PEI

Message in bottle travels from P.E.I. to Texas

Lucas MacDonald usually pulls big blue fin tuna out of the water off the shores of North Lake P.E.I. — but about three years ago he tossed a bottle in the ocean — with a message inside.

'Put my address, phone number, date, and just gave it a good throw. Never thought anything of it.'

This bottle went from North Lake, P.E.I., all the way down to Matagorda Beach in Texas. (Dianne Jurek/Facebook)

Lucas MacDonald usually pulls big blue fin tuna out of the water off the shores of North Lake, P.E.I., but about three years ago he tossed a bottle in the ocean with a message inside.

"We were just out tuna fishing and it was kind of a slow day and we decided it'd be just something to just kill time. Just had a bottle on the boat," said MacDonald, who is now 16.

He fishes with his dad, typically doing tours with Tony's Tuna Fishing based out of North Lake. MacDonald said his dad would always tell him about messages in bottles being tossed out into the ocean in November of 2018.

"I decided let's just make it. I put my name on the top, said 'catching ganders off North Lake, P.E.I.' Put my address, phone number, date, and just gave it a good throw. Never thought anything of it."

'First it found its way out of like the Maritime region, that ocean, then it went all the way around the Atlantic,' says Lucas MacDonald. (Arlene MacDonald)

MacDonald pretty much forgot about the bottle completely as the years passed.

"My first thought was it's either going to get crushed by another boat or I'm just going to find it the very next day on the beach," he said.

"Could have been just stuck in a current just somewhere in the Atlantic doing figure eights for the rest of its lifetime."

However about a week and a half ago, MacDonald got a text he wasn't expecting.

"I got a random text message saying, like 'is this Lucas MacDonald?,'" he said.

"Instantly I was like this is a scam, like there is no way, then I read over it again."

The bottle MacDonald tossed into the ocean and the message he put inside. (Dianne Jurek/Facebook)

The person told him they found a message in a bottle with his name and phone number on it and sent him a picture.

Dianne Jurek lives in Fresno, Texas. She was walking on a beach in the area on May 7 on her way back from fishing when she saw something stuck in the sand — a bottle.

"When we got out and looked at it, it definitely had something in it. So we grabbed it and took it with us," she said.

'How interesting'

When Jurek was visiting family she decided to check out what was in the bottle and saw the message from MacDonald.

'This will really keep him excited to stay on the water,' says Dianne Jurek. (Dianne Jurek/Facebook)

"It had moisture inside of it so we had to be careful pulling it out," she said. "I just thought how interesting, when we looked it up, how far it had travelled to our beach."

Jurek was surprised to get a message back. She thought the person who made the message may have changed phone numbers.

"I've actually spoke with his mother through Facebook," she said. "This will really keep him excited to stay on the water. So, yeah it was pretty neat."

MacDonald said he had no idea his bottle would find its way into the Gulf of Mexico.

"First it found its way out of like the Maritime region, that ocean, then it went all the way around the Atlantic," he said. "It was amazing how it went underneath Florida as well, and then went in and got stuck in Texas."

The rough track the bottle took from the Island to Texas. (Tony's Tuna Fishing/Facebook)

Jurek said now she wants to throw her own message in a bottle in the water.

However, environmental experts advise against that. CBC has spoken with environmental experts in the past. They don't encourage throwing bottles of any type into the ocean as it adds to pollution.

Back in 2018, a man who threw messages in bottles off P.E.I. for 22 years was ordered to stop by conservation officers or face a $5,000 fine.

More from CBC P.E.I.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tony Davis grew up on P.E.I. and studied journalism at Holland College. He can be contacted at anthony.davis@cbc.ca

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