A Historical Record of my Bottle’s Journey


My bottle was meant to stay in the Southern Ocean. However, the currents had other ideas for it …… I have dealt with many people on my Bottle Overboard experience, which has been a wonderful and a fascinating journey. I have also learned much about ocean currents.

 I have tried to recall all my contacts/ research in this journey; I know that I have made many phone calls and sent many emails.  Technology has played an important part in this story.

 On March 23 2012, my Fifth Leg bottle was consumed in the Sydney CBD Legal Office of Angela Penklis , an ex -student of mine, from 1980, at St George Girls High School , Kogarah , Sydney.

 Angela had had a significant win that afternoon in the Land and Environment Court, so the wine was consumed in her office to celebrate. I was present in Angela’s office on this occasion.

 I took my bottle to Perth on a Qantas flight, on April 17 2012,wrapped carefully in a towel . On April 18 2012, I flew Skywest to Albany from Perth.

 At 6.45am on April 19 2012 Mark McRae and his friend Jenny took me out to sea on Jenny’s boat –the Mirragen . At 10am, on April 19 2012, at 36 degrees South and 118 degrees East,south of West Cape Howe the bottle was put into the Southern Ocean.

 Mark had put a bottle overboard at Cape Horn 3 years ago, when circumnavigating it in his yacht.He explained that “Cape Horn is the Mt Everest to sailors.” (His bottle surfaced on a beach south of Mount Gambier, a beach where Mark had learned to sail as a young man.It was found as flotsam on the beach by an elderly man who knew Mark’s aunt in the nearby town).

 On May 3 2012 I first contacted Australian Story, at ABC TV, with my story. I provided an updated letter on June 1 2012.I received a written response dated May 28 from Therese Kane,Production Assistant. I have received emails from her since, dated June 18 2012 and August 3 2012. My story has been passed on to the research assistant; no response to date. 

  I mailed my Bottle Overboard story to friends on May 9 2012.   On May 10 2012 I mailed a letter to Ms C Riley, Editor of Descent,Australian Society of Genealogists. No response to date.

 A letter was sent to Fifth Leg on May 8 2012.Craig from Consumer Relations, at Devils Lair Head Office in Melbourne, replied to me on May 24 2012.

I sent a letter on possibly May 8 2012  to West Cape Howe Wines, Mount Barker, Western Australia providing them with a copy of “The Story of the Bottle. “The bottle went out to sea south of West Cape Howe. Gavin responded to me in a card dated May 25 2012.

 I have since updated Fifth Leg, initially telling them in early June 2012, that the bottle had been found; and on July 16 2012 I informed them that I was collecting the bottle back from the finder of the bottle.  West Cape Howe Wines were also informed on June 1st 2012 that the bottle had been found.

 On May 22 2012, I received an email from Raelene Vigar,telling me that her husband had found my bottle on the beach at Fosters Beach , Bremer Bay, 180 miles east of Albany. Her husband likes to check the beach after a storm; my bottle was flotsam on the beach. Raelene sent an email to me on her lap top from the Bremer Bay Caravan Park.

 Raelene asked me in the email what I wanted her to do with the bottle.My reply was –“ keep it, I am coming to Perth to collect it from you .”

 On May 28 2012, I contacted Strand Voyages in London .The shipping company NSB Bremen from Germany takes 7 paying passengers and sails south of the Australian mainland.  They acknowledged that I had an interesting story, but it was not possible to be a passenger for a short leg.

  I then contacted my travel agent, Sarah Pogson at Benchmark Travel in Kogarah . Sarah checked  the Voyager of the Sea ; again I would not be permitted to travel a short leg.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

Whilst I was in Newcastle on May 27 2012, I called into the Maritime Museum.

I spoke to someone with maritime knowledge. He suggested Bass Strait, but I was told to “do detailed research on ocean currents.”

 On June 1 2012 I contacted Life Matters on Radio ABC – no response.

 I contacted Prom Tourism on June 6 2012. Sue Miles, Acting Visitor Services Coordinator replied by email on June 11 2012.Felicity Field, my cousin,had also made contact with them . I spoke to Felicity in relation to bottle issues on June 16th and 18th, July 1st 2012, August 15 2012 and August 21 2012. There has been further correspondence.

 There  has been ongoing correspondence .

 I contacted ` Big 4 Holiday Park at Inverloch,Victoria on  June 9 2012 asking for details of charter boats, which operate in the area.  I then contacted Greg Buckland of Prom Coastal Charters on June 9 2012.  Darren, from Prom Charters, emailed me on June 17 2012, and on June 18 2012 I spoke to Darren.

 Darren suggested Geoff Boyd, as he went further south than he did.  Geoff and I spoke by phone initially on June 20 2012 and have been in email/ phone contact since this time. Both these fishermen operate out of Port Welshpool, Victoria. Geoff has the contract for Deakin University to take PHD students to the base of the Prom.

 Sue Miles suggested Nooramunga Sailing Tours,which operate from Port Albert. Wynne and Carol Hobson operate a 30 hour trip into Bass Strait.I spoke to them on June 11 2012. They emailed a quote on June 15 2012.

 Geoff and I spoke about “my planned adventure “ and said that he had concerns that if I put the bottle out in Bass Strait that it may wash back in . He had spoken to other fishermen in the area. Geoff suggested that I try Eden; we both agreed to do our research on the ocean currents.  

 I contacted Ms Jordan Baker, News Editor at the Australian Womens Weekly on June 13 2012.  I heard from AWW by email on June 18 2012; this it is not the type of story that they are interested in.On June 14 2012 I contacted Jeffery Mellefort, Editor of Signals Magazine,Australian National Maritime Museum – no response to date.

 On June 21 2012, Eleni Paxos, a neighbour produced my power point presentation. And on July 27 2012, my Grannie’s ticket and log were added to the power point by Eleni.  The power point was then updated by my neighbor, Bilyana  Konjarski  on August 20 2012.

 On June 26 2012, I contacted Eden Tourism. They put me in touch with Southland Fish Supplies, who in turn referred me to the Sapphire Coast Marine Discovery Centre. I contacted them by email on July 2 2012. Jenny Robb,Chief Executive Officer contacted me by email on  July 3 2012 with details of whale watching companies in Eden, and the CSIRO website.

 On July 3 2012, I spoke to Cat Balou Whale Watching tours in Eden .They told me about the Connemarra , from Freedom Charters,  which was likely to go much further out to sea than they did.  I contacted Freedom Charters on July 19 by email, mailed a letter on July 30 2012, and phoned them on August 11 2012.

 On July 3 2012 I contacted the CSIRO in Hobart. An email reply came from Craig Macaulay, CSIRO Communications Manager on July 6 2012 informing me that he had passed my request on to a CSIRO Oceanographer. I spoke to Geoff Boyd in Port Welshpool, on July 11 2012, informing him that I had been in touch with the CSIRO – he said that “he had also done research.”

 Dr Griffin, Physical Oceanographer, CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research,  responded to me by email on July 12 2012 and provided a link showing the ocean currents for the day I initially put my bottle out to sea – April 19 2012. He explained why my bottle came back in. 

 On July 27 2012, I flew Qantas to Perth to collect my bottle back .At 11.30am on Saturday July 28 2012 at Pa’s Patisserie  in Swan View , Perth my bottle was handed back to me by Raelene Vigar. Raelene is the wife of the fisherman, who found the bottle on the beach at Fosters Beach, Bremer Bay, 180 miles east of Albany.  

 Also present at the bottle handing over were: Anne Brogden , my school friend from Wallsend, Newcastle, who now lives in Perth ; my cousin Rosanne Field Kemp and her 2 children, Amy and Matthew . Rosanne and Raelene live in Jane Brook, Perth  and are separated by a brook or stream ! This is my first coincidence .

 Raelene said that her husband, Russell was excited at the find of my  bottle. It was wrapped in Raelene’s sleeping bag for the journey back to Perth.I again wrapped it in a towel, for its journey on a Qantas flight across the continent on July 29 2012.

 Whilst in Bremer Bay, the President of the Western Australian Caravan and Boat Owners Association was present to chair a meeting . He was shown my bottle by Russell and Raelene.

 I sat next to the WA President of this Association on a Perth –Sydney flight maybe 2 years ago – I recall that he pointed out Esperance from the air, and we talked about his fishing travels on the Western Australian coast. I wonder if this was the same man?

 On July 25 2012, Helen Buckingham from Freedom Charters in Eden contacted me by email to tell me that her husband, Richard goes 17 nautical miles out to sea. Their boat is called “The Connemara “My late father  lived in Connemarra Street , Bexley , Sydney. This is my second coincidence. 

 On July 31 2012 I sent out an updated newsletter on my bottle to friends.  It was titled “Bottle Overboard April 19 2012- Found May 21 2012 – In my Possession July 28 2012 and  Recommitted to the Ocean in late September 2012. “

 On August 2 2012, Dr Griffin from the CSIRO contacted me, to indicate that he would be overseas in the weeks prior to September 30 2012. He provided a website on ocean currents that would be updated.I have forwarded this email to Richard in Eden, Southern NSW and Geoff in Port Welshpool, Victoria.

 Maree McKeown , a long standing friend, former neighbour from Ryde , Sydney,  and a retired primary school teacher ,will accompany me to and from Eden. The bottle will again be again wrapped in a towel, for our journey south .

 The Eden fisherman, Richard Buckingham, is looking forward to taking me out to sea, as he has never done anything like before. A deckhand will accompany us to sea.

 I hope that my bottles will have an exciting journey, after they are recommitted to the ocean. This will be the first anniversary of Harold Ward’s passing on September 30 2012.  He loved the water –as a surfer, a surfboard rider, a  lifesaver and a fisherman.

 Not bad for a Yorkshireman, who came to Australia as a 10 pound Pom in 1970, and lived life to the fullest. We were free spirits together for so many wonderful years. 

 Anne Field

September 28 2012

Nowra September 28; Eden  September 29-October 2 ; Batemans Bay October 3 and 4



POSTSCRIPT November 2013

My story was put on You Tube on 16 July 2013  by link only.  In late August, it was on open access.  Mid -year 2013 I again contacted Australian Story.They again declined the story. 

Share This

About the author

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *