26 Sep 2012

Events Galore

I am sorry guys that I haven't kept up to date with the blog recently. It has been an eventful few months since I last posted. I will start writing a proper new post in the next few days.

There have been events galore that we have attended, including the Mega and only last night a D5 event. Yes you read that correctly, difficulty 5. It certainly was as well. More about that in the next full post, but needless to say each and every event that we have been too have been great fun. The next one comes up this Friday, a karaoke event, a first for us. One of the events was our own Summer's End camping event which again was well attended, not only by people camping but by visitors throughout the weekend.

As I write this brief log I have just clicked the button to add the 300th member to GeM. The Facebook group for the East Midlands and beyond. It is hard to believe that in only 11 short months the membership has grown so quickly. If you want to join, all we ask is that you are respectful to other members and accept that different points of view will sometimes occur. The link to join is here www.facebook.com/home.php?ref=home#!/groups/137568269677358/

The GeM car stickers are now available and I was able to hand quite a few out at the recent events. We have just had a banner designed by the daughter of one of our members which will be displayed at camping events throughout next year.

I was recently asked to become a member of the fundraising team for the official 2013 Midlands mega so am currently selling the merchandise for that at various events.

All in all a busy and fruitful few months which have been enjoyable for both Keith and myself.

More soon, including fuller reports on some of the events that we have attended and some news about the next camping event that will be happening in a couple of months time.

27 Jul 2012

Facebook vs Forums

Piratemania

It was a flying visit for us this year to Piratemania as we had some work booked in for the weekend. We awoke to glorious sunshine which made a change from all the bad weather we had been having. At least we knew the campers would have a better time.



We arrived on site to be greeted by a sea of tents, vans and flags. Most of our time spent there this time was with catching up with old friends. It was great to see The Imp, who we hadn't seen for far too long, plus a nice long chat with Mollyjak who was coping admirably with the registration. Tagged up and put on the red team, it was time to go for a wander.

The Red Team Wrist Band


Walking around the field we spotted a load of flying TB's. The event just gets bigger every year. We finished by having a long chat with Kathy in the UK Geocachers shop and passing on some more collie TB's which she kindly sells for us.

Unfortunately we weren't able to attend the Geolympix event down in Oxford the following day as we had three bookings on the day for work. From all reports though it was another great, well organised event.

Sunday night gave us time to finally book the campsite for the Mega up in Cumbria. We arrive the evening before the main event but there are plenty of side events going on in the days following to keep us occupied. The boys might be coming to join us as well for a few days so we are going to take the boats up as well and get on to some of the lakes.




Whilst we are up there it is International Geocaching Day 2012 so we will hopefully find a local event to go to then, if not we will be sure to grab a cache or two so that we get this years souvenir.

This Years Souvenir



Facebook

Facebook has certainly changed communication in the last few years, and none more so that the caching community. Whilst there are still some busy forums out there, I can only speak of those that I am a member of, their Facebook equivalents are busier than ever. Some forums seem to be dying a death, with very few people posting on them, whilst Facebook membership continues an upward spiral. One Facebook group that I am a member of has just hit 400 members whilst our own GeM is heading swiftly to 200 members after only 9 months of running. It should certainly have reached that number by the time our first birthday event is held in October.

 Access is so much easier, with more people having the Facebook app on their phones so that posts can be answered immediately, it has certainly made things a lot more open for people to ask questions and get replies when they are out in the field. The groups are a lot more relaxed and friendly as well.

Unless we do a lot of caching in the next couple of weeks to tell you about the next blog won't be until the middle of next month when we get home from Cumbria.

Then there will be a report on the happenings up there and some info on forthcoming events.

In the meantime, keep an eye open for the next edition of the UK Cache Mag, which should be published in the next couple of weeks. I know that Adam has been working hard on getting it all ready to get to you. Talking of Facebook, the mag has a page https://www.facebook.com/ukcachemag


Also, if you haven't listened yet, have a listen to the very entertaining UK Podcache show which is always worth spending a bit of time listening to.
http://thepodcacheshow.blogspot.co.uk/2012/07/podcache-show-episode-ten.html

Until next time, happy caching.

14 Jul 2012

Wet Wet Wet

The recent rain has certainly put a dampener on caching for a lot of people. Thank goodness for drive bys a lot of people have said lately. We haven't done much ourselves over the last few weeks. However we have been putting together plans for a new camping event that is going to be held next year.

The Facebook page GeM, see the link above, grows, and gets new people joining all the time. It will be a year old in October and some members are already asking what we are going to do to mark the occasion. It's a closed group, but feel free to ask to join and you can be added as soon as possible. You don't have to be from the Midlands to be a member, we currently have a member from the US and one from Australia.

A new Dragonlady event for the area has just been published. Please feel free to come to that if you are around. All are welcome. http://coord.info/GC3Q89K

Next weekend sees Piratemania and Geolympix mega events take place. Both should be good, let's hope for good weather for both of them.

Sorry it's so brief this time. Just wanted to give everyone a quick update.

2 Jul 2012

Events, Events, Events


Three Events

It has been a week of events around here. It started last Tuesday when our good friends fly2live2fly organised an event over at Burton on Trent. We arrived to be taken to a room where the table was laid for a gathering more akin to a wedding reception than a group of cachers. With white linen tablecloth and napkins we were certainly in our element. The event was a little more distant that the usual Dragonlady events but it gave everyone a chance to meet up with some faces that we don’t normally see. With Kathy from UK Geocachers also there selling her caching goodies it was a good night out with a lot of friendly banter and, of course, caching talk.
Posher than usual




Once the weekend arrived we had the Nottingham weekend events, breakfast on Saturday and then the a picnic event on Sunday. As I have said before the breakfast events get bigger each time. On this occasion we had visitors from the North West, Sheffield and Lincoln as well as our more local cachers. A rather large teddy bear also made an appearance! A head count by the waitress at the end of the event confirmed that 62 breakfasts had been served which isn’t bad going for a morning event. Of those 34 actual logs came in as having attended breakfast, so a lot of cachers went the extra mile and brought family and friends along.

Pete and Tracey from the Podcache Show www.thepodcacheshow.blogspot.com interviewed a couple of attendees so listen out for those on the next episode.

Large Teddy, demands breakfast


Breakfast and chatting over it was time for people to depart and head out for a days caching, or shopping in Nottingham in some cases. The big teddy ended up travelling home with Keith and I.

Come Sunday it was time for the Picnic In The Park event. Keith and I opened the curtains to a bright blue sky and sunshine, it was only 6.00am though! Clouds did gather though as the morning went on so we took a gazebo with us and asked some friends to do the same. As things kicked off at midday there was some cloud but nothing too much to worry about. First to arrive was Stevo185 soon followed by an ever increasing group. Rain did start but it didn’t dampen the atmosphere at all and as everyone dodged the showers by sheltering under cover conversations again turned to caching around different parts of the country.
Rain didn't stop play

 Again we had visitors from all over as well as our local crew. Another appearance by the Teddy who was then passed on to attend another event. Rob and Ian, who cache as Two Anchors, arrived with more caching goodies to sell. Have a look at Rob’s website, lots of interesting cache containers can be found there.  http://www.cache4u.co.uk/ The website is just having an update, so if you can’t get on when you look, bookmark it and go back later.
A group photograph was then on the cards behind the Podcache show banner and then people went off on their separate ways to find more caches. As the afternoon drew to a close the remaining few of us decided to go for an FTF on a cache that had been published the day before.

Group Photo
We knew that the retrieval of the container wasn’t going to be the most straightforward, but we had fun getting it. High Frequency http://coord.info/GC3P3DH as the new cache was called, stated that the cache was done at your own risk and safety equipment was required.

High Frequency ~ MFB Tracker


As the group of us arrived at GZ we could see exactly where the cache was and then the retrieval began. With a plan of action in place the container was actually in our hands quicker than we though. I will leave you to read the logs though.

We don’t have any more events in the pipeline until the end of August when the Summer’s End camp runs, ending with another breakfast event.  Summer’s End is progressing nicely http://coord.info/GC3NC0R with  a new series of caches being placed for it by some of the locals, Paneke and Goose S, whom we are grateful to.

The next lot of events that we are going to be attending are coming thick and fast with:~ 

The North West Mega http://coord.info/GC2X1TM
Then our camping and breakfast events and finally for now
Hyke Around Hykeham http://coord.info/GC3NT2H  

Summer is a great time for the number and variety of outdoor events on offer and a great way of meeting up with cachers from other areas where you can swap ideas and stories.

Finally GeM, the caching group here in the midlands, are just beginning to formulate a plan for a camping event next year which will hopefully see campers attending from different parts of the country as well. That’s in the very early stages of planning but has been an idea that has been mooted on various Facebook pages for a while. More news on that when we know.

Have a good week………and keep smiling, whatever the weather J

14 Jun 2012

Flashing and Camping

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Flashing

The weather wasn't perfect for rowing invisible boats in Nottingham city centre last Saturday. However we duly arrived at the market square looking around to see if we could spot any potential flashers. It was with relief that we didn't. All bode well for a successful flash mob then. Following a whistle malfunction on my part (I couldn't find ours) the job of blowing the whistle was passed on to Caroline of The Crabtrees.

As the clock struck six, the whistle blew and as if from nowhere paddles appeared (where people were hiding them upon their persons still beggars belief) People gathered at the fountain, two lines were formed, paddles raised for the group photo and the singing began. As quickly as the song finished, the group dispersed. Bemused faces from passers by as we were paddling certainly made for an amusing site, in fact I don't know who was more amused, us looking at them, or them at us. The logs have been fun to read, you can find them here. http://coord.info/GC3JAFH

Empty Square


All in all last Saturday, worldwide there were 312 events in 31 countries and the previous record for attendees was smashed. Our total on the attended list stands at 34, but with some cachers turning up with family members who also paddled I would estimate that we were nearer 70 people paddling. All in all a good bit of fun that shows the wackier side of geocaching.



Ready To Paddle

After the event some of us met up at Costa's (where else) for a coffee. As usual, talk came round to some of the caches that we had done. Conversation then turned to a puzzle cache by our caching colleague Spire67 that had had a few of us scratching our heads.

Crystal Ball http://coord.info/GC3ENDW After chatting for a while about this RoPeHe announced that he had a print out of the cache page on him so we all ended up looking at it again. This proved to be the turning point and after half an hour, and then being asked to leave as they wanted to shut up shop, we had the much needed coordinates to finally locate the cache. The puzzle and subsequent container earned another well deserved favourite point

Camping

I had been in two minds as to whether I was going to organise a camping event this year. However emails started rolling in a month ago asking if Summer's End was going to happen or not. Having held the event at two different sites in Derbyshire during the previous years I did have a site in mind to keep it in that county. However, I had been told about a site in Nottinghamshire that sounded perfect. Wemnog and I drove out and had a look at it  and it did, indeed, fit the bill nicely. Now for a name, as the county had changed, should the event name? I did toy with Camping It Up With Jacaru which would have brought a few smiles to peoples faces. In the End though we went for Summer's End. The location also ties in nicely with a breakfast event that is being held on the Sunday of the camping weekend.

Within minutes of the event being published our old friend The Imp had logged a WA which was good as he wasn't able to make last year. People from the Warrington and West Midlands forums have also stated an interest in joining us along with a rep from the 2013 Midlands Mega committee. With hundreds of caches of all types in the surrounding area it should prove to be a good weekend. Hopefully the weather will improve and be kind to us.

Nottingham and Nottinghamshire are busy with events over the next few weeks, with a CITO event coming up this weekend, an evening event in a couple of weeks and then the breakfast and picnic events at the end of the month things are looking good for a busy few weeks. All the events are listed below. It's great that the Nottingham caching community comes up with a diverse range of events, something to suit everyone. If you can make it, please do so, all are welcome.

CITO Colwick Woods http://coord.info/GC3KY09 16th June

The Dragonlady Invites You.....#4 http://coord.info/GC3MA0A 26th June

A Summertime Breakfast http://coord.info/GC3G58N 30th June and finally for now

Picnic In The Park http://coord.info/GC3G58J 1st July



Interview With A Cacher

If you go to the interview page you will see the latest interview, this time with Tracey of The Amasons, one quarter of the gang who broadcast the very popular Podcache Show.
Finally, as I type, I am looking out on the garden and I see sunshine. The first in quite a few days. The hens are busy pecking and scratching around and the newly acquired bees are buzzing around the hive that we have just put at the top of the garden. That sunshine just begs for us to go out and grab a few more caches. Hope that you get to do the same. Have a great weekend, and thanks for reading.

7 Jun 2012

Events

With Mega season fast approaching it seems an appropriate time to mention the events. Wemnog and I are attending the two events that already have Mega status. Piratemania http://coord.info/GC365FT is being held up in Derbyshire next month. If you want a great weekend with loads of fun and caches galore then this one is really worth a visit. There is a dedicated website as well that is worth looking at. If your other half needs a bit of persuasion then maybe having a look at that will convince them to go. The site can be found here http://www.piratemania.org.uk/



The second event being held the same weekend at Piratemania, that doesn't yet have Mega status is Geolympix which is being held in Oxford. http://coord.info/GC22T2T With loads of events planned around the main event this one is sure to go Mega and Groundspeak have said that if the Will Attends log reaches 500 the event will be made Mega in advance. A lot of hard work has been put in to organising this event and it should be well worth a visit. The only downside is that it is the same weekend as Piratemania so unless people are willing to make the journey to both and have a really busy weekend then people have a dilemma of which to go to. However as Geolympix is on the Sunday it is possible to do both.  As with Piratemania, Geolympix also has a dedicated website. http://www.geolympix.com/



Then we come to the main event of the year the North West Mega. This is the UK event of the year. This year it will be held up in Cartmel, Cumbria and follows on from last years event in Wales. The theme for this year is country fayre and loads of side events are being held throughout the week. The main camping event can be found here http://coord.info/GC3EKQV

For those of you who haven't visited Cumbria before but are heading up, you are in for a real treat. One of the most beautiful counties in England with something for everyone. Wemnog and I spend a lot of time up there with our kids and can often be found out in the boats, usually on Coniston. As with the two previously mentioned events, this one also has a dedicated website http://www.mega2012.org.uk/content2/

A series of geocoins has been made for this event which are joined together to form one large coin. This photo shows the Cheshire coin.



Finally for this edition more events. This weekend sees the 9th World Wide Flash Mob event. As the name would suggest, Flash Mobs are being held worldwide at the same time.

Some of the local ones to us are my own Row Your Invisible Boat http://coord.info/GC3JAFH and also:~

Is It A Bird? http://coord.info/GC3M6MG
Northampton http://coord.info/GC3JEAA
Stamford Splash Mob http://coord.info/GC3HY09

Worldwide there are 295 Flash Mob events and a souvenir has been announced by Groundspeak for those who attend.

For coin collectors out there, a specially minted coin has now gone on sale.


That's it for now. Whatever event you are attending in the next few weeks, whether it is one of the Mega's or one local to you, I hope that you have fun and enjoy it.

With our campervan back on the road we shall be out and about and have lots more to talk about soon.

Happy caching.

25 May 2012

Quiet Times

Since the last blog things have been fairly quiet on the caching front. We nipped down to London for a day out last Saturday and revisited the British Library cache http://coord.info/GC2M0AF to drop some trackables off. There were quite a few in the cache so I picked some up to move on, including the biggest TB that I have ever picked up. As I have said before this is an excellent cache that takes a bit of work, but if you have the time and are down in the capital, do try and do it.  We were there with Keith's son and one of his mates. His mate, Lewis has done a little bit of caching with us in the past. We took him to another favourite cache in Soho Square which he successfully found without help. However, just after he had replaced it we found ourselves being stopped by a couple of plain clothed Met officers asking what we were doing. Once explained, all was well. It all adds to another caching story to tell. The cache isn't too far from the Bruce Denny sculptures in the square.


Bruce Denny Sculptures (Soho Square)

Whilst in Manchester doing some reposession work we did have chance to find one cache which intrigued us. It was one of those places that you drive past and automatically think that there should be a cache there. We parked up and checked the phones and sure enough, there was.

Long Lost Tracks http://coord.info/GC3B1FF is placed in a retail park. I'll not go in to any more detail and let you read the cache page for yourself. This photo may whet your appetite more. I was very surprised that this cache didn't have any favourites on it. Needless to say, I soon awarded it one. The cache was a very apt find with the Queen's Jubilee coming up soon.


Long Lost Tracks


Events

Our good friend Barbara, aka Dragonlady held a very successful event the other evening. With the decent weather finally having arrived we were able to sit out in the beer garden and have a good catch up with friends old and new. The pub was right beside the canal so the occasional chug of a narrow boat going by added to the atmosphere. The next Dragonlady event is already in the planning stages and should be published soon.

My next three events are all published and look set to be busy. One of them, is part of the 9th World Wide Flash Mob which will be held at the same time throughout the world. Groundspeak recently announced that there would be a souvenir for people attending any of the flash mob events.

As summer progresses more outside events are happening and locally to us there is going to be a CITO event held which we are hoping to attend. http://coord.info/GC3KY09 

Quite a lot of camping events are looming as well all over the country. We will be at Piratemania V and also the Mega up in Cumbria.

Finally, a fun photo to leave you with. As I mentioned before I picked up a rather large TB when down in London. Here he is, this is Fun Ship Freddy, all 1 feet tall of him. He started off in Washington, did a bit of touring in the Carribean and Alaska, and then paid a visit to Groundspeak Headquarters before ending up in London.



He is going to travel with me for a while and then I am going to drop him off in a large cache that I know.

Keep happy, keep caching and enjoy the weather. More soon.

30 Apr 2012

A Tour Of Africa

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We have been quite busy caching since the last blog.

Beat The Devil

As mentioned in the previous blog we were struggling with the Devilishly Difficult cache by stormjak and MFB Tracker. http://coord.info/GC3FVZW  I am pleased to say that after numerous visits in all weathers we finally found this well crafted and crafty cache. We even got he shirts to prove it!


The prize
stormjak and MFB Tracker have kindly given these embroidered shirts out to the first few to find the cache. It saw us out in all weathers and, as with all caches, it's obvious when you have finally found it!

Africa

Looking at some circular walks to do to try and help with the fitness programme that I am on at the moment I came across a great series in Yorkshire that sounded fun to do. Spud's African Series http://coord.info/GC2X8PD takes in various terrains and gives you a good walk through woodland, hills and a little bit of road.

I decided to offer this out as a GeM (Geocaching Midlands) group walk. Sadly I did this at rather short notice so a lot of people couldn't join us. It ended up with just four of us, Wemnog, stormjak, MFB Tracker and myself, plus two muggle family members setting off on Saturday morning to attempt the series.

  We also had 8 out of a possible 9 Border Collies with us. The weather forecast for the day was good so after all the recent rain it seemed like the perfect opportunity to go and do this series. #1 in the series was supposed to be the most difficult one to do so with the CO's number in my phone we set off. Another caching team were just ahead of us so we let them grab another cache that wasn't in the series and set off ahead of them.  We arrived at GZ and thankfully found the first cache really easily. This put us in a good frame of min for finding the rest. During the course of the day we found all the caches really easily. We encountered all sorts of weather though and did get quite wet during periods of the day. I would recommend this series to anyone who is in the area, either living locally or visiting the area on holiday. Although a lot of the containers are the same there are a few different ones to break up the series. Whilst doing it there are a few more that you can divert to without going too far out of your way.                                                                                                                                 

This included the first guide stoop cache that I have done outside of Derbyshire. Thurstonland Guide Stoop http://coord.info/GC1ZVXW  gave us a chance to catch our breathe before continuing with the series.

Rest Stop
As the series continued the rain became heavier but it didn't stop us from enjoying the day. We knew that at the end of the walk we were going to meet the CO in the pub. It wasn't only us humans who enjoyed the series though, the dogs had a whale of a time, paddling in the streams and getting muddied up to buggery.


Woodland Stream


The end of the series culminated in a puzzle to solve having gathered clues from every container in the main series. This gave us a chance to sit down in the pub by the blazing log fire whilst we steamed and worked out the answers. Then it was off home to dry out completely and have a good soak in the bath.


 To date, that is the most caches Wemnog and I have found in a day. No doubt we will beat that amount at some time, but we aren't racing to do so.

  


Another beautiful view
 
Golden Favourites

Sometimes, for one reason or another, whether it is because of how devious it is, or how well constructed a cache is, it seems to beg for something more than just your run of the mill favourite point. For that reason I have devised a Golden Favourite award that members of GeM can give out to caches that feel are deserving. Basically, they just add it as a photograph to the cache log when they feel it should have one. I don't know if it will catch on or not, but a couple of recent caches that I have done, namely Devilishly Difficult (as previously mentioned in this blog) and A Pit Extreme 1 http://coord.info/GC39AZ0 definately deserved this award.


I don't expect to give many of these out, but hopefully they will catch on and people will hand them out.                                                             





Signature Items

A while ago I heard about a cachers signature item being sold for a fair amount of money on Ebay. I couldn't understand this so decided to look further in to it. This turned out to be the story of long time cachers Tim & June who started putting teddy bears in to caches as their signature item when they found their 100th cache. These bears became legendary in the caching world when it was much smaller, back in the realms of time, and people would go out of their way to find one to add to their collection. Six different marks of bear were placed over the years and it is one of these early bears that sold on Ebay to raise money for charity. I won't go in to too much more detail here, but let you read the story of T & J Bears for yourself by following this link. http://www.geocaching-bears.co.uk/index.html

Finally


As I sit typing this edition of the blog I am looking out on the garden. It is a fine sunny day, with washing blowing on the line, the hens pecking in their pen and the dogs playing on the lawn. However, the forecast is not so good for the next few days and with a bank holiday coming up a week today we can only guess at what it will be like then. Whatever the weather, I hope that you get out and get some decent caching done, whether urban or countryside, enjoy yourselves and keep safe.

Happy caching.
 





16 Apr 2012

Tangling With The Devil!

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47 caches on since the last blog. With the long weekend of Easter we were lucky enough to have some time to spend on caching.

Not wanting to travel too far because of the usual bank holiday busy roads and also the ridiculous amount that diesel is costing at the moment, plus the fact that we haven't got any of our own bio diesel ready we were pleased on Good Friday when a new series was published that was only a couple of miles from home.

The Ron's Round (RR) series by GOGMT and R ambler took us on a two and a half mile walk which took in walking through peoples gardens (yes it was allowed) and an airfield. Again, the airfield had a public footpath so again totally within Groundspeak rules. http://coord.info/GC3G43W  The series had a nice varied collection of containers and a couple of hides that took a little bit of working out, mainly the first and the tenth.


Not quite ready for takeoff

Easter Sunday saw a tease come out on our local Facebook book page GeM https://www.facebook.com/home.php?ref=home#!/groups/137568269677358/ asking who was going to be up early on Easter Monday ready to go caching. With no more than that from our local pair NottsPenny and her husband mono78v it was left to us to set the alarm and wait.

Sure enough the first notification came through at 7.00am in the morning. The next trickled through at 7.30am and then 8.00am. We knew that with previous caches set by these two that we were in for a fun time. Armed with GPS, dogs and smart phones we set off for the first in the series. The CS Code series, here's a link to number one http://coord.info/GC3GDZ7 was again nice and local to us, in fact it tied in nicely with the RR series and both could actually be done at the same time taking in a figure of 8.

Arriving at GZ we saw a couple of familiar faces searching for the first cache, fly2live2fly pair Barbara and Steve were already well ahead in searching for the first. As we joined the search we realised that we may be in for a tough time. After some while they decided to leave us searching for it whilst they headed off for number 2.


Wemnog with fly2live2fly

A little while later we were chuffed to find the container and once we had signed the logbook as FTF's we headed off to number 2. We were again surprised to find that Barbara and Steve were still at GZ not having much luck. Between four of us searching and the coords pointing all units to one place we still couldn't find the container. By this time the phones had already pinged up the next couple in the series. With heavy hearts we resorted to a PAF to the owners and armed with the information needed we still took some time to locate this difficult one.

I was pleased to note however that it wasn't just us who had difficulty with this one and cachers throughout the day and subsequent few days also struggled. So much so that Penny has now upped the difficulty rating on it.

At this point it seemed reasonable for the four of us to team up to continue the series. Our success rate continued and we got 11 out of the 12 FTF's on them. Why not 12? We met up with Eviepops who had seen our log on number 1 and decided to try and nab a few FTF's by doing some of the series from the opposite direction.

The notifications popped up every half hour and by the time we had got to number 9 we were up to date and hanging around for the next one to come through. By the time we got to number 11 the rain had started but it wasn't going to put any of us off. Number 11 in this series is by far the most challenging and certainly had 3 of us laughing whilst poor old Keith had the task of retrieving the container. I didn't know that anyone could get quite that intimate with a tree!

Armed with all the clues needed for the bonus cache it was time to retreat to work things out. Now here was a twist. Without giving anything away I will say that we were unable to complete the bonus without some additional research and had to abandon the search until later in the day. Sadly by the time we had the coordinates worked out Barbara and Steve weren't able to join us to go and retrieve it. So one shiny new logbook later and an FTF prize of a new TB we were really pleased with our day out.
One week later and the four of us are still the only ones to find the final, although the rest of the series has been found by quite a few people.

Our final series came a couple of days ago, a bit further afield this time we decided to attempt The Bonhams SC series, a nice simple set of 16 caches that only took a couple of hours to complete. We had mixed weather but a very pleasant walk. The views were good as well. Rape is just beginning to flower in the fields adding some colour to our walk as well.



The dogs have certainly been enjoying the extra walking that we have been doing and, I think that the final walk has given me the next collie TB to boot.


The next collie TB?
Tor gets the log!

One cache that has been getting all the locals going over the last couple of weeks is Devilishly Difficult ? by our friends stormjak and MFB Tracker. This cache isn't for the faint hearted and has had numerous visits from lots of the local dignitaries searching in vain for it. In fact it took an extra clue before it was finally found. http://coord.info/GC3FVZW  I am embarrassed to admit that we have now visited three times and are still no further on with finding it, and yes, we do know what we are looking for! At the time of writing this blog it has only four finds on it with an amazing 16 DNF's. It is certainly driving people around here potty.

Speaking of stormjak and MFB, we joined forces with them to put a new cache out at the beginning of April. 'Ouse Dyke Is It? is a fun cache for people to do with a D rating of 2.5 but a T rating of 5. We put it out under the caching name StormtracarunoG. So far it has had 6 visits and 5 favourites on it. We are really pleased with this one and all of us look forward to reading the logs for it. http://coord.info/GC3FZ4Z 

That's it for now. We are planning on doing another local series this morning, just to start the week off nicely before we have to think about doing some work. Have a good caching time everyone, until next time.

2 Apr 2012

A Little Caching

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Since the last blog there has been a little bit of caching by us. We have been busy again reposessing lots of vehicles. However, finding time to cache while we have been in different areas has proved extremely tricky. You click on the phone, find that there is a cache nearby and then something happens and you don't get a chance to go for it. Very frustrating!


One nice new series that we managed to do though was local cacher Benpob's new B Movie series http://coord.info/GC3F699 around the local Netherfield Lagoons. It was one of those hot summer days (in the spring) and was also the new geopups first caching and walking outing.


Tor In The Lead




I have put a few new caches out as well over the last few weeks since the last blog. La Gazza Ladra http://coord.info/GC3EV3K  Hole In One http://coord.info/GC3FKWQ and Lord Webber http://coord.info/GC3FEDG


I can't say too much at the moment but Keith and I are involved in a team cache that should be published in the next couple of days. Four of us are involved and we went and placed it yesterday. More of that next time.


The new TB's arrived the other day and I am pleased with the way that they have turned out. The good thing about these is that they are cheaper than any of the geocoins that I had for sale and people are more likely to buy them. Geocoin sales certainly went downhill last year which is the reason why I closed the Ebay shop.

Border Collie Version 3


Photos of the new tags are below. If you do fancy buying them contact me directly, daryl@jacaru.co.uk and we can arrange to get them to you.


We have just been saying how good caching has been in the Nottingham area over the last few months. With some challenging caches out there, Pit Extremes, the stormjak and MFB Tracker caches, as well as great new series like the Golf Series by Spire67 + many more. Nottingham is in a really good place at the moment with it's caches and there is something for every taste. So just a quick big up for all our local cachers.




Titanic 100th Anniversary



Kinder Trespass Anniversary


We held another successful breakfast event yesterday which was really well attended. This was the fourth brekkie event and judging from the popularity of them I am sure that we will be holding another one at some point soon.
I did worry that the same venue would become a bit staid for people. However, the fact that the pub is so laid back, the food cheap and the staff bend over backwards to help, I think it will be the place to stick with. It is also very central for people. This time we had visitors from the North West as well as Tracey and Pete from the Podcache show to talk to people.


Well, that's it for now. Easter is coming, with the forecast of snow. However I hope that it doesn't stop you getting out and about and finding a load of caches over the bank holiday weekend.


Until next time, happy caching.

14 Mar 2012

Trespass Anniversary

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Mass Trespass

On 24th April it will be 80 years since the mass trespass on Kinder Scout by ramblers from Manchester, Sheffield and further afield took place. The trespass led to several arrests and subsequent imprisonment for some of those involved. However, the event has been a cause of celebration since.

I was lucky enough to be born just a couple of miles down the road from Hayfield where the trespass began, and so grew up knowing all about it and what it meant. Indeed hearing about it when I was around 10 or 11 is what first inspired me to take up walking in the countryside. I did my first walk up to the Kinder Downfall not long after and made it a tradition to go up there every New Years Day. Something that I did for a good number of years.

Getting back to the trespass itself, it eventually led to legislation in 1949 to establish the National Parks, and to walkers' rights over open country and common land in 2000.


A number of events are being held to celebrate the trespass, so if you are in the Peak District around that time it would be well worth you having a look at what's on. Aside from that, there are plenty of good caches in the area, including some on Kinder itself. Without the trespass all those years ago, who knows whether we would have had access to all the land that we have now, not only for walking, but for caching as well. More details of the events and the trespass can be found here on the official website. http://kindertrespass.com/

I have been thinking for a long time that a trackable celebrating those events was overdue. Scouring my photographs taken over the last few years I found one that I thought would be suitable and after submitting it to Groundspeak for approval it is now being made in to a TB which will be available in time for the anniversary.


Gathering at Bowden Bridge ready to trespass
If you do get to Hayfield where the trespass began, make sure that you have a look at the plaque that was unvailed there some years ago.


The Plaque commemorating the trespass

5 Go Mad In London

An early morning start was called for when I decided that I wanted to go caching in the capital for my birthday. So at 6.30 in the morning Keith and I were knocking on stormjak and MFB Trackers door to pick them up for a trip down the A1. After parking up at Cockfosters we tubed in to the city and started our caching the only way caching should be started, with a cup of Costa's.

My main target for the day and the cache that we did first has been on my hit list for quite a while. The British Library http://coord.info/GC2M0AF is fairly new in the scheme of things, having only been live for a year. However with so many favourites (as I type it is up to 128) it really was begging to be found. Now I know not everyone likes multi's, me included, but this was fun. Not only educational, it took us to a place that might not be on your top ten of buildings to visit whilst in town. However, even if you are reading this and don't go caching, please do go and visit as it is well worth spending a few hours in there. The cache itself took us about an hour to complete but the container at the end has to be the biggest that you will find in any city centre, never mind a capital city.

stormjak and the cache
Our aim of the day wasn't to go out and cache cache cache, it definately wasn't a day about the numbers. The thing with caching in London is that it takes you to some amazing places that are well off the tourist trail. One such cache, The Winchester Geese took us to an unconsecrated graveyard where it is believed up to 15,000 bodies are buried. You arrive at GZ to find a gate covered in ribbons, teddy bears and messages.



 It isn't too far from Tower Bridge and should definately be on your list to find if you are around the area. http://coord.info/GC13ZAG

By the way, yes, there were only four cachers but we also had a little glove puppet with us, Timmy The Dog, hence 5 Go Mad In London, and yes, we do have the photo to prove it!


Us 4 & Timmy




Fools

After seeing that April Fools day falls on a Sunday this year, I couldn't resist organising another breakfast event. http://coord.info/GC3EB1H After the amazing turnout for the last breakfast on February 29th, including someone travelling from Northamptonshire, and that was a workday, it will be fun to see how many turn up to this one. This will be the fourth such event, and they do seem popular with people who decide to use it as a start to a full days caching, either meeting up with old friends or tagging along with new ones to do some.

Cache4u

Some eagle eyed readers may have noticed that I have overhauled the links at the top of the page. There is now a new link there for a website called Cache4u. This is run by old friend and cacher Rob. Rob is one of caching team the Two Anchors. He recently left work and has now set up his own site selling caching goodies at really reaonable prices. Have a look at what he has to offer. Chances are, you will also see him at any of the events that I run, so if you want to grab some good value bits and pieces get in touch with him, or turn up at any Jacaru event.

Finally, the Border Collie TB's have now gone in to production and should be with me in the next two weeks, along with the Kinder Trespass TB's. The Jacaru website http://www.jacaru.co.uk/ is due to be overhauled in the next couple of weeks and the new caching stuff added. As you know, I no longer have the Ebay shop as the fees that both Ebay and PayPal charge were getting ridiculous. I will still be selling coins and TB's through Ebay, but I am aiming to sell more through the main Jacaru site.

Have a good week, weather is improving and spring is coming. Longer evenings, rubbish on telly, so there's no excuse. Happy caching.

7 Mar 2012

From 1/1 Extreme To Another

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LQ Series

We have never really taken much notice of the LQ series, but we were in Lincolnshire with work the other day and noticed that the LQ Lincs cache was nearby so we decided to go for it. For those who haven't heard of it before, you are tasked with finding a cache in every mainland county which you lead you to a final micro cache. As I say, we have never really taken much notice of it, but if you like a challenge, it may be another one for you to aim for. More details can be found here. http://www.nwcaching.co.uk/quest.php

GPS Blocking

Some more dates have been added for GPS blocking excercises during the coming months, so if you are planning a caching trip it may be worth you knowing about them. These dates are regularly posted on the GAGB site.

RAF SPADEADAM, CUMBRIA, 9TH APRIL 2012

Dates: Between 9th and 20th April 2012 inclusive (weekdays only).

Times: 0700 - 1800 GMT.

Location of MULTIPLE jammers: Land based within 5km of N55° 04.000’ W002° 34.000’.

Frequency: A 24 MHz band centred around 1575.42MHz (GPS L1).

Total Power: Up to 10 Watts EIRP.
and

NOTIFICATION OF GPS JAMMING EXERCISES RAF SPADEADAM, CUMBRIA 21st MAY 2012


Dates: Between the 21st of May and the 1st of June 2012 (Inclusive).

Times: : 0700 - 2000 GMT.

Location of MULTIPLE jammers: Land based within 5km of N55° 04.000’, W002° 34.000’.

Frequency: A 24 MHz band centred around 1575.42MHz (GPS L1)

Total Power: Up to 10 Watts EIRP.

and

NOTIFICATION OF A GPS JAMMING EXERCISE SENNYBRIDGE TRAINING AREA, WALES


Dates: Between 11–15, 18-22, and 25-29 June 2012 inclusive

Times: : BETWEEN 0900 BST AND 1800 BST.

Location of jammers: Land based within 5km of N52° 00.881’ W003° 38.518’ (SN873365 – Dixie’s Corner)

Frequency: 24 MHz bands centred around 1176.45 MHz (GPS L5), 1227.60MHz (GPS L2) and 1575.42MHz (GPS L1).

Total Power: Up to 10 Watts EIRP. Whenever possible the transmissions will be at lower powers.


With the holiday season beginning to kick in it is worth knowing if these are areas that you are planning on visiting for a caching break.

29th Event

The Breakfast 29 event went exceptionally well. In fact I think we frightened the pub staff with the amount, over 40 in the end, of people who turned up. It was great to meet up, as usual, with familiar faces, but also with cachers who had travelled from as far away as Hertfordshire for it. The breakfast culminated with a group of us rushing out for the FTF on a particularly evil new cache that was published during the event. Look Out For Foxes, http://coord.info/GC3DF9X  placed by stormjak and MFB Tracker had a group of experienced cachers, stood around scratching their heads in bushes. It took a phone call to eventually find it, and even then it wasn't easy!

1/1 Extreme To Another

Sunday was a good day with getting two FTF's The beginning of the day we were up and about feeding the puppy when the phones pinged with a new 5/5 cache published. Reading the description we decided we had to go for it and immediately got on the phone to friends, and aforementioned evil cache placers stormjak and MFB, to see if they wanted to join us. So, on a cold, wet Sunday morning by 9.00am we were stood on top of a disused railway tunnel ready to abseil for a cache. We dropped (pardon the pun) lucky that we knew where all our climbing equipment was.


Wemnog going down

Hanging About Scalford Tunnel http://coord.info/GC3DDW3 certainly proved to be a fun 5/5 cache, made even better by the fact that we had it in hand within 3 hours of publication. Who said getting up early on a Sunday morning isn't worth it!


stormjak descends
The end of the day finished at the other end of the scale and we got another FTF, this time a 1/1 with Eddy Grant here in Nottingham. http://coord.info/GC3DRQ6 So yes, Sunday really did go from one extreme to another.

New Trackable Ordered

It has taken some time to decide exactly what to do regarding commissioning a new trackable to sell. Ever since the last version of the Border Collie coin sold out I have been inundated with emails and phone calls asking when the next version would be released. I held back for a couple of reasons. The main one being that I felt guilty at having to charge so much to customers for a coin that they really wanted, and also the fact that I didn't know whether to go for the same design in a different colour or for something completely different.

Finally I found a company who could produce a TB trackable that I thought would be suitable. After receiving a prototype I am happy to announce that I decided to go ahead and have now ordered 100 of the TB's. Not only are they trackable, but after negotiation I have been able to use the same collie icon that was used on the coins. The TB's are collectable and this time numbered, from 1/100 up to 100/100 When I released the news on Facebook I received orders within minutes and have already sold on pre-order 20 of them. The other thing that I like about this trackable is that it has a QR code on the back. So if someone scans it with their Smart phone the code will take them straight to the trackables page so they can see what the mission is.


Border Collie Trackable Version 3 (2012)

Dates For Your Diary

Now that summer is coming (it is, really) he types as he looks out of the window of the office at torrential rain, there are some dates for you that you may want to plan holidays around.

Piratemania ~ Friday to Sunday 20th ~ 22nd July, 2012 http://www.piratemania.org.uk/

Geolympix ~ Sunday 22nd July, 2012 http://geolympix.com/ events happening throughout the week.
North West Mega ~ Saturday 11th August for the main event http://www.mega2012.org.uk/content2/ but events happening throughout the run up and beyond.

These are just three of the main caching events that are happening this year and may be worth planning a break around. Two of these events definately have Mega status with Geolympix looking like it is going to go that way as well.

New Caching Website

There is a new caching supplier on the block. Our old friend Rob, one of the Two Anchors recently left Anchor Supplies and has now set up his own caching supply business. His website has just gone live http://www.cache4u.co.uk/  We wish him well in his venture.

Finally, four of us of are down to That London next week to do some caching. There are three particular caches that have been on my hit list for quite some time in the centre of London. All large boxes as well as opposed to most of the micros that are planted in the capital. So no doubt some photos of our adventures,  currently titled Four Go Mad In London, next time.

Have a good week.

27 Feb 2012

Coffee, Caching Calendar and More

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Coffee

So here I am up to 1089 caches. It has slowed down considerably from that mad rush to get to 1000. The birth of the puppies and subsequent looking after them has slowed things down significantly. However, things should be on the up again now as five of the puppies are now sold and will be going to their new homes over the next few days and we are keeping one of them.

At the weekend we held a very busy event at Costa Coffee in the city. It gave locals and visitors to the area the chance to get to know one another as well as cache in the city. There was also a new TB hotel cache published to coincide with the event.


City Centre Caching & Coffee

It was good to see some of the regular faces, as well as some new local cachers as well as some who had travelled from further afield. Nottingham is certainly getting a decent influx of new cachers at the moment which is good, and we are getting some new cache placements from them as well, which is great for the area.

Caching Calendar

It's strange how some things that have never bothered you in the past suddenly come to the forefront and become an important part of your caching career!
Over the last couple of weeks I have become slightly obsessed with completing my caching calendar. Making sure that I have done at least one cache on each date of the year. This has probably been brought on by the fact that the leap day events are coming up. I missed out on filling in February 2nd this year, but I am determined to fill in all the spaces now and so (hopefully) will have the thing completed by this time next year. I have 134 days to still fill in.

There are loads of leap year events going on, including my own breakfast event Breakfast 29 http://coord.info/GC3ARBV

If you haven't seen the souvenir that Groundspeak have made for the occasion there is a picture of it below.



Interview With A Cacher

I have just added a new interview on the pages. This time the interview is with seasoned geocacher Mollyjak. She is based in Wales and had a lot to do with the organisation of Mega 2011 as well as organising her own events to coincide with the main event. You can often meet up with her at events, and people attending Piratemania V will no doubt bump in to her and her husband, along with their very popular parrot, well you have to have one at a pirate event don't you?


Mollyjak


Caches

Over the last few weeks we have found a decent amount of caches, both locally and further afield. The one that stood out for me though since I last blogged was one that I found along with Wemnog and MFB Tracker.The Miners Lamp, a cache placed by Nedwobs Navigators http://coord.info/GC21ZMW to us to a miners memorial dedicated to all the men, women and children who worked at the local mine.

Each brick in the memorial wall has the name of one of those people carved on to it. The miners lamp is continually lit and is one of the best memorials that I have seen for a long time. If you are in that area, it is well worth a visit. Just stand and read the names and contemplate for a while as to what those people went through in order to bring coal to the surface.



Latest Trackable

I am almost ready (this weekend) to order the next version of the Border Collie trackable. This time it will be slightly different and isn't being produced by Oakcoins. I have found a different manufacturer who have recently formed and they are producing some excellent new designs. More of them at a later date. This time the trackable will be numbered from 1/100 to 100/100 to make it a little more collectable. However, it will be the same picture, but this time in photographic form and it will have the same icon.

Border Collie Trackble Version 3 ready soon
Until next time, I hope that you manage to make it to a leap day event, or at least to grab a cache on the day so that you can get the souvenir. The weather is brightening up now and the clocks will change soon, so all in all, it's good times for all us cachers. Have fun.