Utah man says he's found 60 messages in bottles

CNN/KGO

Message in a bottle buff says he's found 60 of them; latest is from 2009

Sunday, May 25, 2014 - 5:00pm

Part of the romance has disappeared from taking a cruise.

The cruise lines now frown on passengers tossing messages overboard in bottles.

But some people keep trying, and they often end up in unlikely hands.

The random fortune of combing a beach and having fate deliver a message in a bottle.

Clint Buffington told CNN affiliate KGO, "This is going to sound crazy, but I have found 60!"

Or so he claims. Clint Buffington of Salt Lake City, Utah, a man so enamored with finding messages in ocean trash that he blogs about them, vacations in search of them, and produces videos about how to care for them.

Yes, people do get distracted like this. One bottle, found in the British West Indies, particularly vexed him.

"It says Seven, May, 2009. Please return this note to John and gives his last name, as well as his address," Buffington explained.

That would be John Buckel of Cupertino, CA who has thrown more than a few bottles overboard in his life.

There is a rumor, sir, that you have been littering the ocean.

"I am afraid so," John said.

Two strangers who have never met nor talked, now linked by a repositioning cruise for Holland-America’s Prinsendam near the Azores.

Once launched, all John wants to know is where and when a bottle came ashore, and if can he see the message.

Clint, meantime, is obsessed with making connections, "As a kid I had this dream of meeting every person in the world. And as I got older I realized that that wasn't going to be possible. But this has revived that feeling. It's a free pass to talk to strangers."

Now, John is on his list.

"I want to ask him about mainly why he does it? If he does this as a hobby, why?" Clint said.

"It's a forward toss and I have to do it pretty wide so it doesn't slam back into the ship," John explained.

Two men, brought together by tides and junk mail from the sea.

"In fact I saw a billboard advertising $79 flights each way to San Jose which is, right there, so, it's like huh, maybe I should just head on out," Clint told CNN affiliate KGO. 

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