The educational miniboat “El Hierro Mar Salitre y Lava” in the Central Atlantic Equatorial zone after six months of sailing journey

The educational boat iFADO-IV El Hierro Mar Salitre y Lava, which began its sailing journey six months ago from the island of El Hierro, keep sailing in the Equatorial zone of the Atlantic Ocean after being trapped by the North Equatorial Countercurrent, responsible of significant oceanic eddies in the Northern Brazil as a consequence of a shock effect between large currents.

This ocean current has once again taken the boat built by IES Garoe’s students towards the center of the Atlantic Ocean about six hundred nautical miles, when it was already near the coast of Brazil, influenced in the first instance by the North Equatorial Current, which served it as main vector to carry out its Atlantic voyage from the Canary Islands to the surroundings of South America’s coast, where it has already entirety traveled almost 6000 nautical miles.

The “Hierro Mar Salitre y Lava“ miniboat was deployed on May 19th by the students of IES Garoe, it crossed the Atlantic Ridge in the middle of the summer approaching the Northeastern Brazilian coast, suffering several onslaughts of storms and the Hurricane Fifteen to navigate through the Intertropical Convergence Zone and remain under the influence of the North Equatorial Current.

This miniboat belongs to the Educational Passages educational program, which aims to disseminate environmental learning and knowledge, and in particular the one related to the ocean, through small sailing boats able to follow ocean winds and currents, allowing all-ages students to explore oceanic phenomena while developing transoceanic training classrooms.

“El Hierro-Mar, Salitre y Lava” is suited with GPS and temperature sensor powered by a small solar panel installed on the boat deck. In a small warehouse of about twenty centimeters, the IES Garoé students have housed work carried out at the school in which they report the place of origin of the boat so that it can be identified when (hopefully) collected.

The sailing path can be tracked in real time through the Educational Passages website, so students can learn about the characteristics of the marine tracks along which it navigates, learning interactively about the dynamics of ocean currents and winds.

The main goal of this educational 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 aims to create marine services on a regional and subregional 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 leading research institutions in different scientific and technological disciplines such as numerical models, satellite remote sensing, oceanographic campaigns and new ocean-observing technologies.

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