Two Scottish brothers, eight-year-old, Ollie and five-year-old, Harry Ferguson, are too young to go to sea themselves, so instead, they sent their toy pirate sailing ship on a voyage from the fine old port of Peterhead, Aberdeenshire earlier this year. The toy was a plastic Playmobil ship, named suitably Adventure. With the help of their father the boys modified Adventure to make more a seaworthy craft. They added ballast and polystyrene foam to help it stay afloat. They also included a note asking anyone who finds the boat to send them a picture and launch Adventure back into the sea.
And seaworthy Adventure proved to be. By May, the unlikely craft had sailed about 390 miles to Denmark, where it was found by a local family, who sent back word to Ollie and Harry before sending Adventure on her way. It came ashore next in Sweden where it was found in a tree by a woman sailing on her own sailboat. She repaired the sails and sent it onward. It was then found by a Norwegian conservation vessel.
Their father, MacNeill Ferguson, said: “Everyone that has picked it up has been really kind and sent us photos and looked after it. People are really getting into the spirit of it.
“The boys have enjoyed it and every time we get a message telling us where it has landed we get on the computer and work out where it went, so they are tracking its progress on the map and it gives them an understanding of how big the world is.”
At this point, the voyage of Adventure takes a dramatic turn. The story was picked up by the Norwegian media and the toy ship was taken aboard the Norwegian full-rigged training ship, Christian Radich. The plan is to take Adventure down to Cape Verde and then launch it, giving it the chance to sail across the Atlantic.
Thanks to Irwin Bryan for contributing to this post.