Just over a year ago a local Rockaway man walked the beach as he does everyday, approaching the spillway of Heitmiller Creek he noticed something odd sticking out of the sand. Half buried and cocked at an angle there lay an unassuming green wine bottle, not an uncommon sight. But as the man drew closer he realized something rolled within its hollow green tinted glass.
Eliciting the help of his friends, long time Rockaway Beach locals Richard and RahNell Seward, they worked together to free the damp and sandy paper contents inside. “There was no cork and the paper was very wet and sandy, I think it may have been oilcloth,” RahNell said. “The paper had come unrolled inside and we were afraid to tear it so the decision was made to break the bottle itself to extract its contents.”
The message they found was of a highly personal nature and touched their hearts to read, concerning matters of loss and hopelessness it was the Seward’s decision to dry out the paper and put it back into the sea from whence it came. They decided to add their own message to its contents with their names and phone number for anyone who may find it in the future. It was given to a friend at the docks in Garibaldi and was sent with one of the local fishing fleet to be replaced back into the moving tidewaters of the coastal Pacific Ocean.
Just a month later in February of last year the Sewards received a call from a woman in Long Beach, Washington. After a brief conversation she agreed to seal it back up and send the message along its continuing journey in the cold ocean waters.
On May 25, 2016 the message reached a woman named Carlotta who was visiting the Washington Coast all the way from her home in Oklahoma. She had never seen the ocean before and wanted to visit it with her brother who lives in Enumclaw. Carlotta called RahNell Seward, who had included her contact information in the bottle, and they both spoke about their mutual serendipitous experience, but something struck RahNell about the woman on the other line, “After talking to her I felt that this woman, Carlotta, was the one that was meant to find that bottle,” she said.
“I’m so happy to have been part of something like this, to have helped spread the original message and to have inspired so many people along its way,” said RahNell Seward.