WELLAND, Ontario — Cheryl McKee was surprised to find online a story about the discovery of a 12-year-old message in a bottle that she wrote for her daughter Taryn, who was 3, while on vacation in New Brunswick in 2000.
“As soon as I saw it I said, ‘That’s my writing’,” Cheryl told the Welland Tribune on Tuesday after a Bangor Daily News story went international, adding that she also wrote a letter for her son Jacob, who was 2 at the time. “I asked her [Taryn] about the trip and wrote it for her. I suggested throwing the bottles in the ocean.”
The note was discovered recently by Becky Lee of the Downeast Coastal Conservancy while the group was doing a volunteer cleanup on Tibbett Island off the Washington County community of South Addison.
The note reads: “My name is Taryn and I’m 3 years old. I live in Welland, Ontario and spent my 1st real vacation in New Brunswick. I really loved seeing the ocean, but it was very cold so I couldn’t swim in it. I really liked collecting shells and pretty rocks off of the beach. I saw whales and seals. I had so much fun. I hope you like my letter. See ya!”
Taryn McKee told Welland Tribune reporter Dave Johnson that she is surprised by all of the attention the message and bottle had generated and she doesn’t remember throwing the plastic soda bottle in the ocean on the last day of the family trip in Letete, New Brunswick.
“I was surprised it actually came up,” Taryn, now 15, told her hometown newspaper. “I wonder where Jacob’s is … they found mine.”
Taryn told the paper that she remembers parts of the vacation, collecting seashells and crab legs on the shoreline.
“I remember the house we stayed in that was apparently haunted … and I got seasick when we were whale-watching, I remember that,” she said.
Both she and her mother said they never thought the bottle and its message would be found.
“I had hopes it would go far,” said Cheryl. “Who would have thought, 12 years later.”
Taryn said she has only vague recollections of the New Brunswick vacation and no memory that her mother wrote the note.
“I guess it works,” Taryn told the Tribune of throwing a message in a bottle into the ocean.