Taken from an article in the Portland Press Herald in Dec 2016:
‘“We’re hoping it goes to Ireland,” said Ellis, an 18-year-old student in the Kennebunk High School Alternative Education program. Eillis and his six classmates have teamed up with the Kennebunkport Conservation Trust and The Landing School to construct a 5-foot self-steering boat that is powered solely by winds and currents. The boat – named “The Little Boat That Could” – is equipped with sensors and a camera and is capable of sailing thousands of miles. …
Students in the alternative education program take classes for the first couple of hours each day, then spend the rest of the school day in the community working on projects and learning about career opportunities. There are seven students in the program, which launched in 2012 to serve kids who weren’t finding success in traditional classrooms.
The choice of decoration was inspired by vintage suitcases covered with travel stickers. Before they turn over the boat to Educational Passages, the students will fill the hull with Maine-themed items, including a written history of Kennebunk and photos of iconic Maine scenes.’
The boat was launched near Georges Bank by a fishing vessel from the Portland Fish Exchange on Dec 29th, 2016. We were surprised the boat was underway that day with a strong northeaster affecting most of the mainland. Nevertheless, her adventure is underway. Her track can be seen here along with all the other mini-boats deployed this year.
On the last day of school, there was expressions of great joy when an email came in from Scotland:
I have attached photographs of a washed up object that has your contact details on it. It washed up in Balivanich, Isle of Benbecula, Western Isles, Scotland at 57° 28.2’N 007° 22.4’W. HM Coastguard has recovered the unit today and is storing it in a local station pending a response from yourself as the presumed owner. I would be grateful if you could let us know what you wish to do with the unit and, if possible, details of where it was released from and when along with its purpose. Kind Regards, Stornoway Coastguard Operations Centre,HM Coastguard Battery Point Stornoway HS1 2RT United Kingdom, (+44)01851 702013, email@example.com “