British Columbia

Vancouver Island couple finds bottle with message and ashes of 'Biker Bob'

People find all kinds of things on the beach, but this find by a Vancouver Island couple might top them all — a bottle with the apparent ashes of someone named "Biker Bob." It also had a note asking them to take him for a drink.

Bottle found on Vancouver Island held ashes and a note asking the finder to take Bob for a drink

Bethany James holds the bottle that contains the alleged ashes of Biker Bob (Caleb Harding/Facebook)

It seems a young couple may have met a new drinking buddy while walking on Vancouver Island's China Beach on Saturday.

The friend's name — according to the note Caleb Harding and Bethany James found in a bottle containing ashes — is Biker Bob.

"It's always a good idea to keep your eyes on the beach on the West Coast. You never know what you're going to find," Harding told All Points West's Keith Vass.

"I spotted the bottle in some kelp and seaweed, right by the water's edge, and when I picked it up, I saw there was a message in the bottle."

Harding says he thought it was just something a kid threw into the sea for fun — something he did himself as a child. But James noticed what appeared to be ashes in there as well.

They opened the bottle and read the note, written on a Harley-Davidson notepad page.

One side read, simply, "Biker Bob. If you find me, turn me loose."

Bethany James (left) and Caleb Harding visited CBC Vancouver Island and brought Biker Bob with them. (Keith Vass/CBC)

The other side of the note was written by someone who apparently found the bottle in Nanaimo and implored whoever found it next to take Bob for a drink.

"I was kind of, you know, surprised, at first, but the more I thought about the idea of having your ashes put in a bottle along with a message, floating around the world, the more it grew on me," Harding said.

"I think it is a pretty novel idea and interesting idea to travel around the world and see a lot of things after you've passed on."

Thanks to some internet sleuthing, Harding and James have managed to contact the person in Nanaimo who took Bob out for a beer and who says he encountered the bottle while on a paddling trip from Washington State to Alaska.

Harding says his bigger goal is to find Bob's family and find out a little bit about him.

"Most importantly, I'd just like his friends and family to know that he's still travelling and he's in good hands until we get him to the coast again," he said. "He's continuing his journey. He hasn't stopped yet."

Harding says he and James plan to buy Bob his beer when they head up to Tofino next weekend. They plan to release him on a boat trip somewhere where the currents will take him far away.

"There's no better place than Tofino to send someone off on a Pacific journey," he said.

Bethany James holds the note found in the bottle. (Caleb Harding/Facebook)

With files from Keith Vass


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