When it comes to tales of bottled messages washing ashore, the rolled-up notes tend to follow a certain formula: a snapshot of history, an untold secret, a heartfelt diary entry from across the sea.

But a bottle found on a Nova Scotia beach offered a different kind of story when it was found Wednesday with a dead man’s ashes, $25 in cash and an invitation to buy a stiff drink.

The handwritten message tells the story of Gary Robert Dupuis, a spirited man whose go-to drink was a shot of tequila (“straight up, no groceries”) and who never quite achieved his dream of travelling the world.

“If you find him, please take this money, buy yourself and Gary a drink, and release him back into the ocean,” reads the note, fittingly found inside a Sauza tequila bottle.

And that’s precisely what the man who found it plans to do.

“I was (saying) I’d take him up to the dance Saturday night and put him on the table,” said Norman MacDonald, who found the bottle during a routine clean-up walk along West Mabou Beach in Cape Breton.

Mystery surrounds the details of Gary’s life. It’s unclear where he’s from or how he died, but the note -- which appears to be penned by his daughter -- offers some clarity as to how he lived.

“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.

Gary never saw that dream achieved, at least in life. The message in a bottle aims to ferry his remains across the globe on the goodwill of strangers, one tequila shot at a time.

Those who find the bottle are invited to write where they found it and where it was released on the back of the note before releasing it back in the ocean.

MacDonald says it’s possible that the bottle came from New Brunswick because he often finds things from the neighbouring province along the shore, but that there’s no way to know for sure.

He says he plans to give the bottle to a lobster fisherman to release Gary’s remains back into the ocean when the tide is out.

And while the ashes and cash are undoubtedly unusual cargo for a message in a bottle, the note ends on a classic message of love.

“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.”

With a report from CTV Atlantic