Message In A Bottle | Found! | Cat Island | Bahamas

Message in bottle found after 5 years a drift on 04/09/2011.

After listening to the occasional complaining from the Admiral regarding no beach days since our arrival to Cat Island, mind you Cat Island has some of the most stunning pink beaches in the Bahamas, the Captain thought it wise to treat the Admiral to a beach day. The air was warm, the sun shining bright with a gentle breeze scooting through the atmosphere. The water was flat with barely a ripple drifting diagonally across the surface these conditions would permit us to navigate safely as well as comfortably to the east shore of the island, the perfect day for beachcombing. We arrived to the ocean side of the island without obstacles; the vision that unfolded before our eyes was breathtaking. Postcard perfect! The beach went on ceaselessly, shimmering pink tinted sand, the water gin clear with marvelous reefs breaking the waves long before they reached the island, paradise! We docked and secured the dinghy and began our stroll. The Captain and I looked around at the beauty that enclosed us, how truly blessed we are to be living in this dream. Now the adventure began beachcombing! It’s amazing the items that can be found on ocean side beaches and what better way to spend a beautiful morning than to treasure hunt in paradise! The morning exploration started out slow, no sea glass, no old bottles, and no shells but the exercise felt great. We decided to hike a little farther prior to heading back when I glanced up the beach along the water line and noticed a green glass bottle lying in the sand. From afar there didn’t appear to be anything extraordinary about the bottle but I felt an impulse to take a closer look. As I approached closer I noticed something sparkly inside the bottle, ok curiosity had me now! I ran up the slight incline and seized the bottle, there was something wrapped in foil inside and the bottle was sealed closed!!

I FOUND A MESSAGE IN A BOTTLE! I have envisioned finding a bottle with a message in it but I never imagined I would actually find a real message in a bottle! I bolted off en route for the Captain with bottle in hand bubbling with enthusiasm to share with him the treasure I discovered. We attempted to open the bottle on the beach but the cork plug was in too tight so we decided to return to Mary Rose to change clothes and take the bottle to the Rich’s resort, Tail Winds to share with him this exciting discovery. The anticipation was driving me mad when we finally arrived at the resort, Rich loaned us his wine opener as we gathered around the tiki hut to open the bottle. It was a bit of a challenge to remove the cork, it was stuck fast in the opening but at last the cork released its grasp and broke free! I slipped the foil wrapping out and began painstakingly opening it being careful not to tear the white paper that was cocooned inside. The eagerness grew with each passing moment! Then to my astonishment I observed through a small tear what appeared to be money cocooned inside the white paper! I vigilantly continued to remove the foil wrap; could there really be money inside, if so how much??!! After removing the foil with all eyes focused on the paper, I placed it on the bar and began cautiously unrolling it to keep it intact. Inside was a computer typed page with $10 US dollars attached. It was dated Oct 20, 2005, and read:

“This bottle was placed in the ocean at Hudson Canyon, USA. Please contact me. I would like to know where and when you found this bottle. The $10 inside the bottle will help with cost of postage/phone in contacting me. A $50 reward will be given to you upon contact.”

Then it listed his name, address and phone number. How cool!! Rich was kind enough to let us use his phone and I zealously called the number listed on the page. I was slightly anxious because I wasn’t sure how to correctly pronounce the person’s last name nor was I sure if the phone number listed would still be an active number after 5 years. It seemed to take years for the international connection to take place as I stood holding a silent phone to my ear, then out of the silence I heard the long awaited ring… one ring, two rings, 3 rings… “hello” came a woman’s voice from the other end. “Hi” I said, “is this the Porycki residence?” With a long pause she answered “yes it is, may I ask who is calling?” Well that was the answer that opened the barn door. My mouth began flooding out like a swift current carrying my story through the distorted phone line. She seemed a bit bewildered and energized as I told her my story. Unfortunately her husband who threw the bottle off the New Jersey coast over 5 years ago was not home so I explained that I would be posting the story to our blog along with pictures and that I would be more than happy to call him again when we had adequate internet service. The approximate location of the found bottle is:

LAT/LONG Position: N 24° 40.812 W 75° 44.286

The remarkable part of this story is the probable voyage this bottle has taken, the places it has been, the encounters it has made and for it to arrive on a reef filled beach on the east coast of Cat Island without a mark is amazing! Here is a synopses of what may occurred during the journey to the beach of Cat Island: This bottle was tossed into the ocean off the New Jersey coast, made its way easterly until it became swept up into the Gulf Stream, where it most likely travelled to Great Britain and Europe passing unsuspecting cruise ships, shipping vessels, war ships, after making a leisurely turn south it most likely glided along the majestic western coast of Europe heading towards the beautiful Mediterranean where it in all probability slid past unwary luxurious sailing vessels then making another long slow turn until it was parallel to the equator and headed west finding its way to the many strong currents that head back north and converge with the Gulf Stream. Who knows how many times this bottle made this circling journey over the past 5 years, It would have probably continued circling until something happened and it broke it free. When imagining the voyage this little bottle took over the past 5 + years one must be amazed! Over the past years I’m sure it wasn’t always a pleasurable ride, it must have battled gargantuan waves that lifted it high to only crash down upon it, inconceivable storms that tossed it around like a huge washing machine, wakes of huge commercial vessels that tossed violently it out of their way, I’m sure this bottle carries a wonderful story of adventure. As for the $50 reward, I requested the money to be given to a women’s shelter, school or whatever organization that drew their hearts. Thank you to the Poryckis’ for this bona fide delightful experience!

Mangoes Marina | Marsh Harbor | Abacos |Bahamas

We were put up in Marsh Harbor for several days to ride out one of the frequent cold fronts that pass through the Bahamas on a regular schedule. The Harbor was crowded, but there was still room at anchor. We decided to dinghy to the local marinas and check see if there were discounts off of the published prices. We discovered that most of the marinas in Marsh Harbor were willing to discount their prices just for the asking. We decided on Mangoes as it had a good approach and was on the south side of the Harbor where the main part of town is located. Mangoes Marina is just west of the Moorings Charter base and has a large sign over the main part of the dock. If your draft is four feet or over then you should wait until mid tide or higher before making your approach. Most of the slips will accommodate deep draft vessels. You should hail Mangoes Marina on VHF channel 16 where you will be asked to switch and answer channel 12. You can also call them at 242-367-4255. We were greeted with a cheerful welcome and spoke with Ray. Ray is the dock master and is very knowledgeable of the area and extremely helpful. Ray will give you good directions for avoiding any shallow areas on the approach to the marina. Just ask! We received AAA+ service upon arrival and during our stay. Ray as well as other individuals were dockside to greet us and lend an experts hand with the dock lines. We stayed several days and returned later for another lengthy stay. We made several new friends while we were there. A great time was had by all! Mangoes Marina, Ray and staff gets our highest award for price, quality and service. We give them a very high recommendation.