The Associated Press
TRENTON, N.J.─Seven months ago, New Jersey youths lamenting the end of summer vacation put their greetings, names and addresses into a plastic water bottle and heaved it into the Atlantic Ocean.
The six returned home from Cape Hatteras, N.C., to start a new school year and forgot about the whimsical launch.
But as the teens pored over their books, the maritime messenger found its way into the Gulf Stream, around Newfoundland and toward Europe ─ straight into the hands of an 11-year-old boy in northwest France.
Last month, Jackie Borzio received a post card from Marc Gurun, who lives on Ile de Houat off the coast of Brittany.
At first, the girl thought the card, written in French, was a chain letter. When her grandmother translated it, she remembered Cape Hatteras.
''It's amazing,'' the 14-year-old said. ''I was totally shocked.''
Marc wrote: ''Greetings. My name is Marc, and I am 11 years old. I found your bottle on Saturday, March 4, 1995, at about 1 p.m. It traveled across the entire Atlantic Ocean and arrived here in France. I live in Brittany, as you can see from my address.''
Marc also sent post cards to the other five youths.
Oceanographers say it's amazing the nautical note arrived at all.
Breck Owens of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Woods Hole, Mass., said Hatteras is one of the few places where the 4,000-mile warm-water Gulf Stream current comes within a few yards of the coast.
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