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In One Ear: Back to Baja

Misadventures of a miniboat
By Elleda Wilson

The Daily Astorian

Published on September 7, 2018 12:01AM

Boat-A-Lahti, the GPS-equipped miniboat launched by last year’s third-grade class at Hilda Lahti Elementary School, has been having a very tough time trying to get to Japan (

So far, the miniboat has been doggedly heading east and beaching, instead of west. In February, it beached at a very remote spot on the Baja Peninsula, and was finally rescued in March.

“Boat-A-Lahti has spent her summer in Guerrero Negro on the Baja Peninsula, near to where the whales calve and the saltwater evaporates in North America’s largest open-air salt production facility,” Melissa Reid, a teacher at the elementary school, reported in a recent update.

After being delivered to the captain of the Port on the Island of Cedros, she said he “was kind enough to visit with the boat captains with boats currently anchored nearby and getting ready to head out to the open sea, and a tuna boat named the Maria Isabel II agreed to take Boat-A-Lahti along with her!”

Pictured, the miniboat being handed aboard the tuna boat, courtesy of Nate Sandel, who noted that Boat-A-Lahti was relaunched at 8:08 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 30.

“She sailed for six days before turning towards shore and beaching herself Tuesday night,” Nate wrote in the latest update. “When I checked on her location Wednesday morning, she was miraculously in a backyard (15 miles from her beaching location) in the town of San Juanico (Baja California Sur, Mexico).”

“What will happen next?” he mused. “Just waiting for the email/phone call!”


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