Bottled message arrives in LC

Almost five years after it was dropped in the ocean, a message in a bottle has washed up on a beach in Little Cayman.  

Sherri Hillman, the chef at the Hungry Iguana restaurant, found the glass bottle while taking a walk along the beach near Point O Sand.  

“I was taking photos as the mangroves were in bloom, which I had never seen before, and I looked down and saw the bottle,” she said. “I thought it looked like it was corked. I picked it up and lo and behold there was a message in a bottle.” 

The message was written by grade three students at a school in Durban, South Africa. It is dated 15 August, 2008. 

Written in pencil, it lists the names of the girls, their teacher and the activities they cover at the school. The children’s message had been pasted onto the school’s headed paper.  

Since finding the message, Ms Hillman has contacted the school and been in touch with several of the girls who wrote the message, through their parents. 

“I found the school’s website and wrote to them and the principal got in touch with me,” she said. “Then I found the school had a Facebook page so once I posted the photos on there slowly people have found out.” The arrival of the bottle in Little Cayman has caused a stir in Durban as well and articles have already been written on the matter there.  

“The girls are all excited about it too,” said Ms Hillman. “They had all gone on to different high schools since the message in a bottle was sent, but they got back together for a group photo last week.”  

Sending messages in bottles is something that takes place every year in South Africa, Ms Hillman discovered, but so far the one she found is the only one that someone has responded to.  

“How could I not?” she says. “When you look at the journey it had to make – round the bottom of Africa and up, through all the other Caribbean islands – how cool is that?” 

Although she would like to get the message framed for posterity, she notes that picture framers are in short supply in Little Cayman.  

Sending messages in bottles is something that takes place every year in South Africa, Ms Hillman discovered, but so far the one she found is the only one that someone has responded to.  

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