1st Voyage

  • January 2019 - Preparations begun

    The students of Career Tech High School began building, and even prepared a vessel mission for their first miniboat.

    C.T Rift Cruiser Vessel Mission

    We’re releasing the boat from the Oregon Coast into the California Current which will then hopefully drift into the North Equatorial Current and arrive in Japan. Our boat will include a personal letter translated into various languages in case the Rift Cruiser lands someplace else, instructions that are also printed in many different languages, and a variety of trinkets from each of the students working on this mission. We’re looking forward to Japan dispatching the C.T Rift Cruiser back to Oregon through the North Pacific Current and finally back to our facility. Work is still in progress and we are anticipating the official launch sometime in March.

  • September 13, 2019 - Deployed off Oregon

    The CT Rift Cruiser was ready for deployment by September. After a test float in Depoe Bay on September 10, it was brought to Oregon State University on September 11 where it was boarded onto the R/V Oceanus.

    It was released on the morning of September 13 approximately 50 miles offshore. The winds have been variable offshore, but a window of opportunity appeared with southerly winds and the launch was carried out thanks to Tracy Crews of Sea Grant Oregon. A note from the CT Rift Cruiser team says, “We cross our fingers for strong southerly winds to carry the vessel directly down to the westerly trades that are off of Mexico so that we can begin our journey off to tropical waters.”

    The press showed up at the dock as Career Tech’s drifter was scheduled to be launched and shared the story in the Newport News Times, “Students embark on ocean research cruise, launch tech school’s drifter”.

    More pictures and video to be posted soon!

  • September 20, 2019 - Recovered in Washington

    The journey of the Career Tech  Rift Cruiser (aka Tiny Dancer) began on September 13th, as she was launched into the early morning mist of  the vast Pacific Ocean.

    First wild winds drove her south, but soon she was diverted towards the violent rocky shores of the northerly coast, with  jagged prominences ready to capture her. Days spent in the not-so-peaceful waters, gale force winds and twenty foot waves sent the tiny boat scurrying outward to open seas then inward to uninhabited coastal shores. During the next week the twisted winds filled her dragon sail, lifting and lurching the cruiser towards imminent grounding (or becoming leftover wreckage along the wild coasts of Oregon and Washington). Then a gyre captured her.  Spinning two wide pirouettes, the tiny dancer finally landed gracefully on the sandy shores of Grayland Beach State Park on the outer coast of Washington.  An early morning beachcomber found her perched on the lonely deserted beach.  The local rangers recovered her and sent her home with Career Tech’s Recovery Team. But she is not done adventuring.  Stay tuned.


    The CT Rift Cruiser sailed for 556 km (300 nm) in 7 days (September 13 – 20, 2019). In a straight line the distance was 282 km (152 nm). The average speed was 1.35 knots.