An old message in a bottle has created a connection between strangers at opposite ends of the country.

The bottle ended up in the hands of a Nova Scotia man after taking a 15-year voyage in the waters off Vancouver Island.

The man who found the bottle has written back to the two young girls, now adults, who tossed the bottle in the ocean 15 years ago.

“I have vague memories of putting it inside the bottle and maybe even taping up the lid so water didn’t get in, and then sort of a memory of either throwing it or thinking about throwing it,” says Jori Phillips, who wrote the message with a friend when she was seven.

“She has just as bad a memory about the whole scenario as I do.”

Phillips can’t remember exactly what they did with the bottle, but assumes it was tossed from the shores of her childhood home on Denman Island.

A Nova Scotia man picked it up while vacationing on Vancouver Island’s west coast this summer.

“I was just doing some beachcombing with my buddy out there. There was just a plastic Coke bottle, one of the two-litre size bottles there on the edge of the shore,” says Mark Dickson.

“I don’t like to see that stuff there so I thought I’d just pick it up and throw it in the garbage when I got back to the camp site. When I got it back there we could see that there was actually some paper and what looked like a brand new unsharpened pencil in there.”

After drying off the letters, Dickson says he saw pictures drawn of two girls who asked whether the letter’s receiver likes fairies and is familiar with a cartoon character called Pokemon.

“It was the icing on the cake for a great fishing trip,” he says.

Phillips says she can’t believe the letter was still intact after having been in the ocean for so many years.

“It’s just kind of mind-boggling that something can be floating in the ocean for 15 years and still be legible by the end of it,” she says.

Dickson and Phillips have been in contact via email and plan to stay in touch, while encouraging others to toss their own message in a bottle into the ocean.

With files from CTV Vancouver Island's Yvonne Raymond