1st Voyage - Quiet after 57 days at sea



  • October 2018 - Preparations

    Some pictures of the students preparing their miniboat:


  • November 2018 - Launched

    We got permission from Marine Safety Agency and secure the boat to get out of the coast. The boat〝Flipper” is for watching whales and dolphins.  The capacity is 40 people. On 21st November the Flipper will take us 30km (15miles) off the coast, because we want to place the miniboat on the ocean currents. The captain of the Flipper advised us that if we do not place the miniboat further than 30km offshore, it will increase the possibility of it coming back to Choshi or being crushed by cargo ships.​



  • December 28, 2018 - Quiet after 38 days at sea

    The Manmaru stopped sending a signal on December 28 after 38 days at sea. With the GPS battery high, perhaps she was hit in the very busy shipping lane. What do you think may have happened?

  • January 15, 2019 - Another ping

    On January 15 she sent another signal, Happy New Year! Perhaps she was flipped over, or something was covering the GPS? She certainly traveled far though…

    Unfortunately this was the last we heard from the Manmaru. Perhaps she’ll wash ashore someday!

  • July 20, 2019 - ANOTHER PING!

    The Manmaru reported today after 6 months of quiet – south from where we last heard in January. The plot thickens…


This is Naselle Elementary School in Naselle, Washington.

Teachers- Kendall Ford and Sandra Smith


The Columbia River Maritime Museum’s Miniboat Program was developed in partnership with Educational Passages and the Consular Office of Japan in Portland. Students in the Pacific Northwest build unmanned sailboats equipped with GPS transmitters, one to launch from the coast of North America and the other to send to their partner class in Japan for launching.

While the boats are at sea, students on opposite sides of the Pacific Ocean will track their movements. Using real-time data on ocean currents and weather, students will share their predictions on where the boats will go next, and hopefully create lasting friendships.

The mission: to get the boats to cross the Pacific Ocean.

The outcome: through hands-on activities and meaningful opportunities, students are enlightened and empowered