The educational boat “El Hierro Mar Salitre y Lava” arrives at a beach in Nicaragua after 342 sailing days.

The educational boat Ifado IV El Hierro Mar Salitre y Lava iFADO-IV El Hierro Mar Salitre y Lava has arrived at a large remote beach on the East coast of Nicaragua, near the Bay of Pearls on the Mosquito Coast, to end the longest and most eventful voyage of an educational boat launched into the sea from the Canary Islands within the framework of the Educational Passages program..

El Hierro Mar Salitre y Lava, which has been able to achieve this unique milestone despite the significant state of worsening after the long period and adverse navigation conditions, has maintained its communication capabilities through a GPS signal, which has allowed its continuous monitoring during the journey and its recovery once reaching the coast of Nicaragua.

The boat has been picked up by local collaborators, who already intend to repair it and be launched again into the sea.

On May 19th of 2023, students of the IES Garoé in partnership with the Oceanic Platform of the Canary Islands Ocean, the miniboat crossed the Atlantic Ridge on mid-summer, approaching the Northeastern coast of Brazil, suffering several storms and the Hurricane Fifteen when sailing through the Intertropical Convergence Zone, coming under the influence of the North Equatorial Current that directed it to the Caribbean Sea and brought it closer to the Eastern coast of Nicaragua until it stranded in an area near Pearl Bay on the Mosquitos Coast.

In its almost eleven months since departure, the small boat has sailed more than 11,500 nautical miles.

iFADO-IV El Hierro Mar Salitre y Lava is part of the Educational Passages educational program, which aims to disseminate environmental learning and knowledge, and in particular that of the ocean environment, through small boats capable of following the winds and ocean currents, allowing students of all ages to explore oceanic phenomena while developing transoceanic training classrooms.

The miniboat has been suited with GPS and a temperature sensor powered by a small solar panel installed on deck of the boat. In a small warehouse of about twenty centimeters, IES Garoe’s students housed work carried out at the secondary school in which they give an account of the place of origin of the boat so that it can be identified if collected.

The route of the educational miniboat can be followed in real time through the Educational Passages website, so that students can learn about the characteristics of the marine routes along which it navigates, learning interactively about the dynamics of ocean currents and winds.

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

The Interreg Atlantic iFADO project facilitates marine services on a regional and sub-regional scale, 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. Funded by the European INTERREG Atlantic Space program, it integrates research institutions from different areas such as numerical models, satellite remote sensing, oceanographic campaigns and new technologies.

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