Message in a Bottle
We’d been underway for eleven hours when we dropped the hook in Beaver Harbour, British Columbia. The David B was quiet with the exception of the crackle of wood burning in the cookstove and breeze ruffling papers on the bridge deck. Jeffrey had taken our guests out for a skiff ride while I stayed on board to fix a pot of cioppino and bake a thick-crust loaf of sourdough bread for dinner. I was also taking advantage of the empty, quiet boat to clean up the galley, set the table, watch eagles, and listen to ravens while I reflected on our day.
We had spent the majority of the day crossing Queen Charlotte Sound. As a tour boat operator, I often worry about making the crossing when we have passengers aboard. It’s a day where we’re exposed to Pacific Ocean waves for five hours, so I always hope for a calm day for the sake of our more motion-sensitive guests. My wish for the day’s crossing was granted and we had a beautiful day with one-to-two meter rollers. They were the kind of waves that make you feel like a baby being gently rocked to sleep. Even though it was picture perfect, there was still one guest who grumbled about the motion. Oh, well, I sighed as I reminded myself that I can’t be responsible for the weather or the way others experience a gentle following sea.
I was blending a salad dressing when the sound of the skiff caught my attention. Jeffrey and the guests had returned and they were very excited. As they boarded the David B and stepped into the galley they crowded around me. It was like show-and-tell day at school.
“What did you find?” I asked.
“Lynn found a message in a bottle,” Jeffrey said.
“Oh, let me see,” I said, and reached out for the weathered plastic water bottle with a curled up piece of paper inside.
“There’s a picture we pulled out. It’s of a girl,” Lynn said and then asked for some scissors to cut the top of the bottle.
I pulled the scissors out of the drawer and Lynn got to work on retrieving message. We all huddled over Lynn’s shoulder as she pulled out the message. It was written with a thick black Crayola ink pen. It read:
Sunday May 25th, 2008
Hi! My Name is Lauren Shaleen Corsi. My favorite color is blue. I am 10 years old and I have two cats named fluffy and angel. The reason I am writing this is because I wanted someone to find it and it will become published in a newspaper someday.
Thank you for finding this! : )
Needless to say we were all very excited and every one of us pulled out our phones to see if we could find some information on Lauren or her family. Nothing came up. Lauren still remains a mystery.
In a world of texting and instant messaging, it gives me a warm feeling to think that four years ago, a ten year old girl stood on a beach somewhere with a plastic bottle and a message. While I looked at the picture she enclosed, I wondered if she remembers her message in a bottle. I hope it will find it’s way back to her soon.