Students from Eusebio Barreto Secondary School in La Palma (Canary Islands, Spain) launch the educational boat Buche Salado II to cross the Atlantic Ocean

In: Press Release
With Buche Salado II, the international educational programme Educational Passages reaches the figure of 190 small sailing boats at sea.

Students from IES Garoé from El Hierro Island, who will launch their boat “El Hierro-Mar, Salitre y Lava” in the next few days, took part in the launching of the small sailing boat.

Students from IES Eusebio Barreto in Los Llanos de Aridane, La Palma, have launched an educational boat from the Plataforma Oceánica de Canarias (PLOCAN) in the waters of Tazacorte (La Palma), in order to cross the Atlantic Ocean as part of the international educational programme Educational Passages.

The launching of the small educational sailing boat, called “Buche Salado II”, took place after a joint training session held at the IES of Los Llanos de Aridane with the participation of students from IES Eusebio Barreto and IES Garoé de Valverde.

The training session was attended by Cassie Stymiest, director of the international educational programme Educational Passages, which brings marine sciences to secondary school classrooms in collaboration with the European project iFADO; Francisco Campuzano, coordinator of the iFADO project; the teachers of IES Eusebio Barreto, Antonia María Arroyo, and IES Garoé, María Mileyvi Fernández, and Carlos Barrera on behalf of PLOCAN.

Cassie Stymiest said that “it is a special day because we share the experience of launching a mini boat into the sea with the students and representatives of iFADO and PLOCAN. We will celebrate that with the Buche Salado II we reached the 190th mini boat milestone of our international Educational Passages programme.” Stymiest congratulated all those who have participated and looked forward to the voyage, valuing the importance of this programme to bring science closer to young people.

Campuzano highlighted the importance of international collaboration and of the different actors, including citizen participation, to be able to monitor large marine areas such as the Atlantic Ocean. The iFADO project, he continued, funded by the European INTERREG Atlantic Area programme, integrates research institutions from different areas such as numerical modelling, satellite remote sensing, oceanographic campaigns and new technologies.

The mini-sailboat is expected to cross the Atlantic Ocean like other small boats in the Educational Passages educational programme, which aims to spread environmental learning and knowledge, and in particular that of the ocean environment, by means of small boats equipped with GPS capable of tracking winds and ocean currents, allowing students of all ages to explore oceanic phenomena while developing transoceanic educational classrooms.

The small sailboat “Buche Salado II” is equipped with GPS and a temperature sensor powered by a small solar panel installed on the surface of the boat. In a small hold of about twenty centimetres, the students have housed work done at the institute in which they give an account of where the boat came from so that it can be identified when it is picked up.

Pushed by the winds and sea currents, the Buche Salado II will describe a route that can be observed in real time through the Educational Passages website, so that the students can learn about the characteristics of the sea routes it sails along, learning interactively about the dynamics of ocean currents and winds.

The main objective of the programme is to introduce students to the world of sailing and engage them in collaborative learning through international cultural experiences, and to increase understanding of the value of the hydrosphere as a shared resource through knowledge of the ocean environment. The programme brings the ocean into the classroom, whether on the coast or inland.

The Interreg Atlantic iFADO project aims to create marine services at regional and sub-regional scales, using the Atlantic waters of the European Union as a case study. Filling existing technical gaps, iFADO will use the implementation of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) to demonstrate the application of innovative products.

Last year, the iFADO II educational sailing boat “Buche Salado” left the port of Tazacorte and sailed to the island of Guadeloupe in the Lesser Antilles after a two-month Atlantic crossing of 5,055 kilometres.

The IES Garoé de Valverde plans to launch its educational boat “El Hierro-Mar, Salitre y Lava” on Friday 19 May, from the waters of La Restinga, in the south of the island of El Hierro.

Original press release in Spanish can be found at PLOCAN website.