A New York school boy got more than he bargained for when his message in a bottle washed up on the shores of a paradisiacal private island almost 1,000 miles away from his home.
What started off as an innocent investigation into ocean currents ended up as a 1,000 mile cross continental journey for New York school boy Connor Corbett-Rice, who, after casting a bottle into the Atlantic Ocean from his Shelter Island home, got much more than he bargained for when it washed ashore three years later on a private island in the Bahamas.
Including details about his friends, family and day-to-day life; Connor’s message was – much to his surprise – eventually discovered 1,000 miles away from its original destination by avid beachcombers Andrew and Carol Gracie.
The couple, who had set sail from their native Bermuda on a two-week exploration of the Bahamas, stumbled across the islands on the powder-soft sands of Musha Cay – a luxurious Caribbean private island retreat owned by none other than Las Vegas magician David Copperfield.
This was certainly no illusion, however. Having read the message and researched its origins, the Gracies’ next step was to contact the teen’s technology education teacher, Mr. Jack Reardon (55), firstly to congratulate him on implementing such an inventive school project and – more importantly – to let him know how the bottle was found.
The news was greeted with disbelief from Reardon, who, having issued his seventh grade students with the message-in-a-bottle assignment for nine years on the trot, had enjoyed only limited success, with his furthest-roaming bottle travelling only as far as the next town – twenty miles upstream from Shelter Island itself.
“The chances of it being found were miniscule. For some reason, it drifted south of our location, which in itself is a weird occurrence, because nothing drifts south when you throw it in the water,” explains Reardon, “it all goes north. There had to be an explanation and we’re convinced that the bottle somehow circumnavigated the Atlantic Ocean.”
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