Caching before the Essex meet
We had a bonus day of caching on Wednesday as the Essex meet (event) was in the evening and quite a long way from home at Westcliff (Near Southend-on-sea) so we thought we’d make a day of it. We were also pleased to have Mel’s (of mel-ray) company during the morning and afternoon before Ray also joined us in the evening for a few caches before the meet.
The day started off quite gloomy and a little misty, however it wasn’t raining so I’m not going to complain!!! We started off with another YOSM trig point find YSM220 Nobles Green.
We followed this by two walking series by a1nnie (Who was hosting the event in the evening). These were Round the Roach and Around the Roach again. These were two lovely series that we all enjoyed and managed to find easily. We followed this with 5 caches that made up Grove Wood Series. The wood here was very nice to walk around, however there were hundreds of paths so finding our way was a little bit tricky at times and involved a fair bit of stream jumping!!!
We grabbed a couple of drive-by caches before meeting up with Ray at Downed Jet. This was quite a cool cache and one that we couldn’t have done without Ray and Mel as it is a Chirp cache! Our Garmin Dakota 10 doesn’t support them, however Ray and Mel both have Oregons so I took one and Ray took the other. The idea is that you walk past the beacon (wherever it is hidden!) and when you do your device receives coordinates for the next stage. We started at the start coordinates and walked… and walked… and walked… The GPSr said we were a quarter mile from the start so we thought we’d probably gone too far. We approached the start point again, however this time walked a lot slower. All of a sudden the Oregon started telling me it was receiving something, “I’ve got it, i’ve got it!” I screamed jumping up and down! There were a few failed attempts receiving it where I had to turn off chirp detection on the unit, walk away, then come back and eventually it received the coordinates for the final. We walked up to them and made a swift find. It was an interesting concept, and something a bit different. I’m still not completely won over by Chirps, but it definitely was quite fun.
We continued around the woods where the chirp cache was to find two more caches, including Martin’s Hole (hehe) which was next to an old water spa which looked like it could have been quite interesting once upon a time. Unfortunately it’s now covered in graffiti! 😦
Next it was on to One Tree Hill – Thames View. There was an absolutely amazing view from here which would be breath taking on a summer day. A perfect place for a picnic. There were some interesting carvings around the area as well.
We finished the day off with one more YOSM trig point in the dark! This one was YSM067 Hawksbury Bush.
It was then onto the meet which was in a lovely big pub which was great because it was wasy to mingle and we had the chance to speak to nearly everyone who was there. We also picked up our certificate of 3000 finds. 🙂
Back down south
For this weekend we were very badly organised as to where we were going. On Thursday night I had an email from Ray telling us we were all going to do the Chiltern Hundred. I had a heart attack and told him we wouldn’t be able to accompany them (I think a series like the Chiltern Hundred needs more planning than a day!!!) It turned out he was just joking! Our final desitnation wasn’t actully decided until Friday night when Mel suggested a couple of trails down south which we hadn’t yet done. So it was another early start, up at 4:45am to start at 7:30am. The first trail of the day was JaceyB’s Blue Ice
It was an absolutely amazing day for Geocaching. It was very frosty when we started and I was wrapped up in a scarf, hat, and gloves and had even contemplated putting my thermals on. It’s a good job I didn’t, however as it warmed up rather quickly and by the afternoon it was boiling hot out. The crunchy, frozen ground meant that it was easy to walk over the muddy parts of the ground in the morning.
The trail took us through some lovely little brooks and wooded areas and it was just absolutely perfect!
We did have a few minor set backs, however in that some of the caches weren’t where they should be. There was wire on the trees where the caches should be hanging, however no cache. In the first instance we searched around and found the cache on the ground with a big hole in the lid where something had eaten it! In the second instance we searched all around the ground but found nothing. We suspect the squirrels had taken a fancy to the hanging cache and taken it away! As there was wire where the cache should be hanging we replaced this one.
After stopping for a sunny lunchtime picnic we continued on to a recent flatcoat walker trail, Capel to Newdigate. There was a lovely wooden carving of a chain near where we stopped for lunch.
The sun continued for our walk around this afternoon and everywhere just looked amazing. This was definitely the nicest day of the year so far and we just hoped that we would get some more soon!
We also managed to grab another church micro as we walked around, Church Micro 12… Newdigate. The perfect blue sky background almost looked fake behind the church!
We followed these trails with some drive-by caches. What an absolutely beautiful day of caching, and with Sunday (21st March) marking the first day of spring I hope that we will have more lovely weather to come very soon!