4.5lb Walleye Geocache revisited

walleye1


Not revisited in the physical sense!! It’s been a little over 2 years (June 8th was the anniversary) since Chris Wereley, AKA Stormgren-X, along with a non-Geocacher partner, took an 8 day canoe trip to find this remote cache, 4.5lb Walleye, in the wilderness of Northern Ontario. At the time in 2013, it was the world’s oldest thefindunfound cache, having sat untouched in the wilderness for 12 years and 7 days; it has not been found since, nor has anyone announced their attention to be the next do so on the cache page. We thought this was such an amazing story that we did not one, not two, but three blog posts on the subject (two of them were while the whole Geocaching world was watching his progress on a SPOT tracking device, the third being an interview with him). We do have a couple of updates to this story. First of all, you may notice from the very last sentence in the interview blog post that Stormgren-X placed a cache at the abandoned settlement of Ghost River, about 30 miles upstream from the 4.5lb Walleye cache. After about a year of not seeing it published, we wondered “OK, where is it”? We at OCNA thought maybe one of the Geocaching.com Ontario reviewers rejected it under their “vacation cache” rules, so we emailed Chris and offered to publish it on our site. Nope, he just had a little accident, and lost all the Waypoints in his GPS!

The lost 29 page journal of Stormgren-X:

Ghost River, site of an unlisted cache
Ghost River, site of an unlisted cache

More accurately, the existent, but nearly impossible to find, 29 page journal of Stormgren-X. Also in our interview blog post, we mentioned Chris gave us permission to host this journal, a .pdf that contains over a dozen pictures and over a dozen videos from the trip, on our site. He originally posted it on the the Wikisend file sharing website, which only hosts your (large) content for a few weeks. Apparently our SEO skills need a little work here at OCNA, because this thing is nowhere to be found on a Google search for any of the keywords relating to this canoe route, or the 4.5lb Walleye cache itself. In our defense, it is a .pdf, and not a “webpage” in the classic sense. We’ll keep working on that, but in the meantime, here is the nearly secret URL to Stormgren-X’s journal: http://www.opencaching.us/AlbanyRiver-4.5lbWalleye.pdf  Warning: We did say its a 29 page .pdf; may take a while to load, depending on your internet connection. :-)

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Guest Post: Tools of the trade: What every Geocacher needs

Every master tradesman has a toolbox full of the things he needs to ply his trade. A carpenter has hammers and nails, a mechanic has screwdrivers and wrenches, and an electrician has wire snips and needle-nose pliers. Geocachers are no different; they also need to fill their toolbox with the right tools in order to complete their treasure-hunting missions. Having just the right gadget for the job at hand, can make all the difference and add to the excitement.

Ask a bunch of geocachers what they carry in their packs or kits, and you will likely get a bunch of different answers. Most geocachers will agree that there are a number of items that every hunter must have, but there are also some that are influenced by the local weather and terrain, some that are dictated by the hunter’s level of experience, and some that are simply personal preference. Every geocacher needs a GPS device of some sort, a compass, a pen or pencil to add your entry to the logbook, some geoswag to leave or swap with items in the cache, a flashlight, drinking water, and a first aid kit – just in case!

So you’ve got your basics, what else can you add to your toolbox to make your hunting easier and more fun? Maybe you would like to bring along a camera to document your search or to photograph your findings so you can post pictures on your Facebook page. Perhaps some binoculars for checking out the wildlife or scenery as you close in on your coordinates. If the geocache you are hunting is hidden in a rocky area or up a steep climb, you might want to take a walking stick along. To more experienced hikers, that may seem silly, but one good save from a fall will make it all worth it

geocaching-metaldetectorMore and more geocachers are using metal detectors while on the hunt. There are several ways that adding a metal detector to your geocaching toolbox will enhance the adventure. Geocache containers are to be hidden within 20 feet of their given coordinates, making the area to be searched fairly large. Many of these containers are made of metal, or at least contain some metal parts, so a metal detector can make finding the container quicker and easier, especially if it is partially or completely covered by dirt, or hidden in the brush. For the avid hunter, a metal detector also makes it possible to geocache year-round. In colder climates, where there is snowfall in the winter, a metal detector comes in handy locating treasure covered by snow, and die-hard hunters don’t have to take a break for the season. If you geocache as a family, allowing the kids to use a detector while you hunt for a well-hidden cache may provide them (and you) a much needed distraction from the patience required, while still allowing them to feel involved in the game. Be sure to bring a whistle for the kids (a good safety item for everyone, really), and of course, you’ll have to throw some snacks in there, too.

Many geocachers also bring some replacement parts in their packs as well. You never know when a logbook may have gotten wet and needs to be changed out for future geocachers, or if a container has been damaged in some way. It’s a caching courtesy to take care of the treasure so others can continue to experience the thrill of finding the prize.

The items in your geocaching toolbox are likely to grow and change as you go about your hunting. Take what works for you and have a great time on your adventures!

gene_1fGene Knight is the Director of Sales at Kellyco Metal Detectors and an avid treasure hunter.

Contact him:

Phone: U.S. Toll-Free: 1-888-535-5926
Others: 407-699-8700
Extension: 106
Email: gknight@kellycodetectors.com

 


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Guest Post: Sag Harbor Historic and Cultural District Geocache Hunt

The John Jermaine Memorial Library in Sag Harbor, New York recently listed their 6 cache series, The “Sag Harbor Historic and Cultural District Geocache Hunt” on our website, and Garmin’s Opencaching.com. Sag Harbor is on the eastern end of Long Island, and is located partially in both the towns of Easthampton and Southhampton. Yes, they are two of “The Hamptons”, as made famous on TV, and in film. This Geocaching program is partially funded by a grant from The Town of Southhampton. There is a rubber stamp in each cache, and passports are available at the library. If you bring back a completely stamped passport, you will receive a certificate of completion. To see the whole series, you can look the profile the cache owner, JJMLibrary, or see them here on our map of caches. On June 11th, 2015, The Library blogged about the series on their blog, and we have received permission to reblog it here as a guest post.


The long-awaited Sag Harbor Historic and Cultural District Geocache Hunt announced in the May-June issue of our newsletter is now fully operational. Those of you who have stopped by the library hoping to get started on the hunt, can now pick up your “passports” (log sheets) at the library and begin searching. For those of you who don’t know what geocaching is, we’ve included an explanation below.

Important Note

opencaching.usopencaching.com
The library’s geocaches are registered on two websites: http://opencaching.us and http://opencaching.com. (They are different…one is .us one is .com). You must create a free account at one or both of these sites in order to download the coordinates of the geocaches and play our game. Due to some technical issues, our caches are NOT listed on the most popular geocaching website, geocaching.com. But both of the sites we use are good. If you are using a Garmin GPS device to search for geocaches, you will be better served by the opencaching.com. If you are using a smartphone, opencaching.us supports the greatest number of apps.

Geocaching, and the John Jermain Geocache Hunt Explained

Geocaching is a real-world, outdoor treasure hunting game using GPS-enabled devices [e.g., smartphones]. Participants use an app on their phones to navigate to a specific set of GPS coordinates and attempt to find the geocache (container) hidden at that location. Our hunt adds an additional twist.

While looking for a way to honor Sag Harbor’s contributions to Southampton Town history during the Town’s 375th anniversary year, a few geocachers on the library staff decided to combine our love of geocaching with a bit of culture and history, and a touch of the Camino de Santiago (Wickipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Camino_de_Santiago).

Here’s what we came up with: six geocaches are hidden around Sag Harbor. Each one relates to a member organization of the Sag Harbor Cultural District, all of which have cultural or historic significance for Sag Harbor and Southampton. (We’re not telling which organizations. It’s part of your job to figure that out.) To join in the hunt, stop into the library and pick up a free “passport.” (This is the part that’s inspired by the Camino de Santiago.) Then go hunt for the geocaches. Each cache contains a unique rubber stamp. Use the stamp on your passport…then go find another cache. When you’ve found all six caches, bring your passport back to the library and you will receive a certificate of completion (another idea borrowed from the Camino).

As mentioned above, all of the geocaches are registered on two geocaching websites: http://opencaching.us and http://opencaching.com. These sites are treasure-troves of information on how geocaching works. You’ll need to register at one of the websites in order to get access to the information about our geocaches that is stored there, but both registration, and the app for your smartphone that will lead you to the caches, are free. You’ll find a list of geocaching apps that work with various types of smartphones below. If you don’t own a smartphone but want to play, the library has a dedicated GPS navigation device that it will loan to library card holders.

Confused? Help is also available from Eric Cohen or Mireille Stürmann at the library. Call 631-725-0049 or send an email to jjlib@johnjermain.org.

Geocaching Apps for Your Smartphone

Android

  • c:geo (free and highly recommended)
  • GeoCaching Buddy (fee)
  • Columbus

iPhone

  • GeoCaches (recommended)
  • Geocaching Buddy (fee)

Windows Phone

  • Me Caching Geo
  • OpenBasic

This program is partially funded by a Town of Southampton 375th Anniversary grant.

Town of Southampton, NY 1640-2015, 375th Anniversary


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GeoGearHeads 178: OpenCaching NA II

customLogo.gifOCNA Admins DudleyGrunt and NativTXN were recently on the GeoGearHeads Podcast episode 178, talking OCNA, in an episode titled OpenCaching NA II. They were last on that podcast on Episode 125. If you count by 10’s on your fingers, you can figure out that was just over a year ago, hence this episode being titled OpenCaching NA II. Anytime our Admins are on a Geoaching Podcast, we run it here on the blog as well. Listen to them give an overview of our site, with an emphasis on our recently released Challenge Caches. GeoGearHeads is a near weekly feature with The Bad Cop and DarrylW4 discussing topics of interest to Geocachers, Location-based Gamers, and Technology Enthusiasts. They record the shows live through Google+ Hangout On Air Thursday nights at 9:10PM Eastern/6:10PM Pacific (The upcoming shows are listed on the Google+ GeoGearHeads page). You can subscribe to the audio version through iTunes, RSS, or Stitcher, watch the shows on YouTube, and check them out on FaceBook, Google+, and Twitter.




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Guest Post: Great Blue Heron Nature Reserve

Today, we have another guest post from The LANMonkey’s. It’s an interesting post about The Great Blue Heron Nature Reserve, in Chilliwack, British Columbia. There are a couple of good tie in’s to this post. As you may know, Mr. LANMonkey is co-host of The Caching in the NW Podcast. With his podcasting experience, he recently created an MP3 (Podcache) cache on our site, Walk in the Park with LANMonkey, in Langley, British Columbia, about 10 miles West of the Great Blue Heron Nature Reserve. What is an MP3 cache? Think of it as a letterbox type cache, where you go to the parking coordinates, and follow instructions to find the cache. But rather than written instructions, you download an MP3 file. Be sure to check it out! Additionally, we would like to announce that OCNA Admin DudleyGrunt (possibly with OCNA Admin NativTXN) will be a guest on The Caching in the NW podcast on July 2nd!


Have you ever considered whether herons nest on the ground or in trees?
 
This past weekend our geocaching adventures took us to the “Great Blue Heron Nature Reserve” in Chilliwack, BC. As it turns out, they nest in trees!

This location is quite easy to access, ample parking, and a nice selection of geocaches for the family on very well maintained walking trails. 

You can use the multi-cache “The Tower” as your reference point on the Geocaching website to navigate your way there, but it’s just a few minutes off of the Trans-Canada highway.

It’s important to know a few things before you go:

  • The trails are open dawn to dusk all year
  • The interpretive centre is open 10am to 4pm daily with free admission
  • Some trails do NOT allow dogs :-(

 

Only a few of the 130+ nests here

In addition, it’s helpful to know that “parts of the Heron Colony Loop Trail and Discovery Trail are closedin the spring to allow lots of room for the herons to forage and nest undisturbed.” This doesn’t seem to impact the trails along which the geocaches are placed, so that’s great news for geocachers.

All of that said, the experience this time of year while the herons are nesting is absolutely amazing. To see these giant water-striding birds glide gracefully into their tree-top nests at the peaks of huge cottonwood trees is stunning. 

Heron in it’s tree-top nest

Our visit took us on one of two possible looping trails to pick up geocaches, but by taking the “westward” loop from the interpretive centre we were able to observe the 130+ heron nests from a distance that was safe for the herons and that our geo-hound Piggy was allowed on.

Spending some time afterward in the centre chatting with one of the staff we learned that this reserve is the largest heronry (group of heron nests) in the Pacific Northwest and that the number of returning herons (on average) has been quite steady the last several years.

Visiting the Great Blue Heron Nature Reserve is not only great way to not only spend the day out geocaching, but also to learn more about these amazing indigenous birds in their natural habitat.

Resident eagles guarding their food source
Geese with a gosling nearby



Who is LANMonkey?

The LANMonkeys are geocaching adventurers from beautiful British Columbia who’ve been having fun exploring and geocaching since Aug 2012. They love to share the great places they visit on their caching adventures on YouTube as LANMonkey’s Geocaching Adventures, and Mr. LANMonkey co-hosts the weekly geocaching podcast – Caching in the Northwest along with The Bad Cop and Witz End.

Follow their adventures on  Twitter, Facebook  and Instagram.

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Guest post: Caching Cuba

We’re taking a few weeks off here at the OCNA blog, but we have some interesting guest post content coming up.  Due to a 50+ year travel embargo, many Americans, be they Geocachers or not, are not aware that residents of most Countries in the world have always been free to travel to Cuba for leisure purposes (including Geocaching). Travel restrictions to Cuba have been recently relaxed for Americans by the Obama administration, but hold on, you won’t just be booking a hotel and chilling on the beach for so-called “leisure purposes”. Not yet, at least. But it is a lot easier to get there than in the past. Refer to this New York Times article from January, 2015. We at OCNA have zero caches in Cuba, but there are currently 98 listed on Geocaching.com, the vast majority of them placed by Candian and European tourists. This post first appeared on the LANMonkey’s GeoCaching Adventures blog on April 8th, 2015. Who are the LANMonkey’s? See a mini bio at the end of the post.


Recently we returned from an amazing vacation in beautiful Cuba. We wanted to share with you how to maximize your geocaching enjoyment while still experiencing everything Cuba has to offer.

It has been a long time since we posted here last – our attention has been focused on the YouTube channel and we realize that only gives part of the story! So back to the blog.

With travel restrictions from the US to Cuba imminently lightening, we expect it will be a more popular “North American” destination soon. One of the most amazing things about Cuba is the simplicity of life while visiting there. Hopefully that doesn’t change too much, although admittedly there are many people in the country who could benefit from an economic boon (such as increased tourism investment would bring).

Varadero is circled in red at the top of the map.

We stayed in the popular resort area of Varadero, the peninsula on the North-East of the island nation where the majority of the resorts are located. A quick look at the Geocaching map shows  a number of caches all along that strip.

You can easily spend a day just grabbing the 20+ caches along the Varadero Peninsula. We’d suggest renting bicycles from your resort as most of these caches are placed along or proximate to the highway that runs the length of the peninsula. 

You can also take the 5 CUC ($5 US) “Hop-On, Hop-Off” tour buses that run the length of the highway, but they are about 30 minutes between each other and will not be efficient.

Along this stretch is an EarthCache we highly recommend, Cueva de Ambrosio (GC2DDG4). This cache was our 5,000th find milestone, but it was also amazing to explore. Also 5 CUC (you’ll quickly find a theme in Cuba of 5 CUC).

Most importantly however, is plan some time to get away from the resorts and see the rest of Cuba. One easy way to do this is to take some of the excursions – I won’t kid you, they aren’t cheap (do your research ahead of time) but the country of Cuba is amazingly rich in history and natural beauty so it’s worth the investment.



Some of the excursion we took while in Cuba & Geocaches found:

Cayo Blanco Catamaran Tour

 

Cayo Blanco (Traditional – GC30VV2)

Cayo Blanco Beach Erosion (Earthcache – GC3BCWP)

Jeep Safari

 

Cueva Saturno – Karst Cenote (Earthcache – GC5NDGX)


Bellamar Caves

Cuevas de Bellemar (Earthcache – GC26P9D)


La Habana

 

 

 

San Francisco de Asis, Habana (Earthcache – GC53KP8)

Most importantly – ENJOY YOURSELVES!

There were several more traditional and Earthcaches in Habana, but we couldn’t get to many others due to a tight itinerary on our tour.

So hopefully this blog will help you plan an enjoyable, relaxing visit to Cuba, where you can also pick up a few geocaches and have fun – like we did in this video!

And remember to cache safely, and cache often!

The LANMonkeys


Who is LANMonkey?

The LANMonkeys are geocaching adventurers from beautiful British Columbia who’ve been having fun exploring and geocaching since Aug 2012. They love to share the great places they visit on their caching adventures on YouTube as LANMonkey’s Geocaching Adventures, and Mr. LANMonkey co-hosts the weekly geocaching podcast – Caching in the Northwest along with The Bad Cop and Witz End.

Follow their adventures on  Twitter, Facebook  and Instagram.

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