Message in a bottle.
In 2001 my wife & I sailed throgh the Straits of Messina by freighter.
We kept a daily journal throughout our voyage and on our return home our write up of events, contained the following extract :-
Straits of Messina 30:4:01.
Curt & Margie told us of a long standing tradition with the fishermen
of the Straits of Messina, that any bottle message recovered in their nets,
would be returned to the sender, if the bottle contained a few cigarettes and Lira to cover the cost of postage for the message to be returned.
Curt with 6 others had done this previously (25 years previously), and 6 out of 7 messages, had been returned.
Curt & Margie were the unlucky ones, and were determined to try again on this voyage.
Curt, Bridget & ourselves, prepared our bottles.
We passed through the Straits of Messina at around midnight on the 30th. April 2001 and Curt & I launched the bottles from Deck 11 of the Grande Europa.
On our return to England, our message, bearing a 5th. May 2004 Messina postmark was waiting for us! Bridget got hers back too!
At the time of writing, Curt & Margie are still waiting.
How would this practice be regarded today?
Would it be Illegal or at least considered as pollution?
If I had to nail my colours to the mast - I'd like to see the tradition continued but I'd admit to this being based on sentiment & nostalgia.
Of course if every passenger did this on every voyage, it would be pollution on a grand scale, and it may now be illegal. What do you think?
Last edited by Ron Dean; 05-06-10 at 06:55.
Reason: Typing mistakes - sorry
I believe this is a very old tradition and it should be kept alive for as long as the fisherman are willing to do it. I worked for a chap who sent letters home from the ship he was working on in the 70's by this method. Write your letter, put addressed envelope into bottle, stick a load of ciggies in as well and throw over the side. Simple.