Message in a bottle travels from Florida to Portugal in six years

A Canadian couple threw a message in a bottle into the ocean during a Florida vacation in 2015 and their note was discovered on a Portuguese beach six years later.

Brigitte Doerksen of Morris, Manitoba, said she and her husband, Warren, were vacationing in Miami in February 2015 when he suggested they use an empty wine bottle to launch a message in a bottle from the beach.

Doerksen said she wrote a note asking the finder of the bottle to contact her and included her business card and $2 as extra incentive.

The bottle disappeared into the ocean and turned up again during the weekend when Lisa Dzierzak-Vieira and her husband, Marco, were walking their dog with their daughter, Lua, on a Porto Santo, Portugal, beach.

“I usually go and walk the dog on my own and then Marco stays at home with the baby,” Dzierzak-Vieira told CBC News. “And just for this particular morning, for some reason, he said, ‘I really can’t be bothered to stay at home today. I just want to come out and have a break and clear my head.'”

Dzierzak-Vieira said Marco found the wine bottle on the shore and opened it to discover Doerksen’s note, business card and the $2.

Doerksen said it took her a few moments to understand what she was seeing when she opened the email sent by the Portuguese couple.

“I was like, what?” she said. “It did not comprehend at first, I was like, what is this?”

Doerksen said she and her husband are hoping to visit Portugal to see the spot where their bottle landed and meet the people who found it.

“Just having somebody find it and just having another connection around the world is so precious to us. Another friendship,” she said.

An Alaskan woman recently found a message in a bottle that was launched in 1987, but the bottle’s origins and sender remain a mystery. Pam Joy of Skagway said she was walking on the beach at the Dyea flats when she found the bottle containing a simple message: “Happy New Year 1987!”

Joy said she is hoping the sender of the bottle will come forward and reveal where it was launched from.