April 2017 - Students from the Netherlands visit US
Two of Ad Brouwers’ students at Maurick College Amber Smeulders and Sabine van den Boer, came to the US to prepare their miniboat Maurick. They had been communicating with Caitlin Lynch, a student at Saint Stephen’s Episcopal School (associated with sister-miniboat Kestrel), via email and Skype before visiting the U.S. for the launch. Maurick College faculty advisor Ad Browers helped with logistics and transportation.
“The miniboat from Maurick College – a high school in Holland – will join our “Kestrel” in Miami for launch on Saturday. Students from Maurick and their instructor joined us at Saint Stephen’s on Tuesday to make some final preparations to the miniboat. L-R: SSES Science Chair Ann Marie Shields, Sabine van den Boer, SSES junior Caitlin Lynch, Amber Smeulders and Ad Brouwers. #worldclasseducation”
The students posted the following on their Facebook page (@EducationalPassagesMaurick)
“Our names are Amber Smeulders and Sabine van den Boer, both 17 years old and from the Netherlands. Our profile research paper project is a final paper for school. We have chosen to do our research on boats, but boats with a difference. The project involves building the boat and following its trip using GPS. One of the beauties of this program is that you never know what will happen when a small boat goes out to sea. Our boat will be launched from Florida.
Additionally, we will be cooperating with foreign schools, and this year the foreign school comes from Florida, namely the Saint Stephen’s Episcopal School. Every year new students take over this project and keep it going, which means that it changes hands somewhere else abroad.”
May 1, 2017 - Trip to Biscayne National Park
An update from the Facebook page by Gary Bremen:
“On Saturday, “Ranger Roger” and I worked with students from Maurick College in Holland to experience Biscayne National Park. We were supposed to be launching a mini-boat that they had hoped would circumnavigate the Atlantic, but the winds and seas were too high to get out to the Gulf Stream, so we will be relying on Laura Bracken Chabongsai at the University of Miami to launch this boat and another from St Stephen’s Episcopal School in Bradenton sometime soon.
The project has been plagued with weather issues since last October, and we have been trying to coordinate multiple schedules with decent weather, but it has still been a great opportunity to further the goal of more fully integrating the national parks into national and international marine science education efforts.
Special thanks to Amber and Sabine, their teacher Ad Brouwers and his wife Mirjim, good friends Ann Marie and Chuck Shields from Bradenton, and of course, Ranger Roger!”
May 15, 2017 - Launched off Florida
On June 8, CARTHE posted the following comment on the Facebook page: “Hi Maurick friends! The boats were released from the University of Miami’s R/V Walton Smith in the Straights of Florida, between the Florida Keys and Cuba. We will all be keeping an eye on it and if it gets closer to land, hopefully it can be rereleased on the Atlantic side again. Fascinating track so far.“
June 6, 2017 - Presentation from students in Netherlands
Back in the Netherlands, the students created a presentation about their trip to the US:
June 2017 - Recovered off Louisiana
Voyage 1: Complete
Click on the titles above to explore the 1st voyage of miniboat Maurick.
September 9, 2017
Maurick is planned for re-launch later this month (this will be her second voyage).
September 26, 2017 - Ready for relaunch
September 27, 2017 - Launched
September 30, 2017 - Recovered off Port Canaveral
The Maurick was recovered by a shrimper working off Port Canaveral and brought into the dock. After a few phone calls to a nearby Milliken’s Reef Restaurant (chosen because of the nearby GPS ping from the miniboat) and Cynthia at “Wild Ocean Seafoods”, we found the boat that apparently took little Maurick out of the water. Ann Marie Sheilds, the lead educator associated with the sister ship Kestrel, also contacted Mr Dave German, the local harbor master who was equally helpful and offered to get her back out to sea.
2nd Voyage: Complete
Click on the titles above to explore the 2nd voyage of miniboat Maurick.
October 10, 2017 - Launched
October 13, 2017 - Landed and recovered
This 3rd voyage didn’t last too long either. After sailing a good distance offshore, it turned around and landed on Playalinda Beach just north of Cape Canaveral and the NASA Shuttle Landing Facility. Ad Brouwers from Maurick College got an email on Friday the 13th of October as follows:
“My name is Russ Hansen, and I am a biologist at Canaveral National Seashore, Titusville, FL. I found the Maurick 1 on our beach today, 13 Oct 2017, and myself and the other biologists took a look at it. Attached is a photo of all the stickers put on it. Inside, there was a message from a supply transport ship from the Gulf of Mexico, some silly religious passage, and what looks like toys from a McDonalds happy meal. Don’t know if your GPS tracker is still working, as we didn’t see any solar panels. Anyway, feel free to contact me about the boat and if you do, please let me know where she departed from and the date. Cheers, Russ Hansen”
3rd Voyage: Complete
Click on the titles above to explore the 3rd voyage of miniboat Maurick.
November 6, 2017 - Launched
This is the fourth voyage of the Maurick. Along with her sister ship Kestrel, she has made many friends along the coast of Florida but is now, hopefully, on her way across the ocean! With the help of Jane Stevens from The Discovery School in Jacksonville Beach, Florida, the US Navy agreed to help get our miniboats back to sea. Leaving Jacksonville Beach aboard the USS Shamal on Nov. 1, Kestrel and Maurick 1 were released off of the coast of The Carolinas.
This voyage is being followed closely by two new students at Maurick College – Puck Werneke and Sara Verhulst .
A few days after being deployed, she was spotted and recovered by a few divers (see photo, thanks to Will Bridges for the Facebook post:
August 8, 2019 - Ashore in the Azores after 22,520 km in 640 days!
Miniboat “Maurick” landed on Ihla de Santa Maria on the northwestern shore and we quickly went into action to recover it before the rocks did damage.
August 10, 2019 - Recovered in the Azores
Thanks to our friends in Portugal, Luis and Raquel, who were contacted by email when the Maurick landed in Santa Maria and immediately took action to connect with potential finders.
Luis’ friend Jorge Botelho is the coordinator of the Mantamaria Dive Center and was able to get to the Maurick by boat and diver!
Here are the pictures of the recovered vessel.
The miniboat itself looks to be in great shape for having spent 640 days at sea!
On this fourth voyage, she sailed for over 22,520 km (12,160 nm) in 640 days. In a straight line the distance was 4,614 km (2,491 nm). She averaged a speed of 0.84 knots and was fastest on November 19, 2017 when she was clocked at sailing 3.31 knots.
4th Voyage: Complete
Click on the titles above to explore the 4th voyage of miniboat Maurick.
December 6, 2019 - Celebration in Portugal
The miniboat Maurick is now with the Escola Básica e Secundária de Santa Maria (Santa Maria Basic and Secondary School) on Santa Maria in the Azores. An article (School that won the Mário Ruivo Award starts project with ISR-Lisboa) was published about the school as they were awarded the Mario Ruivo Award and chosen to participate in the project with ISR-Lisboa and Escola Azul. An excerpt of the article follows:
“The Minister of the Sea, Ricardo Serrão Santos, distinguished this Friday, December 6, the Prize Mario Ruivo – Oceanic Generations to Santa Maria Basic and Secondary School. Launched by the Ministries of Sea, Education and Culture, the award challenged schools to demonstrate the importance of the ocean to human life. The film “The Sea That Is In Us”, created by a group of students from Santa Maria Primary and Secondary School, stood out among the 43 films submitted to the contest and earned the 1st and Secondary School of Santa Maria premium.
In addition to the prize, the school will be distinguished as Blue School, with flag raising and unveiling of plaque. The Blue School distinction will be awarded to Santa Maria Primary and Secondary School for its involvement in the Educational Passages PT project. The Blue School program, of which ISR-Lisbon is a partner, distinguishes and guides the Portuguese schools that are developing projects on themes related to the ocean. In total there are over 160 Blue Schools scattered throughout the country, and over 21,000 students involved.
With this distinction the school now embraces an educational project around the Dutch boat “Maurick”. This unmanned boat was launched overboard in the United States in the wake of the wind and ocean currents, and went to Santa Maria Island after 640 days in the Atlantic. Equipped with a GPS and a satellite transmitter, Maurick – as has happened with other Blue School boats – was escorted by the watchful eyes of the Dutch students. Now, the boat will be officially delivered to the Santa Maria Elementary and Secondary School, which will prepare it for a new boarding in Ocean Literacy, with the support of ISR-Lisboa in this mission.”
2019-2022 - Repairs and preparations for relaunch
March 11, 2020
Ms. Helena Batista, Blue School Coordinator for Escola Básica e Secundária de Santa Maria, sent us an update with a picture noting that, “She is here in the island of Santa Maria (the Azores) in exhibition in the school library waiting for some repairment and good winds to be lauched once again.”
November 11, 2021
Ms. Batista sent us another update, that “Maurick is being repaired, students have already decided colours and details to paint and item[s] to put inside. Probably she will be launched next summer.”
January 14, 2022
June 2022: Relaunched off the Azores
Thanks to funding from the Luso-American Development Foundation (FLAD), the annual fee for the GPS and support of Educational Passages was secured and the miniboat Maurick began to get ready for a 5th voyage.
June 10, 2022
The miniboat Maurick was launched into the Atlantic again on June 10, 2022.
Unfortunately after only 8 days at sea, the GPS stopped sending its location. We hope that Maurick will one day wash ashore and the finders will contact us to continue the story.
Fortunately though, thanks to support from FLAD and Educational Passages, a new friendship was formed for the student participants:
Starting in 2017 by Maurick College students Amber and Sabine, the miniboat Maurick was first set to sea in the Gulf of Mexico, landed in Florida twice, and sailed all the way from off the coast of the Carolinas to the Azores. Its last voyage took 640 days and 22,520 km.
In 2019, after Maurick found its way to the island of Santa Maria in the Azores, Ebssma Azul officially became an Escola Azul and chose to receive and lead this project. On June 10, 2022 with 35 children, parents, friends, and teachers came together on 9 boats to set to sea and watch the miniboat Maurick go into the Atlantic after nearly 3 years of working and waiting.
We want to extend our deep appreciation for all those that have been involved in providing this unique opportunity for us to connect:
- Escola Básica e Secundária de Santa Maria
- Escola Azul
- Fundação Luso-Americana
- DSOR Group – Dynamical Systems and Ocean Robotics
The International SeaKeepers Society
- University of Miami
- Biscayne National Park