Mini-boat students receive Navy certificate after their vessel crosses international dateline

Domain of the Golden Dragon award given to Wy’east middle schoolers

VANCOUVER — When any sailor crosses the international dateline, which lies roughly in the center of the massive Pacific Ocean, they are presented with an age old certificate honoring their accomplishment.

CRMM Educational Director Nate Sandel (left) holds up a Domain of the Golden Dragon certificate with a Wy’east student. Photo courtesy Columbia River Maritime Museum
CRMM Educational Director Nate Sandel (left) holds up a Domain of the Golden Dragon certificate with a Wy’east student. Photo courtesy Columbia River Maritime Museum

Students at Wy’east Middle School in Vancouver, as well as their peers in Japan at their sister school, Tanesashi Elementary School, were presented with that same prestigious honor.

After the miniature sailing boat, S/V KIZUNA GOU, which was assembled in Vancouver and later launched from Japan, crossed the international dateline last month. This is the farthest one of the Columbia River Maritime Museum’s (CRMM) mini-boats has ever traveled towards its intended destination, in this case the United States.

S/V KIZUNA GOU has traveled over 3,000 nautical miles in only 77 days at sea. The boat is equipped with GPS tracking and a solar panel.

Joe Boken’s seventh grade science class at Wy’east Middle School pose with their mini-boat to be sent to their sister school in Japan. Photo courtesy Columbia River Maritime Museum
Joe Boken’s seventh grade science class at Wy’east Middle School pose with their mini-boat to be sent to their sister school in Japan. Photo courtesy Columbia River Maritime Museum

Last week, CRMM Educational Director, Nate Sandel traveled from Astoria to Vancouver to award each student in teacher Joe Boken’s seventh-grade science class with the certificate of the Domain of the Golden Dragon.

The certificate is identical to that issued to the U.S. Navy sailors when they cross the dateline for the first time as well.

The Domain of the Golden Dragon certificate. Photo courtesy Columbia River Maritime Museum
The Domain of the Golden Dragon certificate. Photo courtesy Columbia River Maritime Museum

During the certificate ceremony, students and Sandel also repaired their U.S. launched mini-boat, S/V Liberty, which after being launched off the Oregon coast earlier this year, washed back up in Washington.

After the repairs, S/V Liberty will be relaunched by the Columbia River Bar Pilots. All active mini-boats are live and the GPS is viewable online. Updates on the program also can be found on the CRMM Mini-boat Facebook page



About The Author

Jacob Granneman is a filmmaker and writer from Clark County. He is a graduate of Washington State University’s Edward R. Murrow College, where he studied journalism and media production. He has produced documentary stories all over the Pacific Northwest and abroad in Argentina. His passions range from sharing the love of Jesus, to cinematography, to going on adventures in the most beautiful place on earth, i.e. his backyard. He lives with his wife in Vancouver, WA. Proverbs 16:3

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