1st Voyage - 2016

  • October 13-14, 2016 - first voyage of miniboat with sensors

    Rock Star was assembled by NEFSC Oceanographer Jim Manning and graduate student Bingwei. The boat was named after Jim’s son Miles’ skiff. It is the first miniboat to be launched with sensors.

    “We’ve made an effort to gather more data so we can measure air and sea temperatures with sensors on the miniboat’s mast and on the bottom of its keel,” NEFSC oceanographer Jim Manning said.  “A new GPS unit will enable us to transmit data in real time. We’re also adding solar panels to power a very small computer that will be mounted in the hull to collect all the data and relay it back to shore.”

    On October 13 it was launched from Corporation Beach in Dennis, Mass. into Cape Cod Bay to measure the surface temperature in the bay. It was found by Barbara Segal who pulled it above the high tide mark where it waiting until the next morning.

    Graduate students Bingwei, Huanxin, and Yifan are seen in photo recovering the Rock Star from the Cape Cod beach after her maiden overnight voyage.

    This information will be combined with the current flow data from a few dozen drifters being deployed by Cape Cod and eastern Massachusetts high schools and colleges for a turtle stranding project Manning is working on with Mass Audubon’s Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary.

  • Voyage 1 - Complete

    Read above for all the details of the first voyage of the Rock Star.

2nd Voyage - 2022

The Rock Star is back in action to help us all better understand cold stunned sea turtle strandings in Cape Cod Bay! Thanks to students at Falmouth High School have been repairing and upgrading three miniboats to collect data during the 2022-2023 stranding season.

  • Sensor Data

    The Rock Star will be relaunched with two GPS systems onboard. The location reports from both units will show on the map at the top of this page here (which updates hourly with new positions if available).

    Here below is where you can see the data reporting from the second GPS which is connected to a custom sensor package. In addition to reporting location with a secondary GPS tracker, this system is also collecting air temperature, water temperature, and orientation of the boat.

    Please note that the map below will only the last 7 days of data and may include invalid points and data. If you are interested in looking at the data in a different format from the whole voyage, contact us.

  • 2nd Voyage

    Rock Star is one of 3 miniboats getting an upgraded cargo hold and to be relaunched in Cape Cod Bay to study cold-stunned sea turtles in collaboration with Falmouth High School.

    Riptide is one of 3 miniboats getting an upgraded cargo hold and to be relaunched in Cape Cod Bay to study cold-stunned sea turtles in collaboration with Falmouth High School.

    December 21, 2022

    The Riptide and Rockstar were both released into Cape Cod Bay around 1pm local time thanks to the US Coast Guard and specifically CPO Larry Johnson.

    December 22, 2022

    Overnight the two miniboats sailed northeast across the Bay and started to loop around:

    The winds shifted and sent both boats out of the Bay.

    Riptide made landfall first, landing in Scituate that evening around 1:30 GMT, and Rock Star landed a little ways to the south about a half hour later.

    Jim Manning reached out to longtime colleague Ben Haskell who is the Deputy Superintendent of the NOAA Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary because Riptide landed right near their office. Ben reached out to his staff, but a massive storm was also approaching the area, so recovery was not certain.

    December 23, 2022

    We awoke to an email thread with Dave Slocum and Michael Thompson from the SBNMS, who had ventured out in the early morning to recover the Riptide – and they were successful!

    They also searched for Rock Star, which landed a bit further south but that made recovery of it more challenging with the storm and incoming tide. By afternoon they had found it and brought it back to the Boathouse!

    Thanks to Ben, Mike, Amy, Dave, and Jim for the teamwork that made this a great success.

    January 10, 2023

    Jim Manning drove up to the SBNMS office and recovered the two boats that had been stored over the holiday break. He got to meet up with Ben (pictured in blue vest) and others while he was there, and thank them in person for their recovery efforts.

    The two miniboats are now back at Falmouth High School with the third in their fleet that did not get launched, the Scarborough Sailor.

    January 6, 2023

    Falmouth Public Schools shared about the project in their “Clipper Corner” on January 6, 2023. To read the article by Sarah Murphy, click here: Falmouth Education Foundation Fosters Citizen Science