Mate/Engineer Chris Bassage of M/Y Kewpie was in for quite the surprise
while he was helping clean up hurricane debris at Puerto del Ray Marina in Fajardo, Puerto Rico, following
Hurricanes Irma and Maria. After a long day in the sun of gathering plastic
containers and rubbish that had blown onto a nearby beach, he noticed a clear,
corked wine bottle while he was working through a section of rocky terrain.
Upon inspection, he spotted a letter inside — but, suspecting that the letter might
contain some sort of much-needed motivation, he decided to wait for the rest of
the crew to open the bottle.
At the end of the day, it was time. “We cracked the bottle,
carefully pulled away the crumbled Ziploc bag and slowly unrolled the moist
paper,” Bassage says. “As I started reading the letter, I immediately got goose
bumps as not only was the letter from seven years ago, but [it was] from a
familiar boat, with a familiar name. [The bottle] had been dropped during an
Atlantic crossing in the mid-Atlantic.”
Not only had the bottle survived seven years in the ocean,
it was still whole even after washing up on rocky terrain and enduring two
Category 5 hurricanes.
The letter read:
“We alone are the gods
of our own destiny, sure confidence, inner strength. I control my life.” —
November 2010, M/Y Sequel P, The
Bassage reached out to the chef and thanked him for the
motivation, which was sorely needed in the aftermath of Puerto Rico’s hurricane,
which left many without water or electricity. What’s an even better ending to
the tale? Turns out the chef had met his wife on Sequel P and married her six months after dropping the bottle in
the sea. How’s that for a love story?