Message in a bottle floats onto Washington shores

Published 4:47 pm Thursday, April 30, 2020

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So many questions come with finding a message in a bottle. At a certain time and place, someone wrote a letter, placed it in a bottle and tossed it out in the waters, letting currents and fate carry it towards its end destination. On Monday, one such message found its way to Washington, and with the hope it would ultimately be read by a mermaid.

This week, Pamlico County resident Isabella Holton was working at the Roanoke Christian Camp, located off of River Road in Washington, where she and other camp staffers Chris Avery and Will White often visit to find cool things that wash ashore.

“This once-in-a-lifetime experience was pretty awesome,” Holton said. “We frequently stand at the river to collect driftwood and other interesting things, but never have we found a message in a bottle. We were again looking for driftwood and were enjoying the sun when I noticed the bottle had washed ashore,” Holton said. “We carefully emptied the water that collected in the bottle and took the note out. We let it sit in the sun for a while to avoid ripping any of the damp pages.”

The letter read:

“Hi, whoever is reading this. If you are a mermaid yay I always belive in you. Even some say that mermaids arent real. I allways thot you were real then I stopted, but a cople of years later I belived in you again. But if you are human like me you might not think they are not real oh well but if you belive in mermaids yay. But whoever is reading this I hope you have a wonderful day.”

Holton said she hopes to find the original writer of the letter.

“We saved it as a souvenir,” Holton said. “It would be cool to find the writer. It appeared to be a child, writing to express her fascination with mermaids and her belief in their existence.”

If the bottle could speak of its journey, it’s always a possibility it ended up in the hands of a mermaid along the way.

The writer of the note has been identified as Sophia Elks, a third grader at Chicod Middle School. Sunday afternoon, Elks’ mother Sara Elks Smith took her two daughters to their grandparents house at Beaufort Pointe in Chocowinity to go on a “treasure hunt” by the water. Sophia Elks found an empty bottle and asked her mother to write a letter in it. After doing so, she walked to the end of the pier and sent the bottle on its way. The bottle was found on Monday.

“She has been obsessed with mermaids lately and asking a lot of questions about if they are real,” Sara Elks Smith said. “That would explain her letter.”