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A class launched a mini boat … and were in for an incredible surprise


Rye Jr. High School | Facebook | Fair Use

Theresa Civantos Barber - published on 03/20/22

The tiny boat made it from New Hampshire to Norway ... and connected children around the world.

It’s refreshing to see some positive news for a change, and even better when it’s something that builds friendship and goodwill between children of different lands. When a class of kids in New Hampshire launched a mini boat to see where it would go, they got a wonderful surprise.

In October 2020, a group of fifth- and sixth-grade students in the Educational Passages group at Rye Junior High School in New Hampshire launched a mini boat with an onboard GPS. 

The class planned to track the boat’s journey, but unfortunately, the GPS was not totally reliable. The GPS stopped reporting in September 2021. 

Then, suddenly, on January 31, 2022, a location popped up after four months of silence. The little boat, dubbed Rye Riptides, was off the coast of Norway. A family found it on an uninhabited island, fully 462 days after it was first launched. 

The boy who found it was the same age as the children who had launched it, an ocean away. Of course, he had to share it with his own classmates:

Karel Nuncic, the Norwegian sixth-grader who found the boat with his family, took it to his school, Smola Primary School. The Norwegian students noted the boat was damaged and encrusted with barnacles, but when they opened it up they found its cargo — photos, letters and trinkets placed by Rye Junior High School students — was intact and undamaged.

Now the little boat is connecting children around the world, as the classes in Norway and New Hampshire build a relationship with each other:

The U.S. Embassy in Oslo said the Norwegian students are planning to write back to their New Hampshire counterparts, and teachers said the two classes will have an opportunity to talk directly in a video call later this week.

It’s encouraging to see this budding friendship between children of different and distant nations. Perhaps adults could learn from these children, who seem to understand that we all have more in common with each other than we have differences. 

The finding of the little boat is also an inspiration to get outside and enjoy the benefits of time in nature, even when it’s cold. The boy who found it was playing at the beach with his family in January, during a Scandinavian winter. The effort to get outside in cold weather is worth it, and sometimes you might even find a treasure. 

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