A new high-seas adventure is underway! This year’s 6th Grade sailboat, Rip Tide, was launched off the coast of Delaware last weekend by the crew of the Bermuda Islander.
This is the eighth year in a row that Morristown-Beard School 6th Grade Class launched a 5-foot, unmanned sailboat as part of the "Educational Passages" program.
The vessel is equipped with a GPS that transmits to a satellite, so the students can track its journey on the web. In its hull, students placed a variety of items, from essays about life in New Jersey to a baseball, MBS pennant, and issues of Crimson magazine.
To track Rip Tide’s journey, please click here.
The first MBS boat, Crimson Tide, was launched in December of 2012 and was recovered by a fisherman in Guernsey, an island in the English Channel off the coast of Normandy. It was later re-launched and washed ashore in France. Other MBS boats have traveled to Spain, Florida, the Shetland Islands, and the Orkney Islands in Northern Scotland.
The Educational Passages program was created by a sailor from Maine who wanted to educate youngsters about ocean winds and currents. MBS Middle School teacher Lisa Swanson says the project is exciting because it can also provide a backdrop to teach everything from physics to world languages. A significant aspect of the project hinges on the hope that students can connect with their peers across the globe when the boat reaches a foreign shore. When Crimson Tidewas retrieved off the coast of Guernsey, for example, it set up exciting new learning opportunities as MBS students connected with students there via skype.
"More often than not, the boats do make it over to Europe, but they often take a very roundabout path," said Mr. Robillard. "You never know where it's going to go, and that's part of the adventure."