29 Nov 2010

GAGB, Geocache Trails and The Last Few Caches

Hi and welcome to the latest installment of the blog.


As I mentioned last week, I am now one of the committee members on the GAGB ~ the Geocaching Association of Great Britain. This is a great association to be a part of and if you are not already a member, please do think about joining us. It doesn't cost anything, unless you would be so kind as to offer a small contribution towards the cost of running the site.

The GAGB is a mine of information regarding landowner agreements, news about what is going on in your area, CITO, and much more, including monthly competitions and an extremely friendly, non judgemental forum, where you can express your views, ask questions and offer advice to others. The association web pages can be found at http://www.gagb.co.uk/ We are even having a geocoin mileage game next year, not a competition, this is just to see how far your personal geocoin and you travel from 1st January to 31st December. The details are again on the forum pages of the website.
Geocache Trails http://www.geocachetrails.com/ is another website that is well worth a visit. If you want an easy way to find some caches in your area, or an area that you are unfamiliar with, this site can give you valuable information about cache trails, whether they are circular or linear. The caches range in number from 3 upwards. All you need to do is type in the location that you want and the site will give you a guide to different caches in that area. We recently found it useful when we visited Barrow and have used it on quite a few occasions now.

We have been a bit quieter on the caching front since the last blog. We have only found 6 caches, having said that, two of the finds have been slightly different.

Following on from last weeks tunnel cache Tunnel-Tastic, we felt compelled to do another one, and seeing that it was only a few miles from home it had to be done sooner rather than later. This cache came in two parts, and without giving too much away the first cache that you needed to find, was virtually on top of the final part of the cache! Confused? Well read the logs and it may become a lot clearer, as clear as the mud we encountered getting to the final cache!!! The first part is called Shrodinger's Ghostly Paradox - The Happy Outcome http://coord.info/GC2HK2Q This was soon located on our trip out and we were soon transported to the second part Shrodinger's Ghostly Wormhole Paradox http://coord.info/GC2HJYV As we got transported to the second part we encountered all sorts, a ram that had seen better days, we couldn't work out whether it was the guardian of the cache or had entered the wormhole to die! We even encountered a very friendly toad, who was to lead us to ground zero! Here are some photos.

The entrance to the Ghostly Paradox

Torture Cages in the Ghostly Paradox

A most helpful toad!

It was a great cache to find that was something a little out of the ordinary and a great way to spend a winter's morning. The two caches were created by Pinfold, who has obviously put some thought in to how to set them up. I even managed to leave a ghost geocoin in there that I picked up from the other tunnel.

Over the next few days we found a few more caches, the first of these was 'grave by bl4ck4dd3r http://coord.info/GC2JMDR We really made a meal of this one, I am blaming the cold weather for addling our brains. We worked out the hint, which had been further encrypted and headed off. We knew where it should be, the GPS pointed to where it should be and it still took us almost twenty minutes to find. We had hoped that we would be first to find after it was DNF'd just after publication. We got there though and Northking had beaten us by minutes.

Just driving around this week we also found Ruddington Grange by Fosiposi, http://coord.info/GC2DJGB
an easy drive by but with some history to where it is placed.
Then it was time to find another Northking cache, we are getting through them slowly but surely, this time we found Caching Practice 4 (waterlogged) A nice simple find for us on a cold winter afternoon, http://coord.info/GC27BAW  The same day we found Dead Centre of Ruddington by seasoned cacher Angellica, http://coord.info/GC1YNJR this one has eluded us a couple of times as the area seems to be a magnet for the lads of Ruddington to gather for a kickabout.

Our final cache of the week came to my attention a couple of weeks ago and immediately made my MUST DO list. Bomber Command by well known cachers, father and son team The Bolas Heathens http://coord.info/GC21WYM is placed in one truly atmospheric locations. I am not going to say much more about it, other than Wemnog, his son Tom and I + the three dogs spent well over two hours just exploring. The cache was located in minutes, but if you cache and dash you are really going to miss out.The dogs were wary, I am sure that they could sense ghosts of times gone past. Here are some photos, I am pretty sure that if you are near this cache it will be one that you also say you must do.

Don't think this will switch any lights on now!

The glassless window

The usually hyperactive dogs weren't too sure


The final parking spot

As you can see from the photos, this place is too good to miss if you are around at any time.


I hope that the snow isn't hampering your caching efforts too much this week and that you manage to get out and about. Have a good week.

22 Nov 2010

News, Quality Caches, New Caches and the World Release Register


Two great bits of news for you this week. Firstly I was asked to become a moderator on the Staffs geocachers site. This is a fairly new site which welcomes members from all over the country, not just from Staffordshire. You can find the site at www.staffs-geocachers.webs.com

Secondly, and I am very excited about this, I have just become a committee member of the GAGB ~ the Geocaching Association of Great Britain. http://www.gagb.co.uk/
If you aren't already a member have a look at the website and do seriously think about joining. Not only does it offer some great advice and friendly banter, but gives up to date information on land owner agreements for the placement of caches, There is also a monthly competition with some great geocaching prizes.

Quality Caches

We haven't done as many caches as we would have liked this week. Having said that, the ones that we have done have been a really good quality.
We have also managed to continue to catch up on some more of Northking's caches.

The first cache this week was Slip Not, one of Northking's. A nice simple cache to start the week. On the banks of the River Trent this was found on the first really foggy morning of the winter. http://coord.info/GC1Z600

Near Slip Not

Not too far away were another couple of caches that we decided to nab. Coppers Cache by Riktor http://coord.info/GC2EB46 This cache was placed in memory of his grandad, a policeman whose beat was in the area. The final cache that morning was Dave and Andy's Duck Hunt http://coord.info/GC2FKFH The coords seemed to be a bit off for this one, but the subsequent photo from GZ is quite atmospheric!

Viewe from Dave & Andy's Duck Hunt cache

On Wednesday we travelled down to Portsmouth for a family reasons. We had Wemnog's son Tom with us. We couldn't resist but do just one cache when were down there. This is definately one to calla quality cache, Toadstool Trail 3 by AP&T http://coord.info/GC2DC3J It was definately a very wet and very muddy trek to this one. Luckily we cheated a little and drove as close as we could in the Jeep. Here are a couple of pics of the cache. I am sure some of you readers will be able to take some ideas from it and develop similar caches in your own style!

Toadstool Trail 3 ~ closed

Toadstool Trail 3 ~ open
This was a very clever cache that blended in well with the surroundings.

Over the course of the next few days we did a few more caches, a new one by Noords, I mentioned the clever cache of his that we did last week. He has put another clever one out, quite large in a very public place on the banks of the River Trent. Almost in full view, especially if you are looking for it. This one is called Fire In The Hole! http://coord.info/GC2J993  You get a really good view of Trent Bridge from this one.

Trent Bridge

After doing this cache we ventured over the river to another of Northking's caches. The appropriately titled Spender. This one had us scratching our heads. We searched for a good half hour before having to give up on it and got home only to log a DNF on it. It pleased me somewhat to note from previous logs that some very experienced cachers had also logged DNF's on it. It is certainly one of those caches that has you scratching your head, you know where it should be, you know where it is, but you just can't find it. We went back a day later and found it. Even if you never venture over to Nottingham, the logs are worth reading, purely for entertainment value http://coord.info/GC2HDDA

I have been keeping an eye on some of the bookmarked listings for a while now and have been wanting to do a tunnel cache. My wish finally came true yesterday and we did this one. Tunnel-Tastic by Chilli Slim Kid http://coord.info/GCRRB0 This is an old cache that has been up and running since December 2005. It isn't the oldest cache that I have ever done, but certainly an enjoyable one. Here are some photos.

The light at the other end!

Wemnog and three hyperactive geodogs ready to enter the tunnel

Cache In Hand

The return journey

We were armed with wellies and torches to do this cache and really enjoyed it. Us being us we didn't reach the tunnel by the suggested access point, that would have been far too simple. We parked up and descended to the entrance via a very slippery wet slope. We managed to stay on two feet though and didn't have to resort to sliding down! Armed with wellies as we had read in previous logs that the tunnel could get flooded we were pleased that it wasn't. We soon reached the cache, picked up a ghost geocoin that had been in there since the last visit on halloween and left a polar bear TB hibernating there until the next visitor ventures in. It was good fun this one, though we did say that it would have been even more fun doing it in the dead of night when it was really pitch black! We are already planning on doing another tunnel cache soon.

To finish off we did three drive by caches, two of which were called Nantwich to Castle to Nantwich 1 and two. Number two was placed very close to this little feature which I thought was worth a photo.

New Caches

I have had three new caches published this week, two drive by's and one in the centre of Nottingham

Suspension ~ http://coord.info/GC2JDGF

Off Yer Trolley - Carlton ~ http://coord.info/GC2JECT
Beggar's Belief ~ http://coord.info/GC2JDG0

All three were found within a short while of being published.

World Release Register

If you have a new TB or geocoin that you want releasing in a particular part of the country, or world for that matter, it may be worth having a look at the world release register. Someone listed on it may just be able to help your traveller to begin its journey. I have just joined this register and am able to help people out if they want something to start in Nottingham/shire. The address for this is http://www.geocoindesign.com/wrr2.htm You will find out all the details there.


The travelbug knockout race goes on apace. My TB is currently in California and so far has covered a distance of 5218 miles since I released it in Barrow a couple of weeks ago.

If anyone ever has any questions about either the blog, geocaching or the GAGB, please don't hesitate in contacting me, and if I can help you out I will.

All for now, until next time.............Happy caching.

15 Nov 2010

Staying Local, Isle Of Man Schools, New Caches, DNF's and UK Podcast

Staying Local

Last Monday we travelled up to Yorkshire to remap a car. The weather wasn't too nice so we decided to just do one cache http://coord.info/GC1R036 We were looking forward to this one as it had had good comments in the past. Knowing it had just been replaced after a muggling incident we thought that we were on to a winner. Sadly after a prolonged search we had to record a DNF on it. I emailed the CO when I got home and the next day had it confirmed that the cache had gone missing again.

As far as distance with caching was concerned that was the furthest that we have been in the last week. We have indeed been staying local. We have been very lax in mopping up local caches, including those of friends Northking and Baira. So as the week went on we ventured out and found a few. It is a sad state of affairs when it has taken us so long to do some caches that are only a mile or so from home. One of Baira's caches that I particularly enjoyed was this one, only for the fact that the cache was located somewhere different from the norm. http://coord.info/GC1XNYQ I really do need to get out locally, I have visited the park many times, but didn't know this existed!!!

Keep Crossing Clear cache site

Over the next few days we did a few more caches. One that intrigued us after reading comments about it was Time For Tea? by new cacher Noords. The cache http://coord.info/GC2ER2N was a real surprise. A lot of thought has gone in to the placement and design of this one. I am not going to give anything else away about it. It is in the memorial gardens just off the Embankment here in Nottingham. If this cache from such a new cacher is anything to go by then s/he is definately going to be surprising us in the coming months.

The gardens where it is placed are lovely, no matter what time of year you visit, so if you are ever in Nottingham, pop in and have a wander round. The statue of Queen Vicoria that is in the photograph (below) was originally in the market square in Nottingham but was moved when the square was redeveloped back in 1953, it had been in the market square since being unveiled in 1905.

Not too far from the Time For Tea? cache, Memorial Gardens, Nottingham

Also over the weekend we have done some of Northking's caches. Not as many as we planned to do. We really have waited far too long to do these and we aim to try and finish his by Christmas. We did his A-Road Anarchy caches this weekend. In the past we have found some ARA caches very boring. A film canister chucked in to a lay-by. These had a bit more about them and larger containers. I was able to leave some trackables in a couple of them and also retrieve one from another. Jeff, aka Northking has a reputation for putting out quality caches and I look forward to reporting in the next few weeks on some of his other caches. From reading logs, they may just have Wemnog and I scratching our heads!

Isle Of Man School

Whilst up in Barrow last week, I picked up a trackable TB3QHVJ, I won't give the actual tracking number for it on here for obvious reasons. This trackable is owned and being followed by a group of school children from the Isle Of Man. Having picked it up I decided to set a bit of a quiz for the children, not actually telling them where I was going to take it, but giving them hints. So, at the moment I have brought it home to Nottingham, some Robin Hood hints for them there. In the next few days I am moving it down south, so again I have given them some hints without actually saying where it is going. I had a lovely email yesterday from their teacher thanking me for doing this. Now I enjoy moving trackables anyway, but this has made it a bit more special, especially as the kids are enjoying it so much. This is a photo of the trackable in question, so if you see it out and about, please try and take it somewhere interesting for them.

New Caches

Following on from doing the A-Road Anarchy caches by Northking, I felt inspired to put one out myself last night. So far it hasn't been published so I can't say too much about it apart from the title A-Road Anarchy - A612 - Time For A Picnic! I'll report next time on how it is doing. I have another cache ready to go out in the next few days, this is a nano cache in a well loved area of Nottingham. Going back to the ARA caches, I do already have one which has been in place for a while http://coord.info/GC24942


Many cachers seem to be reluctant to record a DNF when they have been unable to find a cache. Whether they are embarrassed to say that they haven't found it, or simply don't feel that it is important to register that they haven't found one. As far as I am concerned recording a DNF on one of my caches, or my recording one on a cache that I haven't been able to locate is important. Not only does it inform the CO that there may be a problem with their cache, it also informs other cachers that they may have to either look that little bit harder or be prepared for a DNF themselves. The same goes for Needs Maintainance reports. Sometimes, rightly or wrongly cache owners don't get a chance to go and check on their caches, so a NM report is their only way of knowing if some work needs doing. So please, don't be emabarrassed about reporting. We all have DNF's at some point!

UK Podcast

I am glad to report that after a brief hiatus, the UK Podcast is back online. If you haven't heard the podcast before, it is very informative and worth a listen. You can find it here http://www.ukpodcast.com/ Not only does it inform you of what's going on in the caching world, it also contains news from cachers around the UK.

Having entered the Great Travel Bug knockout race that has been organised by Slightly Tall Paul, I am pleased to say that my TB was picked up in Cumbria and having been placed in an event cache in Scotland has now been picked up and is on it's way to America. If you want to follow the knockout you can find it here http://www.travelbugknockout.blogspot.com/ My TB is called Knockout Ferrari, Wemnog also has a TB in the race, his being The Skylark. Keep your fingers crossed that these two TB's travel far, we both quite fancy winning the final prize of an engraved glass paperweight.

That's it, another weeks news over, so until next time...............have a great caching week.

10 Nov 2010





For more information on remapping visit:~ http://www.antondigital.co.uk/

Just packed sandwiches, made a flask and loaded the Jeep. I am now sat here thinking how lucky we are that we can just take off for a days geocaching. It must be awful for people out there stuck at home for various reasons, kids or relatives with disabilities for example who can't just take off on a whim to go caching. Or those who hate their jobs but still have to go in, or those housebound with various debilating ailments.

This is one reason why we place so many magnetic nano's in places that can be done as drive by's. At least that way, people who don't have the time for one reason or another can often access them by driving up to them, without the energy, time or health to do lengthy walks. So for anyone out there feeling miserable, don't get stuck in feeling that you are alone and forgotten. There are people out there who plant caches just for you. If you don't have access to a car, try and persuade a relative, friend, neighbour to take you out, even if it is just for a couple of hours. A change is as good as a rest and it may just be all you need to stop you feeling isolated. .

Finally, all content of this blog is protected by copyright and always has been. No part should be copied on to any other site without my express permission.

7 Nov 2010

Back In The Saddle, Ebay, TB Knockout

Back In The Saddle

Yay, after a long period without doing any caching at all, the visit to Barrow last week certainly got Keith (Wemnog) and I back in the saddle.

During the week we did in total 33 caches, we could have done more, but it was also nice to relax in the hotel and we seem to have encountered a years worth of wet weather in one week whilst up there!

So where do I begin? Well after doing a route planner for Warrington to Barrow we actually did a couple of caches on the way up. We left the main start of the caching until Tuesday though. One of them, Nuns In A Bunker? http://coord.info/GC1K7JT was strange, if you ever do it, see what you make of it. This pic shows GZ.

Barrow In Furness doesn't have the best of reputations as an area to visit for a week, but the caches certainly are worth it. We spent some time on Walney Island and did a couple of caches over there. It was very windy and the dogs cetainly got blown about. We left Meg at Keith's mum's as she is in season and Rum was taking too much notice of her.

Here is a pic of the dogs on the windswept walk to a cache. It wasn't a long walk, but what with wind, driving rain, and my new hiking boots making a nice blister on my heel, it was long enough.

All this for a nano! There again, I don't have anything against nano's and too be fair, GZ wouldn't really have allowed for anything else.

Over the next few days we cached, then cached some more. One of the more interesting ones was called On The Right Track, http://coord.info/GC2D8C1 it is a pity it isn't an actual sidetracked cache as it is about the nearest to a railway line that you could get.

Over the road from GZ three warships are moored. Deciding that we wanted to know more about how they got to be there, once we got back to the hotel we googled them and found out that they belong(ed) to Brunei. There has been an ongoing legal argument between BaE systems who built the ships and the Sultan of Brunei who ordered them. He says that they aren't up to his specifications. They have been moored at Barrow since 2007. For more information on these ships, you can visit this link .

The photos below show Wemnog and I at GZ and also with the ships in the background.
Wemnog at Ground Zero (couldn't get much closer!)

Jacaru and the Sultan's Warships

I chose to leave my new TB CP1MDK here, it is a North West Mega 2012 tag attached to a turtle which I want to stay in the North West of the UK, as I write this blog up, I have read that it has been picked up by someone who is going to take it home with them to Norway!!!!! I have emailed them, asking them to leave it in a cache more local to its mission! We'll see.

We did a series of caches called Woodland Wander. http://coord.info/GC2CYW6 A nice little series, that took us to some woodland very close to Barrow itself, close to the main road in to the town, but a little escape from the hustle and bustle elsewhere. I decided to leave another of my new trackables in this cache, my Knockout Ferrari, more of that story later. No sooner was the TB in one of the caches and the cache replaced I heard a scottish lilt asking "So which one of you is Jacaru then"? It turns out that another couple of cachers had been following us around Sue from Perth Pathfinders and Snaik. We knew that they were in the area as they had already spotted the mobile TB on the Jeep, we read that log the night before. Sue picked up the Ferrari and said that she would get some miles added to it.
We walked on together to the last cache in the series, before parting ways, the Scottish contingent back up to Perth and us off for a spot of lunch.

After lunch we did a few more, one of the more interesting places, although quite a boring cache was Bow |Bridge, http://coord.info/GCR4DX this medieval stone bridge carries an old route to Furness Abbey, which was founded by Stephen, later King of England. This is all the more interesting for us at the moment as we are engrossed in watching Pillars Of The Earth on TV, which is about that period of time.

Bow Bridge

The next day found us doing a series called The Old Slaggies, not the most endearing name that I have ever heard for a series. This was a good morning's outing and gave us some good views (well it would have done if not for the driving rain) We did see a light aircraft battling the wind though to land on the airstrip over at Walney Island, which belongs to BAE systems. Wonder who was on it?

The series actually took us for a wander around the old slag heaps. The mountain of slag,known locally as "The Slaggy"was waste from the old iron and steel works,which in the 1870's was the biggest Bessemer steel production plant in the world,employing over 5,000 men.  http://coord.info/GC1YPPD Only seven caches in the series. but enjoyable none the less.

The final afternoon of our break took us to Walney Island again. There was a cache that I really wanted to do Sheep Island http://coord.info/GC11M6Y This was probably not attempted at the best time of day, especially with my ankle being a mess, but we did it anyway, just before dusk, again in driving wind and rain, it cried out to us. Armed with torches and mobile phones, in case we got stuck in the sand, we set forth. It took us a little while to get to the cache, but once in the right area it was soon located. The walk back seemed to take longer, us two and the dogs were caked in sludgey sand. In the distance we could see the wreck of an old car, obviously one that had got stuck at some point and couldn't be recovered before the sea claimed it.

We did a few more drive by's on the way home, but the caches that I have mentioned are the main thrills of the week for us. If you ever get to Barrow they are worth doing, along with a visit to the nearby Dock Museum.


Now that I am back home I have updated the Ebay shop, it now has self inking rubber stamps in it as well as some new sign caches that have always proved popular. As Christmas is only a few weeks away these would make ideal pressies for any cacher out there.

TB Knockout

My caching friend Slightly Tall Paul has set up a new TB knockout race.  Information on it can be found here travelbugknockout.blogspot.com  I have entered a Ferrari in to the race, hopefully it will travel far. As I mentioned above Sue from Perth Pathfinders grabbed my TB from the cache up in Barrow and is going to pass it on to someone who is going to take it to America, not a bad start for its journey, let's just hope the miles continue to clock up once it is over there.

Well, you must be getting bored by now, this has been the longest entry in the blog for a long time.

Back soon, with more caching news and views.