Clint Buffington from Salt Lake City, Utah has been on a mission since finding a Gatorade bottle lying on the the beach while vacationing in the British West Indies back in 2015. That bottle contained a message which had faded and was difficult to read. Fast forward two years and he has finally tracked down the sender of the Message in a bottle.

Sending out a message in a bottle

While this method may be a tad slower than the Internet, people still place messages inside bottles and cast them out to sea. You never know who may find them and read them, or what adventures the bottle will experience along its journey.

The whole concept fascinates Buffington, who has been actively looking for messages in bottles since 2007.

According to his blog – which is appropriately titled “Message in A Bottle Hunter” – he initially didn’t believe there was any such thing – but he has definitely changed his mind since, having found 83 bottles containing messages since his search began. It has become a hobby of his to track down the person who sent them and reportedly he has so far met 11 of them.

Gatorade bottle floating around the Caribbean

While enjoying a Caribbean vacation in the British West Indies in 2015 Buffington found yet another message in a bottle lying on a deserted beach. The message had been placed inside a plastic Gatorade bottle, which hadn't handled the sea water well.

It was hard to read as it had faded during its travels, but by holding it to the light at just the right angle, he could make out most of it. It turns out the message was written by a guy called Ray from Philadelphia who was enjoying a Carnival Conquest Cruise back in May 2014. The message asked the finder to phone him to let him know where and when the bottle washed ashore, but the telephone number was difficult to read.

Discuss this news on Eunomia

Buffington posted his search on his Facebook page 10 months ago, but had no response

However with the help of his blog – along with a spot on 6ABC News – he has finally tracked Ray down. It turns out the story was on the news while Ray was watching. According to Buffington’s blog, Ray couldn’t believe that someone had actually found his message in a bottle.

He said he thought it had to be a prank that had ended up on 6ABC. Buffington wrote that funnily enough, he thought Ray might be pranking him too, but he turned out to be the real deal. Ray sent him an image of his official cruise card to prove it, along with the actual number that was on the message.

Strangely enough the number turned out to be one Buffington had tried calling, but he got through to a woman. It seems Ray has had three different cellphones over the last couple of years, having dropped that particular phone and broken it.

Ray told Buffington that his wife was with him on the cruise and that he threw the bottle from their balcony. He said they were sailing from Cozumel and it’s pretty hot there, so he always takes Gatorade along with him. When Buffington asked Ray if he had ever sent a message in a bottle before, he said no. It was just that they were out in the middle of the ocean, the water was pretty and the sun was setting and he just wondered if anyone would find his message. He said he hoped someone from another country would find the bottle and call him. Buffington says that even though they are both American, Ray lives in Philly and he lives in Utah, which is almost like a different country.

Buffington has been in the news before after tracking down and meeting a couple who placed a message and a piece of their wedding cake in a bottle and cast it out to sea. This was reportedly to celebrate their first anniversary. Readers can hear about that story along with more details of Buffington’s hobby in the video below.