Last Christmas my mother gave me a Message in a Bottle kit, complete with cork and sealing wax. My daughter and I couldn’t wait to send our message out to sea. Where would it end up? England? Ireland? How long would it take before someone discovered it?
On April 4 we placed my email address and our city on a pre-printed form that was decorated with pictures of pirate ships and dolphins. After rolling the sheet up and putting it in the bottle, we spent about twenty minutes melting and dripping sealing wax all over the cork. I even ruined one of my mother’s spoons for this grand beach house production. But it would all be worth it when we got that email from Africa.
That Sunday, it was time to set our bottle out to sea. My daughter and I went back and forth on who should throw it in. “Mom, you can get it out further.” “That’s fine, but you are more than welcome to throw it if you like!” “No, you go ahead, Mom.”
I thought about my toss for a few minutes. Underhanded? Overhanded? Sideways? I went for the overhand toss, with a bit of a run before I threw. To my great embarrassment, I threw like a girl. The bottle went about three feet in front of me and landed on the hard sand. My daughter turned to me and said, “Fail.” Well I can’t help it, I was excited!
My second throw was better, plunging it in to the actual water. From there we watched it float down the coast, bobbing on the occasional ripple of this waveless day.
Today I received an email from the family who found our bottle! Could it have been carried across the ocean that quickly? Wow, there must have been some storms! But alas, this was not quite how it all played out. The finders discovered it a day after we tossed it, just a few miles away. Here is their email:
We found your message ashore on a beach between Duck and Corolla on 4/5/11. We are from Hershey, PA and were on vacation there. We think that you had a really cool idea and finding the bottle caused quite a stir in our group (15 people).
The Kerchner Family
I’ve already planned a new strategy for our next bottle, because there WILL be another bottle. During the summer, visitors rent ocean kayaks to ride in the waves. I am sure one of them will be happy to paddle our bottle past the breakers, and possibly across the sand dune. If this plan fails, my daughter and I can ask one of the local fishermen to take it on their next run.
In the meantime, I am so happy our message was found, no matter how close to home it was discovered. Our “little bottle that could” did its very best, considering I throw like a girl!