When Bridget Capano, an SCH 2021 graduate, wrote to her “Bottlefinder,” she shared that the glass bottle was part of a project being conducted by the school’s oceanography students to study the motion of surface currents in the Atlantic Ocean. The bottles act as "drift meters” to indicate how far and how fast the currents are moving.
She also wrote, “I wonder who will find this and where? I try to imagine the moment that you will find this bottle and I hope that it brings you some type of joy!”
In fact, the discovery of her bottle did just that for the Struss family. The photo they provided says it all! They wrote the school, as the letter in the bottle requested, sharing:
“Every summer we visit Bethany Beach, DE to enjoy the last week of summer on the beach. This year we were pleasantly surprised by an unexpected adventure. As our 3 kids were playing in the sand on August 25 your bottle washed ashore. The tropical storm Henri had just passed 24 hours prior and must have sent the bottle [to us]. Our kids were excited to receive your letter and we are happy to help with the data for your study. Good luck in your studies.”
Bridget was moving into her college dorm when oceanography teacher Dr. Kim Eberle-Wang reached out to her to let her know. She emailed back promptly: “I was so happy to see that the kids found my bottle! I really hope that they remember that moment. It brings me joy to think of the curiosity and wonder that may have been fostered by this small occurrence. Who knows... maybe we have inspired three future oceanographers who will release their own bottles one day!”
The second bottle discovery followed shortly thereafter and was found by a fisherman 24 miles off the coast of Ocean City, Maryland, on August 31. He wrote: “I saw it floating and drove over to it while trolling for mahi-mahi and wahoo. My friend grabbed it when we saw there was a note in it. I had my daughter and her friend on the boat—both 14 years old—and they were pretty excited to see the note, as was I. I have been fishing a long time and never found one before.” This letter inside this bottle was written by Phil, also in the Class of 2021. (Watch Phil's video of the bottle discovery below.)
Both bottles, thrown overboard 5 miles off the shore of Stone Harbor, NJ, on August 3rd, seemed to have enjoyed a 3+ week ride down the coast before being found!
Of note: In early 2020, we learned that one of the oceanography class’s bottles, which had been released off of the coast of Maine in 2015, found its way to a beach in Cuba having made a roughly 6,000 mile trip around the North Atlantic Gyre!