Walked: 6.7 miles
After finding yesterday’s puzzle as a cache ‘n’ dash, I headed off to East Hanningfield and Woodham Ferrers to start a recce walk for three related puzzle caches by Mr Mercator, the Mercator’s Projections 13a,b,c – Tricky Triskaideka series.
The cache pages give you information to work out a circular route on defined footpaths. Then you have to get off your butt and walk – and keep your eyes open for three important reference points:
- A Gate To Nowhere (made from 13 pieces of wood)
- Thirteen Steps
- A stile near a large white horse with 13 pointy bits.
Once these have been found, you need to calculate three potential distances from each point which will then give you plots which coincide with the path – the caches could be at any one of the given results. Sounds easy, right?
Actually, in practice, it’s not really that difficult. But sadly these clever puzzles get very little attention because people think they’re hard and they don’t want to work (or walk!) for the result!
Yesterday I struck lucky and found the gate AND the steps:
Although I worked out a few rough ideas in the field, I decided to return home to do more accurate calculations. Armed with this info, I set out again today to explore some of the places I had worked out. Mr Mercator had kindly told me that of my five likely locations, one was just 40m out and one was bang on. The others were red herrings – but of course he didn’t give away which was which!
I started my walk, heading towards the first of my likely candidates. I was delighted that I also passed the third reference point – the magnificent horse! – on my way:
Eventually, the path got me to my most convincing calculated point. After a few false starts, I finally found a little bison tube hanging on a hook! Yay! 13b done and dusted.
A hasty calculation (based on the horse’s location) while walking got me another two places to search but although I was pretty sure I’d got the right GZ, there wasn’t any reward. Similarly, my final stop of the day was very obviously the correct place from a previous finder’s log, but no cache.
So for the moment, one out of three will have to suffice – and I will log the other two as DNF.