Manitoba

Message in a bottle from Manitoba couple discovered in Portugal

An impulsive whim while on vacation six years ago has led to a new connection half a world away for one Manitoba couple.

Couple from Morris, Man. put note in bottle and tossed it into ocean in Miami 6 years ago

A note written by Brigitte Doerksen of Morris, Man., and placed inside a bottle six years ago ended up on the shore of an island off the coast of Portugal, and was discovered this past weekend. (Submitted by Lisa Dzierzak-Vieira)

An impulsive whim while on vacation six years ago has led to a new connection half a world away for one Manitoba couple.

Brigitte Doerksen and her husband Warren were on vacation in Miami, Fla. on Feb. 9, 2015, when Warren was struck by an idea.

"He said, 'Are you in?' I said, 'What are we doing?' He says, 'Just follow me,'" Doerksen said in an interview with Marcy Markusa, host of CBC Manitoba's morning radio show Information Radio.

Warrent grabbed a bottle of wine from dinner the night before and they both headed down to the beach.

"He says, 'I want you to write a note. I want to put a message in a bottle,'" said Doerksen, who lives in Morris, Man.

Doerksen wrote a note asking whoever happened to find it to contact her, and included her business card, along with $2 U.S. After stuffing it all into the bottle, they tossed it into the water and watched until they couldn't see it anymore.

Sometime between then and last weekend, the bottle made its way across the Atlantic Ocean, eventually washing up on the shore of Porto Santo, an island off the coast of Portugal, about 3,800 kilometres away from where it started.

Lisa Dzierzak-Vieira and her husband Marco were taking a walk along the beach with their daughter Lua and their dog when Marco found the bottle.

"I usually go and walk the dog on my own and then Marco stays at home with the baby," Dzierzak-Vieira said.

"And just for this particular morning, for some reason, he said, 'I really can't be bothered to stay at home today. I just want to come out and have a break and clear my head.'"

WATCH | Message in bottle from Manitoba couple turns up in Portugal:

Message in bottle from Manitoba couple turns up in Portugal

2 months ago
Duration 1:19
A couple in Portugal discovered the bottle, thrown into the ocean 6 years earlier by a Manitoba couple vacationing in Florida. 1:19

Dzierzak-Vieira captured video of the moment they found the bottle, opened it and found the note. She then sent an email to the address on the card inside.

On Saturday morning, Doerksen woke up and checked her email on her phone. She saw a message with the subject line: "Brigitte and Warren message in a bottle."

"I was like, what?" she said. "It did not comprehend at first, I was like, what is this?"

After reading the email from Dzierzak-Vieira, the memory came rushing back.

"I screamed," she said, before going to tell husband. 

"There was a lot of emotions, happy, and both my husband and I had tears in our eyes, it was unbelievable."

Dzierzak-Vieira believes it was fate that they found the bottle.

"Things always happen for a reason," she said. "What the reason is at the moment, I don't know. Who knows, maybe we'll meet them one day and we'll be friends for life … But we couldn't not get in touch with them after finding that."

Doerksen and her husband hope to one day make the trip to Portugal to see the place where their message was discovered, and perhaps meet the people who found it.

"Just having somebody find it and just having another connection around the world is so precious to us. Another friendship," she said.

With files from Janice Moeller and Cameron MacLean

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