Scottish boys Zoom children in Belize as their Playmobil boat reaches Central America coast
A pair of siblings who sent a toy boat on a record-breaking trip from Aberdeenshire have discovered their vessel will soon set sail from Belize after having some repairs done to it.
Harry Ferguson, 11, and his brother Ollie, eight, previously set the world record for the longest distance travelled toy boat at sea with their Playmobil pirate ship called ‘Adventure,’ and are now hoping to set another record with Adventure II.
The first toy was launched from Peterhead and set sail across the Atlantic to the Caribbean covering 3,773 miles between May 2017 and May 2018.
But its tracker died off the coast of Barbados and it was lost at sea.
With the help of the Lewis family in Trinidad and Tobago the Fergusons sent the same model of boat out to the island from where Adventure II was launched in September 2020.
The vessel has now reached Belize after locals, who have been following the expedition on a Facebook group, picked her up.
The boys, from Turriff, are hoping for the boat to reach Florida where she can then follow the gulf stream over the Atlantic towards Scotland.
Speaking about the boat’s recent developments, Mac, father to both boys, said: “Luckily some people in Belize who have been following the boat knew she was on her way and arranged to pick her up for a recharge.”
The boat is running on a battery that, when fully charged, can last months.
It sends a signal every four hours showing where it is.
There is a message in a bottle on the boat from the brothers, and Roland and Julia Rumm and their five-year-old son Santi from the island of Guanaja, near Honduras, where Adventure II spent a couple of weeks over Christmas being fixed.
The notes ask whoever finds Adventure II to recharge the boat and take pictures of themselves with her.
For the last few days she has been in the safe hands of Belize Sailing Centre representative Cindy Vigna and pupils at The Island Academy who have been learning about boat navigation using the toy.
Cindy, who rescued Adventure II from the country’s coastline, said: “We all went together to find Adventure II before she crashed on the reef!
“It was a fun adventure and so exciting when we found her.
“It never would have been possible without the GPS tracker she has!
“We spoke to Harry and Ollie in Scotland then Roland and Santi in Honduras before we set out.
“Since we retrieved her, my daughter’s school has been involved in different projects: message in a bottle, engineering keel modifications, learning about tides and currents.”
The centre confirmed Adventure II is in a boatyard getting modifications done and will be flown to Belize City on Thursday afternoon (Belize time) to get back in the water and head north.
Mac added: “It’s been great getting children involved in this project, it’s been one of the aims from the start.
“Now we hope that Adventure II will head towards Mexico, get to that gulf stream which will take her to Florida and then from there get swept in the gulf stream taking her back across the Atlantic.”
If all goes well, the Fergusons hope the boat will make it back to Scottish shores in about five months time.
Adventure II’s progress can be followed here
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