Sailboat Golden Rule docks in Prairie du Chien, sails for peace

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While in Prairie du Chien, the Golden Rule docked at Lawler Park. (Photo by Ted Pennekamp)

By Ted Pennekamp


A globally activist sailboat named the “Golden Rule” docked in Prairie du Chien from Oct. 6-8 as part of its most recent journey. The boat’s captain, Captain Kiko from Hawaii, also gave a presentation to the Prairie du Chien Rotary Club at Huckleberry’s Restaurant on Oct. 7. 

“We trucked from San Francisco to Hudson, Wis.,” said Captain Kiko during an interview near where the Golden Rule was docked at Lawler Park. “We then docked on the St. Croix River and began our journey from St. Paul on down the Mississippi. It (the Upper Mississippi River) is a beautiful stretch of water.”

Captain Kiko said so far the Golden Rule has sailed to Prescott, Prairie Island, Red Wing, Wabasha, and Winona in Minnesota, and La Crosse and Prairie du Chien in Wisconsin. Its next ports of call are Cassville then Dubuque.

“From La Crosse to Prairie du Chien was our longest run, 12 hours,” said Captain Kiko. “Going on ahead, you always have the sense of adventure.”

“People have all been very kind and have a good sense of Aloha (welcoming and hospitality),” continued Captain Kiko.

Captain Kiko noted the Golden Rule will have several stops along its route down to New Orleans. From New Orleans, it will sail to Florida, around Florida, and up the east coast of the United States to New York City where it will get a new captain. The Golden Rule will head to Long Island Sound, the East River and the Hudson River. The sailboat will navigate the New York State Barge Canal (formerly the Erie Canal) and the Oswego Canal to Lake Ontario. It will stop at Toronto and will sail through all of the Great Lakes. 

“We hope to be in Chicago by the end of next summer,” said Captain Kiko. The Golden Rule will finish its “Great Loop” by sailing back down the Mississippi River to the Gulf of Mexico.

The Golden Rule not only has sails, it has an inboard motor. “Sail when you can and motor when you must,” said Captain Kiko who noted that the boat had a bit of difficulty and got stuck in the entrance to the Winneshiek Marina and had to be towed to the dock at Lawler Park. “A big thank you to the Prairie du Chien Fire Department,” he said, in noting that the 30-foot-long vessel draws five feet of water. 

Captain Kiko said the Golden Rule has a First Mate, Steve Buck of Humboldt Bay, Calif. The boat also had two volunteer crew members on its leg from La Crosse to Prairie du Chien. It has four berths (bunks) onboard.

Captain Kiko said the Golden Rule will have various volunteer crew members throughout its voyage. Applications for those interested in being a volunteer crew member can be found on the Golden Rule website. 

The Golden Rule is undertaking its voyage in an effort to help reduce and eliminate the use of nuclear weapons. The Golden Rule is supported by the organization Veterans for Peace.

Captain Kiko said that in addition to war, there have been numerous other victims of nuclear weapons, among them the former residents of the Marshall Islands (Bikini Atoll).

The Golden Rule Project has given hundreds educational presentations about nuclear issues and has led many peace flotillas. Thousands of people visited the Golden Rule during four wooden boat shows.

The Golden Rule sails for a nuclear-free world and a peaceful, sustainable future.

Speaking to Groups

From September 2022 through December 2023 the 15-month voyage will take the Golden Rule into 100 towns and cities and cover 11,000 miles.

Along the way, Golden Rule representatives will speak to many groups about how their actions can bring about nuclear disarmament and stop the possibility of nuclear war.

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