Bottle Found in France!


Yes indeed, one of the bottles I tossed in Staten Island made it all the way across the Atlantic.

I honestly don’t know what’s more surprising – that it made it to Europe, or being that it was tossed from Staten Island that it wasn’t pulled by the currents right to Italy. (For French readers, that was a cheap joke about the number of Italians in Staten Island. But I am from New Jersey and allowed to make such cheap jokes.)

Here is where it was found, north of Bordeaux, south of La Rochelle, near Royan. Where, according to Google maps, there is a restaurant called “Face a New York”. Right back atcha, Royan! –




And here are the people who found it, Alain and Brigitte. Look how attractive!


The first email I received was from Brigitte. It is one of the most charming emails I have ever received and I will not try to describe how perfectly French and vibrant it is. Instead, here is the email unchanged –

 “Hello mister BOORUJY !

Marvellous! I found a bottle yesterday on my beach in France, new ROYAN.

I’m painter too, extraordinary adventure.

My English is not “formidable”, but I’ve understand all you say on the N.Y.P site.

The bottle arrive in a perfect aspect… covered with shells, we was taking a walk on our beach, we was sad cause of the disaster of the “tempest” the beach looked like a “poubelle“

Ecological disaster, two fishes, from far country dead on the sound… And, just three year after our sending, in January 2013, we found your messages.(the 17of January 2016)

Thanks for the drawing, the cormorant is “magnifique”

I’m 65 years, I’m so happy to h’ve find this bottle,

My husband and me , we are going to contact the association concerned by the birds, and also by the “no respect “of the environnement .

My name is Brigitte, I leave in SAINTES, between La ROCHELLE and BORDEAUX ….

Thanks for your action!


How great is that? My favorite thing about French people is how French they are. Making things even sweeter is that Brigitte is also an artist.

Here is what the bottle looked like upon its arrival on the beach near Royan –


All 29 months at sea are evident on the bottle. Some life took up residence in the etched design, and there seems to be a barnacle attached to the wax on top.



Brigitte with the bottle –


And revealing its contents –



I don’t remember that cormorant looking so shell-shocked. But I suppose all that time at sea would change anyone. It’s hard not to picture the bottle in the middle of the ocean, in the middle of the night. Calm water with snow falling, strong storms, searing sun, endless drizzle. Reflecting lights of passing ships, being nosed by a whale. And eventually reaching land again.

I like seeing the rolls of paper in a pair of hands across the ocean, knowing that I was the last person to hold them, no one in between us but the water. I used to think about that all the time as a kid when I was in the ocean – that there was only water between me and some other kid on the other side of the planet.

My deepest thanks to Alain and Brigitte for all the photos and the brilliant correspondence. It has been such a pleasure meeting you.

16 Responses to “Bottle Found in France!”

  1. 1 Catherine Brasset February 22, 2016 at 8:13 AM

    What a wonderful story !I live near Saintes born in 51 …and Austin Texas ! We have spent a life time on this lovely beach ,most of the time we are the only ones there for “miles ” around ,WHAT A FEELING ! My husband gets in the water all winter ! Used to be a naturist section ,still ” kinda is ” ! It’s a lovely walk in the pine forest to get to the beach .We have seen the dune change a lot with the storms .I have thought many times to send a bottle and then to sail with the Hermione’s on her voyage .We take with us all the trash we can , though the beach is usually clean but no never a Message in a bottle !You would love the storks , herons , swans….in the wetlands on the way there ! Hope you get to see all this . Amicalement . Cathy .P.S. : We Love New York ,lived in Montreal ,went there by train , beautiful ride !

  2. 4 Arlette February 23, 2016 at 4:34 AM

    c’est comme un conte…belle histoire et bravo pour votre action pour les cormorans
    Arlette (Bordeaux)

  3. 5 Cédric February 23, 2016 at 6:01 AM

    “Formidable”! Thanks a lot for this amazing story. It made my day. Greetings from Montpellier, med sea, France!

    “Walked out this morning
    Don’t believe what I saw
    A hundred billion bottles
    Washed up on the shore
    Seems I’m not alone at being alone
    A hundred billion castaways
    Looking for a home”

  4. 6 Vera Grossmann February 23, 2016 at 1:45 PM

    Hello all you people interested in cormorants , bottles with messages and connecting NYC with France,
    I received this wonder-full story from my son who lives in Paris today but is a native of Nice, France, where I, a Clevelander by birth, have lived for over 30 years.
    I am a teacher and a lover of nature and good stories as I write “hamletts” (what I call the little plays I write and stage for my pupils)! This true story will certainly inspire another playlet in the tradition of Stevenson and ecological work to help children become more involved in our great and vast enterprise to keep the earth and all its inhabitants safe for all the other adventures of ours lives.
    To the painter I suggest to continue tossing bottles with portraits of American wildlife from Staten Island in the direction of Italy, the city of Nice is not far away and closely linked to Italy by history and cultural affinities!
    What a picture can paint! And where it can touch hearts!

  5. 7 Raphaele MERIGUET February 24, 2016 at 8:21 AM

    What a smashing news!!!
    no matter what we do (send heavy machines to “clean” our beaches regularly though we bury plastic or nuclear waste in all our seas and oceans );.;there are lovely times in life where honest people meet..and all of a sudden hope is kind of still alive…thank you so much you two for this 2016 fairytale…please look after this new link…you mean a lot to us…:-)
    toute mon amitié !!

  6. 8 Dean Kutzler February 25, 2016 at 7:13 AM

    What a fabulous story! Hits you right in the heart and Alain & Brigitte look like a wonderful couple. Luckily it was found by such nice people, especially for having contacted you.

    Truly amazing the bottle wasn’t swallow up by that whaler or smashed among the coral.

    Thank you for sharing!

  7. 9 Sophie-Anne Sauvaigo February 25, 2016 at 1:38 PM

    belle histoire ! Ne jetons plus de plastiques à la mer, à la terre, n’en achetons plus d’ailleurs. Pensées amicales à New York ! Sophie

  8. 10 Kimber March 3, 2016 at 3:51 PM

    LOVING this!! I am an environmentalist and also sell a recycled glass art bottle which came forward due to being sickened by plastic water bottles. is where I showcase them. Love your idea of a message. We have so much work to do and people to learn the devastation of plastic to earth and animals, birds, etc.

  1. 1 Staten Island artist's message in a bottle makes it to France – New York Post Trackback on February 24, 2016 at 4:08 AM
  2. 2 Staten Island artist’s message in a bottle makes it to France Trackback on February 24, 2016 at 7:37 AM
  3. 3 New York Artist’s Bottle Project Drifts Onto French Shores Trackback on February 24, 2016 at 4:22 PM
  4. 4 Brooklyn artist's message in a bottle lands in France | World News Trackback on February 24, 2016 at 8:00 PM
  5. 5 Deux peintres et une bouteille à la mer (diaporama) | Etrange et Insolite Trackback on February 25, 2016 at 2:01 AM
  6. 6 Message in a Bottle Travels 3600 Miles From New York to France – Inside EditionAll Breaking News | All Breaking News Trackback on February 25, 2016 at 4:25 PM

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