One and a half years

sheffield 42

My bottle No. 103, Peter’s No. 102 ready to dive in

The photo above was taken one and a half years ago, 11th October 2018, near a nature reserve in Sheffield. And the two bottles were dropped into the river Don. Since then I dispatched a bunch of other bottles. I even went to Sheffield again just a month ago, albeit didn’t manage to prepare bottles ahead and thus no new bottles were put into the Sheaf or Don. The failure to do so only partly stems from a lack of time. In part it was because I had given up on English rivers…

When I returned from Sheffield, the new corona virus already dominated the news. My children both count as vulnerable, and we decided to try our best to shield them (which is a little more restrictive than lock-down). And my head was mostly wrapped around home-schooling and fears of what this virus will bring.

And then, last week, an email reached my inbox:

Hi,

[…] we have found your bottle, no. 103. It washed up in a spring tide last week, well I found it on Friday, clearing up the grass on the riverbank where the spring tide recently deposited reeds, rubbish and drift wood. I collected 2 black sacks of rubbish, 2 black sacks of plastic to recycle and your bottle! It was truly amazing to find and we had to dry it out first, because a little water had got in. The miniature book was incredible, we dried it out with bits of baking paper in between each page to stop them sticking together. We enjoyed looking though such incredible detail. It is undergoing some running repairs/cleaning, then we shall rebuild it and keep it on our mantelpiece. […]

60665079079__93D9E5A6-6564-4552-B4E3-F6B207851C76

It was so great to be woken from our isolation stupor and think of the world outside. How wonderful to be connected this way to strangers, when we have hardly seen anyone in the past weeks! A back and forth of emails started right away.

60665090984__EE74F9B7-901B-47BA-B8F2-BD900C6AB014

The finder apparently was really gentle with the tiny, soaked book, and managed to retrieve most, if not all pages.

60665104621__C2AE7608-AD8C-4402-A8D8-481A5C431D52

By now it is all dried, and I received another photo of it on it’s current place on the mantle:

IMG_2759.JPG

After more than a year who would have thought! And it made so many turns and went further down the river than I would have thought possible. Let me show you on a map…

The above is a map showing all the dispatches in Sheffield (the pointers on the lower left), and (in pink) the place where bottle No. 103 was found. Let me show this on a larger scale map for those who don’t know England so well:

The river Don is not that wide, and has a lot (a lot!) of locks and weirs, and makes many turns. I am so amazed that the bottle made it into the Ouse, I still hardly can believe it. In the map above I marked out a rough (smoothened out) path the Don makes. the line I drew there measures 78km. So not the bottle which travelled furthest along a river. Yet… let me blog up that map once again for you, to show you a stretch of Don rather close to Sheffield:

It’s just absolutely incredible to me, how it couldn’t have made it’s way through almost 80 km of path like that! Once it made it into the Ouse, it’s path was easier. The Ouse doesn’t exaclty feel like a river, more like a stretch of Ocean pressing in onto the land. It is subject to the tides a fair way into the land and definitely where the bottle was found. It is wide, and has sandy shores.

Well, thank you so much for contacting me about the finding of this bottle. It meant so much to me. While I was locked in a mental bubble that consisted of improvised home schooling and turning our lawn into something that might feed us in the coming year, and a very real bubble that came from our quarantine (M. had a fever that turned out to be something different) morphing right into lock-down and shielding of our kids (see above), this was a welcome reminder that the world out there still exists and is full of interesting people we still can connect with.

From Kingston-Upon-Hull, England to Kaurö, a Swedish Island

flaschenpost no 107-03 klein

message no. 107 in my garden at home well before its dispatch

Do you remember happy mailbox days? I remember waiting for my parents to empty the letter box (only they were entitled to), and usually it only contained letters for them. – I was always envious. Even when my Dad explained with a sigh that they were mainly invoices, I still imagined how nice it would be when I am grown up and find an invoice in my mailbox every other day.
But as a child I did receive post occasionally: Letters from friends, postcards from grandparents, and I was subscriped to a children’s journal that reached me once a month.

When I moved out of my parents’ house to study, the internet of course existed (we are bang right in the 90’s here), but people at home accessing the internet was still not a very common thing. I got my first email address a year later, and I was able to check it when I logged in at a computer at the maths institute. I didn’t get a dial-in-modem to use at home for several years. Nevertheless, the mailbox remained empty on most days. I stayed in touch with friends from school over the phone; we also occasionally sent letters. – But not as many as one might think.

Nowadays I do receive mail on most days, but like for my parents back then, they are usually do not make me particularly happy. I am not regularly staying in touch with anyone via paper mail. And when I think of letterboxes, I think of being a child, holding my breath while watching my father turn the key.

I get a reminder of this feeling every time my computer tells me, that there’s mail in the mailbox labelled “flaschenpost”, and I catch myself holding my breath while opening the email.

image_57662

photo of the finder

And yesterday was a mail day:

Dear Hilke!
I have found your bottle mail, yesterday February 28, in position 58°02.447’N, 011°28.539’E. That is an island called Kaurö, off the Swedish west coast.
I am an old retired seaman, now spending my days with beach cleaning on our coast. We have a real problem here, with most of the debris and floatsam from the entire English Channel and North Sea area landing right here. Volunteers, council work groups and entrepreneurs like myself try to get rid of at least the worst, by simply picking it up by hand. We bag it and bring the bags to the recycling centre or to garbage combustion. Thousands and thousands of bags…
Of course it it sometimes a heavy and dirty work, and it is sometimes hard to keep the good spirits up, when just more and more plastic garbage is rolling in. But on the other hand, we have the privilige of working on beautiful islands, with good people who all help out.
And sometimes, our work days are brightened up by finding bottle mail from near and far. Many of them unfortunately unreadable, but some are quite clear – like yours. A good move to use a pencil and to include the piece of chalk.
Let me know where you launched the bottle!

What a happy mail on so many levels. Of course it is great to hear about any bottle being found, but when a finder is so specific about where and how they found a bottle I am especially grateful.

And of course it is good to hear that my message was readable. Unfortuntately the artwork inside didn’t seem to have survived the journey. I rather liked the look of my papermaché houses in bottles here at home. But apparently they are only good at soaking up moisture and keeping it away from the letter, and are a failure as a piece of artwork. It’s the second bottle now that met this fate, so that is the end of paper mache in bottles for me. But I got some endorsement for using pencils, so I’ll keep that up!

Let’s see where and how the bottle travelled:

map 1

In direct line the bottle travelled a distance of about 860km

This must be the bottle that travelled furthest and longest so far. Looking at the map, the distance between where it probably hit the waters (bottle no. 107 was launched from the ferry Pride of Rotterdam going from Hull to Rotterdam in August last year) and the island where it was found is about 860km. And from being launched until being found, it took roughtly 6 months.

The bottle can’t have travelled in direct line, though. Obviously, since it goes over land, scraping off a slice off Denmark. So how could it have travelled?

northseacurrents

North Sea Map derived from NASA satellite image. This image depicts the currents in the North Sea. Author SriMesh, distributed through Wikimedia with a CC license. – Thank you!

As you can see, mail (and debris) from Great Britan, travels in the North Sea roughly in a counter clockwise direction. So probably the bottle first followed the journey of the ferry approaching Dutch waters, and from there might have followed the coast, past Germany and Denmark. (My bottle no. 70 was found on Sylt just before crossing over to Denmark, obviously following the same path). From the top of Denmark, the bottle would then have been pushed by Atlantic waters to the island where it was found.

What is not so clear in the image is that many items will tour the North Sea maybe several times and go round and round the carousel until they land somewhere. I remember reading how long it takes to go round once, but I am not sure anymore how long it really was. I think it was something like 3 weeks, or was it 3 months? If someone reading this knows better, please do let me know.

Bottle no. 70 was found on Sylt after 3 months, bottle no. 107 a far bit further away after six months… Somehow I find it satisfying that these numbers seem to kind of match. Does this mean this bottle travelled past past England once more before landing? But if it takes three months to get to “the other side” of the North Sea, then it might be six month until it would be back at the English coast, and 9 month to return to Denmark and eventually Sweden? I am not sure. And then there also seems to be this mini-gyre between Sweden and Denmark… – As I said, if someone knows more, please enlighten me and us!
But in any case it could have gone there directly, of course, and then just wait there among the eye-popping amount of debris that gathers on that Island:

dav

photo of the finding site

We all have to be grateful for people like the finder who get up again and again and clean up this mess. Being relatively far from the coast, it just seems incredible. I admire the willpower these people have to tackle this work that must seem like Sisyphus’ labour on many days. It is my pleasure if I can brighten up the work a bit. And I am relieved when I hear that my project is seen as such, and not as contributing to the problem! I suppose, seeing the sheer mass of debris, a little bottle like mine is not that much of a contribution. And I do try to be conscious about what I pack into my bottles, being very aware, that many will crash and break and spill their contents.

Well, not this one. My thanks once more to the finder for contacting me, and for allowing me to use his photos. – Until next time! 🙂

 

Events of the past 6 months, and plans for the next

Quite a lot has happened over the last 6 months, and I finally find the time to tell you. As you will recall (and scrolling down it is not so hard to find the relevant blogposts), I released a good number of bottles last summer:

M. snapped me while throwing in bottles from Llandudno Pier

11 bottles on a trip to the British West Coast (links here, here, and here):

  • two of my small ones, one larger one (also my making), and one of a participant of the bottle making workshop in Chester (August 1st)
  • one of mine, one of Peter’s, Wolf Schindler’s and a bottle of one of the participants of the bottle making workshop from the Mersey ferry in Liverpool (August 2nd)
  • two of my bottles and two of Peter’s from Llandudno Pier in Wales (August 3rd), plus one larger bottle into a small harbour on the same day

and 10 bottles were dispatched during a trip to Germany (links here, here, and here):

  • one of mine, and one of Peter’s on August 19th from aboard the ferry Hull-Rotterdam (North Sea)
  • one in Telgte, river Ems, on August 21st
  • 3 in Koblenz, river Rhine, on 23rd of August
  • 4 in Bonn, river Rhine, on 28th of August

And not long after, the first messages about findings came in.

The first bottle that was found was the message I dropped off in the small harbour. It was found the same day, and still was completely intact.

This battered and wet message was found on August 12.

The second message about a finding reached me on August 12. At first it was a bit of a mystery which bottle it might have been, but it turned out as message number 109, one of the bottles that I put in from the pier in Llandudno. That meant, it travelled about 110km in a week.

On October 10th then, the first for one of my German bottles reached me. The finder had first handwritten a letter, and then decided to take a photo of it and send it via email after all because she found that easier. In any case I thought it was a nice gesture, and tried to get into contact a little more. Unfortunately that already fell into the time when I was  feeling unwell, was hopelessly burried under work, and my response rates were very slow. Maybe that was the ultimate reason why she didn’t seem to get into contact further. Or maybe it was the language barrier. I did send her email in German and English, but she answered very dismissive only with “I am sorry” (in English). Not sure what to make of that because she seemed very friendly in her first message. – I strongly suspect I did something wrong, I just don’t know what. Or maybe I would have had to write in French, but her handwriting looks very German to me, and even if I wanted to, I don’t think I could write a letter in French these days. (5 years ago is nothing, it has been 30 years since I wrote French.) Anyway, here’s the message that reached me:

As you can see, unfortunately there’s not much in it about the finding of the bottle. she did send a photo of her bottle, therefore I know she found the one that my son threw into the river Rhine in Bonn on the 28th of August. But I have no idea where or when it was found.

Bottle number 119 gets dropped. I know it was found some time before October 10, but not when exactly or where.

Then, on the 26th of October, another message reached me.

today I was cleaning up the Rhine in Koblenz.
And I was really happy, as I found your bottle 🙂
I read on your homepage, that you threw it from the “Deutsches Eck”, so the bottle could only swim a few kilometers.

The bottle was hidden in brushwood 😉

He very kindly included GPS data of where he found the bottle. The red arrow shows the location where he found it, a bit to the south you see, marked with a blue thingie, the “Deutsches Eck” where it was put in.

I find it absolutely amazing how some people can spot a message in a bottle at a river bank. I am sure I would just walk right past it:

Fortunately he marked the photo for me/us:

Bottle number 116 is found!

Apparently the contents survived their (short) trip very well:

message number 116 – found

Many, many thanks for the feedback! – And my apologies again that it took me so long to write this post!

And then on 2nd of January this year, I heard from yet another find!

Thank you drawing from a 9 year old girl

I dispatched Tracey Kershaw‘s bottle in Chester, and her bottle was found just outside the city.

So from the 21 bottles I released this past summer, 5 were found. That’s about 1/4 which is not bad for such small bottles. We can also see that most bottles that are dispatched in rivers, land at the next river bend. Then again, we’ll never know, maybe another one will turn up, and those are just the bottles, that were found quickly 🙂 Fare well, all my other bottles.

And many thanks to everyone who send me message. Even though I wasn’t able to process the information and share it right away, it always makes my day, hearing about someone finding my bottle, and liking it enough to send me message about it 🙂

sheffield 26

The river Don in Sheffield.

Edit: I almost forgot to make good the promise of the title and talk about plans. This post is already too long, so let me make it quick: I currently don’t have any bottles prepared, but will think of one or two to take with me to Sheffield in March. For I booked myself into another self organized writer’s retreat, similar to the one I held for myself one and a half years ago. – If you would like to see your bottle hit the waters of the Don, let me know, and I can take it there for you.

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)

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!

Found in the River Thames

going on shout

On Wednesday, 12th September 2018 I received a short Email with the following content:

“hi , while operating a rescue boat we came across this message in a bottle . we were in the area of the river Thames in the Richmond area .

attached are the images of the message and bottle.”

And indeed with this message several images reached me. The one above, obviously showing the crew of the rescue boat, and this image of the bottle itself:

20180825_171416

Now this image clearly identifies this as bottle number 86 which my daughter released into the river Thames in London almost exactly 17 months earlier. Uncharacteristically, it was indeed dispatched in a big bottle like this. I am delighted and a bit surprised that everything seems to be completely dry.

I remember making this bottles somewhat hastily: We were going to stay in London for a couple of days, and I didn’t have (enough) bottles ready to take with me. This print, on the other hand, was already in my stash of things to maybe put into a bottle. It turned out a little too big to fit into my tiny bottles, thought, and thus I took one of the lemonade bottles that I am already stashing for when my milk bottles run out.

Initially I thought, that this must be a secondary bottle. Assuming that someone else had found the bottle first, rebottles and resealed it, and then released it once again. That would explain why it was still completely dry. And also the bottle and cork seemed unfamiliar to me at first. I tried to contact the finders and ask them about any signs of another finder, but never received an answer to my emails. (Which is the reason, by the way, why this article comes so late.)

But while writing this, and comparing images once again, I begin to think that probably, this is the original bottle after all, and the cork just looks different because the wax came off. Probably, however, it was just the finders removing it. I don’t clearly remember but it looks in the dispatch photo, like I tied down the cork and then covered it in sealing wax. That must have formed a good seal after all.

London bottle 86

In the 17 months the bottle was afloat, it didn’t come awfully far: about 15 km. But it made its way along several turns, and maybe more than once, as the river in that part is tidal. The area where it was found has several islands, too. But I don’t know whether it was found tangled in woods or other things, or freely floating in the river, or maybe washed ashore somewhere.

This latest found raises the percentage of bottles found in the river Thames to 100% (2 dispatched, 2 found).

 

Bottle No. 92 found

On September 25th bottle No. 92 was found. I dispatched it on August 15th at the Maaraue during an awful thunderstorm. I threw it into the river Rhine from the banks, and that never really works well. And the bottle didn’t travel far. It got found just a couple meters downstream.

The interesting thing (for me) is that it got found by a member of the river police. They loved it, and it is now on display at their police station right there at the tip of that island where it was found.

When a bottle gets found, I usually share the making of story and a picture of its contents. In this case, the contents are not so very secret, but I included a close up above. The chocolate and the apple were made out of polymer clay. The pencil is the tip of a toothpick that I painted with some water colours.

With my small world bottles I experimented with hiding the accompaning letter behind or beneath the scenery. – It is hard to feature a scene inside the bottle on the one hand, and include the letter without disturbing the overall impression on the other hand. In this case, as you can see, I decided to mount the little scene on a thin piece of wood and hide the letter behind it.

London Bottle Found

No. 86 and 87 just before their drop

The photo on the left shows the two bottles that I tossed into the River Thames two weeks ago, April 12th to be precise. They were two fairly hastily made bottles, and I don’t have any photos of them in my studio. A few days before we left for London, M. said to me: “Don’t you want to drop some bottles while we are in London.” to which I replied truthfully: “Well, I’d have to make some first.”

But the time was lacking for anything fancy, and the fact that I didn’t have any ready made was due to a general frustration because my UK-river bottles didn’t fare well to date: not a single one was found!

But, as you know, I quickly made these two bottles on the evening before leaving. On April 12th they were dropped into the river Thames by my two helpers, and on April 18th an email reached me:

Hi Hilke,

 I wanted to let you know that I found your bottle with the bookmarks 
 in it, that you launched from Chelsea bridge on the Thames foreshore 
 near Barnes bridge yesterday.  I was looking for stone-aged tools when 
 I came across your bottle and it has indeed made me smile and also 
 confirmed that you always will find something unexpected on the banks 
 of the thames.
 What a lovely idea and an interesting project to do.

 I hope you have a great day and keep up the good art work.

 xx

What joy and excitement! Barnes bridge is It is such a small message, and being really busy at the moment, it took me some time until I managed to tell you about it, but it helped to raise my spirits so much. Since then I have been making 5 more bottles, but I’ll talk about them later.
According to google maps Barnes bridge is 2 bends upstream from Chelsea bridge. But of course the tides mess with the Thames’ currents and it might have gone to and fro for a while until it was found.

The green dot shows Chelsea Bridge (drop-off) the blue one Barney Bridge (where it was found).

As I said, this was hugely motivating. Maybe I’ll just have to drop them all into the Thames? And I made 5 more since I received this notice. But I’ll show you the new bottles in a new post. I am already writing it, so it will probably come up in the next days. I hope you’ll stay tuned!

Bottle Found on the Dutch Coast

No 75

Bottle No. 75 before taking it on its journey

 

 

Yay! One of my “Christmas” bottles was found about two weeks ago. Not long ago the following email reached me:

Hello Hilke,

I found one of your bottles:

We were walking along the beach from Callantsoog to the south. After 5 km we started walking back. This time I started walking at the high tide mark and collected garbage (Mainly plastic) and throwing it in special wooden boxes on the beach (a project to keep the sea /beach clean). And soon my wife and children did the same. After 1,5 km my eye fell upon a little glass bottle with a strange content. My Daughter picked it up and we saw it contained a paper with French writing. We were very enthusiastic and started thinking what the message could be. Maybe we would get a castle in France??? We continued collecting garbage and came back to Callantsoog. And drove to our vacation apartment. There we opened the bottle. The papers were wet but good readable we could dry them on the heater.

Foto by the finder

Foto by the finder

Well no castle, but we cleaned a few km of beach and also your garden!!

If you look closely in the picture above you might be able to read my letter and see what they are referring to here: The bottle contained bits and bobs that I found while searching through our garden (still at the old rented house). I like to do that from time to time. I have here a selection of glasses on my shelf with rusted nails, snail shells, stones, bits of stones and shards, feathers, … yielding a somewhat strange collection of odd tiny things. – Well, and on one day, I decided to put the items into a bottle and post them instead of keeping it in my studio.

I didn’t have high hopes for the bottle to get found because it looked so much like trash. And thus I thought that maybe I better should not throw it into the see, where – not being found – it might end up as trash. But on the 29th of December, on the ferry from Ijmuiden (Amsterdam) to Newcastle, I shrugged off my doubts and threw the bottle over board.

And all is well in the end: the bottle did get found, and provided entertainment, a sense of adventure, and a connection. – It ended up being all I wanted it to be. I hope the finder thinks the same!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Drawing by the finder’s daughter

I was delighted to read that they took a liking in my fish prints, some of which are featured here on the blog, and his daughter ended up making a coloured and absolutely stunning version of one of them. – Really amazing.

So thanks over to the Netherlands for sharing your story and pictures, it was a pleasure! May our ways cross again some time!

On my shelf

shelf in my studio, showing some of my collected items. – Mostly rusty nails.