1st Voyage

The Partnership for Observation of the Global Ocean (POGO) and the Alfred-Wegener Institut Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung (AWI) are partnering with Educational Passages to bring their Miniboat Programme to schools and communities around the world. This project will connect and unite people around ocean science.

The 2022 shipboard outreach initiative during the North-South Atlantic training Transect’ (NoSoAT) – from Germany to South Africa – will include four ‘miniboats’ from schools and oceanographic partner institutions in Ireland, Germany, Spain, and South Africa. The miniboats will be deployed in the Atlantic Ocean, allowing the school students to track the progress of their own vessel, and that of the others involved in the project, and learn about ocean currents, weather, technology, etc.

Three of the miniboats will be deployed by the R/V Polarstern along the Atlantic transect and one will be deployed by the R/V Algoa, along the SAMBA transect (Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment – Oceans & Coasts Research, South Africa).

In the preparatory phase, the schools and partner institutions will prepare their boats and learn about the NoSoAT initiative, a programme endorsed by the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development. They will install sensor packages on their boats, place messages inside for the finder, and coordinate transport for the finished vessels to board the research cruises.

During the ‘live’ phase of the project, in September, all four miniboats will be deployed, and live calls between the schools and the NoSoAT cruise will be held. All the participants will be able to share the stories and track the boats together on this publicly-available webpage.

POGO member NRF-SAEON is working the Luhlaza High School to assemble their miniboat, Yemaya from Cape Town, South Africa. Explore below the story and join the journey with us.

  • July 2022: Miniboat Preparations

    POGO member NRF-SAEON is working with Luhlaza High School to assemble their miniboat, which will be launched off the R/V Polarstern in September.

  • October 2, 2022 - Launched

    On October 2 at 7:26 UTC, the miniboat Yemaya was successfully launched into the Atlantic!

    Thanks to the crew of the R/V Algoa for launching the boat while they were out servicing the SAMBA mooring array. Pictures below are thanks to Marcel van den Berg.

    Follow along and join the journey!

    We challenge you to check the wind and current forecasts and tell us where YOU think Yemaya will be one month from launch.

    Add your predictions via this google form (click here). 

  • Click to access 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. If you are interested in looking at the data in a different format from the whole voyage, contact us.

    October 15 Update: The sensor pack stopped reporting data today and we are actively looking into why this may have occurred. The main GPS continues to report, though, and those tracks will be shown on the map at the top of this page.

  • December 29 - 30, 2022 : Landed in Cote D'Ivoire

    Yemaya landed on the shores of Cotê d’Ivoire on December 29 after 90 days at sea and traveling over 5,829 km. It landed on a beach in Gnakapéro, west of Abidjan and east of Liberia border. Colleagues of POGO partners were contacted to assist with recovery.

    We invite you to read above for the full story, and please contact Educational Passages for more information.

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

This is one of 4 miniboats in the NF-POGO 2022 Miniboat Fleet. The initiative is funded by The Nippon Foundation and Partnership for Observation of the Global Ocean (POGO) with support from the Alfred-Wegener Institut Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung (AWI).

The NF-POGO Miniboats thanks all those involved for their contribution to the journey.