PORTLAND, Ore. — Clint Buffington is from the notably landlocked state of Utah — but when he found his first bottled note on a beach after college, he was hooked.
“If you can find one, there have to be others, there has to be a way to find more," he said. "It turns out the secret to that is walking a lot."
Now, every time Buffington is by a body of water, he just walks and looks for these treasures. He's found over 100 messages in bottles so far.
Buffington started a blog in 2011, Message In a Bottle Hunter to share stories of the friendships he's made through these potted missives. The site has served as a hub for message-in-a-bottle finders and senders.
Now Buffington is on the hunt to find the senders of a particular bottled note he found in February while on vacation in the Caribbean.
"It says the finder of this message will be visited by good luck," read Buffington. “It's just signed from Becky in Washington, D.C. and Jim in Portland, Ore.”
The message says that Becky and Jim dropped the bottle in the Atlantic Ocean in 2018 off the coast of Jacksonville, Fla.
Between the two senders, the drop location and where it ended up in Buffington's hands, the bottled message collector found the discovery particular exciting.
Buffington believes that the bottle had to have sailed thousands of miles north, then east, then south off the coast of Africa before finally drifting west again to the Caribbean, reasoning that there aren't strong currents pushing south around the Florida coast.
"They do have an email address, which I'm optimistic about ... I emailed it and never heard back," he said.
So the hunt continues for Buffington, as he waits and hopes that his email messages or the news reports eventually reach Jim and Becky.