Monmouth Academy received their boat in August and immediately began preparations and planning when school began.
March - April 2020
Mr. Pascarella was able to bring the miniboat home before the COVID-19 closures took place. He finished the sensor package installation and had everything ready for deployment by April 13. Since the sensor package is reporting air and water temperature every hour, the intention is to launch it in the Gulf of Maine for a science research mission: How will the temperatures change as the boat travels with the wind? Students will be able to compare their data to nearby buoys and satellite data in the fall.
June 14, 2020 - Set sail in the Gulf of Maine
Thanks to fisherman Tyler Bo for launching the miniboat DespaSEAto! After two years of hard work by the students at Monmouth Academy, their sensor-equipped mini research vessel was launched into the Gulf of Maine in the early morning of June 14, 2020.
The DespaSEAto sailed southwest down to Gloucester, Massachusetts, but the winds shifted and it took it a little further back to sea.
On June 15, while fishing out on Jeffrey’s Ledge, NOAA Fisheries Biologist Eric Hutchins spotted the miniboat DespaSEAto and later shared with us this picture (thanks, Eric!):
Eventually it sailed its way into Salem Sound and landed on a beach where local High School teacher Mari was sitting and watched it sail right to her! The boat was successfully recovered and her students will be connecting with Monmouth Academy in the fall to analyze the sensor data and learn more about the Gulf of Maine together. Congrats to all on this successful mission!
Pictures from Mari’s recovery: