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:
- 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
- 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.
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.
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 😉
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:
Apparently the contents survived their (short) trip very well:
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!
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 🙂
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.