A member of the sailing group launches the bottle into the ocean in October 2012.
A member of the sailing group launches the bottle into the ocean in October 2012. Contributed

Message in bottle brings joy for family

A MESSAGE in a bottle has made a remarkable journey across hundreds of kilometres of ocean to unite a Noosa family with four strangers from around the globe.

Kayak Noosa owner Rod Withyman was conducting a dolphin-spotting tour on January 2 when he spotted the barnacle-encrusted bottle floating 80 metres offshore at Tea Tree Bay.

"We saw what I thought was rubbish. We got a bit closer and I saw it was glass, so I picked it up and brought it on to the kayak," Mr Withyman said.

The bottle was sealed with wax and the note still intact.

HAPPY MAN: Inspired by a message in a bottle, Rod Withyman has been inspired to sail the South Pacific with his family.
HAPPY MAN: Inspired by a message in a bottle, Rod Withyman has been inspired to sail the South Pacific with his family. Contributed

Mr Withyman took the message back to shore, where with sons Rio, 7, and Bon, 4, he made an amazing discovery.

 

The bottle had been thrown in the sea almost 15 months previously by a group sailing on a catamaran from Tonga to Brisbane to raise money to improve the Pacific nation's sustainability by reducing waste and fossil-fuel consumption.

It contained notes from the crew, including their contact details, some star stickers and a business card.

One of the notes read: "On the 20th of October, 2012, four adventure makers celebrated the halfway mark between New Cal and Australia by throwing this bottle and themselves into the Pacific Ocean.

"If you are lucky enough to find this, please contact us. Have a nice day!"

Another said: "Be kind to each other. Love one another. Follow the sun. Love nature. Live your dreams. Live. Laugh. Love."

The Withyman family has since contacted all the members of the voyage and hopes to one day meet them in person.

"They're all from different parts of the world," Mr Withyman said.

Incredibly, the day the family contacted Canadian skipper Adrian Midwood, he was sailing out of Brisbane on a Talking Trash Tour to Sydney, with 15 stops along the way to raise awareness and demonstrate technology for converting plastic into oil.

Mr Midwood conducted a demonstration at Currimundi on January 4.

For Mr Withyman, finding the message had personal significance.

"The thing that makes us happy is that all these people are into the same sort of stuff that we are into," he said.

"That's a lot of what we do through our business every day.

"It was almost like it was a bit of serendipity involved."

While he ordinarily urged people not to throw rubbish into the sea, Mr Withyman said the message had inspired him to pursue his dream of sailing the South Pacific with his family.

"The message in this bottle made a lot of people happy," he said.



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