Message in a bottle, sort of - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Message in a bottle, sort of

Ilana Nimz Ilana Nimz
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

It's a real life story that's almost too perfect to be true.  A story of a message in a bottle, only without the bottle.

"It probably broke on the beach.  There's always broken glass so...just three pieces of paper lying in the sand" described DLNR Biological Field Technician Ilana Nimz, who found those three pieces of paper while working on Kure Atoll.

"I was just walking along.   We keep our eyes out for entanglement hazards on the beach and other interesting debris" she continued.

The debris was definitely interesting.  It was from a Japanese schoolgirl named Rumi.  As part of a class project, Rumi sent the message along with a class photo, asking for the finder to correspond back.

Nimz was happy to do so.  However, as Ilana found out when she contacted her, Rumi wasn't the same person who sent the message.

The reason?  Rumi had grown up.  The message had been floating in the ocean for over six years.  Rumi then was in elementary school.  Now she is in college.

The two traded correspondences.  In a twist of incredible luck, each woman studies the others native tongue, so there isn't a language barrier between them.

"I write in Japanese and she writes in English" said Nimz.

In honor of her new pen pal, Nimz decided to name a study-bird, an albatross which nests on Kure Atoll, after Rumi.

"Turned out the albatross, we didn't know at that time, turned out to be a male albatross so whoops on that one".

Not everything in the story is perfect.


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