Msg in a bottle returned by email
DODGING Noumea, Fiji, Samoa, savage storms and the wrath of huge sea mammals, Shelly Cauchi’s message in a bottle has survived all odds, coming to rest in the hands of an islander boy, thousands of kilometres from where it was tossed.
It took 14 months for the champagne bottle to make its way from the Galapagos Islands to the Solomon Islands to be picked up by a curious boy, Ben Mepeke. A message to Shelly’s inbox registered the find.
“I couldn’t believe it when I got the email,” Shelly said.
“When I first got back I kept checking my email and wondering if anyone would pick it up but then I forgot about it.”
The email read: "Hellow to you and hope you okey. I found the bottle on the 14th on Wednesday Oct, 2009 when I was walking alone the seashore and also apiece of note."
Employed as a navigator aboard a Slocum 43 that was being shipped across the world, Shelly decided to quench her childhood curiosity and send the message overboard.
“When ever I jog on the beach, I always check any bottles for a message,” she said.
Shelly and the three-girl crew bought a case of champagne in Balboa, Panama, before setting off towards the Galapagos.
“It took us a while to finish a bottle each because you can’t drink at sea.
“Then we had to dry the bottles out, whittle down the corks and seal them with resin,” she said.
Shelly said she’s familiar with the Solomons and it’s likely that Ben’s reply to her was passed through several hands before reaching someone who had access to a computer.
“When I go to New Guinea, I’ll sail by and pay him a visit,” she said.
“When I first got back I kept checking my email and wondering if anyone would pick it up but then I forgot about it