Today’s target was a relatively new cache in East Hanningfield, called Anyone For A Geocache? Well, I’m always one to put my hand up to that question, so off I set. Sure enough, it was a quick find close to the tennis courts at the rec, but I must admit it didn’t look a very inviting surface to play on!
After writing my two DNF logs on the Tricky Triskaideka hides yesterday, Mr Mercator confirmed that I was almost certainly at the right places where the caches should have been. He wanted to do a maintenance check on them anyway and suggested we meet up for a stroll this morning.
Having arrived at the rendez-vous point, I navigated us to the first suspect. Sure enough, Rob confirmed that it was the right GZ and after a thorough search of the vicinity, he admitted the cache was gone.
So he replaced it with a new box and I signed the fresh log sheet before we moved on. Great to have my calculations confirmed for 13a!
Shortly afterwards, Rob had a call from one half of gillywig, Grahame, who had seen my DNF on two of the hides yesterday and been spurred into action. He had previously found the one we had just replaced, with Mr Crow, but although he had worked out the co-ords for 13b and 13c, he’d never had the opportunity to pick those up until now. No time like the present! He was on the trail and promised to meet us as we walked in his direction.
Sure enough, a short while later there he was, happy to have found 13b at last (the one I picked up yesterday).
The band of fools chatted happily as they made their way towards our plot for 13c – thankfully Grahame’s and my calculations agreed and we had both frisked the tree in question already. So Rob had to concede again that the cache had gone AWOL and allowed us both to sign the replacement.
We then walked on to pick up a couple more of Rob’s hides which I had solved recently. Grahame drove us back to our cars and then Rob and I headed off to grab one last puzzle of his which I finally worked out last night.
All in all a grand day out, with great company along the way. And I’m feeling super-smug to have solved this Tricky Trio (and a few others) – I’m in very limited but quite esteemed company!
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)
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.