A ‘mini boat’, 1.5 metre in length with a tiny sail, that crossed the vast expanses of the Atlantic Ocean, sailing over 5000km and landing in Ireland has set sail once again, thanks to a collaboration between Cork City Council, Creative Ireland, Port of Cork, the National Maritime College of Ireland, the Marine Institute’s Explorers Education Programme and the Educational Passages in the USA.
The unmanned mini-boat was originally set to sea by students from Harbor View Elementary School in Charleston, South Carolina, USA in May 2017 as part of an educational programme which allows children to follow the progress of the boat and thus learn about the ocean, currents, geography and the environment.
The mini-boat landed in Mayo in 2017 after drifting across the Atlantic. It eventually found its way to Cork for repair and relaunch. To prepare for the return of the boat to sea, Cork City Council’s ‘Old Cork Waterworks Experience’ supported by the Marine Institute’s Explorers Education Programme class projects and funded by Creative Ireland, invited Cork primary school children to submit designs inspired by Cork and its special relationship with the ocean. The designs were used to create a collage which was placed on the boat following extensive repair works by Walsh Boat Works. A special sail featuring the Cork coat of arms was also commissioned.
With assistance from the Port of Cork, the completed mini boat was put to sea mid Atlantic by the crew of the Independent Horizon, an ICL cargo vessel and regular visitor to Cork.
The mini boat is fitted with GPS so that its ocean journey can be tracked on www.educationalpassages.org. The project will be marked by a virtual exhibition of the artwork and a mini boat pocketbook as well as transatlantic classroom visits between schools in Cork and Harbor View Elementary School in Charleston, South Carolina.
Cllr. Fergal Dennehy, who was deputising for the Lord Mayor, at the launch commented “This is a wonderful opportunity for Cork school children to connect with children on the other side of the Atlantic and to learn about the ocean, the weather and the world they live in. I want to congratulate all of the team who played a part in getting the boat to sea again to continue its voyage of discovery”
Conor Mowlds, Chief Commercial Officer of the Port of Cork commented “The Port of Cork is delighted to be able to support this exciting educational initiative. It’s a fantastic opportunity to increase maritime awareness amongst school children in both Ireland and the US through our own transatlantic freight links”
“We are delighted to have been able to work with the Old Cork Waterworks connecting them with Educational Passages in the USA, to help get this little mini-boat back into the water. The Explorers Programme we are delighted to also support the creation of the mini-boat art booklet that is a collection of the amazing art work completed by over 300 children that took part in this project show. This shows incredible examples of the children’s connections to the ocean and themarine heritage in County Cork. This is key to the Explorers Education Programme increasing children’s ocean literacy in Cork,” said Cushla Dromgool-Regan, strategic education and communications manager, Explorers Education Programme.
For further information on the Cork Mini Boat adventure see www.oldcorkwaterworks.ie or contact the team email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 021 4941500
“Cork Mini Boat Atlantic Adventure” is supported by the Creative Ireland Programme, an all-of-Government five-year initiative, from 2017 to 2022, which places creativity at the centre of public policy.