Rare glass ball discoveries lead to much rarer find

  • Jan. 17, 2015 6:00 p.m.

A Masset resident made a remarkable set of finds while raking East Beach for glass balls Dec. 27. After three years of fruitless searches for the coveted buoys, Latasha Williams, along with her husband and three dogs, were traversing log-strewn sands 15 kilometres from the spit when she discovered not one, but two intact spheres. The story would end well enough there, but upon her walk back to the truck, something else caught her eye.”I saw a little bottle mixed in with the logs, sand and everything else that the tide brought in. There was tonnes of stuff on the beach but I kicked it up and my husband looks at me-there was paper in there. When he unrolled it I asked him, ‘is this for real?’ Holy smoke, a message in a bottle!” The single page was slightly water damaged in the lower corner but otherwise fully intact and legibleIt was written by professional championship surfer Hank Gaskell, originally from Hawaii, who tossed the bottle to the sea from Washington State’s Olympic Peninsula a mere three months ago. “Congratulations on finding my message in a bottle!” he wrote. “As I write this I am sitting by a campfire out on the Olympic Peninsula Â… my crew and I are on a surf trip out here for about a week. I hope this letter finds you far from here, and that some day you are fortunate enough to visit this place because it is truly beautiful.”The 28-year-old went on to give his contact details, inviting the finder to let him know where they found the bottle and “what your story is.” He also urged the finder to write their own message and surrender it to the sea with a warm message. “He sounds like a really cool guy,” Williams said. “We’re going to go the same spot we found it at and send something from there.” As requested, Williams emailed Gaskell to let him know of her find. After more than a week with no response, he called early Wednesday morning, stunned but thrilled the little bottle survived the journey up the rocky waterways. “He didn’t expect anything to come from it at all,” Williams said. “We really enjoyed talking to each other.”Prior to finding Gaskell’s message, the Williams were researching ideal sunny destinations for a holiday, which they’ve now decided to be Hawaii. “If this isn’t a sign to go to Maui, I don’t know what is,” Williams said. “[Gaskell] said for sure to give him a call when we get there.”

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