1st Voyage

  • About the Grizzly Bear Miniboat

    Look out, this is Grizzly territory! S/V Grizzly Bear is a miniboat assembled and artistically envisioned by Mrs. Chaffin’s 5th Grade class at Barnes Elementary in Kelso, Washington.

    We began the building and weighing process in October and designed the art, experimented with keels, water temperature and salinity, and were introduced to Native American canoe journeys from our area.

    We invited our family and friends to the Christening ceremony and shakedown cruise on December 19th.

    Sofiah wrote a poem for Grizzly Bear to have a safe voyage and good luck:

    Miniboat, miniboat, we loved finishing

    We had lots of fun, now it’s all done

    To have this opportunity was a pleasure

    Especially the part we had to measure

    Grizzly Bear, what a name

    When we heard it, it gained all the fame

    The design is great, I have no hate

    This poem is done, it was fun

  • January 9-11, 2024: A quick voyage

    Our deployer is the crew of the US Coast Guard vessel Alert, a medium-endurance cutter. Grizzly Bear will come aboard on December 28th to be deployed off the coast of San Diego in early January.

    The Grizzly Bear was the first miniboat launched in 2024 and was done by the crew of the USCG Alert off the coast of San Diego on January 9. We will share pictures when we are able.

    By January 11, the boat had landed at Imperial Beach, CA near the mouth of the Tijuana River and it was soon recovered by a private citizen.

  • Voyage 1: Complete

    Click on the titles above to learn about the project and the first voyage of the miniboat

2nd Voyage

  • April 6, 2024: Relaunched by the M/V Jean Anne

    The Grizzly Bear miniboat was repaired and put aboard the M/V Jean Anne for relaunch. Here are some pictures of it onboard from April 3:

    On April 6, 2024 the Grizzly Bear miniboat was relaunched by the crew of the M/V Jean Anne (Pascha Hawaii). Thank you to Captain Sykes and crew for helping to get this adventure back on the high seas!

    “Launched S/V Grizzly Bear at 2:50 PST today (4/6/24). Position was Latitude- 26-32.8N Longitude- 139-26.8W. The current swell and wind predictions I felt now would be the best time to launch. We are approximately 1060NM from Hawaii and 1221NM from San Diego. Attached are pictures and a Video. All went pretty smoothly. Enjoy the project.”

    A press release was issued on April 18 sharing about the relaunch: Washington Miniboat Grizzly Bear relaunched from Pasha Hawaii’s M/V Jean Anne

    For media inquiries regarding the press release, contact: Olive DelSol, Boat Instructor Columbia River Maritime Museum. delsol@crmm.org 503-791-8665 or Katy Menne, Edu. Director Columbia River Maritime Museum. menne@crmm.org 503-741-7056

    Grizzly Bear, a 4.5 foot long cherry red miniboat built by Mrs. Chaffin’s 5th grade class at Barnes
    Elementary School in Washington embarks on its second odyssey.

    Grizzly Bear made its maiden voyage January 9, 2024 on US Coast Guard Medium Endurance Cutter Alert. The journey was short, as Grizzly Bear was found two days later January 11 in the Tijuana River Wildlife Refuge by J.P. Cruz. Cruz introduced us to Oceanographer and kelp forest researcher Lydia Ladah. Ladah made a presentation to Mrs. Chaffin’s class about her research which was enlightening and delighted the students. Cruz then repaired Grizzly Bear and delivered it to Captain Gregory Johnson with Pasha Hawaii at National City Marine Terminal at the Port of San Diego, California in early April.

    Taken aboard the M/V Jean Anne under the command of Captain D.A. Sykes on April 3, Grizzly Bear was relaunched on April 6th at 2:50 pm. Within 11 days, Grizzly Bear has advanced on wind power to 550 nautical miles northwest of the Hawaiian Islands.

    The miniboat program at Columbia River Maritime Museum with Educational Passages offers local schools an opportunity to gain ocean literacy through project-based learning. Because of generous support from donors we are able to offer this program to participating schools free of cost. Schools in the following Oregon and Washington counties are encouraged to apply. Clatsop, Columbia, Tillamook, Washington, Pacific, Wahkiakum and Cowlitz.