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Toy pirate ship sailed 3,700 miles across the Atlantic from Africa to Barbados

Toy pirate ship sailed 3,700 miles across the Atlantic from Africa to Barbados
10 Oct
2018

Two young boys have signed a book deal after their Playmobile toy pirate ship sailed 3,700 miles across the Atlantic Ocean from Africa to Barbados.

Ollie Ferguson, nine, and brother Harry, six, from Turriff, Aberdeenshire, have sold their story rights to New York-based publisher WW Norton & Company.

The boys caught the attention of the book industry after their £40 ship set sail from Peterhead fitted with a tracker device and made it across the Atlantic.

In May 2018 media reported the ship was about 100 miles south of Barbados. Launched from Scotland the ship needed some adaptations before it was ready to tackle the North Sea.

A counterweight was added to help it stay upright, and it was filled with polystyrene to help it stay afloat.

The ship carried a message asking anyone who finds it to launch Adventure back into the sea.

The boat has done more than 3,000 miles. It sailed hundreds of miles to Denmark after its initial launch from Peterhead. It then made it to Sweden and Norway.

It was taken aboard the Christian Radich, a Norwegian full-rigged ship, and then launched off the coast of Mauritania where it made its way across the Atlantic to Barbados.

Since then, Ollie and Harry, along with parents MacNeill and Vicki, have documented their continuing adventures on a Facebook page called The Days are Just Packed.

The boys' book - Ollie & Harry's Marvellous Adventures - is due to be released in autumn next year and will be published as part of the Norton Young Readers series.

The brothers are writing it with their father and children's author Garry Jenkins.

Mr Ferguson said: 'After the Playmobil ship was launched we got a lot of attention from all over the world which led to our now-agent Lucy Cleland getting in touch.

'She loved the idea of what we were doing and proposed writing a book. The next day we got a call from Garry who suggested working together.

'Since then we have been busy slowly creating the book. We left the publishing side to Lucy and we have managed to secure a brilliant publisher.'

His wife added: 'The boys are very grounded and they don't think that what they do is out of the norm and are used to sharing their adventures.

'We loved the concept of the book - it's all about inspiring other kids to go out and have their own adventures.'

Ms Cleland said: 'Readers have so much to look forward to in the book, particularly those who have been wondering how Ollie and Harry pulled off their best adventures and how they can try something similar.

'All in all, Ollie and Harry are such a great example of how many interesting modern ways there are to create your own fun and have adventures that change your perspective on the world and your own capabilities.'

As for any money made from the book deal, MacNeill said: 'It will either be put towards making bigger adventures for the boys - ones that we otherwise wouldn't be able to do - or perhaps it will go into a trust fund for when they are older.'

The boat needed some adaptations before it was ready to tackle the North Sea.

A counterweight was added to help it stay upright, and it was filled with polystyrene to help it stay afloat.

The ship carries a message asking anyone who finds it to launch Adventure back into the sea.

Speaking on the Good Morning Scotland radio programme, their dad said: "We've been following her for the last five months, crossing the Atlantic, and just over a week ago she stopped pinging us locations and we assumed that was it, we had lost her, and the batteries had died.

"Last night I just went on again to have a quick look, just out of habit more than expecting to see something, and she started pinging again, which is amazing.

"She's about 100 miles south of Barbados just now

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