The miniboats Teal Turtle and HK Pride are part of a partnership with the USS Constitution Museum in Boston, MA, and neighboring Boston Public School, Harvard-Kent Elementary. They were made by eleven 4th graders in Mr. Brett’s science enrichment class in winter of 2020.
January-March 2020: Boats are prepared
Over nine weeks, the students worked on the boats in their science classroom. This meant filling and attaching the keel, sanding and painting, and decorating the boats and sails. Throughout, they learned about connections to USS Constitution.
Filling the Keel:
Sanding and Sail Design:
Attaching the Keel:
Painting the Hull:
January-March 2020: Field Trips to USS Constitution Museum
The students also took two field trips to the USS Constitution Museum. It’s only a five minute walk from their school! At the museum, they learned about the design and construction of USS Constitution, and put those lessons to the test by making their own tinfoil boats to race. They also learned about the life of a sailor in 1812 and met Jason, a current active-duty sailor on Constitution.
Holding a piece of USS Constitution copper lining:
When the pandemic struck in mid-March, the students weren’t quite done with the boats. In consultation with the students from home, museum staff finished them up.
The holds were filled with introductory letters and swag from the museum and Harvard-Kent, including a sign of the times–a Boston Public School face mask.
Sealing the hold with silicone and caulk.
October 21, 2020: Ceremonial Launch
USS Constitution turned 223 years old and we threw a virtual birthday party with the Ship. During the festivities, the boats were ceremonially launched into Boston Harbor from a dock next to USS Constitution. We were joined by Mr. Brett, the science specialist at Harvard Kent school, and the students watched from home. In keeping with US Navy tradition, the boats were christened with a sparkling beverage right before hitting the water. Huzzah!
The event was streamed on Facebook live:
Education manager Emily and Mr. Brett about to christen the boats:
April 9, 2021: Boats delivered to SEA
Museum staff drove the boats to Woods Hole, MA for drop-off at the Sea Education Association (SEA) campus. SEA is a semester program for college students on marine biodiversity and conservation, which includes a six-week voyage on a tall ship. Their sailing trip from FL to MA will cross the Gulf Stream several times, and they will launch our boats when they cross and winds are favorable.
Here is our education manager Emily with SEA professor of oceanology, Jeff. The hand-off is complete, and the boats are in good hands.
They made it! While in port in St. Petersburg, FL preparing for their voyage, SEA students pose with the boats on their ship, SSV Corwith Cramer.
The plan is for the crew and class of C-297 of the SEA Semester to launch the boats off the SSV Corwith Cramer on their journey from Florida to Woods Hole. Follow their journey at https://www.sea.edu/sea_currents/all_corwith_cramer/category/corwith_cramer.
May 4, 2021: Launched into the Gulf Stream
On May 4, 2021, the crew of the SSV Corwith Cramer, as part of Sea Semester’s class C-297, launched the HK Pride along with Teal Turtle miniboats into the Gulf Stream! Thank you all who made this possible.
Here is the official launch report:
Launched at 1100 EST at position: 34 degrees 57.8 minutes North latitude x 074 degrees 46.7 minutes West longitude, approximately due east of Cape Hatteras.
At time of launch the Cramer was sailing on broad reach, port tack steering 025 degrees with double reefed mainsail, staysails and jib set. Wind and sea conditions were a ‘sporty’ Beaufort Force 6, waves 6-8 feet in height in addition to long-period swell 8-10 feet in height.
Sea surface temperature was 26.2 degrees Celsius, salinity levels 36.27 parts per thousand (grams salt per liter of water), ocean depth was 2836m, Gulf Stream was flowing at 2.2 knots in a direction of 037 degrees or to the northeast.
And here is the video of the launch:
July 2021 - Landed and Recovered in Newfoundland
After Tropical Storm Elsa came up the coast, the USSCM miniboats shifted their course a bit north. The HK Pride, by the middle of July, started to approach Newfoundland. At this point, she had already sailed over 6,000 km since the voyage began in May. She sailed during that time at an average speed of 1.93 knots.
On July 16, 2021, eyes were closely watching the track that came really close to the French territory St Pierre and Miquelon…
But she continued to sail north and entered Fortune Bay.
By 20:44 GMT on 7/18/21, she had landed on the beach of Kent Cove. We hope someone will find her there or rescue if possible.
VOYAGE STATS: HK PRIDE sailed for 75 days, May 4 to July 18, 2021. According to the GPS tracker on board, she traveled at least 6,243 km (3,371 nm) and averaged a speed of 1.92 knots.
UNMANNED 6 foot long sailboat (MINIBOAT) ashore on Kent Cove Beach (47.671738, -56.305940) after 75 days and 6,000+ km voyage drifting across the Atlantic Ocean. Please rescue if possible to do so safely.This is an educational project from the US. Built by students in Boston in collaboration with USS Constitution Museum. Contact Educational Passages for more information and if you know anyone that can assist in a recovery to avoid damage to the vessel. It is an unmanned vessel, like a message in a bottle, but we would like to recover it to avoid damage if possible, and have it brought to a nearby school to connect students from Massachusetts, USA.UPDATE JULY 22, 2021: THE HK PRIDE HAS BEEN SUCCESSFULLY RECOVERED
The HK Pride is now in McCallum, Newfoundland and will connect with students there, and then Harbour Breton.
Thanks to Sherrie Feaver and her husband John! Here is how Sherrie described the adventure: “We left McCallum around 6am in route to Facheux Bay to recover the HK Pride! It took us about 40 minutes to get to the destination and we saw it up on arrival at Kent cove on the beach.”
News channels and radio quickly picked up the story. Many wanted to help rescue the boat, but some wanted to just connect around the story.
CBC Interview with Sherrie Feaver (HK Pride’s rescue crew lead) and Emily Bryant (lead educator, USS Constitution Musuem):
- U.S. Students’ Mini-boat Runs Aground and Found on South Coast of NL, from VOCM with updated followup story NL Couple Recover U.S. Students’ Mini-Boat Run Aground in Kent Cove
- N.L. town of 30 people is connected to Boston 4th graders after rescue of tiny boat, from the Toronto Star
Almost 3 weeks after HK Pride landed in Newfoundland, her sister ship Teal Turtle approached the south coast as well. It landed south of Burgeo on August 7, and is awaiting rescue.
Hear more about the project from USS Constitution Museum’s Education Manager and Public Historian about how they are using the Miniboat Program to engage the community:
USSCM Education Manager Emily Bryant and Public Historian Carl Herzog chatted today with Linda Swain, host of Newfoundland’s VOCM radio show On Target St. John’s, to recap the latest international escapades of miniboats HK Pride and Teal Turtle! Tune in to hear the conversation
Voyage 1 - 75 Days at Sea
Read above for all the details of the first voyage of the HK Pride.
September 27, 2021 - USSCM visits St. Joseph’s Elementary School, Harbour Breton, NL / HK Pride is opened
Museum staff made a trip to Newfoundland where they first met with 4/5th grade students to open up the cargo hatch of the HK Pride at St. Joseph’s Elementary School in Harbour Breton, NL.
They also visited John Watkins Academy in Hermitage, NL on September 28, 2021 to show off the boat and teach about USS Constitution.
May 2022 - Repairs at King Academy in Harbour Breton
The HK Pride ran aground in Kent Cove (known to locals as Bushy Bay) and was found by John and Sherrie Feaver of McCallum, Newfoundland & Labrador. The boat suffered damage while on it’s journey and ended up with the King Academy Level III Design and Fabrication class for repairs.
The class went to work and after removing and reattaching the deck, gave the boat a fresh coat of paint and replaced all the decals. An addition to the boat was the school crest of King Academy (thanks Stagg Signs in Grand Falls Windsor) to mark the beginning of its ‘second’ journey out of Newfoundland. The boat will be relaunched in the spring and its journey will continue.
Here is the repair crew!
Back Row: Camren Organ, Andrew Hunt, Brayden Strowbridge. Front Row: Jolie Day, Brooke Stoodley, Shandi Whittle, Jaedon Stewart, Carter Day, Alex Langdon, Jordan Tibbo (Teacher)
The students celebrated the completion of repairs and conducted a water test at the docks on May 13, 2022 with students from St. Joseph’s Elementary in attendance:
Now the HK Pride will visit Villanova School before it is set back to sea for a 3rd voyage.
June 2022 - Visit to Villanova School in Conception Bay South
Thanks to OCEANEX, Armour Transportation Services, Thomas and Pat for making arrangements that got the HK Pride from Harbour Breton to Conception Bay South.
With the help of some fabulous grade 8 mentors, 6-1 did a crash course in ocean currents and density this week in preparation for the arrival of our mini-boat, HK Pride! We can't wait to see it in person! ⛵🌊 @VillanovaSchool @MWalshNL @tomshepp @miniboats https://t.co/WrLOoAKxW3 pic.twitter.com/zps6ERFt0N
— Megan Roome (@Mme_Roome) May 20, 2022
— Megan Roome (@Mme_Roome) June 7, 2022
HK Pride is at @VillanovaSchool! Today is #WorldOceansDay and @miniboats will provide students many ocean learning opportunities! @nlta_mssic @nltatesic @Mme_Roome @MUNEducation pic.twitter.com/boIp88yGBw
— Patrick Wells (he/him) (@science_pwells) June 8, 2022
On June 22, Pat Wells and Thomas Sheppard visited Villanova School to hear from the students about their time with the HK Pride in the classroom and take some pictures. The students said their goodbyes to the boat which will be launched soon along with its sistership, Teal Turtle, which is still undergoing repairs thanks to Pat.
September 19, 2022 - Launched off the Grand Banks
September 16, 2022
Pat Wells and Thomas Sheppard, some of our best volunteers in Newfoundland and Labrador, brought the TEAL TURTLE and HK PRIDE to the docks of the M/V Maersk Clipper along with help from Thomas’ son, Noah. They got to bring the boats directly onto the ship!
September 19, 2022
Thanks to Captain Morgan and crew of the M/V Maersk Clipper, they took the boats aboard and launched them on the morning of September 19, 2022. We received confirmation via email that said”
“FYI the two mini boats were launched at 0830 hrs (LT) today, Monday 19th September 2022. Position: 46 30.6’N, 048 34.9’W.”
January 11, 2023 - Recovered in France
HK Pride was approaching France on the evening of January 10, but caught a current and was still offshore near Saint-Hilaire-de-Riez, France on the morning of January 11.
By 19:00 GMT, the boat reported from a building nearby the Plage des Bussoleries (Bussoleries Beach) so we think the boat washed up at the beach there and was recovered. We posted the following message here to help:
SEEKING ASSISTANCE WITH RECOVERING 1.5m UNCREWED MINIBOAT NAMED HK PRIDE FROM SAINT-HILAIRE-DE-RIEZ, FRANCE
UPDATE 1/12/23: RECOVERED!
An uncrewed 1.5m-long educational sailboat (“MINIBOAT”) has been recovered near Plage des Bussoleries, Saint-Hilaire-de-Riez, France. If you have any information about the area or recovery, please share it with us. Students and participants in the project from Boston, MA, USA and Newfoundland and Labrador, are seeking assistance to have it brought to a nearby school. During this second voyage, it traveled 7,444 km in 114 days by wind and currents. It is part of a student project to study ocean science and provide a cultural exchange when it lands. The students would also like to see any pictures and videos that are possible so they can learn more about where the boat landed. Please explore this website to learn more about the project and story so far. Contact Educational Passages for more information and if you have any information about its recovery. It is an uncrewed vessel, like a “message in a bottle”. Thank you.
January 12, 2023
On January 12, we received an email from Dominique Raineau who had writted directly to the USS Constitution Museum with a lovely message about his finding and recovery. The boat is damaged at the bow and dismasted at some point during its voyage, or maybe at the landing. Here are some pictures he shared of himself and the boat (showing us where it was found) and the message:
Next we plan to connect some classrooms between USA, Newfoundland and Labrador, and France!
Other Miniboats in France
The HK Pride landed north of Les Sables d’Olonne, where other miniboats have landed before. In fact, four other miniboats have landed between this spot and for about 45 nm south to La Rochelle. See picture:
- Crimson Tide – From New Jersey’s Morristown Beard School and found in Les Sables-d’Olonne in 2015
- DCA Electric Eagles – From Dunnellon Christian Academy in Florida and found in Les Sables-d’Olonne in April 2018
- Ginger Judge – From Endicott College in Massachusetts and found in Jard-sur-Mer in April 2018 after 10 months of GPS silence
- Midnight Moon – From Rhode Island’s Melrose School and found in Sainte-Marie-de-Ré in November 2019 after a few months of GPS silence
The mini boats Teal Turtle and HK Pride are part of a partnership with the USS Constitution Museum in Boston, MA, and neighboring Boston Public School, Harvard-Kent Elementary. They were made by eleven 4th graders in Mr. Brett’s science enrichment class in winter of 2020.