‘Message in a Bottle’ written two decades ago by North Bend Elementary students discovered on remote Hawaiian Island

In case you were in need of a Sunday feel good story – we’ve got a good one for you all the way from North Bend to Hawaii courtesy of the Pacific Ocean currents.

Are you thinking ‘What?’ Well here’s how it happened…

There’s been a feel-good buzz around the Snoqualmie Valley this week thanks to the discovery of a message in a bottle on the remote Northwestern Hawaiian Island of Bird where NOAA conducts its Hawaiian Monk Seal Research Program.

Research Assistant Paige Mino wrote a blog entry last month chronicling her discovery of the ‘message in a bottle’ from North Bend Elementary School kindergarteners written back in 1998.

Mino wrote: “Walking over to the bottle I pick it up and examine the contents. Instantly I realize what I’ve found: a message in a bottle. Inside are rolled up pieces of paper, and on further examination I can make out some typed words. Excitement takes a hold of me, and I wave the bottle in the air for my teammate to see offshore. Packing the bottle away, I finish the survey and meet the small boat to get on and we head back to camp.

The letter was dated June 15, 1998 and was written by now retired SVSD and NBE teacher Mrs. Johnson’s class. Johnson had her husband – who was sailing in the 1998 Pacific Cup race from San Francisco to Hawaii – toss the bottle into the water somewhere past the Continental Shelf 21-years ago.

The students – who are now around 27-years old – got to ask questions in the bottle letter. The researcher wrote: “Nick wants to know if we have any gold, Erinn wonders if we like cats, and Tyson asks if there’s a volcano near us. The next page is a class picture featuring all of the students and the teacher. We sit and match each student to their question, wondering how old these kids are today and if they even remember writing these questions. The final three pages are student drawings, featuring the Cascade Mountains and now-illegible scribbles that have been bleached by the sun.”

So do you know any of these former North Bend Elementary Students who helped write this special message in a bottle? If so, leave a comment and let us know.

According to NOAA he bottle made it to the remote Hawaiian Island with the help of the North Pacific Gyre, which is created by trade winds and the Earth’s rotation and consists of multiple currents. They believe the bottle was picked up by the California Current and eventually converged with other currents to ultimately end up in its resting place on shore.

Happy Sunday Snoqualmie Valley!

Bottle found by NOAA researcher. PC: NOAA
Mrs. Johnson’s 1997-98 NBE kindergarten class. PC: NOAA

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