Educational Passages, fun with GPS tracking


Here I am trying to cover the world of marine electronics from my nest in Camden, Maine, and darned if I don’t miss interesting happenings in my own neighborhood.  Apparently Richard Baldwin, an experienced bluewater solo sailor who lives just up the Bay in Belfast, is the passion and brains behind an unique endeavor that’s using mini sailing drones like the prototype above to teach students of all ages about oceanography, not to mention GPS and satellite communications…

This year five Maine schools, or groups of schools, put together unmanned minis, and the Maine Maritime Academy’s State of Maine will be launching them one by one during its annual Spring training cruise.  Each mini has an iBoat GPS tracker aboard so that the students, and us, can watch where wind and current take them.  The widely spaced tracks in the plot below show the first mini, Bluefish, on the deck of the training ship as she visited Hampden Roads, VA, and then continued on to Puerto Rico.  Obviously Bluefish was launched southeast of Cape Hatteras and now has a good chance to cross the Atlantic, I’d guess.  How cool is that!  You can learn all about this project at Educational Passages, and, yes, it’s possible for your local school to try this next year.


Ben Ellison

Ben Ellison

Panbo editor, publisher & chief bottlewasher from 4/2005 until 8/2018, and now pleased to have Ben Stein as a very able publisher, webmaster, and editing colleague. Please don't regard him as an "expert"; he's getting quite old and thinks that "fadiddling fumble-putz" is a more accurate description.

2 Responses

  1. philipp says:

    We are researching wildlife tracking right now! I would be interested in some more info about this market. In the meantime please check out!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Transmitting environmental data would be useful: water and air temps, sunlight intensity, rainfall, motion sensors and salinity for example would help fill in some of the data gaps outside customary shipping channels. Are there sensors that are cheap/reliable enough for this purpose?

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