The thought of finding a message in a bottle floating in the water, written by someone in a far off land, might seem far-fetched but that’s exactly what happened to one local kayaker.
Almost every day, if it’s not storming, 77-year-old Oceanside resident Sonja van Hall kayaks from Oceanside Harbor out a few miles into the ocean.
During her time outdoors in the water, she loves seeing whales, dolphins and birds.
She often picks up cans and bottles floating along the water, doing her part to clean up the Pacific Ocean.
But last week, as she headed toward the pier, van Hall came across a very unlikely surprise.
She found two letters that had been rolled up and tied with red ribbons, stuffed into a bottle floating in the water.
“First [I found] one bottle. I could see there was a message in it, but I couldn't open the bottle. Then I found a second bottle and then I got so excited,” explained van Hall.
Turns out the mysterious messages inside the bottles were sent by two 10-year-old boys, elementary school students from Katikati, a town that’s a two-hour drive from Auckland, New Zealand.
Written in April and May of this year, the letters managed to make it all the way here, to the waters off Oceanside.
“Those boys from New Zealand must be as ‘whoopie!’ excited as I, but I havent' heard from them yet,” van Hall told NBC 7.
She said it appears the letters inside the bottles were intended to be a time capsule of sorts. The letters begin with the greeting, “Hello, future!” They go on to describe current technology and everyday life, and include pictures of electronic gadgets and their current prices.
For van Hall, finding the letters just gives her another reason to love going out into the water every day.
“It’s the unexpected, it’s the magic of the ocean,” she said.