Years ago the Island King and I were in Port St Joe on a scalloping mission. We'd been out in the boat all morning so at lunch time we decided to pull up to the beach at the end of Cape San Blas to eat our lunch.
As we got closer to the shore we could see that the beach was lined with plastic bottles. Lots of them.
When I was a kid we had a houseboat that we spent most weekends on and every time we'd pull up to a beach all of the kids were given trash bags and told to pick up any trash they saw. Seeing all of those bottles along the beach had me digging around in the boat looking for a trash bag.
We beached the boat and I got out with my trash bag but when I picked up the first bottle I realized that there was a note inside.
A message in a bottle. I've always wanted to find one of those.
The message is a note from Sheila Hightower of Highland Elementary School in Port St Joe and was written on September 4, 1986.
It says that her science class is studying ocean currents so they are releasing these bottles into St Joe Bay. The note asks that if you find it to please call the school and tell them where you found it so the class can track where the currents have taken their bottles.
It sounds like a fun experiment but I felt kind of bad for the poor kids. I'm sure they sent their bottles out into the Bay, hoping they would be carried out the pass and off to exotic places. Instead, the current carried them straight across St Joe Bay and onto the beach directly across from where they were released.
I called the phone number on the note that afternoon and told the secretary about finding the bottle. She was really excited because this was the first message that had been found.
I told her where I found it and she agreed that it was a little sad that they'd only traveled to the other side of the Bay but said she knew the class would be excited that one of them had been found.
I left the rest of the bottles on the beach, hoping others would find them and call as well.
It was fun finding a message in a bottle. Thanks Sheila!