About the Liberty
While Conflict is ever-changing, Liberty stands strong. We named our boat Liberty because Liberty is very important to have in a society, especially in our modern day society where we interact with people from far away, thanks to the internet. When Henry Kaiser built the first Liberty ships in World War II, they were a sign of hope to others in a time of conflict.
The second part of the boat’s name was to honor Henry Kaiser, who built many of these ships all throughout World War II. Henry Kaiser gave all of his workers extensive healthcare and many rights, especially in a time in which blue collar workers had few rights, and we want to honor the equality he gave liberty to the working class.
Do you have healthcare? Is it provided by your work? Or maybe you have Kaiser Permanente? He provided his country with ships for World War ll and that was one of the biggest turning points for his country and the beginning of Kaiser.
Mini-boats Spark Major Learning at Wy’East Middle School
2019-2020 - Preparations
Building the Liberty
The Liberty miniboat was constructed by students at Wy’east Middle School as part of the Columbia River Maritime Museum’s Miniboat Program during the 2019-2020 school year.
CRMM Miniboat Student Summit
On January 21, the very first CRMM Miniboat Program Summit was held at the museum where students from Wy’east Middle School, Warrenton Grade School, and Columbia City Elementary School brought their miniboats for a sendoff celebration.
‘To the sea, to the sailors before us’ — Mini-boat Summit 2020
February 18, 2020 - Launched
The Liberty was set to sea on February 18, 2020 with a live stream on Facebook! Check it out:
It was launched along with a surface current drifter named Forgotten:
Where will they sail to? The students are tracking and plotting the locations on the cafeteria ceiling map:
February 24, 2020 - Rescued
The Liberty was rescued just as she washed ashore on Sunset Beach in Oregon. Check out the live rescue video:
Voyage 1 - Complete
Read above for all the details of the first voyage of the Liberty.
The 2nd voyage of the Liberty miniboat will be a float down the Columbia River!
Launch date set for May 29, 2020
The Liberty miniboat will sail again! The idea for this river journey was inspired by a Wy’East Middle School teacher in Vancouver, Washington, whose class miniboat was recovered when it washed ashore this spring. He wanted to give the vessel a second chance and have his students follow its adventures on a river before it heads out to resume its voyage to Japan. Wy’East’s miniboat—named “Liberty” in commemoration of the 1940s Liberty Ships built near their school—will officially launch near the still-standing Liberty Ship “skids” on the Columbia River.
Mighty Miniboat Float Events
No life-jacket required! Join the Columbia River Maritime Museum and Pacific Power for “The Mighty Miniboat Float,” an online STEAM learning adventure created just for students and families at home right now.
Tune in to this three-part livestream event series to learn from educators, scientists and engineers from the Columbia River Maritime Museum, NOAA and Pacific Power, as well as the Columbia River Bar Pilots, Shaver Transportation tugboat operators, the U.S. Coast Guard, and student boat builders from local Oregon and Washington schools.
Our mini-adventure starts with a live miniboat* launch from a Shaver tugboat near the Port of Vancouver on Friday, May 29. We’ll follow the pint-sized boat’s journey to Astoria during two more online events on June 5 and 12. Along the way, we’ll have live reports from the river, riveting science lessons, and lots of special guests.
How to watch these free events:
Visit the Museum’s web page for all the details: crmm.org/mighty-miniboat-float.html
Friday, May 29, 12-1 p.m.
Topic: A Miniboat’s Big Adventure
Learn all about miniboats. Plus – witness a LIVE LAUNCH on the Columbia River.
Friday, June 5, 12-1 p.m.
Topic: Thar She Blows!
Learn about wind and currents, and how the two might impact the miniboat’s voyage on the Columbia. Plus – we’ll have a REPORT FROM THE RIVER, tracking the boat’s progress after one-week.
Friday, June 12, 12-1 p.m.
Topic: The Mighty Columbia
Discover how a working river…works! Join us for a celebration of the industry and the communities that depend on our region’s biggest river. Plus – our FINAL REPORT FROM THE RIVER to see how the miniboat has fared.
May 29, 2020 - Launched in the Columbia River
The Liberty was launched in the Columbia River at 19:19pm GMT without its sail so it can float down the river. Here is the live launch and virtual connection:
There have been quite a few landings, recoveries, and relaunches of this voyage. Click on the points in the map below to explore pictures and videos of the voyages so far. Follow along on the CRMM Miniboat Program’s Facebook page for the latest!
Voyage 2- Complete
Read above for all the details of the second voyage of the Liberty.
After the Mighty Miniboat Float of the Liberty down the Columbia River, the Liberty was refurbished thanks to teachers and students who were able to visit the museum safely.
June - July 2020 Returned to Wy'east Middle School for repair
June 30 – Sean from Wy-east Middle School took a trip to Astoria to help repair the Liberty, opening the hatch and drying it out because water made its way inside!
July 1 – Mr. Boken and Ziva gave the Liberty a nice new paint job!
July 13 – Wy’east Middle School’s Ruby and her dad finished up preparations for the relaunch:
July 18 – The Liberty miniboat was put aboard the C/S Decisive and will be launched soon!
July 2020 - Relaunched by the crew of the C/S Decisive
Liberty was relaunched into the Pacific at the end of July. Thanks again to the C/S Decisive for the deployment assistance!
August 2020 - Update
October 25, 2020 - Liberty crosses the International Date Line
Welcome to the Domain of the Golden Dragon S/V Liberty. The Wy’East Middle School built Miniboat crossed the International Date Line on October 25, 2020 around 9:00am GMT. Get ready students, King Neptune is preparing his trident for a socially distanced home visit!
November 5, 2020 - Landed and recovered in the Marshall Islands
November 5, 2020
After 100 days at sea, the Liberty entered the Marshall Islands. We reached out to some contacts in the area, including those from PacIOOS in an effort to have more eyes out for a successful recovery should the boat make landing. Will the Liberty make landing in the Marshall Islands, or sail through?
On November 5 at 4:21 GMT, the Liberty was at Ailuk Atoll, which means “Island of Sails” in Marshallese.
November 6, 2020 – Recovered
Update from CRMM Miniboat Program Facebook page: The S/V Liberty was located by villagers at the bottom of Ailuk Atoll’s lagoon in the Marshall Islands, very close to her last GPS report on Tuesday. Fortunately, they were able to recover LIBERTY from the bottom, open her cargo hatch and read the finder instructions. Thanks to the great work of the Wy’East Middle School Quartermasters’ the instructions were written in Marshallese! We hope to have photos very soon as the Mayor of Ailuk, Typhoon, is traveling to the village to give us a full report on November 17.
Thanks to Capt. Mark, Angie, Rob, and all the other amazing folks who helped us locate LIBERTY. As the students said at her Christening, “While conflict is ever changing, LIBERTY stands strong!”
November 9, 2020 – Pictures of the lagoon from Mark and Angela Stearns
November 10, 2020 – Update
Update from CRMM Miniboat Program Facebook page: Our new friends and helpers, Captain Mark and Angela of the S/V Uno Mas heard today that…”2 boys in town, saw the boat when it entered the lagoon and retrieved it. We are not certain if they used a canoe or a longboat. We think the boat was partially submerged. It did have damage from crossing the reef.” Thanks for all your help!!
November 12, 2020 – Update
Update from CRMM Miniboat Program Facebook page: A huge thank you to our Marshall Islands Rescue Team Mark and Angie of the S/V Uno Mas! Today they meet with Mayor Typhoon (pitched here with Mark) and received the following update: “We met today with Mayor Typhoon! He is leaving for Ailuk on Monday and will be returning the following week, hopefully with pictures of Liberty that we can forward. When the boat was first found inside the lagoon, everyone was very concerned that it could be bringing COVID to the atoll. Everyone is on high alert, as there are no cases and there is limited medical services on the outer atolls. We had one official “border” case from a flight into the Kwajalein Atoll, that has now been cleared. The message in Marshallese was found inside and not damaged. Liberty seems to have made it over the reef near high tide with very little damage to the keel. The gps seems to have been damaged (flooded) when the cover was taken off. Mayor Thypoon is going to try to bring the GPS back to Majuro so we can evaluate the damage.”
November 21, 2020 – In the news
Update from CRMM Miniboat Program Facebook page:
December 1, 2020 Update
Update from CRMM Miniboat Program Facebook page: Mayor Typhoon just returned from Ailuk Atoll with these amazing photos of S/V LIBERTY. A big “Koooltata” to everyone who has helped, especially the students of Ailuk, Mayor Typhoon, Pumpkin and Captain Mark and Angie Stearns! We will get her back out on the water in 2021!
December 18, 2020 – Featured on Clark County Today
The story was featured by Clark County Today on December 18: Mini Boat launched by Wy’east students lands 4,500 miles away in the Marshall Islands
Voyage 3 - Complete
Read above for all the details of the third voyage of the Liberty.
January 20, 2023 - Relaunched from Marshall Islands
After a long wait (since 2020!), Captain Mark and Angela of the S/V Uno Mas were able to visit Ailuk in the Marshall Islands at the beginning of January, 2023. They brought with them a new GPS, messages and artwork for the cargo hold, and supplies to make some repairs.
The Liberty was set back to sea for its FOURTH VOYAGE (!) on January 20, 2023. Here’s the official word we received via satellite phone:
“SV Liberty is sailing again. Relaunched at 1515, Jan 20, 2023, RMI time and date. N 10.33.948, E 169.23.681. Winds 15.3 kts, 105 S True Wind angle. Bon Voyage!”
The program was developed by the Columbia River Maritime Museum in partnership with the Consular Office of Japan in Portland, and Educational Passages and is supported by Pacific Power, the U.S. Coast Guard, Columbia River Bar Pilots and many others.
The Columbia River Maritime Museum’s Miniboat Program provides a global, multidisciplinary STEAM learning experience for 5th – 7th grade students in the Pacific Northwest and Japan by empowering them to cooperatively design, build, launch, and track seaworthy, GPS-equipped boats on a journey across the Pacific Ocean.
Since the CRMM program start in 2017, thousands of students on both sides of the Pacific Ocean have been involved in the launch of miniboats. These boats are tracked daily, and students are still building on the skills they honed to launch them.