Bottle’s epic trip ends in Busselton

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Guy Humphrey found the message in a bottle at Forrest Beach in Wonnerup while combing for cuttlefish.
Camera IconGuy Humphrey found the message in a bottle at Forrest Beach in Wonnerup while combing for cuttlefish. Credit: Taelor Pelusey

After a journey spanning more than two years and at least two oceans, a message in a bottle has ended its journey on a Busselton beach.

Busselton resident Guy Humphrey was walking along Forrest Beach in Wonnerup in May collecting cuttlefish for his birds after an overnight storm when he stumbled across the bottle.

His curiosity was piqued when he spotted something poking out from the shoreline and moved in closer to investigate.

“It was right on the shoreline and could have easily got washed right back out,” he said. What Mr Humphrey uncovered turned out to be a liquor bottle full of items, including a sticker of the Argentinian flag.

“I saw the flag and knew straight away it had come from a foreign country,” he said.

He decided to take the bottle to his neighbour, Nancy Launer, and the pair spent more than an hour carefully removing the contents of the bottle.

Inside the bottle was the flag, several stickers with sporting group logos and a list of names with a thank-you written in Spanish.

Also stuffed inside the bottle was a handwritten note, which had been wrapped around all the other items, but had faded through exposure to the sun.

“You can pick words out but can’t put enough of it together,” Ms Launer said.

The stickers included a number of email addresses, which Ms Launer reached out to in the hopes of discovering the origins of the bottle.

One of the stickers in the bottle advertised a blog, Enrico into the World, and Italian Enrico Gremmo soon responded to Ms Launer’s inquiries.

“It turns out it was thrown in the water in 2014 off Cape Horn by a group of three Argentinian kayakers, and before they threw it into the water they asked Enrico to contribute to it,” she said.

Mr Gremmo gave Ms Launer the details of the kayakers, who regaled her with the story of the bottle.

“They were so thrilled to get a reply and that someone had found the bottle,” she said.

While preparing for a kayaking trip in 2013, the bottle was discovered by the group, who were at the Parana Delta in Argentina.

The bottle at the start of its journey, at Cape Horn, Chile.
Camera IconThe bottle at the start of its journey, at Cape Horn, Chile. Credit: Supplied

In a Facebook post, the group wrote they had decided to put a message in a bottle as a tribute to the past and conjured up ideas of where it may end up, expecting it to end its journey in South Africa.

“It’s amazing how it ended up in Busselton,” Mr Humphrey said.

“They predicted where the bottle would go and expected it to go to South Africa but it came here.”

The kayakers also sent Mr Humphrey and Ms Launer a photograph of the bottle soon after it had been released into the ocean at the start of its journey.

“It was an ecstatic feeling when I saw the photo of the bottle in the water where it started from —

it’s so amazing and shows the journey it’s been on,” Mr Humphrey said.

“It’s a once-in-a-lifetime find.”

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