Red White and Blue Crew
Preparing the boat
Laycee Kinsman’s 6th grade class prepared this little boat for a December 2017 deployment off Oregon.
Even before it launched, it was reported in the press here. “This isn’t just our ocean, it belongs to hundreds of thousands of people around the world,” Kinsman said.” It’s about enriching our experience and working outside of our own community to discovery diversity and new viewpoints.”
December 6, 2017 - Launched
February 28, 2018 - Landed in Alaska
After 82 miraculous days at sea, the S/V Red, White, and Blue Crew made landfall on the East side of Legma Island 16 miles SW of Sitka Alaska. USCG Air Station Sitka was alerted to keep their eye open for a potential rescue!
March 1, 2018- Spotted by the USCG from the air
Spotted from the air! Below is the latest update from our amazing USCG at Air Station Sitka.
CDR Smith- “The S/V Red, White & Blue was located today high aground in the vicinity of Sitka Sound – pictures attached. A salvage & refloat operation is being planned for the weekend, weather permitting. Thanks to CDR Will Walker and his crew for locating the vessel!”
LT Sirokman- “Attached are some photos of the project vessel from Scappoose Elementary School.
We were unable to pull it off the beach and refloat it because we did not have a rescue swimmer aboard, however, we got pictures and an updated location. Weather and time-permitting, I may take my whaler out there with Rhett this weekend on an adventure to find it and see if we can get it back in the water. In the meantime, attached are some pictures that our ace photographer, AET2 Dart, took from the mighty MH-60T.”
March 2, 2018 - Recovered!
March 2018 - Update from Sitka
Over the last month Ben Johnson of Compass Rose Charter has been taking great care of the S/V Red, White, and Blue Crew. The miniboat had some minor hull damage that Ben filled and ready for her visit to Ms. Golden’s 6th grade science class in mid-March. After seeing the miniboat and finding out about the project, she proposed that her class relaunch S/V Red, White, and Blue Crew on their annual field trip!
April 3, 2018 - CRMM visit to repair and relaunch
Nate Sandel, Education Director at the Columbia River Maritime Museum, arrived in Sitka, Alaska with a new sail for the miniboat, but this time only one side was decorated. The 6th graders at Otto Petersen Elementary School left the other side blank so their contemporaries could put their own stamp on the boat they would relaunch the following day during their pre-planned field trip out into the Sitka Sound. Ms. Golden’s students submitted design ideas and then voted on their favorite sketches. The top four were drawn on the sail.
April 4, 2018 - Relaunched into the Northern Pacific
On April 4th at 12:27 p.m. the S/V Red, White, & Blue Crew was relaunched into the Northern Pacific with the help of the Ms. Golden’s 6th graders at Blatchley Middle School. Check out the video below:
An article appeared later in the Sitka Sentinel:
Ms. Golden was quoted, “All of the sudden, they feel like they’re part of something bigger.” The story was also picked up by Oregon Live, “Sailboat built by Scappoose students continues journey to Japan.” Now Ms. Golden wants to bring the miniboat program to Sitka High School where she’ll be teaching next year. Local fishermen who have been involved recently also want to help.
April 22, 2018 - Landed in Cook Inlet
After 18 days at sea, it appeared the RWBC landed on Augustine Island in Cook Inlet. Thanks to the Alaska Ocean Observing System (AOOS), which is part of the NOAA Integrated Ocean Observing System, we were connected with Susan Saupe, Director of Science and Research of the Cook Inlet Regional Citizens Advisory Council, who is now helping us with the rescue mission. They plan to be in the area in Mid-May and will attempt a recovery.
Researching the area is important when coordinating a rescue mission and AOOS suggested we look at what the beach is like where the boat ran aground using ShoreZone imagery. This link zooms into Augustine Island.
June 14, 2018 - RWBC miniboat recovered!
Great news came in by email today from Susan Saupe, Director of Science and Research at CIRCAC (Cook Inlet Regional Citizens Advisory Council), who says they have recovered the miniboat! Her assessment: “It’s pretty damaged. It looks like it got beat up around the big boulders on the east side of Augustine, and the mast and sail came off…..but, they were still very near each other and we collected both the boat and the sail. The boat barely fit in the helicopter and was definitely a little water logged – we drained most of it. You’ll have to decide if its repairable to deploy again. “Susan also reported that “the Augustine Volcano is fascinating, so I hope the class was able to do a little research on its history since it was home to their drifter for about two months.”
Susan also sent pictures from the rescue:
Kendra Bush-St Louis, an education specialist for the Alaska Maritime Refuge, has expressed interested in bringing the boat to local schools before being relaunched. Looks like she’ll need some time to be repaired this summer anyway so off to Homer she’ll go.
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.