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Old 24-10-2008, 12:54   #16
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message in a bottle

I dropped a bottle into the atlantic as we were going from Fla to the Bahamas. 2 1/2 years later I got a letter from a young girl in France. She and her brother were playing on the beach after a storm and found the bottle. Long trip!!! Bob
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Old 24-10-2008, 16:32   #17
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I found a beach that washed up in a bottle.
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Faithful are the Wounds of a Friend, but the Kisses of the Enemy are Deceitful! ........
The measure of a man is how he navigates to a proper shore in the midst of a storm!
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Old 24-10-2008, 17:48   #18
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A new spin on message in a bottle.
While planning our 10th. Caribbean bareboat charter I was thinking about some fun activities for both the adults and kids.

I came up with a idea similar to the old message in a bottle, but wanted to use model sailboats, as they will travel further faster and be lots of fun as well.

I toyed around with building my own models from scratch, even made a plaster mold and cast some hulls from 2 part foam Urethane materials. I was not really pleased with their performance and decided to do some research.
I Sent an email to Wil at and got a favorable response that he liked the idea and wanted to be part of it.

Wil was kind enough to offer blem (seconds) hulls to the program along with the rest of the components needed. I paid for shipping and also extra for Carbon Fiber masts, as the boats are bound to see some rough weather and squalls on their journeys.

When the package with eight T-15 kits arrived, I was pretty excited and also a little overwhelmed having to varnish and finish 8 models!! I installed a long wood screw in each mast hole so I could varnish each boat completely and avoid drips.

The hulls arrived beautifully sanded, did not need to touch them before varnishing.
8 cats of Minwax Helmsman urethane varnish were applied with foam brushes, very light sanding with 320 sandpaper between coats.

The kids all chose boat names and colors:
Nicole: Nicole’s Kitty, Bright lime green
Shayna: Eore’s Palyhouse, Bright pink
Haley: Gymnastics Girl, Bright Lime Green
Steffi: Kalypso II bright Pink
RexIII; The Black Pearl, Black
Zach: Pequeno, Black
Miciah: S/V Michah, natural with blue lightning bolt
Mark (Me) Zapper (commemorative boat on display at my home) natural with blue bolt.

The finishing process was a daily fun thing to do after work, this allowed each coat of varnish then paint to dry completely.

After painting, many thin clear coats of Minwax Helmsman spray urethane varnish were applied, the boats are now looking really sharp! The keels were masked in the area that mates with the hull, painted and then clear coated also.

Meet the fleet!
The masts and keels are simply installed and not epoxied in place yet for each of carry on air transport in a back pack.

Each boat also had an engraved plaque attached with double sided tape and 4 brass screws. The other models included phone numbers, email and mailing addresses.

Time to assemble the boats on site, Marina Cay, British Virgin Islands!!!

It was quite warm, notice the beers on our building table?? The temperature helped the West System epoxy Wil supplied set up in just a couple of hours. It was tough waiting for them to dry, we were ready to sail

Final assembly and decorating!!!
The final assembly of masts and sails was done aboard Jeannius, our chartered privilege 435 catamaran. The kids put final touches on with Permanent Sharpie markers!

Off to Snorkel Monkey Point, then sail the boats at Leverick Bay!
Video links:
We raced the boats all afternoon at the pool at Leverick Bay. I passed out all of the business cards to people that just loved watching the boats sail!!!

Time to release the boats! The boats were released just off Anegada, an Island made of coral standing only 12 feet above sea level and 12 miles from the nearest island.

A video of the release:
The seas were a bit lumpy for not being underway, we were waiting for a another catamaran that followed us out to Anegada, they had never been before, so we stayed in radio contact after we blew them away with our big pretty gennaker. We guided them into the entrance and mooing field.

The kids had some separation anxiety, they loved their boats, but also a sense of adventure in releasing them and hopefully hearing from someone far away that found them!!!

It was all behind them after spending the next day at Loblolly Bay.

Then the next day at Cow Wreck Beach.

We celebrated my 49th. Birthday at Cow Wreck Beach, had to wear this silly badge all day!!!

After returning home, we received a call from the first sighting!
I answered the phone to lady with an English accent, it was Sir Richard Branson’s Assistant!
Seems Nicole’s Kitty sailed right into the bay at Necker Island, 12 miles from the release point.
Sir Richard’s assistant explained that he loved the boat and the idea, he actually played with it in the bay for some time before bringing it ashore.

I asked her to have him sign and date the boat with permanent marker and send it back out on the ocean side of the island.

The remainder of the boats must have cleared Necker island and Virgin Gorda and are off in the Gulf Stream by now!!!

Future sightings will be added to this report as they come in.

We have already booked a boat for June ’08 and may replay this adventure with just a few boats this time!
A link to all of the videos and photos from our 13 day sailing vacation:

Another useful link to information and a fun travel forum!

My screen name is Saildoggie over there!

Many thanks to Wil at for all the support and donating the boats!!
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Old 24-10-2008, 18:14   #19
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Found the article the BVI Beacon did on the project!!
Right here:

The BVI Beacon
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Old 24-10-2008, 20:50   #20
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I found a bottle under a pile of seaweed, on the beach near Point Reyes (north of San Francisco). It contained a message from a guy that had tossed it in near Fort Bragg, a distance of about 90 miles. I called the phone number in the message, but the guy seemed rather disappointed. Oh well.

I have made it a little tradition to launch a bottle with a nice message when we cross the halfway point between San Francisco to Hawaii. I usually include a picture of our boat, a hand-drawn chart showing our location in the Pacific, and personal messages from the crew. I include mailing and email addresses, my phone number, and a $5 bill. We use wine bottles and seal the cork with caulking. White wine is best, because the bottle is clear (or nearly so). Dark bottles just look like trash, because you can't see the message inside.

Six bottles so far, but no replies.
Paul Elliott, S/V VALIS - Pacific Seacraft 44 #16 - Friday Harbor, WA
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Old 26-10-2008, 08:28   #21
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Originally Posted by Saildoggie View Post

A video of the release:
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Old 22-11-2008, 01:46   #22
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I sent a few messages in bottles out while cruising south of Florida. Two months later my parents received a response from a school teacher in Cuba. He had found the bottle while walking the beach.
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Old 23-11-2008, 16:25   #23
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Originally Posted by ess105 View Post
We dropped off a bottle half way between Bermuda and The Azores recently. My guess it is still swirling around the Atlantic at this point.

I did the same thing once. I was feeling particularly lonely and wrote a little love note to Mrs Knothead. I added a few dollar bills and tossed it overboard. It was found a few years later in the Bahamas and mailed to my wife.
The wonderful people who mailed it asked to know the "rest of the story" but before my, less that romantic better half, got around to writing them she had lost their address.
I still feel bad about that.
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Old 13-01-2009, 10:40   #24
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I found one, the note inside read, "Return to sender-address unknown".

My dad always said before he left this cold, cruel world, "Never trust anything that comes out of a bottle, whether it be booze or a blonde".
Ignorant enough to be dangerous and smart enough to know it.
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Old 13-01-2009, 18:16   #25
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When anchored at Allens-Pensacola in the Abacos we found this marked piece of chart from St. Lucia in a barnacle encrusted bottle. Nothing written, but the lat & long:

'take care and joy, Aythya crew
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Old 14-01-2009, 03:18   #26
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That’s so cool...what a fun project.

I remember seeing a movie when I was a kid called "Paddle to the Sea"

The guy made a wooden canoe with a guy sitting in it...he put ballast in it so it always stayed up right.....

If I remember right he launched it in a stream in the spring and it made its way to the great lakes and beyond.

That chart is a good find...looks more like a treasure map....X marks the find.
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Old 15-01-2009, 14:50   #27
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I launched one from a little town in South Australia once. Never did get an answer. Launched a baloon from Oklahoma City in a fierce storm and got a reply from Pittsburg about a week later. Amazing!
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Old 20-01-2009, 22:49   #28
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Originally Posted by BlueLagoon View Post
Once a Petrone bottle washed up on Melbourne Beach in Florida. There was a note written on homemade paper with a sterling silver ring inside. The note said, "If anyone finds this ring, I hope it brings them more happiness than it has brought to me."
And who say's there's nothing to be found at the bottom of a bottle...
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Old 21-01-2009, 04:11   #29
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i was working as a diver off of Denmark in the mid 80s i was doing a pipeline swim/inspection, i was pulling my self along when out of the blue(literally) i spotted a bottle of grolsh beer,it was like finding an oasis in the desert,there was a strict no booze rule on the ship,i put the bottle in my bag and after i finished the dive,i sat there looking at it with a thirst that was building,i openned it and i was a tad dissapointed but not surprised to find that it had been spoiled by sea water
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Old 21-01-2009, 06:08   #30
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Found on Elliot Key

Back about 1990 we were beach combing on the ocean side of Elliot Key. We found plenty of neat stuff, there was enough lumber to build a house or at least a great shack, hats, frisbees, flip flops, and the message in a bottle. It gave lat and long which was about the middle of the Atlantic. He was a merchant marine. We wrote to the address in England and our letter came back, a little stamp with 4 catagories from the postal service. The catagory checked off was "Gone away". Made us smile.
"When the world was flat as a pancake, Mona Lisa was happy as a clam" J. Prine
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