Finding a message in a bottle is one of those things that stirs up stories of sea adventures, long lost love, serendipity and chance. And this time of year there is always a bit of nostalgia surrounding stories of such things. On Christmas Eve of 1996 my husband Thor proposed to me with a message in the bottle. This happened off our tiny beach catamaran, with a blue moon Christmas Eve on Kauai. Before the proposal in the bottle there were years of build up and anticipation about a real message in the bottle that he had sent from a sailboat, at the equator, between Mexico and the Marquesas. During this time I lived in Costa Rica, he was sailing the Pacific. Thor always told me that during our time of traveling, separately for a year, he tried to contact me by mail and phone with no luck. So he tried Bottle Post.
There was always a bit of intrigue surrounding his story. “What did it say?” …He would never reveal. “Where would it end up?”….probably on a deserted reef, andÂ “Would it really be found?”… highly doubtful. Well crazier things have happened and did. We were married six months later.
Now the story could end here with a romantic proposal and happily ever after, but there is more. AÂ week after our wedding a letter addressed to my maiden name arrived at the home of my parents on Kauai. With not much thought to it I opened the letter expecting it to be a congratulations from one of the friends I had met it my years of traveling. As soon as I opened the letter it was clear that the sender of this letter was not from anyone I knew, but they seemed to know me. Included in the letter was a xerox copy of a hand written note and a photo of a barnacle crusted wine bottle. The question from the sender was, “Are you still best friends?”
James King from Surfers Paradise, Australia found the bottle.Â A bottle that was sentÂ years before from the sailboat at the equator, between Mexico and the Marquesas and the only wine bottle aboard a small sailing yacht headed to Fiji. This glass bottle would be the courier of a message that would be delivered four years later, after traveling 5,000 miles by way of wind and ocean currents, and the more amazing part is thatÂ Mr. King found it within days of our wedding.
So part of our Christmas Day on Kauai is always spent on the beach, and yesterday was no exception. The strong winds of the past week had died down and the sun was shining. So we packed up our kids and headed to the beach for some sun, surf and beach exploring.
After fun in the waves Thor took the kids on a beach walk along the same stretch of coast, where 15 years earlier where we got engaged. Today a new chapter in the message in the bottle story was added. Thor the sender of our message in a bottle found his own barnacle encrusted bottle and message. There was no cryptic message of long lost love, no S.O.S from a deserted island, just a lone business card from a T.Hunter from Chino, California. The Christmas day discoveryÂ was enough to ignite excitement and nostalgia in all of us.
When we got home we emailed T. Hunter ( a lot faster than bottle post) to find out his story. His bottle was sent only months ago from the coast of California and includedÂ some jabs and teasing from friends. He said he would appreciate it we would send it on to further destinations. So to carry on the fun experiment we too will send this off with an additional note and T. Hunters business card. Hopefully to be found again and spark intrigue in someone else on a far away shore.
This story is a reminder to myself and others to Dare to Dream and Believe in the impossible.
Stranger things have happened!
Happy New Year!