Aoife Byrne, the Irish woman whose 2019 message in a bottle was recently found on a beach in New Jersey, chats about the experience.
Byrne, from Bray in Co Wicklow, told IrishCentral that she learned that her message in a bottle was discovered on a beach in Wildwood, New Jersey this month after her dad saw an article about it.
"I couldn't believe it," Byrne said, "I was in total shock."
Byrne told IrishCentral that she dropped the now well-traveled message in a bottle into the sea from Bray, Co Wicklow where she lives.
"I am a songwriter so I had my notebook with me that day," Byrne recalled.
She noted that when she tossed her message in a bottle into the sea, she wasn't too far from Sinéad O'Connor's home in Bray.
Byrne added: "I have never been to the US but I would absolutely love to come and visit, and to meet Frank and his family would be amazing.
"It was very emotional to talk to him."
The distance from Bray to North Wildwood clocks in at more than 3,200 miles.
On August 22, New Jersey man Frank Bolger reached out to IrishCentral to share that he had found an Irish message in a bottle on a New Jersey beach and was keen to connect with the letter's writer, Aoife.
Bolger acknowledged connecting with Aoife was a "long shot."
He told IrishCentral that he had discovered the Irish message in a bottle on the 14th Street beach in Wildwood, New Jersey on August 17 while he, his wife Karen, and granddaughter Autumn were cleaning up trash on the beach.
"We found the bottle in some seaweed right at the water's edge," Bolger told IrishCentral, noting that they originally thought the bottle was just trash.
"We had to take it home to get note out it was jammed in the bottle so tightly," he said.
The note, which appeared to be in great condition after its transatlantic journey, says: "Greetings from Ireland.
"I have thrown this bottle into the sea for someone to find another day.
"Maybe it's traveled down to Africa or to Iceland!
"I won't know if someone found this, but I hope it is found!"
The letter, dated July 17, 2019, was signed simply "Aoife."
In a fateful twist, the Irish message in a bottle landed in North Wildwood which, as Bolger pointed out, "has a huge Irish American population."
Though Bolger has never visited Ireland (yet), he does have some Irish roots - his family came to the US from Ireland in the mid-1800s.
Two days after sharing his story with IrishCentral, Bolger followed up to say that he had connected with Aoife and that the two were able to speak to each other on the phone.
Meanwhile, the discovery of the Irish message in a bottle was shared on social media by The Wildwood Sun by the Sea Magazine where, not surprisingly, the story has gone viral.