Mes­sage in a bot­tle tells decade–long tale

Whitsunday Times - - LOCAL NEWS -

A MES­SAGE in a bot­tle that was left 10 years ago on White­haven Beach has been found by Cruise Whit­sun­days staff.

Cherie Louise and her co­worker Monique Hart­leySmith, were com­plet­ing their stan­dard check for rubbish on the beach be­fore de­part­ing with day cruise guests when they saw the bot­tle ly­ing in the sand dunes.

“We joked be­fore we picked it up – wouldn’t it be funny if there was a mes­sage in it,” Ms Louise said.

On dis­cov­er­ing the note, which was damp and fall­ing apart, the pair man­aged to re­assem­ble it, re­veal­ing a mes­sage left by six hol­i­day­mak­ers in 2004.

The mes­sage from Au­gust 5, reads, “We, the good friends and crew of the Blue­berry Hill do pledge to re­turn to this spot at a time in the fu­ture to re­trieve this bot­tle and re­mem­ber the good times we’ve had and the good friends we have”.

It was signed by Mel­bourne res­i­dents Joe and Su­san Mar­guc­cio and Wayne and Sandy Hen­der­son and Pete and Mar­ion Hey­wood, now of Syd­ney.

The six ami­gos char­tered the mo­tor cata­ma­ran Blue­berry Hill, on a self-skip­pered or bare­boat hol­i­day with Cum­ber­land Char­ter Yachts in Au­gust 2004 to cel­e­brate Joe’s 50th birth­day.

They brought the bot­tle of Pen­fold’s St Henri with them and on cruis­ing to White­haven Beach and spend­ing the day there, they wrote the note, signed it, took pho­tos, tied a small yel­low rope to a tree as a marker and buried it deep in the sand dunes, mak­ing a pact to one day re­turn and re­trieve it.

Af­ter read­ing the mes­sage, Ms Louise and Ms Hart­leySmith googled Blue­berry Hill and traced the ves­sel to Cum­ber­land Char­ter Yachts, where staff were able to pin down the Hen­der­sons who re­turned to the Whit­sun­days in 2008.

Ap­par­ently in this year, they searched White­haven Beach high and low but could not find the tree or marker and dis­ap­point­edly re­ported to their friends that they sus­pected it was lost.

Cum­ber­land Char­ter Yachts and Cruise Whit­sun­days have in­vited the group to re­turn and have an­other Whit­sun­day sail­ing hol­i­day in Au­gust 2014 to cel­e­brate Joe’s 60th birth­day and to meet the staff who helped make the story com­plete.

A BIT OF FUN: The crew of Blue­berry Hill, Pete Hey­wood, Su­san Mar­guc­cio, Sandy Hen­der­son, Mar­ion Hey­wood, Wayne Hen­der­son and Joe Mar­guc­cio.

IN WRIT­ING: This mes­sage sur­vived 10 years in a bot­tle buried on White­haven Beach.

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