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Madelyn’s Message in a Bottle Found on Atlantic Beach, North Carolina

July 17th, 2017 was a big day for 10-year-old Wyatt Young! He was with his family at Atlantic Beach, North Carolina, when he spotted a bottle with a note inside. A really real, truly true message in a bottle! I dreamed of finding one when I was 10. Can you imagine?! Little did Wyatt know, he was about to connect with the author of this message in a bottle, Madelyn. To me, the most amazing thing about Madelyn’s message in a bottle is that she didn’t live halfway around the world, as you might expect. Surprisingly, Wyatt learned that Madelyn lived quite a bit closer than that…

Wyatt on Atlantic Beach with Message in a Bottle from Madelyn - Credit Jenny Young

Wyatt Young with his Message in a Bottle find. Photo: Jenny Young

Search for Message in a Bottle Author Hits Brick Wall

Wyatt’s find was beautiful! Amazingly, the note inside was in nearly perfect condition. It was signed by Madelyn, but not dated. There was even a phone number from the 919 area code (Raleigh, North Carolina).

Madelyn Message in a Bottle found by Wyatt on Atlantic Beach - Credit Jenny Young

Message in a Bottle from Madelyn, found by Wyatt Young. Photo: Jenny Young

Naturally, Wyatt and his mom Jenny called the number.

Instead of Madelyn, they reached a man who said he’d had the number for about 5 years, and didn’t know anyone named Madelyn. Bummer! This happens to me, too. It always feels like hitting a brick wall.

I asked y’all to help spread the word, and folks in North Carolina were doing the same. One way or another, Madelyn found out her message in a bottle had been found!

Madelyn’s Message in a Bottle Solved!

ABC11 News in North Carolina reported that Wyatt and his mom managed to track down Madelyn, whose message in a bottle Wyatt found on July 17th, 2017.

Incredibly, it turned out that she lived just a few miles from Wyatt himself! At the time, she was 13.

According to a note from Wyatt’s mother, the reason it took some time to track down Madelyn was that Madelyn had recently gotten a new cell phone and memorized the number–or thought she had it memorized–before she made the note. The trouble was that she got one digit wrong! We’ve all been there, right?

Madelyn Message in a Bottle solved by Wyatt Young - Close up of the message in the bottle

Madelyn’s note. Photo: Jenny Young.

Wyatt’s mom said Madelyn had made the message in a bottle months ago, but only sent it a couple weeks ago a few miles down the beach–so it spent about a week drifting and washing up before Wyatt found it.

Message in a Bottle Spent Short Time at Sea, but Made a Big Impact

Some may think this makes the message less special and less exotic–that it would have been “better” if Madelyn had been from thousands of miles away. But you know what? I don’t think so. I think their connection is plenty special!

Just take note of how many total strangers you pass on a daily basis–even people who live just down the street or around the corner from you. Isn’t that strange? Don’t you find yourself wondering what it would be like to know all these people with whom you share a neighborhood, a city? Wouldn’t it be wild to just suddenly befriend these total strangers? I think that’s plenty exotic, and it’s exactly what’s happening here!

Wyatt and Madelyn have managed to break down one little wall by connecting through this message in a bottle, and that’s more than many of us can say. So I say kudos to them! Here’s hoping for many years of friendship from this experience 🙂

That’s one small message in a bottle solved, one more connection for mankind.

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