Question: Was this really possible... Bottle floats 1/2 way around world?

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brudenell 

Customer

 28 Sep 2012 12:17 UTCFri 28 Sep 2012 - 12:17 pm UTC 

I see this recent story on the web:

Little girl's message in a bottle travels from England to Australia
Telegraph.co.uk

Five months later the family were amazed when a letter arrived a their home in Tamworth, Staffordshire, which read: "Dear Jasmine, as fate would have it we have been introduced to each other by your message in a bottle". The bottle had been found 10 ...
See all stories on this topic »

Bottle floats from England to Adelaide
Sky News Australia

A little girl's message in a bottle has made it all the way from England to Australia. Four-year-old Jasmine Hudson threw the glass bottle with a short note inside into the English Channel while on holiday with her parents in Bournemouth five months ago.
See all stories on this topic »

Personally, as a former deep sea navigator, I do not believe this really was possible... but maybe someone can convince me that yes indeed a bootle could have made this voyage. I have "mailed" hundreds of bottles into the sea over the years and every response I have had from a Northern Hemisphere launch was from the Northern Hemisphere (eg. From Western Greenland
landing in Ireland in 4 months; from the Gulf of St. Lawrence, Canada ending up in Azores after 2 years).

The media seem to really want to believe this story.

Is it possible?

This should be interesting...

Thank you everyone for researching the possibilities.

B

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brudenell 

Customer

 28 Sep 2012 12:33 UTCFri 28 Sep 2012 - 12:33 pm UTC 

When I write is this possible I mean via sea, by floating randomly. There are stories on the web about people carrying bottles to distant places and then throwing them into the sea to be discovered as if the bottle did indeed travel on its own.

 

David Sarokin 

Researcher

 28 Sep 2012 13:06 UTCFri 28 Sep 2012 - 1:06 pm UTC 

First things first...I just noticed your earlier note about your recuperation. How are things going? Hope your recovery is speedy and problem-free.

As to your question, you are no doubt concerned about the conservation of potential vorticity...aren't we all?

http://explorations.ucsd.edu/for-kids/voyager/2012/voyager-why-dont-ocean-surface-currents-cross-the-equator/
Why Don’t Ocean Surface Currents Cross the Equator?

Currents can cross the equator, though it doesn't happen frequently, so I suppose the trip is possible. Four months seems fast to me, though.

Is it the speed of the journey that troubles you, the cross-equator direction, switching oceans...what? 

By the way, did you know that I'm a (somewhat lapsed) oceanographer? But even so, I never heard of potential vorticity until your question came along.

David

 

brudenell 

Customer

 28 Sep 2012 13:28 UTCFri 28 Sep 2012 - 1:28 pm UTC 

Hello David-

Recovery is steady but slow. I was advised this will be many months. Being jolted awake by stabbing pain as the medications wear off in wee hours has precipitated more Uclue activity by me than normal (in recent years). No better time than to attend to all those burning questions :)

Oceanographer eh! Well, well... that is great news.

My concern with this story under discussion in the media has to do with the time and potential vorticity... The only way in my mind that this story is believable by me is if we hear the back story about some kindly soul carrying the bottle found near the UK to Australia.

With respect to surface water movement, as a former oceanographer, under what scenario could this be possible?

Thank you for your interest in my query.

B

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brudenell 

Customer

 28 Sep 2012 13:58 UTCFri 28 Sep 2012 - 1:58 pm UTC 

I haven't done the calculation yet but if we simply look at the purported distance travelled (possible sea route) divided by time elapsed my guess is we are looking at a pretty speedy bottle.

 

David Sarokin 

Researcher

 28 Sep 2012 14:17 UTCFri 28 Sep 2012 - 2:17 pm UTC 

I don't know if we're going to get you a clear cut answer. Even the experts disagree, although even those who say it's possible also say it's highly unlikely.

This somewhat rambling article has a pretty good discussion and sums up expert opinion:

http://undeceivingourselves.org/I-mess.htm
Message in a Bottle


To my mind, the journey is indeed possible (why wouldn't it be?) but the timing is problematic, as the bottle would have to be moving awfully fast to make such a journey in just a few months. For comparison, the debris from the 2011 tsunami in Japan took a year to cross the Pacific, and the bulk of it won't arrive for another year or so:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/may/01/tsunami-japan-debris-us-canada
Japan tsunami debris moves towards US and Canada


It will be interesting to see if anyone (besides you, that is) digs deeper into this current story.

David

 

brudenell 

Customer

 28 Sep 2012 14:34 UTCFri 28 Sep 2012 - 2:34 pm UTC 

I expect, at any moment, for Myo to pop in with some interesting observations...

 

brudenell 

Customer

 28 Sep 2012 14:35 UTCFri 28 Sep 2012 - 2:35 pm UTC 

The tsunami story almost proves the timeline point... and they didn't have a few oceans to cross and a continent to go around.

 

brudenell 

Customer

 28 Sep 2012 14:39 UTCFri 28 Sep 2012 - 2:39 pm UTC 

Thanks david: This is a good read-
http://undeceivingourselves.org/I-mess.htm

 

Phil Answerfinder 

Researcher

 29 Sep 2012 10:17 UTCSat 29 Sep 2012 - 10:17 am UTC 

Here's a similar story. This time six months. An expert has thrown some doubt on the story. See this report on the BBC news website.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/lancashire/4632770.stm

"But oceanographer Peter Challenor said it could not have travelled unaided.

"I think it is extremely unlikely," said Mr Challenor, of the National Oceanography Centre, in Southampton.

He said the world's currents would have prevented the bottle getting to Australia.

"It has probably got a lift caught up in a ship and released somehow," said Mr Challenor.

"It could have got into the bilge but even then most ships have filters."

Phil
answerfinder

 

Phil Answerfinder 

Researcher

 29 Sep 2012 10:20 UTCSat 29 Sep 2012 - 10:20 am UTC 

Sorry to waste your time, I've just discovered that this story was covered in the link.
http://undeceivingourselves.org/I-mess.htm

 

brudenell 

Customer

 29 Sep 2012 11:08 UTCSat 29 Sep 2012 - 11:08 am UTC 

Hi Phil... Good to hear from you again. I appreciate you conducting a search and your subsequent post. This is not time wasted.

Thank you.

B

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myoarin 

User

 30 Sep 2012 19:59 UTCSun 30 Sep 2012 - 7:59 pm UTC 

Hi Brudenell,

Only David's comments made me aware that you are recovering from something.  I certainly hope that your recuperation continues satisfactorily.

You were right to expect me to chime in immediately, but I was on my way to Munich on Friday to row in a long race on Saturday. (We were the only boat in our 60* age class, but beat the previous time in the class and "won".)
Then I was a practicing grandfather, also at the Oktoberfest today.

I tend to think that whoever found the bottle thought it would be nice to pass the message on to someone he/she knew in Australia to make the response much more interesting.

All the best,  Myo

 

brudenell 

Customer

 1 Oct 2012 00:45 UTCMon 1 Oct 2012 - 12:45 am UTC 

Myo- ahhh... that explains your absence. Congratulations on your victory. Fun times in Germany now that it is Oktoberfest.

Yes I am recovering from a "bad accident" as described by my surgeon, the anaesthetist and family doctor as they ganged up to convince me of the severity of a slow speed accident... as I was in denial. I had been teaching my 30 yr old niece how to brake a moped on gravel on our long lane... and as she watched I managed to catch my front wheel in a former pothole that I had had refilled and covered over with new gravel earlier in the summer. Since I was travelling slowly the wheel did not proceed through but instead sank & caught, turned suddenly and dumped the heavy scooter on top of me at a weird angle. 9 broken ribs, a severly fractured shoulder blade and some significant road rash and embarrassment was the result. It took about 15 minutes for the shock to subside and become very painful. A week in hospital ensued. I have been told to expect many months of discomfort etc. and sleep deprived nights etc. A good time to examine an assortment of life's mysteries on the web and Uclue...

I happen to agree with your assumption about someone carrying the bottle, many thousands of miles to make a child happy. It would be interesting to hear the other part of this story.

Thank you for your post. Always a pleasure to read.

B

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probo 

User

 1 Oct 2012 07:30 UTCMon 1 Oct 2012 - 7:30 am UTC 

Bru

Very sorry to hear about your accident.

Do get well soon!

All the best

Bry

 

myoarin 

User

 1 Oct 2012 10:22 UTCMon 1 Oct 2012 - 10:22 am UTC 

Nine broken ribs!  I am sure you don't want hear any jokes that make you more than just smile. At least we have the pleasure of your questions.
Sleepless nights:  I thought I saw one or comment from the wee hours of the morning your time.

I was assuming that just the message in the bottle would be passed on, even just the text by email.  The story got too good for anyone to admit that they had baffled the oceanographers.

All the best,  Myo

 

brudenell 

Customer

 1 Oct 2012 10:46 UTCMon 1 Oct 2012 - 10:46 am UTC 

Bry & Myo

I appreciate the kind words. Yes no gut busting jokes please... however I do enjoy the wry Ucl humour often found in the treasure trove of observations, comments and answers in response to the diverse questions.

Thx

Bru

.

 

brudenell 

Customer

 4 Jan 2013 14:18 UTCFri 4 Jan 2013 - 2:18 pm UTC 

Now this one is believable...
 
Message in a bottle discovered ...

Watch the video Message in a bottle discovered on News Canada. Following a 12000 kilometre journey over three years, a message inside a bottle has sparked ...
http://ca.news.yahoo.com/video/message-bottle-discovered-080429103.html

 

David Sarokin 

Researcher

 4 Jan 2013 14:51 UTCFri 4 Jan 2013 - 2:51 pm UTC 

Thanks for the update. I quite enjoy these stories.

And while we're at it...Happy New Year to you.

David

 

brudenell 

Customer

 4 Jan 2013 17:28 UTCFri 4 Jan 2013 - 5:28 pm UTC 

Best wishes for a year of good health and happiness to you too. I too find these stories interesting especially when you see the use of one of the oldest methods of long distance communication connecting people in such a positive way in this ultra fast modern age. Somehow low tech messages in bottles still manage to evoke good feelings and appreciative responses regardless of age of sender and recipient.

 

myoarin 

User

 4 Jan 2013 17:33 UTCFri 4 Jan 2013 - 5:33 pm UTC 

Next time I'm at an ocean, I am going to launch a bottle, could be the North Sea, Gulf of Mexico or the US Pacific coast.  I'll let you all know, but just be warned, Probo, it will have code number to be repeated, so don't claim you found the bottle under the Brighton Pier  - unless, of course, you do.

Happy New Year to all, belated, but with this: 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5HkXmOIwpkQ

(Brudenell, hold your ribs if laughing could still be painful.)

Myo

 

brudenell 

Customer

 22 Jan 2013 12:43 UTCTue 22 Jan 2013 - 12:43 pm UTC 

It is interesting what the media will print...


The believable:

http://news.discovery.com/history/oldest-message-in-bottle-120906.htm


And this New Zealand story is currently making news all over the world... It shows the importance of having a well thought out home address so you (or your family) can be found.

 
Message in a bottle washed up after 76 years at sea
ITV News
A message in a bottle has been washed up on a beach after 76 years at sea. The 76-year-old note found inside the bottle Credit: RTV. The bottle was discovered in New Zealand by Geoff Flood, who managed to track down the grandson of the sender.

http://www.itv.com/news/2013-01-21/message-in-a-bottle-washed-up-after-76-years-at-sea/


And the unbelievable:

http://www.watoday.com.au/wa-news/uk-boys-message-in-a-bottle-reaches-perth-20130122-2d423.html

 

Phil Answerfinder 

Researcher

 22 Jan 2013 14:28 UTCTue 22 Jan 2013 - 2:28 pm UTC 

The beaches in Australia must now be littered with bottles sent from the UK. There are some many examples when you do a little research. Amazing speed as well. I work it out to be about 27 kilometres a day.

 

myoarin 

User

 22 Jan 2013 15:11 UTCTue 22 Jan 2013 - 3:11 pm UTC 

I wonder if the finder got only 6 pence or an inflation adjusted reward.

The "unbelievable": 
That card had been stuffed in a bottle?  A milk bottle perhaps?  Of course, the bottle is not shown.

In a few weeks I will be near the south end of the North Sea, start of the Channel.  Should I use a bottle with white glass, easier to read through?
I have already thought to find some old paper, maybe something from Mom's correspondence, else at least 50 years old.  Only problem is the address from back then that could be traced to me.

Oh, a better idea, her mother: went by ship to England in the 1870s (a young girl then). May have to buy an antique bottle.  Darn!  She didn't speak English and I can't fake her old fashioned use of her mother tongue. 

Okay, just a sheet from an old school notebook and my school's address, and hope it finds me.  Even if the bottle goes ashore after a day or two, it will have seemed to be a transatlantic voyage, made more interesting by writing that it was launched in the Caribbean.

 

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