Story: Beachcombing

Boys’ own adventure

Boys’ own adventure

In about 1978 Auckland boy Simon Smythe put a message in a bottle, and cast it into the sea at Titirangi beach. This drawing records the adventure.

What\'s you story?

Contributed by Nik Smythe.

My brother Simon bought a popular book through the Arrow Book Club when he was in primary school, around about 1978 I reckon. The book, The secret three, was about two friends on holiday who find a message in a bottle they pick up from a beach. The message has been written in code by another boy about their age, who lives in a lighthouse on an island just off the coast. A tidal correspondence ensues and the three boys become good friends.

The story inspired Simon and me to write messages, put them in bottles and cast them into the harbour at Titirangi beach.

That was that until well over a year, when Simon received a parcel from a couple who had found his bottle somewhere quite a distance away, along the North Island’s west coast. They sent him a hardcover young person’s novel with a map drawn inside, showing the journey his bottle had taken.

Using this item

Private collection
Pastel drawing by Simon Smythe

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How to cite this page:

Carl Walrond, 'Beachcombing - The human factor', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 5 July 2022)

Story by Carl Walrond, published 12 Jun 2006