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Oct 5, 2010 5:05 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press

Couple finds message in a bottle on Amagansett beach

Oct 5, 2010 5:05 PM

AMAGANSETT—Lisa Eggert had to beg her husband, Chris, to go with her to walk their dogs on the beach at Atlantic Avenue last Tuesday morning.

Mr. Eggert was even less enthusiastic when his wife asked him to help her pick up litter they passed along the way.

“I said, ‘Chris, look—there’s a bottle. Just pick up that one bottle while I hold the dogs,’” she said.

Mr. Eggert obliged, and when he picked up the dark green bottle without a label, he noticed there was something in it.

“It was the one thing I asked him to pick up,” Ms. Eggert said. “It was a message in a bottle.”

Mr. Eggert, owner of Bostwicks and Indian Wells Tavern, had always hoped that one day he would find one. “He said he never stepped foot on sand without wondering if he was going to find a message in a bottle,” his wife revealed.

To open the bottle, the Eggerts had to first crack the wax 
seal that its sender had care-

fully molded over the screw top. The bottle once appeared to have held oil or vinegar, because there was a pour stopper, which kept water from seeping in, Ms. Eggert said. Inside, tissue paper filled the bottleneck.

As Mr. and Ms. Eggert pulled out the tissue, she said, a folded, rectangular piece of ruled paper came out with it.

“Dear Finder,” the note reads in careful script. “I am on the Alabama for a week. I live on Martha’s Vineyard in Chilmark. Where do you live?”

The Alabama, Ms. Eggert deduced, must have been a ship. When she looked it up, she found references to a ship named Alabama used by a sailing school that sailed to Martha’s Vineyard. The note was signed Ned Smiley, who said he was 10 years old and in the fifth grade. He sent it out to sea on September 14 of this year, and he asked the finder to write back. He also included a sticker of a pirate.

“Ned Smiley? Isn’t that such a great name?” said Ms. Eggert, who added that her husband—his lifelong mission accomplished—didn’t have much of a reaction to the finding. “You’d think he’d be ecstatic. He’s very reserved.”

Ms. Eggert, who has two children in the Amagansett School, thought the students might be interested. She brought the bottle and the note to fifth grade teacher Nancy Parsons, 
who plans to use it as a geography and writing lesson for her class.

“The timing couldn’t be more perfect,” Ms. Parsons said. She plans to have her students write responses to Ned, and she will mail them to the school address Ned included in his note.

Ms. Eggert is also hoping to pass it forward. She suggested having the students write their own messages in bottles and having fishermen in Montauk set them off to sea.

“It would be great,” she said. “And then we would just wait to see what comes back.”

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That's so cool!! Imgaine being a 10 year old and getting a response from your bottle!! That kid is going to be so excited...a lifetime memory!
By Choppy (5), East Hampton on Oct 13, 10 11:27 AM
IT’S LITTERING send the kid a $500 littering ticket
By Bwana (9), Sag Harbor on Oct 13, 10 12:25 PM
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