And so it was time again for the fabulous yearly Piratemania Mega event. This year it was further north in the beautiful town of Cartmel, famous for their wonderful sticky toffee pudding (And yes, of course we had some whilst we were there!) 😀
We headed up on the Friday night with our Team Essex crew of Doggywalker, Yorkie63, MummaD, Natlie92, Riskt4ker and Hollyncharlie. Before long we had pitched up the Essex camp and were ready to sail the seven seas and plunder dubloons!
Being a pirate is very thirsty work so instead of all that plundering business, we headed to the pub for the Piratemania Eve meet. This was being held in The Royal Oak pub which looked very small from the front, but stretched out into a MASSIVE beer garden at the back with a little stream for paddling running along it. A magnificent choice of venues!
At the pub we grabbed a very nice BBQ meal and also managed to grab a Groundspeak Lackey, Tyler. 🙂 We invited him over for a drinkie and well, he kind of ended up staying… for the week! Lol! I would like to mention that I did tell him at the pub that he could escape and we wouldn’t mind, but he wanted to stay and became part of our crew! 😀
In the morning we woke up to some beautiful weather with it promising to be a very sunny and hot day!
Some of the attendees got all dressed up in their pirate outfits while others made a half-arsed effort and just stuck a skull bandana on their heads (me!) 😉 I think it’s fair to say that Pirate Evie won best dressed out of our crew though especially as she had two costumes!
First stop was registration tent manned by Sue and Dave of The Fuzzy Bears. We arrived very early before it got packed later on with everyone wanting their GPS loaded up with new caches!
There were two walks set out for the day. One was a flat 4 mile walk through the woods and the other was a 5 mile walk with a bit of a hill climb. I opted for the hill climb as there looked to be an interesting earthcache and virtual up there. I was joined by The Box Teddies, Doggywalker, PeCeH and PeeGeeNine as well. Great company for such a lovely walk. It wasn’t long before we were away from the flat pavements of Cartmel as ascending the hill in Pirate dress.
There were some lovely views from the top to reward our climb as well.
Once at the top we all assembled for the ‘A Pavement in the Hills‘ (GC563T3) earthcache and spent a fair while trying to answer one of the questions about what type of stone an erratic boulder was made of. After much debate and head scratching we all agreed an answer which we were certain was right, and then a geologist came along and told us we were completely wrong and told us the obvious answer. Hehe!
We then headed over to a virtual, which doubled up as a YOSM, ‘Hampsfield Hospice‘ (Although I’m not sure why that is the name of this virtual as it’s actually called ‘Hampsfell hospice’). I was quite surprised to see that it didn’t have many favourite points, as I thought it was a fabulous place. It was built in 1846 by the vicar of Cartmel to provide shelter for travelers. We popped inside and used it as a bit of shelter from the boiling afternoon sun. Inside were plaques and inscriptions and on the east outer wall a Greek inscription which translates to ‘Rosy-fingered dawn’. This was a phrase used by Homer in reference to Eos the Titaness, Goddess of Dawn. Greek Mythology teaches that Eos’ task was to open the gates of Heaven each morning to allow the sun to rise. Climbing the narrow stone steps took us to the viewing platform with an alidade marked with compass bearings indicating the direction of places and landmarks. On top was also the YOSM bolt. What an amazing place!
We descended the hill via the rest of the series over some more interesting limestone pavements before conquering the final hurdle of a farm full of cows blocking the exit gate. After plenty of dithering and trying to find alternative routes, some brave soul barged through and showed us how it was done! Nervously we all followed thankful that that cows ignored us all!
After a well deserved relax back at the camp it was time for the piratey celebrations. The Piratemania organisers had sorted out some great activities for the kids plus a beer tent and catering company to look after the adults. Just what we needed after a hard day’s plundering! 🙂 Another aspect of the piratey fun was that we were all put into Pirate teams: The red team and the blue team. We were in the red team and it was our mission to beg, borrow and steal more dubloons than the blue team.
One of the activities to help towards dubloon collection was a good old fashioned Tug O’War!
After all of the piratey fun was over the captains were left to count their dubloons to crown the winning team as… The Red team!!!!!!!
Unfortunately the evening was cut short by rain and most of the pirates fled to their tents. Pirates are brave and fierce when it comes to trickery, thievery and skull duggery, but when it comes to a little bit of rain we surrender and retreat!!! 😉
The following morning brought another boost of sunshine as we all headed out to the Cutlass Confusion Flashmob in the centre of Cartmel all dressed in our black mostauches! Lol!
We lined the streets and shouted “Arrrrrrrrr” lifting our swords when any muggles came past or tried to drive through our piratey crowd. It was great fun!
Our final Piratemania event was the Splash mob on Coniston Water between the shore and Peel Island. The idea was that we would all assemble in the water together at the set time and splash our oars! Last year I had bravely swam across to Peel Island to grab the Swallows and Amazons cache on it. It’s such a great place though so it was still fun to visit it again. We set off early along with many other fellow pirates and stopped off for the cache first. Since our last visit I’d bought an inflatable kayak. It was a great bit of gear to add to the caching toolkit and means that we can have many more watery caching adventures!
And so that was the end of our Piratemania adventure. We had a fantastic time as always. I think the highlight for me was definitely the Splashmob event. Coniston water is such a beautiful place and it was fantastic to visit Peel Island again. Well done to all of the organisers for making yet another fantastic event to remember. Once we had deflated our kayaks and changed into some dry clothes we headed off to Ayrshire for part two of our Mega adventure…