most of the profits will be donated to charity.

The boat is currently docked in Nanoose Bay, B.C., in western Canada. Stay tuned we'll let you know once a phone number has been set up so you can book a trip on the S.S. Minnow.

As a side note, Gilligan's Island was not off the coast of California but actually in the Bahamas, near Nassau. [Translation: The island that appears behind the title card in the opening credits was no where near the fictional location in California. The episodes themselves were filmed on a sandy backlot, we're sure.] What happened to the island, called Sandy Cay in real life? Well, it was just sold for about $2.6 million.

And that leads us to our question: Who was hotter, MaryAnn or Ginger?

(Just Kidding!) [Thanks, Anthony, for the tip!]

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