14 Sep 2010

Summer's End, Hacked Account and A Few Caches Too!

Summer's End

Well, the event is over, Summer’s End has been and gone. Wemnog and I arrived on Thursday afternoon and set up camp. One campervan, one Jeep, one gazebo, three dogs and us 2. After setting up we had to go over to pick Keith’s mum up from Liverpool Airport. By the time we got back to the campsite it was too late to go and check that the new caches were all in place.

Friday morning dawned wet and horrible. Still by 7.30am we were out checking the caches, the three were still all in place... http://coord.info/GC2BKV7  http://coord.info/GC2C80K and  http://coord.info/GC2C7M5 The last one has been fun for people and the logs from it have been entertaining since they started to come in. Our first camper arrived mid morning and more arrived through the rest of the day and evening. I think our final campers arrived during another heavy shower and in the dark. After meeting and greeting everyone, some retired to their tents, others to the pub and us off in the van. The Bridge Over The River Wye cache was found on Friday night by The Imp, a brave cacher indeed as this was a 5- 5 rating and it was getting dark as he went out. We did contemplate going out to check that he was okay, just as we were thinking about it, he arrived back, with chips in hand, he had even got some for us.

Saturday, well, can you guess? Yep, more rain. It didn’t stop people getting sorted and going off caching though. We stayed on site for most of the day, mainly due to the fact that we knew people were coming over just for a day visit. We welcomed quite a few new faces. We nipped out in the afternoon and did a few though. Wemnog and I did our first Earthcache too. It was one of The Imps, called Winnats Pass - The Coral Reef, details are here http://coord.info/GC1JPEQ As people started to gather back at the site and as the weather had cleared a little, it was time to get the kites out.

Quite a few were up in the air, although some struggled to get theirs up! As the evening progressed it was time to start the barbeque, everyone had something to put on and the weather continued to stay dry for us. After the barbeque was finished, it was time to set the Chinese lanterns off, we let 10 off to celebrate the 10 year anniversary of geocaching.  







On Sunday we woke to a very mixed day, it seemed more like April showers than an early September, with frequent heavy rain showers and sunny spells. Everyone began to pack away and say their goodbyes. All in all it was a very successful weekend and we are already thinking about our next one. It is likely to be called Summer’s Coming and will be sometime in the spring. Here are a few pics of the camp.


The Jacaru Enclosure






















The Imp Pitch










Hacked Account

Unfortunately there are some people in the caching world who seem to get their kicks from trying to spoil things for others. This happened to me earlier last week when my GC account was hacked and my caching name changed. Not only was my name changed totally but it was also homophobic. Whether the people who did it wanted to just try and upset me, or actually try to out me I don’t know. In fact they failed on both counts. As I am already openly gay what they did was totally pointless, and as far as upsetting me they didn’t. In fact what they did was actually force me in to going to the police to report not only the hacking, but the homophobia. The constable I talked to was absolutely brilliant and I was able to give him the names of two people whom I suspect are behind this. Interestingly, I posted what had happened to me on some of the geocaching forums and I was both overwhelmed by the amount of support that I have had off people and also amazed at how many people throughout the country came back and asked me if I believed it was these two people as they had received abuse of them in the last few months. Some of these people are high profile and well known cachers. Thankfully a police investigation is still ongoing and Groundspeak have been very helpful throughout. I now have the Jacaru name back up and running.
To give you a bit of a chuckle, my temporary caching name that the hackers gave me was the-mincing-gaylord! Well, at least they made me a Lord eh?


A Few Caches Too

With one thing and another I have been pretty quiet on the caching front. I have only done a few, the most memorable of these was whilst we were at the event. This cache http://coord.info/GC1NNN7 threw up some strange things. This is a quote from the web page that is linked to the cache page.

"The carving itself is on the large flat rock in the foreground with the Edge itself further west beyond the trees which also hide the stones of the Neolithic enclosure walls"


The Carvings At Gardoms Edge, I Wonder What They Mean
I don’t know what happened to the original stone, but on touching this stone as seen in the picture, it soon became apparent that it isn’t stone at all, but a replica. It sounds hollow and feels decidedly plastic in texture. This is something that I definitely want to find out more about. Last time I was at Gardom’s Edge was a few years ago when I worked for Derbyshire Social Services. We took a group of service users up there to help out Sheffield University with a small archeological dig. Sadly, we didn’t find anything of interest whilst we were up there.



So that’s it, all the news from the event and a bit more too. I’m finished for this week, so until next time, Happy caching.







6 Sep 2010

A Quiet Week, Jacaru, Stats and The Build Up


A QUIET WEEK

It has been a quiet week on the caching front. Only five caches this week. Time has really not been kind to us, we seem to have been chasing our tales all week. Having said that, three of the caches that I found I did get FTF on. Regular readers will probably recall that a while back I said that I didn’t actively go searching for FTF’s. These have all virtually been on my doorstep though and I have managed to get them all when they have just been published. So these are the caches that I have done this week. The cache at Brooklands GC22MFR was a little disappointing. I thought more could have been made of it. It was basically a plastic takeaway tub just dumped in some bushes. Not even well hidden. The location cried out for something a bit more special.

http://coord.info/GC2EDQ8 FTF

http://coord.info/GC2B7GJ

http://coord.info/GC2EDZ4 FTF

http://coord.info/GC22MFR

http://coord.info/GC2EJ75 FTF



MORE ABOUT JACARU

So, seeing that it has been a quiet week on the caching front, I will tell you a bit more about me.

The caching name came from the first two letters of each of my children, Jacob, Cameron and Ruby.

I have been caching since January 2009. For the first few months going out to actually cache came and went in fits and spurts before becoming the full on hobby that it is now.

People often ask how I got in to having coins made. The simple answer is that my Dad died and left me some money. He was a dog lover and always enjoyed spending time with our dogs. I had a good photograph of one of our collies, Meg, and decided that I would have a coin made as a kind of memorial to my Dad. From there it really took off to being what it is today. The first coin sold well and I decided that I would get some more made. I love traditional things and decided to go along with that kind of theme. Hence the post boxes and phone box coins. The collie coin sold out, I got emails asking if I would do some more, so I changed the colours slightly and had a new run made. The latest UK coin came about just from the fact that we travel so much around the UK remapping, that it seemed like a good idea to have a coin made showing a map of the British Isles. Now here’s an exclusive, still in the initial stages, I am thinking of having a coin made to mark the 70th anniversary of the Battle Of Britain. I have some photos of Spitfires and I am thinking that this may be a goer. There is also a new collie coin in the pipeline. New picture, this time of the puppy, Fen.


STATS

I happened on a new site the other day. Since the demise of It’s Not About The Numbers I haven’t had any stats on my GC profile pages. Now I have, and it’s thanks to this site http://www.mygeocachingprofile.com/ This one is very simple to use and you can add a lot of detail to it. Well worth a look. For instance, rather than having to trawl through all my cache finds to locate my milestones this site loads them for you. To give you an example, this is the list of my milestones:~



It really is a very handy tool.

THE BUILD UP

We are building up ready for this weekends Summer’s End event. The information sheets, new cache sheets, kids activity sheets and quiz sheets are all printed and packed. As are all the things that are going in to goody bags. These include keyrings, bookmarks, a new trackable geocoins and other bits and pieces. I only have 20 trackables to give out in the goody bags, another 20 are on the way, but have got lost in the post. The manufacturer has posted out replacements, but as they are coming from America, I really don’t know if they will arrive on time. I have a quiz prize sorted and packed and we are now having a silliest hat competition at the barbeque on Saturday night, so there is also a prize for that. We are just hoping that the weather holds, not looking too promising at the moment after checking the BBC forecast for the area. Fingers crossed though.

The next blog should have some photos of the event, hopefully everyone will enjoy themselves. Wemnog and I are heading up to the campsite on Wednesday, we have decided that it would be quite nice for us to have a few days just relaxing as we don’t seem to have had too much time off during the last few weeks.

That’s it, all for now. Have a good caching week dear readers.

1 Sep 2010

500, Kidnapping, Distributor & More.

500

It has taken 20 months, but I finally did my 500th cache at the weekend. Whilst Wemnog was busy down at Wembley watching the Rugby final (his team, Warrington, won) so a very happy chappy, I decided that there really was only one place to go for the 500th cache. It was http://coord.info/GC2ADPH . If you click on the cache page it will come up as being an archived cache. In theory it is, but in reality it is still up and running and there for everyone to discover.

It was good to meet up with Kathy again and have a good old natter. The shop is looking really good since they moved next door and the stock range is fabulous. It really is like being a kiddy in a sweetshop.

Kathy very kindly agreed to stock the new UK coins for me and took another 10 Border Collie coins to sell for me.

Here is a pic of Kathy and I, don’t know how it happened but the conversation seemed to revolve around poo, of one type or another for quite a lot of the time!!! Also pictured is the cache itself, a real treasure chest!





Kathy & I at the UK Geocachers shop. My tee shirt kindly supplied by Geotogs.com

Kidnapping


For want of a better word, I know it isn’t just me who this happens to, but it is really frustrating when someone picks up one of your coins or TB’s, logs that they will move it on quickly yet 6 months later it is still in their hands. During the last few days I have contacted 12 people where this has been the case. Some of them I have had decent replies and apologies off, a couple more have basically said that they have “misplaced” them and don’t know where they are. No apology, just that! No less annoying are those that don’t bother to reply. Granted it is still holiday season and folk may be away. All I can say to you is that if it does happen to you, keep on at them and don’t let it go. This is your personal property that they have at the end of the day.


Distributor



Just before the start of the bank holiday weekend I received notification that I have been granted official merchandise distributor status from Groundspeak. This means that I will be able to stock more of their goods in the Ebay shop and on the website, and get a link to the website on their own site. Hopefully it means that I will get more custom and be able to step sales up a notch or two.





Website

The Jacaru website has now been updated and is available for viewing. It means that people who don’t like, or want to use Ebay can order directly from there. The site address is http://www.jacaru.co.uk/  Click on the geocaching button and see what is on offer. I haven’t so far linked a PayPal account to the site as I wanted to see what kind of sales it generated beforehand.


Caching Buddies


I have been reading on some of the forums this week that people think it would be an idea for established cachers to link up with new people. It helps to show them the ropes and gives them the opportunity to go out caching with someone with more experience of differing types of cache. This isn’t to say that anyone thinks that new cachers aren’t any good, it just gives them another opening in to the caching world.

I know that when Wemnog and I started caching we were lucky enough to meet up with people at Notts Geocachers. We got to know more established and knowledgeable people and it also gave us an opportunity to ask questions. Having said that, it was still quite daunting walking in to a group who already knew each other. Our second experience wasn’t so nice. We went to an Emcache meeting and found that we were very much on the outside, neither welcomed or spoken to. Needless to say, we didn’t attend any of those meetings again. Having said that, there are people who are very happy within this group, but cliqueness certainly isn't for us.

If you can find a friendly local group, do pluck up courage and go, hopefully you will be welcomed with open arms and get to know what is happening in your area. If there isn’t one, it may be time to set one up. All you have to do is set an event cache for an evening or weekend in a local pub. You’ll be amazed at just how many people attend and how many people you get to know in a short amount of time.

Caching



So, towards the end of last week I had only done No. 499 and 500. Then we got a phone call to go and remap a car down in Tilbury. Setting off early on Bank Holiday Monday to avoid traffic we decided to do a pocket query before hand and set the route along the A1.


We managed to bag 9 caches before deciding that we really should carry on and get to the customer. Our plan was to remap the car and then do some on the way back. Things in J & W’s life are never that simple though....(oh to be a meerkat)! The remap didn’t take so we had to stay overnight in a Travelodge and get the car sorted on Tuesday. We did really well though and the manager of the Travelodge let us have all three dogs in the room with us. Anyway, back to the caches, they were all drive bys, so nothing major about them. Apart from three of them. One was at an old Norman cross which had quite a bit of history attached. There is a photo of the information board, unfortunately the print isn’t clear enough to read. Just prior to finding this cache, we did two very close to the Nene Valley railway. Again, both were drive bys, but I think we will be back to do the rest of the series at some point.



The two Nene Valley Railway caches that we did were:~

http://coord.info/GC1V84B and http://coord.info/GC13KAQ


Finally

I have had quite a few preorders for the new coin and will be posting those out on the 8th of this month so that people get them in time for the release date.

As usual, we don’t know what the plans are for caching this week. We are down at Brooklands on Saturday for the SMART festival. That’s an early start so I don’t think we will be doing anything on the way, or the way back for that matter. We’ll see. Once we get back from Brooklands we will be making the final preparations for the camping event. If any of you know who I need to contact so that I can order decent sunny weather, please do let me know.

Until next time caching friends
Have a good week.