Portugal Surfer Finds Cedarwood Student’s Message in a Bottle

Cesar Lorenco finds bottle while surfing Terceira Island, Portugal

Cesar Lorenco finds bottle while surfing Terceira Island, Portugal


When Cesar Lourenco found a message in a bottle while surfing near Terceira Island off the coast of Portugal he was intrigued. The question remains was he more intrigued than Cedarwood School 5th grader, Josh Bearden, who sent the message out to sea as part of a class project. One thing is for sure, by the power of social media the two are embarking on a new chapter in their lives.

Cesar’s message arrived via the Mandeville School’s Facebook page:

“Hi Josh and Cedarwood. I found your bottle today on the coast of Terceira Island Portugal when I was surfing. It was very gratifying to find and I hope to contribute to your goals.”

Lourenco then sent a photo of him holding the bottle with the letter taped to his surfboard.

Josh Bearden and Melissa Hardesty thank Cesar

Josh Bearden and Melissa Hardesty thank Cesar

Josh’s class was studying ocean currents and the Gulf Stream. His teacher, Melissa Hardesty asked the students to predict where their message would be found, based on the currents of Gulf Stream and the Gulf Loop Stream. Josh predicted his bottle would land off the coast of Morocco, which, with just a little more southerly current, would have been correct.
Location where bottle found

Location where bottle found


“In fact, the odds of the bottle hitting these tiny islands in the Atlantic are rather rare,” says his teacher, Ms. Hardesty. “Morocco is just beyond the island.”

Caser Lorenco

Caser Lorenco

The bottle was launched in December of 2014 by a family friend of Ms. Hardesty’s, Captain Maurice Davis, captain of the Captain Stacey Headboat. He launched the student bottles into the current off of the coast of Hatteras Island, NC.

I was blown away that my bottle was found” says Josh. “It is the only one from the Gulf Stream that has been discovered and I felt very lucky.”

Perhaps someday the two will meet. Until then the surfer has an indelible memory of a recent outing and the student has the gratification of knowing that far across the Atlantic his class experiment has had a gratifying conclusion.