Lifestyle & Belief

NY boy sends message in a bottle, gets reply from Azores


A father and son found Kipple's message in the small fishing village of Terceira, on the Azores archipelago. The message was sent from upstate New York and traveled 2,600 miles.


Graeme Robertson

The letter itself was simple. "I wrote about how I like to play football with my dad," said Curtis Kipple to the Democrat and Chronicle. "And video games."

But it turned out that this was not an ordinary letter. What happened next brought the young boy from New York to tears, according to the teacher who organized the letter project, Chris Albrecht.

That's because Kipple packaged the letter in a bottle, which was then dropped into the Gulf Stream by a fisherman from North Carolina's Outer Banks, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The bottle then traveled 2,600 miles across the Atlantic Ocean for 10 months to a small fishing village called Terceira, located in the Azores archipelago. 

It was found by Ana Ponte, 25. He woke up early with his father and brother to catch some seafood. Ponte later emailed Kipple's school, in both English and Portuguese, informing them that he found the letter.

The message was written as an assignment for Kipple's class at Fred W. Hill School in March. His then fourth-grade teacher (Kipple is in the fifth grade now), Amy Stoker, joined with Albrecht on the project. Albrecht told BBC News that he wanted to teach his students how to write formal letters and geography. 

"I was blown away," Albrecht said to Democrat and Chronicle. "It took the students a month to write the letters, and when the project was done, I didn't think anything of it."

Both Stoker and Albrecht have indicated that they wish to continue correspondence with the Ponte family.

Read more form GlobalPost: Man sends 4,800 messages in bottles, gets 3,100 responses