Bottle from P.E.I. turns up on Portuguese island almost 2 decades after being tossed in the ocean
Harold Hackett has cast more than 10,000 bottles into the ocean
Daniel Pamplona and his 7-year-old daughter Raphaela were at the beach in Lajes on Terceira Island, a small island in the Azores — an archipelago in the mid-Atlantic off the coast of Portugal — when they spotted something unusual.
It was a bottle, and it contained a note from North Cape, P.E.I., dated Aug. 23, 1999.
The message had been sent out by Harold Hackett — known as The Bottleman — who estimates he's cast more than 10,000 bottles into the water since 1996.
The note was sent on Hackett's 47th birthday.
Sharing the find
Pamplona told CBC via email that he saw the bottle contained a paper, but was surprised to find out how far it had come — and how long ago it had been cast into the ocean.
He hadn't heard of P.E.I. before, but the note prompted him to look it up. He said it looks like a beautiful place.
Pamplona's wife, Anabela Da Silva Borba, posted a photo of the note to Facebook. The post was shared hundreds of times.
Pamplona said he plans to send Hackett a letter, along with photos of their island, so he can see where the bottle made it to.
Still sending notes into the water
Hackett, now 65 and living in Tignish, P.E.I., doesn't remember sending out that particular bottle — but he always enjoys hearing about where one of his bottles turns up.
"I get quite happy, I get all thrilled, I really like it," he said. "Early birthday present is right."
He said he's received about 5,000 letters back from people who have found his bottles on shores around the world, and that some of the people who have found his letters have even made it to P.E.I. for a visit.
This is the second bottle that has turned up in Portugal in the last month — the other was sent out on his mother's birthday, Oct. 24, in 2001.
Hackett is still casting bottles with notes into the water. He said he's sent over 300 so far this year.