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This Is Northern New South Wales

Message in a bottle #2

In June 1992 as a fresh faced 22 year old girl with the world at her feet contemplating my next life move, I was strolling along a Suffolk Park Beach and saw something rolling around on the edge of the surf. The light of the sun kept reflecting off something and the sparkle caught my eye several times before I walked over to the edge of the shore and picked up a bottle, in it was a letter.

The letter was thrown overboard a tanker near Yamba, and I found it weeks later, it had survived weeks at sea and past all the treacherous headlands that could have claimed it as their own. I have always treated my letter in a bottle as a good luck charm, it has travelled with me everywhere I have lived for the past 20 years. I have read it so many times it has almost worn out and I could quote it to you, the rubber band around the letter disintegrated this evening when I opened it up to photograph it for you.

A few weeks after I found that first letter I moved to Sydney, and since  have fallen in and out of love a few times, given birth to a beautiful now 15 year old son, travelled the world and have had the big corporate career, and moved back here – back home. Start again.

Today on a moody afternoon in Lennox Head, a few weeks over 20 years to the day since finding that letter, an almost 42 year old woman stalking sea eagles with her camera (as they remind me of a special someone), with the world at her feet contemplating her next life move strolled along a quiet Flat Rock on sunset.  And again a sparkle, the reflection of the sunset caught her attention…another message in a bottle – (this time a used Coffee Jar to be precise) in the jar was a drawing of an island with a bright shining sun, palm tree, bright blue ocean, dolphins and love hearts all wrapped up in a red ribbon……(the work of a child with burn holes in it for effect).

Lucky charm number two!! How lucky am I!!! So now I am confidently stepping into the next 20 years of my life with a new good luck charm – one that will sit proudly on my bookshelf next to the original and even though it doesn’t say anything – the picture speaks a thousand words of happiness.

Here is the original letter:


 To The Dear Finder,

 To the kind person who finds this note would you be so kind as to forward on a reply to me at my home address. Thank you very much. I have been putting notes overboard for some years now and it is a nice way to meet people and a good hobby at sea.

 We are sailing on board an Australian ship bound from Geelong in Victoria Australia to Brisbane in Queensland Australia. We are a 30,000 ton ship with a happy crew of 28 , we are 12 and a half years old and belong to Shell Australia Ltd and carry refined oil products around the coast of Australia. We are sailing at 13 knots and our sea is smooth and the sky is blue. Today we are due to pass Yamba in Northern NSW on the 5th of March 1992 we are to arrive in Brisbane PM. From there we shall go on leave.

I hope you are well when you receive this and have a bright future. On a recent voyage to Cairns and Townsville in Northern QLD we had a TV Show on Good Morning Australia, a lady came on about a bottle that had been thrown overboard from a ship in Peru in South West South America, some 8 years later another lady walking along a lonely beach in Northern Qld happen to come across the bottle it was unbelievable to see that bottle had arrived in perfect condition having travelled all those years and sea miles. It was a wonderful find for the lady, a marvelous thing the sea with it’s tides, currents and winds. So there you go. I hope you receive this note before that length of time . I will say “cheerio”  for now and say thanks again for your answer.

Yours thankfully – Alex Browne Wonthaggi Victoria Australia.

My new goodluck charm is a beautiful drawing from a child with a great imagination. A message that has obviously not travelled as many sea miles – but will be treasured just as much as my first lucky charm – so whoever you are….I hope you have a bright and happy life little one, your good luck charm is safe with me.