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An Extremely Lucky Find

On Message in a Bottle Day 2017, I opened this bottle I had found buried in the sand on a deserted Caribbean island back in 2015.

Message in a bottle from Lily of Ft. Lauderdale on the beach

That is exactly how I found it. Isn’t that crazy? I only picked it up out of curiosity because it had a cork stuffed in it. I don’t think I have ever been so surprised as the moment I held this dark bottle up to the sun and realized there was a message in it.

Clint Buffington with Message in a bottle from Lily of Ft. Lauderdale on the beach

Well, I had been dying to open it, but just simply hadn’t had time. Finally, when I got together with my family for Message in a Bottle Day 2017, I got my chance. My brother and dad also opened messages in bottles that day.

Evan, Bob, and Clint with messages in bottles from Message in a Bottle Day 2017

My bottle was made of extremely dark glass, and I had to hold it up to the sun to even be able to see the message inside.

Clint Buffington with Lily of Ft. Lauderdale's message in a bottle

When the time came, I just pulled the cork out and used tweezers to grab the message in its bag. It came right out. Here’s what was inside!

Message in a bottle revealed from Lily of Ft. Lauderdale

Something tells me that Lily had help both with buying the bottle of wine used for this message (and hopefully the drinking of it!), and possibly with the dictation of her note 🙂 But who knows? Maybe she has excellent handwriting!

Close up of Lily / Ft. Lauderdale message in a bottle

Looking for Lily of Fort Lauderdale’s 16th Street

I have never really found a message from a youngster who was still young, and I would so love to connect with Lily to let her know I found her note! Especially because it’s really a fascinating find. I don’t think it should have drifted south and east from Fort Lauderdale to where I found it, but that’s exactly what happened…

Anyway, I wrote Lily a letter–an old school, analog, handwritten letter–and mailed it to the address on the note (obviously withheld for her privacy) back in the beginning of December of 2017.

Of course, I would never put someone’s precious message in the mail to an address until I verified that the right people lived there! Sadly, I haven’t heard back. I expect there’s someone new in Lily’s old house on S.E. 16th Street in Fort Lauderdale who is thoroughly confused by the letter they received from me, addressed to a “Lily”… Well, people move all the time, and I am hoping that someone who sees this will recognize Lily.

What we know:

Lily would be 7 or 8 today; she lived in Fort Lauderdale in 2015 on S.E. 16th Street, and she and her family visited Dania Beach Pier in February 2015.

By the way, Dania Beach Pier is awesome! It stretches almost a thousand feet out into the sea–it is longer than three football fields end-to-end!

Dania Pier where Lily sent her message in a bottle from Ft. Lauderdale

Dania Pier. Photo: The Online Fisherman.

Isn’t it just lovely? What a beautiful place for this story to begin…

Well, Internet, I need your help again! Please spread the word to help me connect with Lily! You helped me find Ray from Philadelphia, and Amanda from Connecticut, and Sabine from Germany. I just know we can find Lily! 🙂


This message in a bottle has been SOLVED! Click here for the second part of the story!

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