Message in a bottle claims finder will be granted one sea wish

After waiting nearly a week to open the bottle, finding only a four-month-old note inside was a bit anticlimactic for Mike Layosa.

While on vacation in January, the Kaua’i Police Department fleet maintenance coordinator, his brother Pat Layosa, and nephew Noah Layosa had gone by boat to Kipu Kai, to fish and throw nets all day long.

The trio came back empty-handed where the fish were concerned, but Mike Layosa spied something on land that made a swim to shore seem worthwhile.

What he found, some 25 to 30 feet above the water line, was a wine bottle, broken at the rim but still containing a cork, with a message inside it.

Why he didn’t open it immediately, or shortly after he got home and the bottle aroused his family’s curiosity, remains a mystery.

But he called the newspaper, asking if a reporter would be interested in having him come in and uncork the bottle.

The affirmative answer led to a meeting at the newspaper building, and a rather unceremonious uncorking using pliers for the cork and needle-nose tweezers to extract the note.

It turns out that a Jack T. Lutey, with a Hale’iwa, O’ahu address, had dropped the bottle overboard while on the Matson Navigation Company container ship Pfeiffer 350 miles northeast of O’ahu, or over 450 miles from where the bottle came to shore at Kipu Kai.

The note did not say whether the Pfeiffer was bound for O’ahu or the West Coast at the time of the bottle launch.

Lutey’s note shows the latitude and longitude, date and time of the toss, and indicates that whoever finds the bottle and message will be granted one wish from the sea.

Layosa did not say what his wish was, or if he even made one.

While ashore at Kipu Kai, Layosa came upon a young Kipu Kai Ranch hand who said he had found a bottle with a message in it in the same general area as Layosa’s find.

The man wrote the Canadian man who had launched the bottle, and found out he was in the fishing business.

Staff Writer Paul C. Curtis can be reached at pcurtis@pulitzer.net or 245-3681 (ext. 224).

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