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'This can’t be real': St. Johns County girl finds message in a bottle, forges friendship with girl over 1,000 miles away

Sofia Wilson from New York sent a message in a bottle while on vacation in Florida. Sarah Beth Walters from Julington Creek found the bottle while in North Carolina.

HOLDEN BEACH, N.C. — The story starts in Fort Lauderdale. Eleven-year-old Sofia Wilson from Clifton Park, New York was on a family vacation. Fed up with COVID-19, she sent a message out to the seas.

In the note, Sofia said she wrote, “I was done with coronavirus and I hated it and I missed being in school with all my friends.”

Fast forward two weeks and 700 miles later.

Sofia’s bottle washed up on Holden Beach in North Carolina, into the hands of Sarah Beth Walters, an 11-year-old from Julington Creek, on vacation.

Sarah Beth ran onto the beach to pick up her dad’s water bottle when she found what she thought was just another piece of trash. To her surprise, it was a message in a bottle.

“I was like oh my gosh I found a message in a bottle!" she said. "This can’t be real! I’ve seen all the movies and they find a message in a bottle, this can’t be real."

She then texted Sofia who left her contact info in her letter.

However, “I didn’t think it would go much farther, I thought that would be the end of the conversation,” Sarah Beth said.

Back in New York, Sofia was surprised. She didn't think she'd hear back from anyone about her message in a bottle, at least not so soon.

“I was thinking maybe in 10 years or so,” she said.

The girls have been texting ever since and hope to meet each other soon.

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