Imagine my surprise when I received a Google message from Roland Rumm in Guanaja, Honduras with the news that a 19.6 inch, 2.2 lb toy Playmobil boat named Adventure ll (A2) was heading our way asking for my help in finding it. Of course, I immediately answered yes.
I learned that this was no ordinary boat, as it was the second attempt to break a world record by Harry, 8, and Ollie,11, two precocious brothers from Scotland. Their first attempt, Adventure 1 (A1), completed a transatlantic crossing and earned them a Guinness World Record for the most traveled toy ship, in 2020. A1 traveled just over 6000 km/3728 miles and visited three different countries before being lost at sea near Barbados. With the help of friends in Trinidad, who built the Adventure 2, it was launched 60 miles N off the coast of Guyana on Sept 23rd, 2020 on the same course as A1.
A2 stopped in Honduras, landing at Brus Laguna, a remote area, and made her way into the hands of Roland and his 4-year-old son Santi on Guanaja Island for some R&R (rest and repairs) at Roland’s Gardens Guest House, before setting sail again.
Having survived two hurricanes, an earthquake, and traveled 4000 km/2485 miles crossing the Caribbean Sea, A2 certainly earned another break with a fun-filled Belize vacation.
The interval tracker showed A2 heading towards North Ambergris Caye, near Tranquility Bay Resort. I quickly reached out to a couple of people out that way but could not get a definite yes to find the boat. Luckily my good friend Cindy Vigna from the Belize Sailing Center (BSA) happened to message me at the right time and was instantly on board to help.
It was all happening so fast. Cindy’s first thought was to take one of the BSC Hobie cats out to find the boat, however, strong winds and approaching sunset time were an issue. It was clear that a speedboat was the way to go. She made contact with Seaduced by Belize tour company which turned out to be the perfect solution.
A team led by Captain Elito Arceo of Seaduced, with Cindy, Andy, and their 8-year-old daughter Océane of the BSC jumped into action to retrieve the boat before Sunset. Along with them was Lara Goldman of 12 Belize who thankfully brought crew member Al Domesick from Keller Williams Realty and his handheld GPS. I was the land co-ordinate relay person, updating the boat location from the tracking site every 5 minutes by text. After braving 6 to 8-foot swells and 3 sets of coordinates, A2 was retrieved 10 miles beyond the reef. Everyone in Scotland and Honduras was relieved, especially Harry who was too excited to sleep. Our crew was happy for a mission accomplished and ready to head home.
As for the toy boat, the 4 bedroom, 3 bath rental, Sunshine House (shown in featured image) was the perfect holiday accommodation for the pirate ship. Not only is there a pool, but a safe rooftop that enabled the tracking device to keep contact with its satellite.
While here, A2 managed a few days’ rest, then life became extremely busy. She also became a bit of a celebrity with an appearance on Reef TV, and thanks to Lara, her vacation coordinator, who scheduled all kinds of fun. As is the case with some travelers, A2 also chose to volunteer while here and was instantly welcomed into the Island Academy curriculum. Océane’s class did a live Zoom call with A2, Harry, and Ollie in Scotland. Not only was it great education on ocean currents and problem-solving with the keel, but this adventure is also a great geography lesson. The Sovereign Waters that Adventure ll has sailed into or passed through include Guyana, Venezuela, Trinidad & Tobago, Grenada, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica, Honduras, Belize, Mexico, Cuba, and the USA.
Thanks to the boy’s dad, MacNeill Ferguson, who set up an A2 Crew WhatsApp group of 8 adults, I also got some great education. The parents in the group were sharing some really cool pics and videos to help their kids bond. We got to see a triceratops horn, t-rex toenail and tooth, anemones, pandanus fruit, and many more interesting things. Of course, I sent a few pics to further tempt MacNeill and the boys for planning their future visit. It was also fun to share ideas and chat about the boat’s progress.
For repairs, after a few brainstorming sessions and some hands-on trial and error by Andy of BSC with an ice pack and a hammer in her vacation home swimming pool, a modification was in the works. The keel addition was done by Captain Sharks and allowed for currents to guide her course, versus being at the mercy of easterly trade winds that would send her back to shore.
In just as grand and hurried a manner as she came in, so was A2’s departure. What seemed like ample vacation time was suddenly cut short fast; due to favorable weather conditions. It was time to send Adventure 2 home to her family in Scotland. A plane and yacht ride to Mexico was in order to drop the pirate ship north of Cozumel island to make its way up past Florida and successfully catch the Gulf stream back across the Atlantic. She flew out on Tropic Air to Belize City and with the help of Belize Sailing Vacations, boarded Sailing Lost who was willing to help launch A2 in the best place near Cozumel Mexico to help her catch the current.
The keel addition knocked it out of the park and A2 was moving faster than ever with high speeds of 4.6-5 knots (1 knot = 1.15 miles per hour) towards her next destination, Miami. The pic below is the marker, anywhere east of that goal line and she will break the world record before finishing her journey home to Scotland. However, as you see on the left, A2 is veering towards Cuba. We are all crossing our fingers she catches the current and gets back on track. Update Adventure ll broke the world record and is getting another mini-vacation in Florida before setting sail for Scotland.
See more Adventure ll
To keep up with A2 and many other incredible adventures by Harry and Ollie, like and follow The days are just packed. You can also get further inspired by purchasing their book Harry And Ollie’s Marvelous Adventures.
I am dedicating this revamp of taco tip #19 as a thank you to Harry and Ollie in Scotland – so grateful for the opportunity to help. This is a very handy option for ingenious people like yourselves. Measure the distance between your thumb and pinky finger while they are spread out. Double-check and make sure both hands are the same and voila – an instant measuring device. In my case I get 14 inches with two hands, add 5.6 and there you have the length of your boat.
If you are planning a vacation on Ambergris Caye like A2 and want some inspiration here are some of the fun options based on her trip to help you plan your own adventures. Even if you don’t volunteer, consider bringing some school or pet supplies to donate.
- Stop by Hol Chan Marine Museum in town.
- Go watch or participate in Sunday sailing races at Belize Sailing Center.
- Take a tour to Hol Chan and Shark Ray Alley or a sunset cruise with Seaduced by Belize.
- Stop by Caliente restaurant and Estel’s Dine by the Sea for a nice beachfront meal.
- Head to Neri’s tacos for a low-cost local favorite.
- Enjoy a delicious meal and take your picture in front of the famous Belize signs at The Truck Stop or Blue Water Grill restaurant.
- Go Souvenir Shopping at 12 Belize for authentic Belizean handicrafts.
- Visit American Crocodile Education Sanctuary (ACES) wildlife rescue, rehabilitation, and education center.
- Watch for an impromptu acrobatic tree climbing show by Coconut Leo ~ you never know where he will turn up.
- Walk and help socialize an island dog that is up for adoption at Saga Humane Society on Saturdays with a fun group of local ex-pats.
- And if you fall in love with the Island, as many people have, check-in with Al Domesick, at Keller-Williams Realty to see some of the gorgeous Island properties that are available.