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  • Southside

Message in a bottle travels from California to Dún Laoghaire

Monday, 2nd September, 2019 1:00pm
Message in a bottle travels from California  to Dún Laoghaire

Sam (5) pictured with the message in a bottle he found in Dún Laoghaire.

Message in a bottle travels from California  to Dún Laoghaire

Sam (5) pictured with the message in a bottle he found in Dún Laoghaire.

A YOUNG boy got the surprise of his life when he recently discovered a message in a bottle that made a five-year journey from California all the way to Dún Laoghaire.

Sara Oeser told how she had been out in Dún Laoghaire with her family after attending a ukulele festival when the startling discovery was made.

Her eldest son, Sam (5), was playing on the rocks to the side of the pier when he came across the bottle. After lots of scrambling, he finally managed to get it out and to his amazement found a message inside.

Dated June 20, 2014, it read: “We wanted to know how far this will go from Venice Beach, CA. Please email if found.”

Sara contacted the senders of the bottle who were absolutely astounded at how far it had travelled. The Californian couple were delighted with the news as they had only recently got married.

Sarah and her family were intrigued at how the bottle had ended up on the east coast of Ireland and wondered which ocean currents may have determined its route. In a bid to find out, Sarah contacted the Marine Institute of Ireland, who in turn suggested she get in touch with the Scripps Institute of Oceanography in California.

The Marine Institute of Ireland got in touch with their ocean modellers to see if they could shed any light on the bottle’s journey.

In their reply to Sarah, they wrote: “If the bottle was thrown in on the eastern seaboard of the US, then we could point to the Gulf Stream/North Atlantic Current playing a role (along with wind) in carrying the bottle to Europe. However, the fact that it started in the Pacific and it only took five years to get to Ireland is very surprising.

“One possible route is for it to have moved north and passed into the Arctic Ocean, come south along the coast of Greenland and then onto the eastern coast of North America before being transported across the Atlantic.”

Sarah was also informed that another possibility is that the bottle travelled westwards over Australia and under Africa before joining the Gulf Stream off Mexico and carried to Ireland - a journey of over 25,000 miles!

In the meantime, Sarah and her young sons are still buzzing from their amazing discovery and plan to get in touch with marine experts in California to find out more.

 

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