A Cape Breton man has discovered a memorable message in a bottle with a unique twist.

Norman MacDonald was walking along West Mabou Beach Wednesday, on Nova Scotia’s Cape Breton Island, when he stumbled upon the tequila bottle.

“I thought it was sand from another beach (inside the bottle), so I was gonna toss it,” says MacDonald.

He's glad he didn't, because what he discovered was actually a man’s ashes, a hand-written note about the man, penned by his daughter, and $25.

“Gary lived a very fast and reckless life in his younger years, but slowed down and dreamed of travelling the world in his golden years,” the note reads. “If you find him, please take this money, buy yourself and Gary a drink and release him back into the ocean. My wish is that he gets his dream of seeing the world and finally finds some peace. We love you Dad, have a great trip.”

The man, named Gary Robert Dupuis, was born in 1954 and, according to the note, his favourite shot was tequila, straight up – which may explain why the ashes were in a liquor bottle.

While the bottle was found on West Mabou Beach, there is no telling where it came from. The letter writer didn’t leave a name, or a hometown.

Dupuis is a French-Canadian name and MacDonald hypothesizes that the bottle could have found its way to Cape Breton from New Brunswick.

“I've picked up stuff from New Brunswick before,” he says.

As they try to solve the mystery, MacDonald and his wife say discovering the bottle makes them feel like they are part of the man's journey.

“I hope it goes a long way, I hope it does go around the world,” says Carol MacDonald, Norman’s wife.

“You find him and you're certainly gonna spend the money on a drink,” says MacDonald. “I was saying, ‘I'll take him up to the dance Saturday night and put him on the table.’”

After toasting the friend he never met, MacDonald says he plans to fulfill the letter writer's wish and release the bottle back out to sea.

With files from CTV Atlantic's Ryan MacDonald