This Modern Day ‘Message In A Bottle’ Made It From New Hampshire To Norway

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I’ve always wondered if the message in a bottle thing really works. You know, where you stick a note in a bottle, throw it in the water, and hope that it reaches an audience at some point.

We have a modern day example of a message in a bottle, and it really worked!! It took a hot minute, but it actually totally worked.

It all started with a group of 5th graders from Rye Junior High School, in New Hampshire. They were involved in an experiment through their school to spread ocean and environmental literacy.

Educational Passage

The program they worked with is called Educational Passages. It’s all about building, launching, tracking, and recovering vessels in the ocean. The purpose of the program is to connect students around the world to the ocean and each other.

Students build the GPS-tracked boat, fill it with items, decorate it and send it on its way. “It’s like a 21st century message in a bottle.”

Cassie Stymiest, Educational Passage’s executive director

In this case, it WORKED!! The vessel, which was launched in New Hampshire was recovered 8,000 miles away — in NORWAY!!

Rye Riptides Made It To Norway!

The little boat rode the waters of the ocean for 462 days, before it finally “docked” off the coast of Norway.

How amazing is that?!?

The unmanned 5.5 foot boat — which started as a kit that the kids helped build virtually — included a sealed hatch with a message from the 5th graders. It also had GPS tracking which the students could follow on the internet.

The boat, dubbed Rye Riptides, set sail October 25th of 2020.

Honestly, I thought it would sink.

Solstice Reed, then a sixth-grader

The kids tracked the boat with the GPS. It initially sent back location “pings,” but it eventually went radio silent — for months! The very last ping occured on September 30, 2021.

On January 31st, 2022, the boat all of a sudden picked back up sending its location. I can imagine the excitement of the kids!!

Riptides had landed on the coast of Smøla, Norway.

Cassie Stymiest, Educational Passage’s executive director

The boat landed in an area that was uninhabited and probably wouldn’t naturally be found by anybody — but that didn’t stop Cassie Stymiest.

Mariann Nuncic, Educational Passages

She immediately took to social media for help.

That’s where the family of a local sixth-grader, Karel Nuncic, heard about the crashed boat. One early February afternoon after school, Nuncic, his parents and their puppy boated out to the island — which is visible from their home — and found what was left of the Rye Riptides.


It was covered in barnacles, and had been battered and bashed a bit by the ocean, but the deck — which contained the hatch with the message — was sealed and intact!!

Mariann Nuncic, Educational Passages

Nuncic brought the boat to his school the next day, where students opened the cargo hatch to find the messages and gifts that the middle schoolers had deposited nearly two years before.


Now, the students are set to meet via Zoom!

How cool that this little boat brought kids from completely different worlds together!!

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