1st Voyage

  • About Us and the Rowe RIda

    Using inspiration from Burrillville High School’s previous mini boat, the BHS Roweboat, students involved in the Environmental Science pathway at BHS collaborated ideas to finalize this year’s mini boat as the Rowe-RIda.

    While having inspiration from Mr. Rowe and the last mini boat, the classes also found it comical to include a reference to Flo Rida, an American rapper, where the “RI” also represents Rhode Island.

  • April 2022 - Preparations

    The Environmental Science classes began working on the boat on April 6, 2022. The class split into three teams in order to complete the project on time. This includes the media team, the keel/hull team, and the sail/deck team from BHS’s Environmental Science II class and an ocean sensor team from the Environmental Science I class.

    Students involved on the keel and hull team started adding and preparing the ballast by
    mixing fiberglass resin into dry sand to fill the hollow keel. Unfortunately, the ballast did not settle correctly on the first try but students were able to quickly remove the failed sand mixture and replace it with more that would settle correctly. After everything was completely dried, students sanded the keel and hull connection.

    Students on the sail and deck team shared ideas to create and finalize a design for the sail. The members of this group each took a section of the sail to illustrate a design significant to the Environmental Science pathway while also representing our school. Wildlife and native animals such as flowers and jellyfish were included to help represent the environmental aspect. To make these more personal to our school, the group used bees to represent the beehive at Burrillville High School. The Bronco on the sail represents our school mascot and It has a gold chain around its neck to emulate the relation to Flo Rida.

    The media team was responsible for documenting the progress of the boat each day. This team took pictures of the progress to include on our Educational Passages Rowe RIda webpage here. We plan on partnering with a local podcast to discuss our progress and experience so far. As well as talking with NRInow (local news) about the miniboat project and the town cleanup that took place on April 28th.

    The Ocean Sensor Team was tasked with installing the GPS, solar panels, and electronics, such as the air and water sensors, on the mini boat. Students were responsible for laying out sensor design, connecting wires, testing sensor components and final installation.


    Teams continued to work together to complete the project for May 9th to deliver to the University of Rhode Island! Launch will be aboard the R/V Endeavor in the warm currents of the Gulf Stream.

  • May 13, 2022 - Launched into the Atlantic

    The BHS Rowe RIda was set to sea by the crew of the R/V Endeavor on May 13, 2022 at 11:35 am local time into the Atlantic Ocean. It was launched near a Saildrone, which was part of the cruise mission. More details to come, but for now we want to thank the URI GSO, Jaime Palter, and the whole crew for taking the miniboat onboard and launching it to sea. Click here to read more about their work. We also hope the onboard sensor data can also help contribute to your work to better understand our ocean!

    Here are some great pictures from the launch thanks to Ginny Cousens:


  • May 21, 2022 - Landed after one week at sea and recovered the next day

    The Rowe RIda sailed into Vineyard Sound on May 21, 2022 after only one week at sea.

    The next day, Mr. Rowe ventured out with Joe Zottoli and his boat, the KSEA. Mr Rowe had to go for a short swim, but successfully recovered the miniboat!

    An article was published by Sandy Seoane on May 26, 2022 on the NRI Now News website, BHS students’ ‘Rowe-RIda’ takes short, but sweet Atlantic voyage.

  • Voyage 1

    Read above for all the details of the first voyage of the BHS Rowe RIda.

2nd Voyage

  • July 31, 2022 - Launched again off R/V Endeavor

    The BHS Rowe RIda was put aboard the R/V Endeavor again, but this time as part of the NES LTER cruise (https://nes-lter.whoi.edu/).

    Thanks to Diana Fontaine who confirmed the launch details as follows:
    “Miniboat was launched from R/V Endeavor on Sunday 7/31/22 at 16:24

    Position deployed:
    39 deg 44.8’ N
    70 deg 51.7’ W”

    And shared pictures of the launch on Twitter:

  • August 9, 2022 - Landed in Nova Scotia after 8 days

    After being launched again from the R/V Endeavor, the Rowe RIda found its way back on the Continental Shelf and into the Gulf of Maine! It sailed around George’s Bank a little, and then up to the southeast corner of Nova Scotia in Clark’s Harbour. It landed on what appears to be a sandy beach near Cape Sable Lighthouse, so we hope it is safe until someone finds it or can recover it safely.


    Miniboat last reported from 43.398673534393, -65.628365278244 on the beach near Cape Sable Lighthouse.

    The miniboat is named “Rowe RIda,” and is part of an educational and science project at Burrillville High School in Burrillville, Rhode Island, USA.

    Students and participants involved in the project are seeking assistance to recover the boat if it is safe and possible to do so. The students would also like to see any pictures and videos that are possible so they can learn more about where the boat landed. To the right is a picture of the boat before it was launched for reference.

    If the boat can be recovered we suggest that it be brought to a nearby high school so the learning can continue. We would like to coordinate getting it to Halifax so we can relaunch it off a cargo ship. The goal is to get the boat across the Atlantic.

    We invite you to read above for the full story.

    Please contact Educational Passages for more information and if you know anyone that can assist in a recovery to avoid damage to the vessel. We will advise and assist with next steps after recovery is confirmed.

    It is an uncrewed vessel, like a message in a bottle. Thank you!

  • August 10, 2022 - Recovered

    After seeing that the miniboat landed, Mr. Rowe reached out to the Municipality of Barrington, Nova Scotia. Thanks to Nicole there, Mr. Rowe was put in contact with Johnny Nickerson who took his skiff across the Hawk Inlet to find Rowe RIda.

    It was found on the beach with Cape Sable Lighthouse in the background. Here also is a picture of Johnny with the Rowe RIda on the beach. Thank you Johnny, Nicole, Greg, and all those involved in this successful recovery.

    Plans are in the works to bring the miniboat up to Halifax so it can take a ride on a much bigger boat and get launched back into the open ocean. Stay tuned…

  • Voyage 2

    Read above for all the details of the second voyage of the BHS Rowe RIda.

3rd Voyage

  • October 20, 2022 - Relaunched

    Rowe RIda was relaunched on October 20, 2022 thanks to Johnny Nickerson and the crew of the F/V Miss Kate II.

  • Sensor Data

    This boat was launched with two GPS systems onboard. The location reports from both units are showing 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 is showing only the last 7 days of data and may include extra points on land and unchecked data. If you are interested in looking at the data in a different format from the whole voyage, contact us.

  • November 6, 2022 - Landed on Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts and recovered Nov 10

    The BHS ROWE RIDA made a 17 day journey to Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts and is awaiting recovery. It was spotted by Jim Feiner on November 6th (see picture), who moved the boat down to the water line hoping the tide would take it out. The next day, it was still reporting from the same area. We are now hoping the boat can be recovered and brought to a nearby school.


    UPDATE 11/10/22: Miniboat has been recovered, Read below for details.

    An uncrewed 1.5m-long educational sailboat (“MINIBOAT”) is ashore west of South Beach in Edgartown, MA on Martha’s Vineyard (41.350429058075, -70.565603971481). Students and participants in the project from Burrillville, RI are seeking assistance to recover it and bring it to a nearby school if it is safe and possible to do so. It traveled 17 days and 1,300+ km from Nova Scotia by wind and currents, and is part of a student project to study ocean science and provide a cultural exchange when it lands. The students would also like to see any pictures and videos that are possible so they can learn more about where the boat landed, and so the story can continue on the boat’s webpage: https://educationalpassages.org/boats/rowerida/. Please visit this website to learn more about the project and story so far. See picture above for reference – it is approximately 1.5m long and 20kg.

    Contact Educational Passages for more information and if you know anyone that can assist in a recovery to avoid damage to the vessel. It is an uncrewed vessel, like a “message in a bottle”. Thank you.


    Jim Manning connected us with his former officemate, Keston Smith, who now lives on the Vineyard. Keston ventured out early Thursday morning and successfully recovered the boat during sunrise. Thanks, Keston!

    Next the boat will visit the charter school on the island and connect with students from Rhode Island.

  • 2023 - Repairs begin

    After three voyages, the BHS Rowe RIda was able to return to Burrillville High School for much needed repairs.

    In the meantime, the second voyage was included in the NES LTER (Northeast US Shelf Long Term Ecological Research) Data Jam Competition this year, and the winners of competition chose to explore the miniboat data for their project! Congrats to all participants for a job well done, and thanks to the judges and team behind the data jam itself for including us this year.

    To learn more about the competition and submissions from this year, check out the blog entry Data Jam Creativity Continues into 2022-23.