Updates:

1st Voyage - 2,338 days at sea

  • The Mini Maine Visits the Sebago Alliance Schools

    • Gorham hosted the iBoat tour from September 17th-21st
    • Windham hosted the iBoat tour from September 24th-28th
    • Westbrook hosted the iBoat tour on October 1st-5th
    • Scarborough hosted October 5th through October 16th
    • Bonny Eagle hosted October 17th through October 23rd
    • Gorham High School hosted the iBoat on October 24th.
    • Launched from North Carolina on December 1, 2012
  • December 1, 2012 - Launched

    This boat belongs to 5 school districts in southern Maine.

    She was set out on a private vessel with two other boats from New Jersey by Joe Robillard off the coast of South Carolina on December 1, 2012.

     

  • February 2016 - Quiet after 1,168 days at sea

    By the end of December the “Mini Maine” was making very good time and was all ready northeast of Bermuda heading toward Europe. She quickly sailed to the south east of the Azores and circled around the Sargasso Sea for a year or more.

    The Mini Maine stopped reporting Feb. 2016 after 1,168 days at sea and sailing 35,668 km!

  • April 26, 2019 - Recovered in Ireland after another 1,171 days

    We received a Facebook message on April 27, 2019 noting that, “I think one of your boats has washed up here – – it arrived last night in the middle of storm Hannah and is on the beach in Waterville, Co. Kerry Ireland!”

    After a few exchanged messages and pictures, we believed the boat to be the Mini Maine, which was last heard from in 2016! See here the pictures before and after:

    Ms. Rosemary Hill, the finder of the miniboat noted, “I’m hoping that our local marine education centre or the local school might be interested in keeping it.” But first, she has to figure out how to get the boat off the beach, which may be a bit water logged and very heavy!

  • Voyage 1 - Complete

    Explore the links above to learn about the first voyage of the Mini Maine

2nd Voyage - In prep!

  • December 2022 - Diving into the Mini Maine in Ireland

    After the Mini Maine was recovered in Ireland in 2019 by Ms. Rosemary Hill, it was taken to a local science center, the LH Marine & Sea Synergy.

    They are taking on the task to repair and relaunch the miniboat again, but upgrade it first with new GPS and sensor technology. They are working closely with local schools and Scoil Naomh Mhichil, Baile an Sceilg for a bid to win the 2023 “We Are Ocean Champions Awards” with the project. Best of luck to all!

    They shared an update on December 13, 2022:

    And another update on December 20, 2022:

    And another in March 2023:

     

  • MISSION: MINI MAINE RELAUNCH 2024-2025

    The crew at LH Marine & Sea Synergy in Ireland has been taking such good care of the miniboat and connecting with students there. They even received an award for their work during the 2022-2023 school year with Scoil Mhicil National School and Ardfert National School!

    Then in 2023, a new partnership was formed with an intern from the University of New England to help from the US side of things – and the Mission: Mini Maine was relaunched!

    The Mini Maine miniboat adventure began back in 2012, and we are seeking your support to help it continue in 2024!

    The Mini Maine is a small boat project involving students between Maine and Ireland – an exciting endeavor that combines education, maritime tradition, and international cooperation that has been happening since 2012. Our project includes:

    • A One-of-a-Kind Transatlantic Educational Experience
    • Cultural and Community Connections – Virtually and in Person
    • Upgrading the Miniboat with Sensors to Contribute to Ocean Science Research

    We need your help to launch this mission. Your donation will: 

    • Contribute to a unique global experience by supporting educational activities for students
    • Connect students in the US and Ireland with others
    • Support the relaunch of the Mini Maine, which was first launched in 2012 and landed in Ireland in 2019 
    • Upgrade the boat so it can collect important data about the ocean as it sails
    • Create a special online project logbook – an up close look at classroom connections and project updates –  that all donors will have access to
    • Help us create a one-of-a-kind project sticker – which will be shared to donors who give $50 or more!

    We would also like to invite you to participate by volunteering and getting involved. Reach out to Cassie (cassie@educationalpassages.org) to find out how.

    Background

    The Mission: Mini Maine project is part of a new initiative at Educational Passages – the Blue Horizons Global Initiative (BHGI). The BHGI is a collaborative vision with University of New England Senior (‘24) Juliet Fluty who is determined to connect students between the US and Ireland as part of an Educational Studies Internship. By partnering up with Educational Passages, the Mini Maine miniboat will become the central platform for unique learning, and a model for future work. 

    Over the next year, and into 2025, we will engage hundreds if not thousands of students in Southern Maine (where the boat started in 2012) and Co. Kerry, Ireland (where the boat landed in 2019). They will connect and learn about the ocean which connects them, be joined as pen pals, and spread learning well beyond classroom walls. 

    The first voyage of Mini Maine lasted 2,338 days and tracked over 38,685 km around the Atlantic (see picture above)! One of the activities we are going to develop for students will be an exploration of this journey to learn about the path it took. When the boat is relaunched in the Fall of 2024, everyone will be able to actively track it (thanks to onboard GPS and sensor data), and make predictions during the entire 2nd voyage. During this time we will host a variety of opportunities such as polls and webinars to encourage predictions and tracking, which will further strengthen connections around the Atlantic.

    Project Timeline 

    • February – March: Learning activities and zoom connections between US and Ireland students
    • March: Juliet and EP staff (Cassie) visit Ireland, bringing messages and gifts for classes there, but also for the cargo hold. They will also bring a half decorated sail so the Ireland students can complete the other side. Juliet and Cassie will also meet a half dozen or so classrooms along the west coast of Ireland who are part of the miniboat community, to help bring everyone closer together
    • May: Produce a video (“Mini Documentary”) about the Mini Maine’s story so far – premiered at a community event in Biddeford and streamed in Ireland
    • June – August: Boat repairs and cargo hold upgrade happens in Ireland as well as sensor installation
    • August: Educator workshop hosted via webinar to prepare students and educators to track and predict the boat’s path at sea during the school year (for US and Ireland schools)
    • September-December (TBD): Miniboat brought to Port of Cork and launched (details TBD). Tracking and predicting begins.
    • Through May 2025+: Monthly connections hosted on Zoom and virtual exchanges facilitated.

    Depending on where and when the boat is relaunched, the timeline will be adjusted as needed. To explore the journey of the 1st voyage, click on the titles above at the top of this page!

    Sponsors

    Thank you to our generous sponsors for helping us make waves. If you are interested in becoming a sponsor, please contact us (cassie@educationalpassages.org). A variety of sponsorship levels are still available – with great benefits!

  • March 2024 - Connectinng across the Atlantic

    The Mini Maine is a miniboat that sailed to Ireland in 2019. Back in 2012, the project started in Maine, USA, and has since become a beacon for connecting people around the Atlantic.

    In March 2024, Educational Passages visited Ireland to meet the crews involved, and brought with them special messages and gifts from students in Mr. Nason’s class at Biddeford Intermediate School in Maine (pictured top left). The students have been learning all year about the Mini Maine and Ireland thanks to “Ms. Jules” (Juliet Fluty, pictured top left) who is a senior at the University of New England (and Educational Studies Intern with EP). One of the gifts they all prepared is shown in the picture – a custom decorated sail, with half left blank for the students in Ireland to complete.

    Juliet and Cassie Stymiest (EP’s Executive Director) were able to visit places where miniboats had landed and meet some of the people that found them – like Rosemary Hill. In the bottom right photo is Juliet, Cassie, and Rosemary reuniting with the Mini Maine in March. Rosemary found the miniboat on a beach in Waterville in 2019 and had brought it to the local Sea Synergy Marine Awareness, Research and Activity Center. They worked with local schools on an Ocean Champions project (2022-2023) with the Marine Explorers Education Programme centered around the boat.

    During this recent visit to Ireland, Juliet and Cassie visited one of those schools, the Ardfert National School. The 4th class there (pictured top right) recalled the project and were excited to learn about the students in Mr. Nason’s 4th grade class back in the US. The class graciously accepted the half-decorated sail and were eager to take on the challenge to decorate the other half and prepare the miniboat for its next journey, but most of all to create new friendships. Immediately following the visit, the students at Ardfert read through letters that were brought and started working. Mr. Nason’s class were equally excited to watch the video from the visit the following week, and anxiously await their first batch of letters from their new pen pals.

    The adventure continues! To read on about all the places we visited in Ireland and the people we connected with, click here: Miniboat Magic in Ireland

Help us relaunch the Mini Maine in 2024!