1st Voyage

  • About the boat and participants

    Hull # 006 was built by the students of Hilda Lahti Elementary School in Astoria, Oregon and was named s/v East Ocean Friends) by the students of Tanesashi Elementary School in Hachinohe, Japan.

    The Oregon students placed letters and locally significant gifts in the cargo hold for the Japanese students to open upon its arrival in Hachinohe. The students in Japan will place letters for their new American friends in the cargo hold to be opened on arrival onshore in North America.

    The Columbia River Maritime Museum would like to thank:

    • Consular Office of Japan in Portland, Oregon
    • Mr. Kimura- Hachinohe City Board of Education
    • Ms. Ogawa- NHK World
    • Mrs. Kasuga – International Relations, Hachinohe City
    • Mr. Nakamura – Ookuki Branch of Minamihama Fishermen Cooperative
    • Mr. Bola – International Relations, Hachinohe City
    • Columbia River Maritime Museum Mini-Boat Program Sponsors
    • Educational Passages
    • The City of Hachinohe – Aomori, Japan
    • Awaji Hiroshi – Tanesashi Elementary School
    • Minoru Suzuki, Principal of Tanesashi Elementary
  • December 18, 2017 - Delivering the boats across the Pacific

    The Columbia River Maritime Museum’s Education Director delivered the S/V East Ocean Friends to Tanesashi Elementary School. The Japanese students opened the cargo hold to find gifts of salt water taffy from the students of Hilda Lahti Elementary School. The students at Tanesashi then got to work decorating their side of the sail and epoxying the name on the transom.

  • December 19, 2017 - Launching Ceremony

    All the participating Mini-Boat schools in Hachinohe, Japan gathered at Okuki Elementary for a very special launching ceremony attended by government officials, members of the community, and national and international press.

  • December 20, 2017 - Launch Day

    She was placed in the water by Mr. Nakamura’s (head of Okuki Branch of Minamihama Fishermen Cooperative) crew 20km into the Pacific Ocean where the offshore currents converge.

    To watch the launching video, click here, or watch:


  • January 3-4, 2018 - Almost lost 

    After battling GPS transmitter errors and a low battery we lost contact with her at 38 41.4' N 153 21.6' E on January 3, 2018 at 08:14GMT. We hope that some sun will recharge her battery and we can again track her movements.

    On January 4, 2018 she started to report her position again! It appears the GPS transmitter errors she was experiencing resolved itself after going “dark.”

  • January 9, 2018 - Quiet at sea

    She reported at 15:31 GMT on January 6, 2018 at 37 15.6' N 154 34.8' E. We are confident that she sails on and will “check in” when she receives adequate sunlight. Sure enough, she reported again on January 9, but hasn’t been heard from since.

    January 26, 2018 – International news https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/videos/20180126122726093/​

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.