A Decade-Old Message in a Bottle from Massachusetts Surfaces in the West Indies
In an unexpected twist of events, a University of Michigan student, Cassidy Beach, discovered a message in a bottle that had been launched from the Massachusetts coast almost a decade ago. The discovery occurred during her visit to the island of South Caicos in the West Indies in April.
Discovery Amidst Marine Debris
On a routine study day, Beach stumbled upon the bottle amidst some marine debris on a cliff. Intrigued, she and her classmates broke the bottle open, revealing a message dated September 30, 2004. Pennel Ames, the author of the message, explained that he had launched the bottle into the Atlantic Ocean from the Nantucket coast.
Unraveling the Mystery
Intrigued by the discovery, Beach and her friends conducted online research and found that Ames, a commercial fisherman, had launched multiple messages in bottles into the ocean. These messages had been found in various locations across the globe, including Louisiana, Bermuda, Cuba, England, Ireland, and France.
The message also contained an address for a reply. Beach, who was due for a summer internship with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in Woods Hole, Mass., wrote a letter in response.
A Memorable Encounter
Ames and his wife, Sharon, invited Beach to their Surfside cottage for dinner. This marked only the second time the couple had the opportunity to meet someone who had found one of their messages. The couple noted that the bottle Beach found was the oldest in terms of the time elapsed from its launch to discovery. It also ranked among the farthest-traveled of their bottles.