A message in a bottle sent by a kindergarten class was found 21 years later on a Hawaiian beach. Paige Mino, who works as a research assistant at the Hawaiian Monk Seal Research Program, wrote about her discovery in a blog post on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) website.

Mino was taking a walk on Bird Island looking for seals when she noticed a bottle at the high tide line.

"Nothing is special about that, the atoll is littered with plastics and glass bottles," she wrote. "But this one is different, I can see that there’s something inside."

After picking up the bottle and examining its content, she realized that it was a message in a bottle. She tucked the bottle away and returned to the camp on the Southwest Island after finishing her survey for the day.

She finally opened the bottle in the midst of two camp members. "The letter is dated back to June 15, 1998, from a kindergarten class in North Bend, Washington," Mino blogged. "The teacher explains that the class wrote this letter and had it dropped in the ocean between Hawaii and San Francisco."

A page included answers to questions written by each student and another was a class photo of the 23 students and their teacher. The remaining three pages were student drawings and scribbles.

"What a find, I think," Mino wrote. "After over two decades of floating in the Pacific Ocean somehow this bottle made its way to our little atoll for us to find."

Mino estimated that she was three years old when the bottle was sent out. The letter came with the school's contact information and Mino wasted no time to reach out to them.

Two months after the bottle was found, Mino was able to get in touch with the now-retired Mary-Lee Johnson of that kindergarten class. Johnson's husband tossed the letter "somewhere past the Continental Shelf" when he participated in the 1998 Pacific Cup sailing race.

Mino assumed that the bottle traveled 3,000 miles via the North Pacific Gyre. "The bottle must have been picked up by the California Current and eventually converged with other currents to ultimately end up at Pearl and Hermes," Mino explained.

message-bottle While taking a stroll along a beach in Germany, a couple stumbled upon a 109-year-old bottle containing a message from George Parker Bidder, a scientist. Photo: Reuters