Canadian family finds Wareham student's message… three years later
When Marie Jacinto's first-graders at John W. Decas Elementary penned notes, carefully rolled them up, and placed them into empty bottles for friends at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute to drop at sea, one student was sure her note would eventually be recovered.
"When I was in first grade, I always said someone would find my bottle," Chatham Norcross recalled.
That first-grader is now a fourth-grader. And she was correct.
On Christmas day, a Canadian family currently taking a one-year voyage on a sailboat — aptly named "My Passion" — discovered the bottle in the Bahamas, and wrote Jacinto, who had put her e-mail address on each of her students' notes.
Chatham's is the first bottle to be found from the 48 bottles — including some from a second-grade class — that were dropped in the Gulf Stream.
The family wrote that Chatham's bottle was found on a beach 30 miles south of Marsh Harbour in Schooner Bay Village, which the family wrote is a resort that is under construction, and will be "a green village by using recycled water and renewable energy systems."
In her original letter, Chatham wrote "that I liked chicken. That's my favorite food. And my favorite color is blue," she said.
The family responded that the child who found the bottle, Felix-Antoine, also likes chicken very much, and his favorite color his blue.
Chatham said she and her mom had a fun time finding Canada and the Bahamas on a map. They returned a message to the family and have yet to hear back, but are optimistic.
"I told them that I was really happy, and felt like the luckiest person in the world," Chatham said. "I wondered how my bottle survived through all this, and how it didn't break because it's made of glass!"
Jacinto said she was thrilled that it was Chatham's bottle that was discovered.
"She was so certain that it would be found," Jacinto said with a big smile.
Chatham has told some of her classmates that her bottle was finally found. Their reaction?
"They were REALLY surprised," she said.