Why throw a boring, old bottle into the ocean when you can send your message on a pirate ship instead? That’s what two young Scottish brothers were thinking back in May when they jury-rigged their Playmobil square-rigged ship and launched it into the North Sea. Three months and 400 miles later, the toy vessel’s made it all the way to Norway and is preparing for an epic transatlantic voyage to the Americas.
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Ollie and Harry Ferguson, ages 8 and 5, are currently working their way through a 500-strong bucket list of activities, and they launched the boat, fittingly named Adventure, at the end of May from Peterhead, Scotland. The Playmobile toy boat first struck land in Denmark before later sailing to Sweden and Norway, where it was recovered by a Norwegian conservation vessel. Turns out, the laminated note inside does not say, “Prepare to be boarded!” as one might expect, but instead asks whoever recovers the toy ship to text a picture of it to the phone number provided and then drop it back in the water.
While Playmobil should clearly be credited with building a damn sturdy toy, the large pirate ship playset (similar to the Large Pirate ship here) did need some modifications in the old proverbial boat yard to get it into seafaring shape. Not only did the boys add polystyrene (aka Styrofoam) to help it float but also much-needed ballast to ensure it stayed upright and did not turtle and sink. They even added working sails and tested it in the family swimming pool.
While the boys have no doubt moved on to other items on the bucket list (there are almost 300 left, after all), they continue to track the ship’s progress. Adventure is currently en route to Cape Verde off the African coast aboard the fully-rigged Christian Radich. The plan is to relaunch it there in hopes that it makes across the Atlantic.