MOBY was the first of three portuguese miniboats being launched as part of the Atlantic Regatta in 2016. In fact, it was the first boat to be launched in the regatta!
Its release in the Atlantic was made in a cruise ship, in an event with almost 200 people, between students, teachers and guests.
MOBY belongs to schools from Horta, in the Azores. It was able to engage children and students of different ages. MOBY was presented to Pre-School kids from Casa de Infância de Santo António. It was painted on by 10 to 12 year-old students from the School José António d’Ávila. And it was built by high school students from the Escola Profissional da Horta.
The students were engaged in the project “Take Portugal to the World”, that is being developed in Portugal by the Portuguese Task Group for the Extension of the Continental Shelf (EMEPC) and two investigation centers from Instituto Superior Técnico: Institute For Systems and Robotics (ISR) and Marine Environment and Technology Center (MARETEC). In Azores, the local coordination of the project was made by Oceans-on and by the Horta municipality.
After a few months of sailing in a clockwise loop to the west, as reported by researcher Cláudia Viegas, a student of Prof. Frederico Machado at the Univ of Azores Oceanography, she apparently wanted to come home for Christmas and made a very close approach to Faial where she was originally deployed from. Luis changed the sample rate to more frequent 2.5 hours on 20 December when she was nearing the island.
Unfortunately, in early 2017 something apparently went wrong with the transmitter when it started reporting every few minutes until the battery evidently drained. It last reported a well north of the Azores (31N).
You can see an article published about the moby here.