gpsbottle

Welcome to this page, dedicated to “Voyager 3” – the GPS Bottle mail!

Today July 8th 2018 I dropped this in the sea, hoping to be able to track its movements and maybe someday get picked up by somebody!

This is the bottle (a nice and heavy two liter “Skovlyst” beer bottle):

Inside the bottle is a Invoxia GPS tracker using the Sigfox system. Sigfox is a IoT standard for GPS tracking allowing me to follow my bottle up to 80 days without recharge and without the use of a SIM card (very convenient).

Also inside is a note:

 

Here is the log of the bottle (I will keep updating this every time something EXITING happens ;)

I WILL UPDATE THIS PAGE WITH AN INTERACTIVE MAP WITH THE TRACKING, AS SOON AS I GET HOME FROM VACATION.

Day #1 (aprox 79 days of battery left)

Today we sailed from Hundested to Grenaa (aprox 45 nautic miles) and the wind was almost not there. So I decided that this would be the D-day. We dropped the bottle just about 5 NM North West from “Sjællands Odde”:

After this I cheked the tracker app for movements. Nothing.

I cheked for any signs at all from the bottle. Nothing.

And for about two hours it was silent. But then, when closing in on Jutland, I suddenly got signal and a bunch of waypoints.

It already crossed the vessel fairway and travelled about 30 kilometers.

 

Day #2 (aprox 78 days of battery left)

The GPS Bottle Mail made its first loop!

looks pretty cool on the tracking map. It also travelled 32 kilometers. Not bad. Now heading north east towards Anholt…where we are! It feels kind of homesick, trying to locate us all the time.

Day #3 (aprox 77 days of battery left)

This day didn’t went as I hoped. The signals from the GPS came less frequent, so instead of 20 minutes intervals, now they came 1.5 hours apart. At 11.01 AM I received a coordinate and waited 6 hours before, what still is my last received signal!

I hope to hear from the bottle again tomorrow…

Day #4 (aprox 76 days of battery left)

No signal at all….

Many things could have happend:
– The bottle could have hit a boat (or get swallowed by a whale). But that seems unlikely, given the way the signals faded out (I would think the bottle would sink pretty fast if it took in water, and not last half a day.
– The bottle could be in Sweden. If this is the case, im in trouble. Apparently, you can only track your device in one country at the time. If you wish to switch country, you will need the GPS tracker in your hand and reselect area using bluetooth.
– Just as I lost contact with the GPS, I got prompted about a firmware update. This however should not affect my tracking yet.
– The most likely explanation is that the bottle might have entered the area with bad signal. This could very well be the situation. This map shows where Sigfox GPS signals cover across Denmark:

The red cross marks where I last got signal from the GPS Bottle. If this is the case, I really hope the bottle drifts south west.

This map shows the forecast of the direction of the waters tomorrow. It says that the bottle could drift south/east on…towards Sealand. That is the same direction I am heading when I set sail saturday.

If the GPS Bottle against all odds should send a signal, we might just take a detour to go attempt a recollect of the bottle. Im not sure this could ever work though.

But for now, I can only sit and hope. Either for a signal from the GPS or for an email or phone call from someone who discovered the bottle. That would be awesome!

 

Day #25 (aprox 55 days of battery left)

Its been 22 days without a single signal from the GPS Bottle.
I keep telling myself this was no faliure…I just dropped a 90$ GPS device into the sea and it only survived three days!

But im certain it will return somehow.

Anyways, im sure this wont be the last GPS bottle ;)

 

Day #27 (aprox 53 days of battery left)

…And I was right!!

Today I got this message

And the email that followed was from a wonderful swedish family :D They attached these pictures of them opening the GPS Bottle

Im so excited about the way things turned out :)

The GPS Bottle traveled about 400 kilometers from the drop off point and to the island named Åstol, north of Gothenburg, Sweden.

 

Even though there is a technical issues with the GPS right now (only able to send positions from one country at the time) we agreed that the coolest solution would be to letting them recharge and release the bottle again. The location is going to be in Malmö in south west Sweden and very close to Copenhagen, Denmark. Hopefully this would be close enough to Denmark for me to receive signal from it.

The sea currents tomorrow shows that if the GPS Bottle is set to sea outside Malmö it might drift south west, and closer to Denmark, if im lucky!

Ill keep you posted!

Day #31 (aprox 80 days of battery left)

Im so thrilled the nice swedish family picked up the bottle :) I owe them a big thank you!
Today they dropped the bottle in Falsterbo (southwest Sweden). As soon as the bottle hit the water again, the tracking started sending perfect signals back. So nice.

But the bottle took a very weird trip

Heading north after the dropoff, the bottle took a turn east and then south, as a parallel to the beach.

Not many minutes before hitting the beach, it got discovered and picked up again!!

Now, the bottle is in central Malmö. Hopefully I will hear from the new holder of the GPS Bottle very soon :)

Day #34 (aprox 77 days of battery left)

I just got a mail from Åse who picked up the bottle in Skanör!

She wrote “We took a swim in the evening! We were just about to leave when I saw the bottle. And I said “Think if this is a “bottlemail? It’s me and Pippi Långstrump!”

I really enjoy reading this again and again :) This proves that the bottle mail isn’t just amusing for me, but also for the people who finds it.

Åse send me these nice pictures

Åse told me she would drop it off close to the Øresunds bridge as soon as the GPS is recharged :)

Day #35 (aprox 80 days of battery left)

Today the GPS Bottle died for good :-/

Unfortunately in a very dramatic way. Åse and her son was about to drop it very close to the Øresunds bridge when the incident occured.

In the throw of the bottle, Åse’s son got his finger stuck in the metal on the side of the bottle plug, resulting in his finger getting badly hurt and the bottle opening in the air, and when hitting the water, taking in water and drowning.

This ofcourse is very unlucky but I feel sorry for Åse and her son having to deal with stitches at the hospital and feeling bad for the bottles fate. Åse’s son even went back to try to locate and rescue the bottle.

I told her that she should not worry abot the bottle. Its just a thing. Here are some pictures she send me

I hope he recovers quickly and I also feel kind of guilty.

The last signal I received from the GPS Bottle was 12:08 august 11th.

Im pretty certain that we will  not hear more from the GPS Bottle…but this does not mean that is wasn’t worth it! I had fun while building, tracking and logging the GPS Bottle and got alot of great response from readers too. Maybe some of you got inspired to do something similar.
I can definately ensure you that this was not the last IoT Bottle I’ve made ;-)


More updates to come as we head for the island of Anholt in the middle of Kattegat, Denmark!

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