Dave Grant, left, a Navy archaeologist, and Ben Carlson, an archaeological assistant, hold a message in a bottle that was found on Indian Island. It was left off Port Williams Beach by Sequim teens in 2010 and found Oct. 18, six years later.

Dave Grant, left, a Navy archaeologist, and Ben Carlson, an archaeological assistant, hold a message in a bottle that was found on Indian Island. It was left off Port Williams Beach by Sequim teens in 2010 and found Oct. 18, six years later.

Archaeologists find Sequim girls’ message in a bottle

More than six years later, one writer recalls the message.

INDIAN ISLAND — It’s been six years since three Sequim girls put a message into Sequim Bay, but their message has been heard — or read — loud and clear.

U.S. Navy archaeologists Dave Grant and his assistant Ben Carlson found a message in a bottle Oct. 13 while working along the shoreline on Naval Magazine Indian Island for an assessment of beach erosion.

Inside was a poem and three phone numbers left by then-teens Alexi Nelson, Ally Taiji and Laura Rutherford of Sequim, known familiarly as “The Three Brunettes,” on June 22, 2010.

The men contacted Nelson, now an anthropology student at Central Washington University.

Nelson told the Sequim Gazette that she, Taiji and Rutherford found the bottle that summer in between their sophomore and junior years, and the idea to write a message in a bottle hit them. They sat down at a picnic table on Port Williams Beach and wrote the note before sending it out into the wild.

“I didn’t think it would take this long,” Nelson said. “I expected it would wash up on one of Sequim’s shores.”

The girls’ poem reads:

Dear Beholder of the bottle:

Whoever you are and wherever you may be, the message to you is the same from us three.

We held the key, but now it is up to thee, to return this glass bottle back to the sea.

The tradition is great, the message is strong and ye cannot delay in sending it on.

We all have our days where life gets us down.

But today is the day you forget all about your heart wrenching ache, your worries and cares, for we are connected through pens and the air.

We can make history, us three and thee, keeping the bottle roaming through land and through the sea.

Each time it re-enters the great ocean blue, the message grows stronger with each word anew.

Follow your heart, keep your head held high and never believe the limit is the sky, if you set your mind to it you know you can fly.

This is our message to you now it’s your turn to send one out too.

Sincerely,

“The Three Brunettes”

Archaeologists left messages with all three numbers and Nelson was the only one to reply. She did reach out to Rutherford, however, to tell her the bottle was found.

Nelson said the three of them haven’t been in touch much in recent years, though.

After finding and reading the poem, Grant said he intends for his daughter to write a new poem and have the bottle sent out to sea in the Caribbean by a family member who is planning a cruise.

Nelson said this is the only message in the bottle she and her friends sent out.

As for her following her own advice of following her heart — keeping her “head held high” and believing the sky isn’t the limit — Nelson said she’s doing that “to the best of my abilities.”

She plans to graduate in December with a degree in anthropology with aspirations for a master’s degree and to do some freelance writing.

________

Matthew Nash is a reporter with the Olympic Peninsula News Group, which is composed of Sound Publishing newspapers Peninsula Daily News, Sequim Gazette and Forks Forum. Reach him at mnash@sequimgazette.com.

Dave Grant, left, Navy archaeologist, and Ben Carson, archaeological assistant, hold a message in a bottle that was found on Indian Island on Oct. 13. From left below, Ally Taiji, Laura Rutherford and Alexi Nelson stand on Port Williams Beach shortly before they put the message into the bottle in 2010.                                Former Sequim students, from left, Ally Taiji, Laura Rutherford and Alexi Nelson stand near Port Williams Beach on June 22, 2010, shortly before they left a message in a bottle. It was found on Indian Island east of Port Hadlock on Oct. 18, more than six years later, by naval archaeologists.

Dave Grant, left, Navy archaeologist, and Ben Carson, archaeological assistant, hold a message in a bottle that was found on Indian Island on Oct. 13. From left below, Ally Taiji, Laura Rutherford and Alexi Nelson stand on Port Williams Beach shortly before they put the message into the bottle in 2010. Former Sequim students, from left, Ally Taiji, Laura Rutherford and Alexi Nelson stand near Port Williams Beach on June 22, 2010, shortly before they left a message in a bottle. It was found on Indian Island east of Port Hadlock on Oct. 18, more than six years later, by naval archaeologists.

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