Abwurf und Fund in der Ostsee / Dispatch and Landing in the Baltic Sea

Wolf Schindler an Bord der Rollo (1)

I am going to tell you today about the dispatch of three bottles and the immediate finding of one of them. Because all the protagonists are German, I am going to write in German with English translations in between.

Wie der Titel schon sagt, will ich heute von einem Abwurf (und auch gleich einem Fund) in der Ostsee erzählen. – Mal wieder auf deutsch, weil alle Protagonisten Deutsche sind. Aber nun der Reihe nach:

Am 16.6. habe ich hier 10 meiner neuen Fläschchen vorgestellt (in der Zwischenzeit sind noch welche dazu gekommen, aber davon ein andermal). Nur einen Tag später, schrieb mir mein Online-Freund und Flaschenpostkumpane Peter Stein aka James Ismael Kuck, ob ich ihm nicht eine oder mehrere der Fläschchen für einen Abwurf in der Ostsee schicken wolle.

On June 16th I wrote a blogpost here, showing off my newest bottles. Just a day later, a fellow German writer of messages in bottles, Peter Stein, contacted me and asked, whether I might be interested in three of the bottles being dispatched in the Baltic sea.

It just so happened that he was about to meet another creator of messages in bottles, the German artist Wolf Schindler, who was going to go on a sailing boat trip, and he was going to carry and dispatch several bottles – and maybe he could also drop in mine. — Of course I was only too happy to send over three of them:

my bottles Numbered 106, 110, 111 on board the Rollo (1)

Und zwar hatte er vor, sich mit Wolf Schindler zu treffen, einem Künstler (Malerei, überwiegend Acryl auf Leinwand, wenn ich das richtig sehe) aus Weilheim in Oberbayern, weit weg vom Meer. Aber trotzdem ist er ist auch Segler und Flaschenpostler: im Jahr 2000 startete er ein Flaschenpostprojekt, für das über 5 Jahre insgesamt 50 Flaschen abgeworfen wurden. Aber wie so viele, die einmal damit beginnen, scheinen ihn die Flaschenposten nicht mehr loszulassen. Auf seinen Törn Anfang Juli in der Ostsee (Start Kiel), hatte er natürlich auch Flaschenposten dabei. Na, und wenn man sich schon trifft, unter Flaschenpostlern, dann tauscht man auch gerne mal ein oder zwei Flaschen aus, und so hatte Peter für sein Treffen mit Wolf seinerseits was vorbereitet. So nun also die Frage an mich, ob ich nicht Peter was schicken wolle, das er dann mit zu Wolf bringen würde, und er würde sie dann, mit der Crew der Rollo (der Name des Schiffes, interessante Geschichte, die ihr hier nachlesen könnt) dann abwerfen.

all bottles together: the there small ones are mine, the two medium bottles were filled by Peter, and the three tall ones with red marking are Wolf’s (1)

Da konnte ich natürlich nicht “Nein” sagen, und habe gleich drei meiner Fläschchen auf den Weg gebracht. Am 26. Juni erhielt ich Nachricht von Peter, dass sie ihren Postweg heile überstanden haben.

On June 26th Peter contacted me to let me know that he received the bottles well. On the first of July they were handed over to the crew of the Rollo in Kiel:

Crew der Rollo (2)

Am 1. Juli dann wurden sie in Kiel der Crew der Rollo übergeben.

Am 5. Juli erhielt ich dann eine Nachricht per Email:

Hallo Hilke!

I found your bottle today at the „Ostsee“ in Großenbrode nearby Island
Fehmarn!
The bottle was lying on the Beach!
In the Night was strong North West Wind!

VG, der Finder

Seit dem habe ich nach und nach die Reise der Flasche zusammengebastelt. Weiterer Email-austausch mit dem Finder ergab, dass es sich um Flasche Nr. 111 handelte, die mit dem einzelnen Haus.

Am 12. 7., nachdem Wolf wieder zu Hause war, habe ich von ihm einen “Logbuch-Ausschnitt” zugeschickt bekommen, aus dem hervorgeht, dass die Flasche am 1.7. abgeworfen wurde. Seine Notizen sind ziemlich genau:

auf der Fahrt von KIEL-HOLTENAU nach ECKERNFÖRDE, Einf. Eckernf.- 
Bucht; 18.30 Uhr, Pos. 54°29´N 10°01´E, Wind 5 aus West, Böen 6-7, 
Wolken, Schauer

Das heisst, die Flasche war etwa 4 Tage unterwegs, und hat in der Zeit geschätzt knapp 70km zurückgelegt. Ich hab’ mir (von Peter) sagen lassen, dass das für die Ostsee ein ordentliches Tempo ist – aber anscheinend war ja auch ein ganz schönes Wetterchen!

contents of bottle No. 111 – obviously before sealing the bottle

On 5th of July, before I heard from Wolf when and where my bottles were dispatched, I received message of a finder, who had picked up my bottle No. 111 (the contents shown above) at a beach near Großenbrode in Germany, on the continental land near the island Fehmarn.

On the 12th of July Wolf Schindler sent me the log entries that contain the dispatches of my bottles, and from that it follows that it travelled a little short of 70km in 4 days, which isn’t bad for the Baltic sea.

I wish all the other bottles kind finders and safe travels!

Nun hoffe ich auf weitere Fundmeldungen sowohl von meinen, als auch von ihren Schwesterflaschen!

Flasche Nr. 106 (3 Häuser) am 2.7. auf der Fahrt von Eckernförde nach Marstal, Nähe Damp abgeworfen.

Flasche Nr. 110 (Picknick) wurde am 5.7. auf der Fahrt von Faborg nach Sonderborg abgeworfen.Gute Fahrt, alles Flaschenposten!

the message, tied to the base onto which the little house is then mounted

Ein herzliches Dankeschön an Peter S. und Wolf Schindler, für die Erlaubnis, eure Bilder zu benutzen. (1 Bildrechte Peter S., 2 Bildrechte Wolf Schindler)

Many thanks to Peter S. and Wolf Schindler for allowing me to use their photos. (1 copyright Peter S., 2 copyright Wolf Schindler)

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Connecting over Messages in Bottles in Nottingham

Ever felt a bit alone making messages in bottles? Or maybe you played with the idea of making one and never got around to actually do it?

Now is your chance to join me for an evening about art and messages in bottles. On 23rd of Juy we’ll be preparing bottles and share stories about messages in bottles and found art, and I’d love for everyone to come around if they have some interest in the matter! If you are (a bit) further away and need a bed to stay, please get in touch, maybe we can arrange for that.

More details can be found on this event page and there you can also book your place.

I also have other news to tell, of bottles dispatched and a bottle found, but I am at this moment so busy with oranizing stuff, that I am quite frankly a little stretched for time when it comes to writing blog posts. I planning to let you know all about that in the next days!

I hope I’ll see you on Tuesday the 23rd!

New Bottles

Since my last blogpost I made 10 new bottles. Yes, I have been on a kind of spree, making many miniature houses using paper mache, something I work with anyway at the moment. Every time I was working on a batch of paper mache I also formed little geometric shapes, that I later turned into building by painting them – and some to even more complicated structures. See for yourself, here are my new bottles:

message and miniature in bottle no 105

Message in a Bottle No. 105

message and miniature in a bottle

Message in a Bottle No. 106

I am always looking for new ways to integrate my message. Can you spot it for these two? Well, I have to tell you that the first one is hidden in the same way, you can’t actually see it in the photo.

miniature and message in a bottle

message no. 107

miniature and message in a bottle

message in a bottle titled “alien throne”

I titled this bottle “alien throne” – or what do you think this might be? Would you sit on it if you could?

miniature and message in a bottle

message no. 109

miniature and message in a bottle

message no. 110 with a picknick basket with blanket, apple and book

The miniature in message no. 110 is a bit recycled, I have to admit. If you have followed this blog for a while, you’ll know that I made a range of different baskets a while ago, and I still had this one. But the lawn is new…

miniature and message in a bottle

message no. 111

Of course I had to keep using the new lawn…

miniature and message in a bottle

message no. 112 – house on a cliff

miniature and message in a bottle

message no. 113 – tall house

miniatures and message in a bottle

message number 114 – abandoned high rise appartment blocks

miniature in bottle

Bottle No. 115 – underground pool

Bottle number 115 is the hardest to show! It has a structure in it, that I cut from a block of papermache with a dremel, and decorated. It is supposed to be an underwater pool… Well, you’ll see more of it if and when it gets found :-). And last but not least:

miniature in bottle

bottle no. 116 – obelisk

I am currently thinking about maybe planning (notice how careful I am here) an event that, if it indeed takes place, will be related to my messages in bottles. And so I want to make even some more, maybe of another type, not necessarily with miniatures in them. But we’ll see.

Later in the summer I am definitely planning a trip to the sea, maybe to the East (Lincolnshire or North Norfolk) or the West (somewhere in Wales or maybe Liverpool), or maybe to all these locations to drop my bottles in.

I am also thinking of maybe sending some of them abroad to be tossed where I have not tossed a bottle before 🙂 If you would like to dispatch one of my bottles, maybe along with one of your own, please get into touch, and we’ll see whether and what we can arrange.

Bottle No. 104 found!

A day after the dispatch in West Bridgeford, I was contacted by the finder of bottle No. 104.

It didn’t came far when compared to bottles dropped in the ocean, of course, but for a river bottle it didn’t fare too bad, it took two turns of the river after all:

bottle 104 map 01

I dropped the bottle in near the West Bridgeford Centre, and it was found neat the Water Sports Centre

bottle 104 map 02

The way the bottle made is about 4km long.

It was a joy to read that my finder was excited about the find despite its short journey. Apparently he was walking his sister’s dog and spotted something different between the rocks on the river bank.

He didn’t seem to have any difficulties opening the bottle, and the message was still completely dry. But I must say, I would have been disappointed if it didn’t survive a day on the river.

bottle 104 from top

photo provided by the finder and used with his kind permission

It is customary for me to reveal some making of once a bottle gets found, but there’s not much to say about this one that you can’t already see: The “sea” is made from paper mache, and I painted it a bit with acrylics. The paper boat is indeed folded from a tiny piece of paper, and I then sprayed it with acrylic varnish to make it a little more resistant. And then I glued it to the “sea”.

The finder plans to add his own message and drop the bottle in after the next lock. We’ll see whether it travels further next time.

Many thanks to the finder for contacting me about the bottle. It is always so uplifing when I hear one of them gets found! This was the first of five bottles that I dropped into the river Trent of which I heard back. As some of my readers will know, I had already almost given up on the river. But maybe I’ll give it another go. For now:

Happy second leg of your travel, little paper boat!

Dispatch of Bottle No. 104 in a Happy Splash

Looking downstream onto the Trent Bridge from the footbridge that we used to drop our bottles into the river Trent

Jet Propelled, a friend and fellow artist from Beeston, near Nottingham recently brought me into (online) contact with another woman, a German who lives in West Bridgeford and misses the German language. We ended up discussing about meeting up, and she invited me and Jet for cake and tea. Since it turned out she lives in walking distance to the Trent a plan to dispatch some bottles formed…

We were lucky with the weather: After days of snowy April weather, the skies were clear on Friday 5th here in Nottingham. The wind blew in breezy bursts and made it feel rather chilly, but the sun came out and played beautifully with the gentle waves, turning the river into a street of silver and gold. At least from where we sat and assembled some bottles.

Bottles gathering on our bench

I always enjoy to have company when dropping off bottles!I brought two filled and sealed bottles with me: My bottle No. 104 with a little folded paper boat in it, and Peter’s bottle No. – ack! I don’t remember its number; the number is bound to be close to mine. He sent it to me when I was setting off to drop some bottles into the river Don in Sheffield, where both our bottles numbered 100 hit the waters (read more about that dop off here).

Bottle No. 104 “Paper Boat”

Ursula hadn’t prepared anything, but was eager to also have a go. Jet brought her own bottle but had not sealed hers yet. And while they were making their bottles ready, I also made another one on the spot.
And so we sat and wrote and assembled…

Jet assembling her bottle

My trusty Zippo had just run out of fuel, and thus sealing the bottles with sealing wax turned out frustratingly difficult.  We sat at the bridge head, crouching and shielding the flame in a joint effort. I managed to melt and scrape some sealing wax onto my bottle, but then we decided to give up. I am fairly sure that they are all closed well, the wax had been more decorative than anything, I suppose.

trying to melt sealing wax klein

Then we decided to drop the bottles off a suspension bridge a little upstream from Trent Bridge after all. This one is only open to pedestrians while Trent Bridge has heavy traffic.

Bottles getting ready

And so, after about an hour of walking and assembling, one bottle after the other went over the fairly high railing on the bridge. I made a start with my little paper boat bottle:

Yours truely throwing in the first bottle

Next it was Jet’s turn. she had filled her bottle with a piece of driftwood, decorated with pink ribbons, brass wire, some other little tokens including found text, and of course with a letter inside:

Jet throwing in her bottle, titled “53” after the number appeared on the found text she collaged onto the wood

Next, I put in Peter’s bottle. Isn’t the bottle itself so very beautiful as the sun came out to bid it farewell. I hope whoever finds it will enjoy it as much as I enjoyed having it in my studio for a couple of months:

Peter’s bottle getting ready

Unfortuntately my new German friend was so quick to drop in hers that I didn’t manage to capture her with the camera.

And then I was up again: My riverside bottle contained a good handful of lucky stars, a little touchstone, and one of the most personal letters I have written so far. I didn’t give this one a number, as it wasn’t meant to be part of the series, or at least not necessarily.

getting ready, and….

gone

As always, I keep  my fingers crossed for a good voyage and gentle finders.

New Bottles and Planned Drop Off Trent Bridge

Trent Bridge in Nottingham

I have dropped off a couple of bottles from Trent Bridge before, five, if my records are correct, and I never heard back from a single one. That’s why I have been hesitant to drop in more, although I just love that Bridge.

But coming Friday, I am going to give it another go.

Peter’s Bottle along with my three unsealed ones

From the Sheffield Drop Offs (Blog post part 1, part 2, part 3) I still have one of Peter‘s bottle waiting to be put into a body of water. Now that spring is filling England’s rivers, it seems like a good time to part with it.

I didn’t have any of my own left over, so I made a couple new ones this past week.

close-up of the teeny tiny houses I am going to put in the bottles

In my main part of work, I started to use paper mache more, and as usual, my messages in bottles reflect that.

I don’t think I’ll put all the bottles in, possible just one of them. – And that then would be the one with the folded paper boat. The letter in the bottle, btw, is suspended from the cork that will seal the bottle as to not disturb the scene inside. I hope the construction will survive!

More, once the bottles are sealed and on their way.

Sheffield Drop Offs – Part 3

As you probably know by now I spent last week in Sheffield, mainly to work on my writing, but also with the aim to drop off a couple of bottles.

I wrote about my preparation in a first part here. There I showed you the four bottles I prepared, the four bottles that Peter sent me to dispatch for him, and I also mentioned that I packed two empty bottles for possible by-standers to fill.

In the second part I spoke about arriving in Sheffield and discovering that the Don where I put my bottles is full of little islands, had little water and current and in addition a lot of weirs. I dropped in both bottles nonetheless, and was able to observe Peter’s bottle getting stuck pretty much immediately, so probably now you want to know what happened next with it.

Peter’s Bottle No. 100

On the top of the blog you can see how I left Peter’s No. 100 behind on Tuesday the 9th. The place was just a 10 minute walk from my hotel, so the plan was of course to check the next day whether it was still there.

I was extremely lucky with the weather: The 10th was sunny and warm and felt more like a September than like an October day. When I came to the place at around noon, I was first pleased to see that the bottle was gone and apparently had moved on:

Sheffield 14

Nothing to see – Yay!

The whole board against which the bottle was resting moved a few meters along the river (I think that old christmas tree in there remained stationary, so you can compare with that), and in the process it obviously gave the bottle free.
I continued to walk along the river (I had more bottles to dispatch after all, but more about that later) and spotted the bottle again, only 20 or 30m further downstream.

I believe you can click on the images to see them in enlarged (I hope so), in the second image I placed arrows where the bottle got stuck on the first and the second day. Of course I had to check again on my way back. The bottle had made a few more meters further downstream where it rested again with some other junk but still above the foot bridge located there.

The forecast for the next day (11th) predicted a day with showers moving through. I woke up to skies that looked somewhat threatening, and so I started early while it was still dry. The wind was blowing in gusts, but no rain. I first walked to the spot I last saw Peter’s bottle. It had moved again a couple of meters. I could see it moving very slowly, and then getting stuck once more between some floating grass and other plant material.
In the photo below just a little upstream of this cut through in the wall, that’s where I last spotted it. (The photo was taken a day earlier for the stone under the bridge, but that’s a story of its own. Anyway, that’s why the bottle can’t be seen in the photo.)

Sheffield 17
As I said, that was the last time I saw it. I went to look for it again the same day, just a couple of hours later, and I was unable to see it anywhere. Which is somewhat of a mystery to me: Given the slow manner with which it was moving I can’t understand how it could have disappeared out of sight in just a few hours. The river downstream from there looked like it had fewer hurdles, but still, it was moving at no more than half a meter per second so how far could it go? It was floating on the right hand bank which has a tall wall as its border… But who knows, maybe someone has found it already. – I hope we’ll hear from it again.

 Other drop ins

This blog post is again getting very long, and I’ll try to cut me short. As mentioned before, the weather on the 10th was wonderful, and I walked slowly down the Don, putting in two bottles from the spider bridge,  visible in the photo above if you know what to look out for, and then I sat down and filled one of the empty bottles I brought with me. I had not arranged any meet-up, no-one I saw on my hike seemed interested, and so I just ripped a few pages from my notebook and filled them with a message on the spot. I didn’t give this bottle a number, as I don’t really regard it as part of this project. Well, maybe a little.
Below are photos taken on the 10th. If you click on them, you’ll be able to read some further comments on them if you like.

The next day, the 11th, I went out in the morning to first look for Peter’s bottle and while doing so, I spotted the entrance to Victoria Quays. So I decided to take a walk along the canal for a change. Because I had already spent the better of the day before hiking along the river I cut my visit relatively short and dropped my bottle just behind the entrance to the Quays. I wasn’t sure how Peter would feel about his bottle being put in a non-flowing body of water, and besides: it smelled awfully beneath the bridge where I placed it. For a bottle containing miniature kidney bowls seemed fitting but  beautiful bottle like Peter’s? – That felt just wrong. And so I held on to that one for a while longer.

The weather stayed surprisingly nice and dry that day, and for unknown reasons I struggled to get any good work done sitting in my hotel room. And so I decided to walk to the Don once more in the afternoon. I probably should have walked upstream for a change. But I was too curious to see whether and which of the dropped off bottles I might spot. Because I didn’t feel like dropping a bottle from a bridge where I already had been, I walked further than before, right into a nature reserve that made it almost feel like I had left the city. There I dropped then my last bottle, the No. 103 into the Don, and Peter’s 102.

On my walk to there I spotted two of my bottles: the unnumbered one above the weir at Norfolk bridge where I dropped it in, and one of my small bottles below the weir. I am not sure which of the two it was as the sun was reflecting so much that it was hard to see what was inside, but looking at the photos now, I am pretty sure it was the 102 that I put in from spider bridge the day before.

While walking along the river, the canal and through the city I made many more pictures with little and big things I spotted, street art and loving little details, imagining showing them to you. But my report is taking way too much time and space already, and I don’t want to bore anyone. Many thanks for your interest, dear reader, who has read until here. I’ll just let that guy below that I spotted on one of my excursion wave you good bye.

Like always, I wish all my bottles a good and far travel and happy finders.  – Next up will be the dispatch of Peter’s bottle No. 103 from Trent Bridge in West Bridgeford. Stay Tuned!

sheffield 60