Most people go to the beach to soak up the sun, read a good book, hit the waves, and simply enjoy being away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. For others though, the beach is seen as a treasure trove just waiting to be discovered. If you have a metal detector you can comb the beach for hours, waiting to hear the beep-beep, of something ready to be unearthed. Sometimes you will find something, but more often than not you will come up empty-handed. For one family who was out for a stroll, they would pick up something astonishing.
Meet Tonya And Kym
For these two Australian photographers, they never expected to happen upon anything of interest on a beach in Western Australia. They would spend most of their time flying to far-flung places in the world to capture beautiful shots of nature and animals.
When they decided to go out for a simple walk in their home province though, they would find something worth a second look. What appeared to be something quite old, would contain a story that they had to uncover.
Driving out to beaches in Australia is pretty normal. You have a vehicle with 4-wheel drive for those tough to reach places, and in this case, sandy situations. Kym and Tonya knew they wanted to get some shooting done, which meant driving over some very sandy patches of their favorite local spot.
They never expected that the sand would sink under the wheels of their vehicles and get stuck. Once they realized there would be no moving, and that they would need someone to come and help them they decided to go for a walk along the shoreline. It was there that they would make a discovery.
Keeping The Beach Clean
This particular stretch of beach saw a lot of traffic, and as the couple walked along they noticed that there was a lot of litter scattered around. They knew they were in for a bit of a wait with their vehicle, so they decided to make the most of their time and collect all of the litter in the area.
As Tonya went about picking up trash, she saw the light hit something very near to her hand. She got a bit closer to the source of the shine, and low and behold, it appeared to be a very old glass bottle.
Tonya bent down and picked up the old bottle she had found washed up with the other litter. She liked the shape of it, and the glass appeared to be quite old. It did not have the smooth finishings of anything that had been recently made. She thought that it might be a nice piece to add to her collection of found objects that have a nautical flair to them.
However, she did want to show this piece to one of her family members who might know a bit about its origins. Tonya had to admit, she was curious about the original owner of this bottle.
A Small Discovery
Bree was Tonya and Kym’s son’s longtime girlfriend. She had a good eye for objects that were found on the beach, and Tonya decided to show her the bottle she had just found. Bree inspected it, and noticed that the bottle was not empty.
After a bit of tinkering, she was able to remove something that had been placed inside the bottle. It was a very small, rolled up piece of what looked like parchment paper from some other era. This bottle had just become a whole lot more interesting to everyone involved. What would the note say, once it was unrolled?
The Message In The Bottle
It was official, Tonya and Kym now had a message in a bottle. Everyone wanted to know what the tiny note contained. Was it a love letter or a treasure map? Or, was it simply someone’s shopping list that they put in a bottle as a funny joke.
After some consideration, the family decided that they should untie the twine holding the note together, and carefully unfurl it to see what secrets it was potentially hiding.
A Bit Damp
The note itself had been in the bottle for a long time. With so long spent in the ocean, and the bottle not as well-sealed as they originally thought, the note was a bit on the soggy side. Before they opened it, they needed to make sure that it was completely dry.
The best way to dry out the note for the grand reveal would be to let it air dry in the oven, away from any outside elements. Then, the family would be able to read it together.
As soon as the paper was dry, and there would be no risk of any ink running, the family gathered together. Carefully, they unrolled the note and stared down at it. What they were looking at was less a note, and more what appeared to be some kind of communication from Germany.
There was no English anywhere on the paper, some of it was printed in German, with handwritten portions filled out. What did it say?
Kym took it upon himself to begin puzzling out what the note said. The handwriting was so faint that it could not be read, but the printed portions were very clear. Kym was able to determine that the final paragraph had to do with the German consulate, and contacting them.
This did not make very much sense to the family though, nor did it help them to date when this message in a bottle might have been put into the ocean.
The message appeared to be a part of some sort of research experiment. It had been launched into the ocean with the explicit purpose of seeing how long it would take to wash up on a continent or an island.
Clearly, it had taken a very long time for this message to reach anyone. It was asked that the message be returned to the German embassy as soon as it was found, with a time stamp attesting to when it was found and where.
A Mystery Year
What this family was truly curious about, was just how old this note was. They wanted to know if it dated back to the early 1900s or even the 1800s. Unfortunately, even as the note dried there was no year that was legible.
Tonya and Kym decided it might be time to bring in some professional help to deal with their mystery note. They wanted to know if they had found something important to share with the world.