Greek sea-captain’s message in a bottle makes its way to New Zealand shoreline

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A message in a bottle from a Greek seafarer has reached the shores of Ninety Mile Beach, leaving a local New Zealander puzzled and bewildered.

Reported by Radio New Zealand, local fisherman Ken Fergusson found the washed up wine bottle on the shoreline and took it to his home to dispose of it properly, worried that someone may step on it.

“…Got home, went to throw it in the rubbish and I noticed there was a card in it,” Fergusson said.

He looked through the green glass and made out some phone numbers on a business card, only to reach a Greek woman who couldn’t understand any English. Unfortunately for Fergusson, he didn’t know any Greek.

The business card found in a bottle on Ninety Mile Beach. Photo / Peter Jackson

Fergusson tried sending an email and, a couple of days ago, a reply from Captain John Karavolos arrived.

“I thought it was pretty cool actually,” Fergusson said.

According to the Captain, the Greek pushed the card into the bottle, put the cork back on, and turfed it out to sea about a year ago, during a trip between Australia and China. NIWA oceanographer Dr Phil Sutton said the southern hemisphere is more likely than the northern.

“Anything that’s floating gets driven by the wind as well as the ocean currents. Actually, the hemispheres are fairly well separated.”

Captain Karavolos believes the date and location of the bottle’s send-off may be faintly written on the back of the business card. The Awanui School tamariki is expected to open the bottle in the coming days to find out.

Radio New Zealand also reports that treasures have been showing up on Te Tai Tokerau beaches for decades and many are cared for by Heritage New Zealand.

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