Message in a bottle travels more than 100 miles across Lake Michigan

A message in a bottle launched by a couple off the Wisconsin coast was found three months later after crossing Lake Michigan to North Muskegon, Mich. Photo by tittifab/

Sept. 27 (UPI) — A message in a bottle dropped into Lake Michigan was found about three months later after traveling more than 100 miles.

Joanie Giusto said she and her husband were boating off the coast of Racine, Wis., earlier this year when they spotted something in the water.

“We were on our boat in the harbor and my husband looked in the water and he said: ‘Oh my gosh, it looks like a message in a bottle,'” Giusto told WWOW-TV.

Giusto said the message inside was badly faded and she could only make out “miss you” and a few other words.

“I said to my husband, I wish I knew how long this has been in the water, and I wish I know where it came from,” Giusto said. “I felt bad because whoever wrote it, obviously lost somebody that they loved, and they were hurting.”

Giusto decided to write her own message and use the same bottle to toss it into Lake Michigan.

“Always remember you are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, smarter than you think, and loved more than you know. Do something nice for someone today,” she wrote.

The bottle turned up three months later on a North Muskegon, Mich., beach.

“When I picked it up and looked at it. I just raised my head and thanked the lord for letting me find it,” finder Toni Machuk said.

“Of all the places where it could have came up to the shoreline, and of all the people that went down there to the beach, it was me that God chose to find it.”

Machuk posted about her find on Facebook, and the post eventually came to Giusto’s attention, allowing the pair to connect.

“I was scrolling through Facebook, and all of a sudden, I see a picture of my note with the bottle,” Giusto said. “I couldn’t believe it.”

The two women said they are hoping to be able to meet up in person next summer.

“I just hoped that the person that found it would need those inspirational words and appreciate the message, and it seems like Toni did,” Giusto said.

A woman walking on a Prestatyn, Wales, beach with her 2-year-old son found a message in a bottle in July. Lauren Couchman-Graham said the message was undated and did not reveal its point of origin, but she found the message meaningful.

“To Dad. We will continue to tell Olivia about you. Lots of love from Diddy and Jen,” the message read.

Couchman-Graham said the note resonated with her because she had also lost her father and would often talk about him to her son.