Message In A Bottle Found On Rouge River – Who Wrote It?

Message In A Bottle Found On Rouge River – Who Wrote It?

Message in a bottle on shore of Rouge River - Markham - Ontario

Late one fall, Bob and I were out looking for a reported Great Horned Owl in the forest along the east shore of the Rouge River in Markham, Ontario, when we came upon a bottle lying along the shore’s edge.  This bottle caught our eye because we could clearly see that it had a message inside.  Whoever set this bottle afloat made sure it was watertight and waterproof.  Although not swept out to sea, this letter was set adrift by the messenger with hopes that it would be found someday on Markham’s Rouge River.  And indeed, it has been found!!

Message sits inside a bottle

Finding a message in a bottle is pretty exciting, and although we once found a message in a bottle while sailing, this is truly the best prepped bottle we have ever discovered.   As you probably already know,  a Message in a Bottle has been used for centuries as a communication device.   Whoever put this bottle together followed all the suggested rules of prepping a message in a bottle.  They used a glass bottle, which is the highest recommended type of bottle, and they sealed the bottle with a cork.  On top of that, the cork was coated with wax.  Taking it one step further, the messenger  sealed their communiqué within a plastic bag inside the bottle.   You might be interested to know that, today, modern scientists actually use messages in bottles to study ocean currents.

Jean holds the Message in a Bottle

Whoever put this message inside this little glass bottle was following in the footsteps of the ancient Greek philosopher Theophrastus, who released the first known message in a bottle into the Mediterranean Ocean in  310 BC.   So Bob and I were very curious to open this bottle and to read the message, wondering how it held up against a famous philosopher’s missive.

I wonder what the message will say

As we would soon learn, this bottle had been floating on the Rouge River for months.  The world record for “longest time a bottle has floated at sea” is 92 years 229 days.  That bottle was released near Aberbeen, Scotland in 1914, and recovered by a fisherman off the Shetland Islands on December 10, 2006.    Our bottle at least shares the same month of December, although not the same day, as having been retrieved from its abyss.  It is pretty close, give or take 91 and half years.  But perhaps this is the first message in a bottle ever found on the Rouge River in Markham, Ontario.  What do you think?  Let us know…

We decided we would share the anticipation of opening the Message in a Bottle with you.  Have a look and enjoy the moment.

The MESSAGE THAT IS IN THE BOTTLE

As I unfurled this message, I thought of a popular song by The Police,  “Message in a Bottle”.   If you listen to that song, you hear a story about trying to sort out life and hoping to do it through a message in a bottle.  I think it is really fitting, then, that the four girls who wrote this message also decided to include their Albert Einstein thinking.  Indeed, Bob and I have lived our lives to date believing that imagination will take you everywhere, and that logic sometimes gets in the way.

The names in the bottle

At the bottom of their message, L.B. , RAB, NMS, and RGP included an email address in order for the finders of their bottle to contact them.  It is a very inspired address, and to make sure the girls are not flooded with emails, we have decided not to reveal that part of their Message in a Bottle.  Just the same, if you think you know who this message belongs to, then please fill out the contact box below and let us know.  It has now been 36 hours since we sent the girls our email to let them know we have received their message.  We will update this site daily until we hear from them, so that you will know the outcome of this MESSAGE IN A BOTTLE.

UPDATE #1:  It’s now Saturday morning, December 22, 2012, three days before Christmas, and we have not yet heard back from the girls to whom this message belongs.  Perhaps it will not happen in 2012.  Here is the email sent to the unknown authors on December 19, 2012:

Merry Christmas L.B., R.A.B., N.M.S. and R.G.P.!  Or perhaps I should just say Season’s Greetings.

As you may be starting to realize, your message in a bottle has been retrieved from the now deserted shoreline of Milne Pond!  I suppose that you set it afloat at Milne Park Conservation Area and not somewhere upstream, but all the same, it was exciting to find such an intriguing bottle, with a mysterious message to unfold.

If you would like to see the big reveal of your message, and who found it, please look up our video on YouTube at:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=epM8Ln705ZA

We documented the uncorking of the bottle, as well as the location where it was found.

We have not decided where we will set the bottle adrift again, but will do so early in the New Year!

I wanted this to be a little Christmas surprise.  Here’s hoping to hear back from one or all of you.

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We followed up with another email on January 21, 2013, thinking that the authors might remember the message launched at summer’s end as they contemplated the new year ahead:

Happy New Year L.B., R.A.B., N.M.S. and R.G.P.

I have been patiently waiting for you to open your Inbox ever since we found your message in a bottle.  That was a month ago.  We found your missive very inspiring and well-written, I’m sure a reflection of the creative and imaginative girls that you are.  If you are interested in seeing the big “reveal” when we first opened your sealed bottle, you can watch it at:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=epM8Ln705ZA.

I would be ever so happy if you would reply to my email.  I had plans to return the bottle to you or seek your participation if we decided to set it adrift again. 

Here’s hoping that one or all of you girls remembers to check for messages in your special email inbox!

Jean and Bob

_____________________________________

UPDATE #2:  May 8, 2013:  It has been almost 5 full months since we found the message in a bottle, and I am thrilled to report that one of the girls contacted us through our blog this evening.  Further communication will follow once all of the girls have a chance to talk.  I can hardly wait to see what they have to say.  Here is what she had to say:

Hi!

My friends and I are all so sorry for the delayed reply! We lost the book in which we wrote the email and password… only today did one of us (NMS!) remember what they were.

We never imagined our summer adventure would get such a welcome reply. Saying that, we all want to thank you so much for your enthusiasm and kindness. It is very appreciated by all of us. To see someone take such interest in our bottle is amazing. I will see my fellow summer 2012 Bucket List-ers very soon – within the week – and together we will respond to your email.

Cheers,

RGP

_____________________________________

We waited patiently to receive another email from the girls, and even sent the following reminder to them:

Hi Rachael.

It has been a couple of weeks since you contacted us, so I just want to jog your memory about sending a response from you and your friends.

My husband and I still have your “Message in a Bottle” and plan to relaunch it sometime this year.  We are hoping to drop it into one of the oceans of the world, but have to wait and see where our next trip will take us.

We would like to include a further comment from you in the bottle, along with our own dispatch.

Here’s hoping all is well with all of you.

________________________________________

UPDATE #3:  November 9, 2013:  What a surprise to wake up this morning and find a communique from Rachael, Nicole, Robin and Laurel.

Hi Jean,

We are so sorry for the very late response once again. It seemed to slip our minds with the hectic end of school and entrance into university. It would be difficult, at this point, for us to include another comment as we unfortunately now live in different cities – please just include our original letter. However, we are still very intrigued to where you will (or have?) relaunched the bottle. 
Thank you for your great interest in our adventure. Although our responses have been late and disorderly, we truly appreciate your belief, commitment, and time.
 
Yours truly,
 
Rachael, Nicole, Robin, and Laurel

__________________________________________

It was with delight that I fired off a quick response.

Wow!  Hi Rachael, Nicole, Robin and Laurel.

It is just as I suspected.  I thought, given the youthful exuberance and positive outlook expressed in your dispatch, that you girls were probably high school students with heavy demands on your time for educational studies and busy social lives.  It even crossed my mind that you might be heading off in different directions to university, and hence the Message in a Bottle likely slipped your minds.  It is nice that your adventure continues with this new chapter in your lives.

We still have your Message in a Bottle tucked safely away on the off chance that you girls would recontact us, and I thank you for that. Knowing that you have “signed off” on it will give us the freedom to relaunch the bottle in the future, but not before adding our own message to yours.

Good luck with your university careers, and feel free to check back in at any time.

Sincerely,

Jean and Bob

_____________________________________________

This culminates the scattered correspondence between me and the girls.  I hope you have enjoyed sharing in our dialogue.

Frame To Frame – Bob and Jean

10 comments

  • Dear Jean and Bob,
    Having seen your re-launch article in the local Economist & Sun this past week, it refreshed my memory of this adventure. Our daughter (LB) is one of the teenage girls. In fact, that is her writing in the letter. I would LOVE to meet up with you to express our appreciation for your perseverance and commitment to continuing their adventure. Please feel free to contact me.

    • Hi Susan. Thanks for the offer. As I expressed in my email to one of the other girls, Rachel, “the saga continues”. How nice of you to contact us. We would be delighted to meet up with you at some point in the near future. I’ll be in touch.

  • Hi! My friends and I are all so sorry for the delayed reply! We lost the book in which we wrote the email and password… only today did one of us (NMS!) remember what they were.
    We never imagined our summer adventure would get such a welcome reply. Saying that, we all want to thank you so much for your enthusiasm and kindness. It is very appreciated by all of us. To see someone take such interest in our bottle is amazing. I will see my fellow summer 2012 Bucket List-ers very soon – within the week – and together we will respond to your email.
    Cheers,
    RGP

    • Hi Rachel. This is awesome…to finally hear from you! We have had various people giving suggestions on how to track you down, but all of our attempts were to no avail. I can hardly wait to hear your “formal” reply to our email. Thanks so much for getting in touch with us.

  • Just wondering if you ever did hear from the girls?

    • No, the girls have not contacted us yet. I will send another email to them, but it all depends on whether or not they check their inbox. I imagine they set up a specific email address for this purpose and have forgotten about it.

  • What a fun thing to find – and it certainly looks like they did a good job of sealing it up! 🙂

    Merry Christmas & best wishes for 2013

    • Hi Rachel. Despite emailing the girls on a couple of occasions, we have yet to hear back from any of them. We wonder, if by chance, they will remember to check their email on the anniversary date of setting the bottle afloat. That would be in August. Time will tell.

      • Have you considered trying a pipl email search to see what names are associated with the email address? Maybe that and just google the email address. These steps may provide you more leads as to who the group of girls might be and other ways to contact them. 🙂

        • Wow! Thanks for the suggestions. I am obviously not as computer-savy as you, so I really appreciate your advice. I will take it and give it a try.