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.
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.
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.
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.