The spirit of adventure
When preparing the Message from the Bridge for each edition of Sea Breezes, I often find myself scanning all the latest shipping news dealing with such serious matters of world trade patterns, piracy, cuts to the UK Navy, and the very human tragedy of refugees dying in transit across the Mediterranean.
It is, therefore, a relief, every so often, to see a heart-warming story that puts a smile on your face and re-connects everyone to the joys and mystique of international maritime travel. As this copy of Sea Breezes went to print, two young Scottish boys were hoping to hear an update on the position of the toy boat they had launched months ago and which had already travelled nearly 3,000 miles across the Atlantic Ocean.
Brothers Ollie and Harry Ferguson live in a part of the world well known to me – Turriff, an inland town in the North East of Scotland. Their toy boat Adventure, which originally cost the small price of £40, was released into the North Sea at Peterhead, a major fishing port, last May. The boat subsequently reached Denmark before being picked up by the crew of a ship who offered to launch her out into the Atlantic, complete with a tracker, just off the Mauritanian coast.
The Ferguson boys were concerned that the battery on the tracker could run flat and cause them to lose contact with the latest position of the boat, which was heading close to Guyana. The Stena Drilling company and the crew of the Stena Carron offered to launch a search party for the boat, but it did not come close enough to the position of the Carron for them to try and locate it.
The possibility of such a tiny and basic toy boat being carried across one of the world’s great oceans and riding out huge waves on its way, is both educational in terms of understanding the power of ocean currents, but also inspirational in capturing the spirit of adventure that these two boys have demonstrated and which drove many of the original explorers whose maritime feats and trips “into the unknown” helped to create the world as we know it.
The positive way that a major corporate entity such as Stena Drilling has reacted, also indicates the friendship and co-operation which is often a key feature of global maritime shipping. How wonderful it is that the exploits of these two young boys in the North East of Scotland have captured headlines in the media and Sea Breezes hopes that the Adventure will continue to be tracked and complete its amazing journey across the Atlantic.
HAMISH ROSS, EDITOR