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
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.