Windham Center School is an upper elementary school (Grades 5 and 6) and we are located in Southern New Hampshire. Our vision is to instill a world-class education through the core values of empathy, equity and inclusion for our students so that they may ultimately become upstanding members of society. Our mission is realized through the delivery of opportunities that are designed to promote a love for learning, respectful relationships, grit, equity, diversity, and global citizenship. Together, we promote a culture and climate of academic excellence that is rooted in a simple theory that kindness matters at our school.
After hearing of the Rye Riptides boat and speaking with Sheila Adams who highly recommended this project, the miniboat project proposal was presented to the Windham School District. The project was well received and approved. Our boat arrived a few days before school started. We took the first couple of weeks to learn about the process of building, launching and tracking our miniboat.
As the first part of this process, we discussed boat naming traditions and the students each generated a name that represented either New Hampshire, our town of Windham or our school. After the list was narrowed to five, 452 members of our school community voted and the name selected was the WILDCAT WAVE!
Pictured here is the crew as they worked together to create a stand for their project.
After the boat was launched (see more pictures and videos below), the school had a link on their home page to share with their community:
October 2022 to January 2023: Progress Updates
In a letter to Parents and Guardians on October 14, 2022, Dr. Kori Alice Becht (Superintendent of Schools) shared the following under, “School Accomplishments for Windham Center School”:
Wildcat Wave: WCS received their mini boat a few daysbefore school started from Educational Passages. The first couple of weeks were used to learn about the process of building, launching, and tracking our mini boat. In the first part of this process, we discussed boat naming traditions, and the students each generated a name that represented either New Hampshire, our town of Windham, or our school. After the list was narrowed to five, 452 members of our school community voted and the name selected was ‘The Wildcat Wave’.
January 16, 2023 - Launched by crew of F/V Rachel Leah
Ms. Cronin and a few miniboat friends (Sheila Adams and Cassie Stymiest) met at the docks of Little Bay Lobster on January 6 to make final preparations for the Wildcat Wave.
Special thanks to Todd Ellis for all his coordination and support of this project, and for inviting us back a few days later on January 11 to meet the crew of the F/V Rachel Leah, who were the ones going to bring the miniboat out to sea. Todd has helped us launch a couple other miniboats over the years as well (check out Red Storm which ended up in Ireland!).
We received an email on January 16, 2023 from Captain Patrick Terry of the F/V Rachel Leah that the miniboat was launched after the winds shifted northwest from the previous day (to give it the best chance of sailing to Gulf Stream):
“We launched the miniboat at 9:15 a.m. January 16. Position 40°52′.52″ N. 66°30′.58″W. North Wind 30 kts. Wave heights 8 to 12 ft. Air temp 42°. Sea temp 48°. Barometric pressure 1008.0. Tide (current) was Southwest at 1.5 kts. The miniboat headed to the Southwest. It appears to follow the current more then the wind. What we don’t see has as much or greater affect, then what we do see. Whether that is environmentally or personally. Thank you Patrick Terry. F/V Rachel Leah”
They also took a really neat video of the launch – check it out here:
February 20, 2023: Wildcat Wave featured on Podcast
The WILDCAT WAVE was featured on the February 20, 2023 Miniboat Traffic Report, as part of the Educational Passages Podcast. Have a listen here (WW featured at 8:25 marker:
May 2023: Approaching the Azores
By the end of May, we noticed that the WILDCAT WAVE was on a good track to land on Flores Island in the Azores. We emailed some of our friends in the area, and by Tuesday morning May 30, the boat had reported about 40 meters east of land in Fazenda das Lajes.
But by the next report 12 hours later, the miniboat had sailed away:
We want to thank Carlos Mendes and everyone who was standing by and ready to rescue the miniboat. Carlos also helped us to better understand the boat’s movement as he said, “this morning the miniboat was in the SE area of Flores island, an area unlikely to run aground, the wind is not strong and helped by the ocean current the boat has no tendency to get stuck on the rocks so I followed it with the wind to the South and now it will win again the current to the North.”
Back to tracking to see if it returns!