Message in a bottle from Bahamas found on Harris beach

EVEN by today’s standards, sending a letter across the Atlantic shouldn’t take so long to arrive.

EVEN by today’s standards, sending a letter across the Atlantic shouldn’t take so long to arrive.

But when it is in a bottle and travelling by the grace of the ocean currents, it’s surprising the message actually arrived anywhere to be seen again by human eye.

However, medical student Rosie Rayment was astounded when she picked up such a message in a bottle washed ashore on Harris - all 6,500 miles from the Bahamas.

The 22-year-old was on Seilebost beach learning to surf when she spotted the bottle stuck in the sand.

Rosie, originally from Cumbria, is on a seven-week placement at the South Harris Medical Practice.

She said: “I had always wanted to surf, so when my friend Alan offered to teach me I jumped at the chance.

“We were walking along Seilebost Beach at around 4pm on Wednesday, 3 February, when I noticed the bottle, with the message inside it.

“We went surfing, then picked it up on our way back to the van. Then we smashed it open as we made a cup of tea.”

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To both Rosie and Alan’s astonishment, the message inside was from Bruce Roden and his then fiancé Monica Prieto, from Miami, in Florida.

The bottle had been thrown over the side of the luxury cruise liner ‘Norwegian Sky’, off the coast of the Bahamas, on 18 May, 2014.

It had travelled over 6,500 miles and taken just under two years to reach the beach at Seilebost.

The message was signed by Bruce and Monica, as well as other passengers on the cruise.

It included several short messages they wished to share with the world, and whoever ultimately found it, including: “Make lots of love, not war.”

They also said: “Aboard the Sky” and well as: “Greatness to be.”

Rosie tracked the couple down, and they were astonished to discover just how far their message had travelled.

Roseie said: “They couldn’t believe it. They told me that I had made their dreams come true by finding their message.

“And they told me that they were now married, and if I was ever in Miami, to contact them so we could meet up.”

Following her placement in Harris, Rosie will spend another eight weeks on placement in Inverness before graduating in June.

But her visit to Harris will forever live in her memory. She added: “Finding that message in the bottle is a very, very cool thing.”