大久喜丸 (Okuki Maru)
Astor K-8 School (Oregon, US) & Okuki Elementary School (Japan) - Columbia River Maritime Museum
About the boat and participants
Hull #009 was built by the students of Astoria K-8 School in Portland, Oregon and was named 大久喜丸 (s/v Okuki Maru) by the students of Okuki Elementary School in Hachinohe, Japan. She is part of the Transoceanic Classroom developed by Educational Passages and the Columbia River Maritime Museums Mini-Boat Program.
The Oregon students placed letters and locally significant gifts in the cargo hold for the Japanese students to open upon its arrival in Hachinohe. The students in Japan will place letters for their new American friends in the cargo hold to be opened on arrival onshore in North America.
NOTE: Ookuki Elementary School is located in a fishing village that was affected by the Tsunami of 2011. In March and April of 2013 two kasagi (wooden crossbeams on torii gates that mark the entrance to Shinto shrines) washed ashore on the Oregon Coast. In October of 2015 both kasagi were returned to Ookuki and can again be seen from Ookuki Elementary School.
For more information on the return of the kasagi visit:
The Columbia River Maritime Museum would like to thank:
- Consular Office of Japan in Portland, Oregon
- Mr. Kimura, Hachinohe Board of Education
- Ms. Ogawa, NHK World
- Mrs. Kasuga, City of Hachinohe
- Mr. Nakamura, Ookuki Branch of Minamihama Fishermen Cooperative
- Columbia River Maritime Museum Mini-Boat Program Sponsors
- Educational Passages
- The City of Hachinohe, Aomori, Japan
- Osawa Yasutaka- Okuki Elementary School
- Kazuhito Hirayama, Principal of Okuki Elementary School
December 18, 2017 – Delivering the boats across the Pacific
The Columbia River Maritime Museum’s Education Director delivered the S/V Okuki to Okuki Elementary School. The Japanese students opened the cargo hold to find gifts from the students of Astor K-8 School. The students at Okuki then got to work decorating their side of the sail and epoxying the name on the transom.
December 19, 2017 – Launching Ceremony
All the participating Mini-Boat schools in Hachinohe, Japan gathered at Okuki Elementary for a very special launching ceremony attend by government officials, members of the community, and national and international press.
December 20, 2017 – Launch Day
Launch day, December 20, 2017. She was placed in the water by Mr. Nakamura’s (head of Okuki Branch of Minamihama Fishermen Cooperative) crew 20km into the Pacific Ocean where the offshore currents converge.
December 25, 2017 - Quiet after 5 days at sea
After enduring 24 hours of ice, 22ft seas, and 70 knots of wind she last reported at 40 35.4' N 146 11.4' E on December 25 at 0:33GMT.
At Sea 5 days. Traveled 231 miles (373km).
The Columbia River Maritime Museum’s Miniboat Program was developed in partnership with Educational Passages and the Consular Office of Japan in Portland. Students in the Pacific Northwest build unmanned sailboats equipped with GPS transmitters, one to launch from the coast of North America and the other to send to their partner class in Japan for launching. While the boats are at sea, students on opposite sides of the Pacific Ocean will track their movements. Using real-time data on ocean currents and weather, students will share their predictions on where the boats will go next, and hopefully create lasting friendships.
The mission: to get the boats to cross the Pacific Ocean.
The outcome: through hands-on activities and meaningful opportunities, students are enlightened and empowered.