The HVES Cruiser miniboat was prepared by these students in Charleston, SC in 2017. The project was led by Lisa Laughlin, a SAIL (Students Actively Involved in Learning) teacher at Harbor View Elementary School.
May 10, 2017 - Launched
The US Coast Guard helped launch the HVES Cruiser. Captain Tom O’Brien reported on May 11, 2017, the following: “Your boat has set sail in the great blue sea! Yesterday afternoon we made it 75 miles straight offshore from Charleston Harbor and released it in a nice south westerly wind of 10 knots, and 2-3 foot seas. She sailed straight and true with the wind and continued her course to the North east with the Gulf Stream current before we left her. I will send a couple pictures your way.”
And sure enough he did! Here are the pictures:
July 2017 - Approaching Newfoundland, Canada
A few months later, near the end of July as she approached the southeast corner of Newfoundland Canada, emails were exchanged with our miniboat colleagues in that area but she sailed on by.
October 11-16, 2017 - Landed in Ballycroy, Ireland
In early October as landfall looked eminent, emails were exchanged with our colleagues in Ireland. On the morning of 11 October 2017, we saw she was apparently reporting from the shore of a remote island of “Duvilluan More”. With only one or two buildings on this rocky island, it seemed likely the story was over but later that same day, she reported underway and on route to the mainland and, the following morning of 12 October, she was reporting from a sandy beach in a sparsely populated area of Ballycroy! Later in the day, we saw she was several miles inland heading up Highway N59 and then, a few days later, started reporting from what appears to be a school!
We thought it might be the Drumgallagh National and, sure enough, we got the email on 16 Oct saying: “Hi all in Charleston. We just want to let you know that your HVES Cruiser has arrived safely in Ballycroy and we have examined the contents in our school today. All of the children are extremely excited. Best Regards Mary Calvey. School Principal”.
October 18, 2017 - Update from Drumgallagh School
From the Drumgallagh School Blog: “U.S sailing vessel arrives: Small sailing vessel arrives from Charleston, U.S.A to the shores of Fahy, Ballycroy
On the 12th of October a small sailing vessel “The Harbour View Elementary School Cruiser” from Charleston on the south-east coast of the U.S.A was discovered on the shores of Fahy in Ballycroy. The boat is approximately one metre long with a small sail and arrived in great condition, despite the treacherous sea journey across the Atlantic Ocean as she travelled the Gulf Stream. Research on the internet indicated that the U.S. Coast Guard helped launch the boat on May 10th 2017. It had spent 154 days and 12 hours at sea. The boat had a GPS tracking system that followed its progress.
The vessel was taken to Drumgallagh National School in Ballycroy by Ethan and John Conway whose dad found the boat. All of the children were extremely excited to discover and examine the contents of the waterproof compartment. Inside was a painting of the Charleston flag, a keyring, some coins and some handwritten notes from children from the school. Drumgallagh N.S contacted those in America who had launched the boat to report its safe landing by email. The boat is at present on display in Drumgallagh National School.”
News channels in Ireland quickly picked up the story:
- Connaught Telegraph – Small sailing boat from US docks in Mayo school
- Coast Monkey – Guided by Winds and Currents, US School’s Vessel makes Landfall on Mayo Coast
- Mayo News – Unmanned ‘Cruiser’ washes ashore in Ballycroy
November 2017 - HVES deemed Cool School of the Week
Congratulations to the Harbor View Elementary School which was deemed the “Cool School of the Week” from WCBD News 2. The school and its miniboat were highlighted in the celebration on November 10:
A full story was published on November 9 by Octavia Mitchell, News 2, “Harbor View Elementary’s SAIL project helps students make international connections” and the video of the story is below. An excerpt from the article: They now have a new view that extends beyond the harbor to around the world. Fifth-grade student Cole Fritz says, “I think it’s really cool that it actually almost hit cliffs in Canada and took a sudden turn and landed in Ireland. I find it very cool that we might be able to communicate with other students across the world.”
February 2018 - Ready for repairs
Thanks to miniboat enthusiast Mike Mcglynn from Boston, Massachusetts (who happens to be a relative of one of the students that put the boat together), it was decided to set the HVES Cruiser on a second voyage! To accomplish that, the boat needs some repairs to damage done when it came ashore.
April 2018 - Transported to Cork for repairs
On April 3-4, 2018, the HVES Cruiser was transported from County Mayo in the northwest of Ireland to Cork on the south coast with travel updates brought to you by @HalpinCentre on Twitter (see pictures). It will undergo repairs under the direction of Cormac Gebruers, Head of Research at the National Maritime College of Ireland, in Ringaskiddy, County Cork.
Once repairs are completed, it is expected that the HVES Cruiser will be set to sea off the coast of Portugal by an Irish Naval Services vessel on a scheduled deployment to the Mediterranean Sea in mid-April, 2018.
Below are pictures from the Halpin Centre that also highlights the visit of Mr. Mike Mcglynn, who traveled to Ireland and visited the Drumgallagh School. The school highlighted his visit in a very nice blog post (click here to read).
December 2019 to March 2020 - Repairs at Walsh Boat Works
The HVES Cruiser is now in the capable hands of Jim Walsh of Walsh Boat Works in Nohoval in County Cork, who will continue with repairs.
In March, Jim sent us some pictures of his repair in the works, and then of the repairs completed!
Plans are underway to find a deployer. Stay tuned…
August 2020 - Ready for its second voyage
Mike Mcglynn continued to help facilitate repairs of the HVES Cruiser and by August 2020, plans were underway for Voyage #2 of the HVES Cruiser! Special thanks to all who have helped with repairs, and especially to Jim Walsh of Walsh Boat Works for the incredible work on the hull, deck, and keel. Here is the HVES Cruiser ready and waiting for transport:
We put out a call for potential deployers, including in Noonsite.
May 2021 - Cork Mini Boat Atlantic Adventure
After attempting to make launch arrangements for the HVES Cruiser during the summer of 2020, and multiple options that didn’t work out, EP Director Cassie reached out to her colleagues at the Marine Explores Education Programme in September. Their Education Director, Cushla, connected us to Mervyn at Old Cork Waterworks Experience. Mervyn really took an interest and put together an amazing initiative to get the boat redecorated by students around Ireland.
May 2021: The redecoration project for the HVES Cruiser is now being called the “Cork Mini Boat Atlantic Adventure,” where Old Cork Waterworks, Cork City Council and Creative Ireland have invited Cork primary school children to submit designs inspired by Cork and its special relationship with the ocean. The designs will be used to create a collage which will be placed on the boat. The artwork will also be converted into a virtual exhibition and feature in a mini boat pocket book to mark the project.
Meanwhile, back in Charleston, South Carolina, USA – the Harbor View Elementary School is excited to connect again and see their miniboat relaunched! A story was first published on May 27 in the Post and Courier, “Students in Charleston, Ireland connect through transatlantic voyage of ‘miniboat’,“ and is being shared.
Check back for updates as they develop!
In 2017 the 1.5m long unmanned miniboat was built and launched into the Atlantic with a GPS tracker as part of the Educational Passages Miniboat Program. After 154 days at sea and traveling over 10,000 km, it landed on a beach in Fahy, Co. Mayo, Ireland and was brought to the Drumgallagh National School in Ballycroy. After connecting classrooms, the boat was brought down to Cork where it was repaired by Walsh Boat Works. It is currently being re-decorated with student submissions inspired by Cork.
HVES in Charleston, South Carolina in 2017:
HVES in Ballycroy, Ireland:
HVES repaired by Jim Walsh, Walsh Boat Works in 2020: