Bon Voyage Little Lagoda!

Little Lagoda returns to the high seas

Dubbed Little Lagoda, this five foot, self-steering sailboat is making its way across the Atlantic Ocean, drifting with the currents on its way to an unknown destination.

This is the second voyage for Little Lagoda. Originally launched in May 2017, the boat’s first voyage was cut short in July 2017 when it washed up on Long Island. This time, Little Lagoda started her journey farther out into the Gulf Stream, so it is possible that the vessel will land in Portugal, the Azores, Cabo Verde, or Ireland, thereby retracing historical linkages between New Bedford and those countries.  

Cadets from the Massachusetts Maritime Academy (MMA) re-launched Little Lagoda on January 19, 2018 from the MMA Training Ship Kennedy (TS Kennedy). Cadets on board TS Kennedy are on a seven-week rite of passage known as Sea Term heading for the Caribbean. Read a blog post and see more great photos of the cadets with Little Lagoda here.

The Whaling Museum worked on the project with Educational Passages, an organization that collaboratively builds miniature boats and tracks their voyages after being launched from various points across the globe. Designed as educational tools to teach students about the sciences of the world’s oceans, the boats are powered solely by ocean winds and currents and are capable of sailing thousands of miles.

Grade 5 students from William H. Taylor Elementary School decorated the boat, gave it a new coat of bright yellow paint,  and decided what items and messages should be included in the watertight compartment. They named it Little Lagoda in honor of the Museum’s famous half-scale model of an actual 19th century whaling vessel, the Lagoda. Prior to launch, Whaling Museum staff, assisted by Museum docent Peter Fenton, made three in-class presentations to review oceanography, geography, navigation, currents, and boat building.

The Northeast Maritime Institute assisted with launching Little Lagoda in the Atlantic Ocean’s Gulf Stream on May 10, 2017, 25 miles southeast of Martha’s Vineyard and 20 miles south of Nantucket. The 2018 launch from Massachusetts Maritime Academy’s T.S. Kennedy took place off the coast of the Dominican Republic.

The Taylor School students are tracking the boat via the GPS transmitter on board. 


Track Little Lagoda 

Click here or on the map below to see the live tracking map.

Little Lagoda tracking map


The Launch 

View the launch on YouTube here or click on the image below.
May 10, 2017 at Latitude 41N Longitude 70 24 W in 131 feet of water
photograph of first Little Lagoda launch










The Re-Launch

January 19, 2018 re-launch from the Massachusetts Maritime Academy’s T.S. Kennedy took place off the coast of the Dominican Republic.

cadets from Massachusetts maritime Academy