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Canadian Sisters’ Message in a Bottle Travels from Nova Scotia to Scotland

Again and again, messages in bottles forge lovely connections between Canadians and Scots. One Scottish woman has even found two messages in bottles from the same Canadian sender! On Canada Day 2017 (which was Saturday, July 1st), Annalea Vardy, age 6, and her sister Isabel, 3, were aboard their grandparents’ sailboat, celebrating Canada’s 150th year of independence. That’s their sesquicentennial anniversary, for anyone who likes long words 🙂 Together with their grandparents, David and Donna, the girls sent a message in a bottle in honor of Canada’s independence. The sisters’ message in a bottle drifted away and the family continued their sailing adventure.

Vardy sisters' message in a bottle fragment.

Annalea and Isabel Vardy’s message in a bottle, signed and sent on Canada’s 150th birthday. Photo: The Daily Record.

“I really thought it would crash on a beach somewhere around Bonavista,” David Vardy told The Western Star.

Time passed, and the Vardys thought no more of the bottle. Like most message in a bottle senders, they never dreamed someone would actually find it.

Vardy Sisters’ Message in a Bottle Found

One day in May of 2018, Donna Vardy’s phone rang. A Scottish voice explained that they had found Annalea’s and Isabel’s message in a bottle! In fact, it washed up in the Outer Hebrides, where a Barra Beach Hotel staff member found it, according to the Western Star.

Canadian Sisters' Message in a Bottle - Isle of Barra Beach Hotel View from Tangusdale Beach

Isle of Barra Beach Hotel from Tangusdale Beach. By DJB, CC BY-SA 2.0, Link

The manager of the hotel, Joan Irvine, told the Daily Record, “One of our staff members was out for a walk…on Tangusdale beach and found the bottle. It broke when we were trying to open it, but everything that was inside was in perfect condition.” The Vardy sisters’ message in a bottle had survived!

Vardy sisters' message in a bottle.

The Vardy sisters’ message in a bottle. Photo: The Daily Record.

Annalea and Isabel spiced up their form message by including some lovely colorings!

Colored illustrations included with Vardy sisters' message in a bottle.

Colored illustrations included with Annalea and Isabel Vardy’s message in a bottle. Photo: The Daily Record.

Needless to say, the discovery of the message in a bottle in Scotland was a thrill for the entire Vardy “crew”.

Vardy sisters' message in a bottle - Annalea and Isabel with their grandparents.

Annalea and Isabel Vardy with their Grandparents, David and Donna. Photo: The Western Star / Vardy Family.

How a Message in a Bottle Opens a Window to the World

Imagine being 6 years old and sending a message in a bottle with your sister. A year later (that’s a huge chunk of your conscious life to date!) that message in a bottle is found in a distant land…

Imagine the sense of wonder this would inspire–the sense of adventure. When the Barra Beach Hotel reached out to the Vardys to let them know the girls’ message had been found, they gave those kids that wonder, that chance to see the world as a huge and wonder-filled, yet small and connected place where we are only separated from each other by a single, simple gesture–even the most distant strangers.

The truth is that we are all a simple “hello” away from each other. In greeting each other we become real. That is the first step to recognizing we are all, in fact, on the same team. And this seemingly silly message in a bottle has opened that door for two little girls in Canada. If that isn’t magic, I don’t know what is!

More Messages in Bottles

***If you liked this story, click here to find me on Facebook and like my page for more message in a bottle stories! You never know when YOU could be the one to solve a message in a bottle mysteryClick here to learn more about messages in bottles, and you can always contact me with questions, ideas, or stories.

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