Butterfly of the Sea

Meridian School


1st Voyage

Students at Meridian School in Seattle, WA began preparing their miniboat during the 2021-2022 school year, and continued to 2022-2023.

They connected with Uncruise Adventures who agreed to help get the boat set to sea off one of their cruises going to Hawaii in November of 2022.

The students named their boat BUTTERFLY OF THE SEA, because “our school mascot is the monarch butterfly.”


  • Preparations during two school years: 2021-2023

    They reported on their work as follows: “In this project we split into groups: the launch, the media, the sail, the deck, the cargo, the hull and keel, and the tech team. As the launch team, we studied the previous launches, winds, and currents.”

  • Click to access data from sensors

    This boat was launched with two GPS systems onboard. The location reports from both units will show on the map at the top of this page here (which updates hourly with new positions if available).

    Here below is where you can see the data reporting from the second GPS which is connected to a custom sensor package. In addition to reporting location with a secondary GPS tracker, this system is also collecting air temperature, water temperature, and orientation of the boat.

    Please note that the map below will only show the last 7 days of data and may include invalid points and data. If you are interested in looking at the data in a different format from the whole voyage, contact us.

  • November 11, 2022 - Butterfly takes flight

    The crew of the Uncruise Adventures ship, Safari Explorer, took great care to test the electronics on the miniboat on November 10, and got the system working by November 11. So they set her to sea! Here’s their official report:

    “Butterfly took flight at 1400 Hawaii time, Thursday November 10, 2022.  Location: 26*02.734’N, 147*35.124’W.  We are currently 603NM NE of Hawaii and approximately 1434NM from Pt Reyes, CA (where we made our turn to begin the crossing to Hawaii).  There was a Laysan Albatross flying just east of our location during the launch, so Butterfly is in good company for the beginning of her voyage.  Thank you for letting us be part of the journey! -Rika and the Safari Explorer Crew”

    Pictures will be posted soon!

  • May 11, 2023 - Reporting from Samar Island, Philippines

    Seeking assistance with recovering 1.5m uncrewed miniboat named Butterfly of the Sea from Samar Island, Philippines

    Update May 24: Miniboat has been recovered!

    The miniboat is named “Butterfly of the Sea” and is part of an educational project from the US. It was built by students at Meridian School in Seattle, Washington. Students and participants involved in the project are seeking assistance to have the boat brought to a nearby school so they can connect. It appears to have been picked up at sea and brought to the docks in Dolores, Eastern Samar.

    The GPS is now reporting from 12.036613464355 N, 125.48706293106 E and we are looking for assistance to recover. The GPS has been reporting from within a 0.3km radius of this position since May 11.

    It was launched into the Pacific Ocean on November 11, 2022 and has traveled almost 14,000 km in 181 days by the wind and currents alone. It is an uncrewed vessel, like a message in a bottle. We invite you to read above for the full story. Please contact Educational Passages for more information and if you know anyone that can assist in recovering the boat and bringing it to a school. We will advise and assist with next steps after recovery is confirmed.

    We are all non-profit organizations and cannot provide a financial reward for your help. Our intention is to connect children everywhere and promote the love for the ocean. We hope you can help us accomplish this goal, and bring the opportunity to connect children across the ocean with the project.

  • May 24, 2023 - Recovered in the Philippines

    We noticed the miniboat was reporting from the docks near Eastern Samar in the Phillipenes, and posted the update in the title above.

    But it turns out that our partners at the University of Rhode Island have a program in the Philippines!  Andrea Gingras connected us to Glenn Ricci and then to Andre Uychiaoco who works at The University of Rhode Island, Philippines. Andre and colleagues at the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources were able to locate and recover the miniboat!

    Now the work is focused on finding a local school to connect the students together. Special thanks to Miriam Francisco who is helping with this part.

    Austin Marsh from The Meridian School said in an email that: “We shared the photo of the recovered boat that Andre sent us with the students on Thursday morning.  They were thrilled to see their project again. As Cassie said, we hope that the boat can be accepted by a local school, either middle school or elementary school.  The students who built the boat are now 10-11 years old.  They will be in a new school next year.  Our school year is quickly coming to an end.  We have summer vacation from June 15 until the beginning of September.  Where the story of this boat goes from here depends on who in the Philippines is interested in connecting with us, but I have some ideas, and others may also have opinions.  Ultimately the purpose is for students around the world to learn a love for the ocean, and study the science behind ocean travel.”