Simon Pointis is a volunteer for „Te Mana o Te Moana“, which means as much as “Spirit of the Sea” and is an ocean protection organisation in French Polynesia. During a beach cleanup at the shoreline of Tetiaroa atoll, about 40 kilometres northerly from Tahiti, where sea turtles lay their eggs, Simon recently found a forgotten message.
According to the log data of ICBM scientist Dr. Jan Schulz, it was thrown into the ocean more than ten years ago as a message in a bottle, about halfways between the Ecuador coastline and the Galápagos islands – like back in the days of Georg von Neumeyer, who then was the „hydrographer to the German Admiralty“ when he proposed to use drift bottles to investigate ocean surface currents. Dr. Kristina Barz and Hans-Jürgen Hirche, colleagues of Jan Schulz, wanted to check marine currents as well when they threw the green wine bottle overboard on 11 February 2009 at 9:56 p.m.
Since then, the message has covered a distance of about 7.300 kilometres beeline. It is uncertain how much time it took the message to get to Tetiaroa. Simon Pointis encountered the bottle in near mint condition, without any algal or whatsoever fouling on it, in some brushwood above the shoreline. As that side of the atoll is protected from the wind and he did not know whether there had been a recent spring tide and they normally used to check just the beach for litter, the bottle might have been there for years already, Simon presumes.
Find spot of the bottle [Photo: Simon Pointis]