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Message in a bottle travels from Random Island to Scotland

David and Donna Vardy with their grandchildren, Annalea and Isabel.
David and Donna Vardy with their grandchildren, Annalea and Isabel. - Barbara Dean-Simmons

July 1 note washes up in the Outer Hebrides

RANDOM ISLAND, N.L. — There was a bit of wind and some tide when six-year-old Annalea Vardy dropped a bottle over the side of her grandfather’s boat near Pope’s Harbour on Canada Day, 2017.

Inside was a message, and a couple of pictures drawn by Annalea and her younger sister, Isabel, aged three.

This is the message that Annalea and Isabel wrote last July and set adrift in a bottle.
This is the message that Annalea and Isabel wrote last July and set adrift in a bottle.

They could only wonder where the bottle, with its message, would end up as they waved goodbye to it as it drifted away.

Their grandparents, David and Donna Vardy, didn’t think it would get far.

“I really thought it would crash on a beach somewhere around Bonavista,” says David, since that appeared to be the way the wind and tide was running that July 1.

The bottle did crash on a beach, but on a beach on a very distant shore.

In late May, Donna got a call from Scotland. The message in the bottle had been picked up by a hotel staff member on a beach in front of the Bara Beach Hotel, on the Isle of Barra, Outer Hebrides Scotland,

The recovery of the bottle created quite a stir in Scotland.



“The newspaper over there, the Daily Record, even contacted the owner of the hotel,” says Donna, adding she was “over the moon” to learn the bottle had travelled so far.

Although the Vardys spend a lot of time on the water, boating around Smith’s Sound and Random Sound, this was the first time they had ever put a message in a bottle and thrown it overboard.

But with their first bottle travelling so far, and creating such a stir, it’s very likely they will write another note, stick it in a bottle and pitch it into the Atlantic to see where the wind and waves may take it.

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