Skip to content

Kugluktuk man finds message in a bottle after nine years

Kugluktuk's David Peter Norberg has recovered a bottle containing a message that was placed in the ocean in 2010.

David Peter Norberg holds the bottle and letter he retrieved on Aug. 11 from the shore along Hopitok Bay, approximately 65 km north of Kugluktuk. The message in a bottle was set adrift in 2010. photo courtesy of Leslie Klengenberg

The bottle travelled a vast distance over those nine years, winding up on the shore of Hopitok Bay, approximately 65 km north of Kugluktuk, where Norberg spotted it on Aug. 11.

The 23-year-old was driving along the coast collecting driftwood for a fire while on a camping trip when he spotted the bottle, according to his father, Stanley Carpenter.

“I think it's pretty neat,” said Carpenter. “I believe it's awesome.”

The Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) started the bottle on its journey as part of its Drift Bottle Project in June 2010. The DFO's office is based in Sidney, B.C., which is at the southern end of Vancouver Island.

“We use drift bottles to study ocean surface currents. A drift bottle is a very simple piece of scientific equipment, made up of an empty glass bottle with a watertight lid and a note inside it. The note explains how to make contact with the research project,” the DFO's website explains. “Project participants throw these bottles over the side of ocean-going ships and note the 'drop' location of each bottle. When a bottle is found and reported to us, we add the location information to our database for analysis.”

The DFO also invited students to write messages that would be placed in the bottles. Within the glass the Norberg found was a perfectly dry letter – preserved by a cork in the bottle – that was written by someone named Laura, age 11 at the time, who lived in Sidney.

“My hobbies are reading and writing. I have a huge bookcase at home. Unfortunately I read nearly all of the interesting ones,” Laura's message reads in part. “Hopefully you will write back.”

Carpenter said Norberg's intention is to try to contact Laura after he returns from his camping trip to let her know that her message has been found all these years later.