1st Voyage

  • About the boat and participants

    Hull #005 was built by the students of Otto Petersen Elementary School in Scappoose, Oregon and was named 種差丸 (s/v Tanesashi Maru) by the students of Tanesashi 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.

    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
    • Awaji Hiroshi- Tanesashi Elementary School
    • Minoru Suzuki, Principal of Tanesashi Elementary
  • December 18, 2017 – Delivering the boats across the Pacific

    The Columbia River Maritime Museum’s Education Director delivered the S/V East Ocean Friends to Tanesashi Elementary School. The Japanese students opened the cargo hold to find gifts of salt water taffy from the students of Hilda Otto Petersen Elementary School. The students Tanesashi 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 attended 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. Unfortunately, very quickly after launching she lost her keel and a large wave knocked her over.  After three passes Mr. Nakamura’s crew was able to get her back onboard.

  • January 10, 2018 - New keel and ready for redeployment

    Her new keel has been attached and the Tanesashi Maru is currently waiting for a second and successful deployment.

    The story on international news is at:


  • January 19, 2018 - Launched in the Pacific

    The Tanesashi Maru was launched overnight and is now sailing in the Pacific towards North America!

  • January 22, 2018 - Quiet after 3 days at sea

    We last heard from the Tanesashi Maru on January 22. Hopefully she is still sailing out there!

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.