Washknight of Washknight – Geocaching blind has kindly invited me to take part in his blog feature “washknight interrogates” – you’ll find all the other responses grouped under that link. So without further ado, here are my responses to his 20 questions!
GeoBlogger 20 Questions
1. When and how did you first get into geocaching?
I first went geocaching when I went to Edinburgh to celebrate New Year with some friends. At about 11pm Catherine suggested we go out and look for some caches – we went out in a big group and found two – though some peoples’ enthusiasm waned faster than others’! I really enjoyed my night out despite the cold! You can read about that night here.
2. Do you remember your first find?
I outsourced that to my blog – see above! It is still the latest I’ve ever been out caching and the biggest group I’ve done it in – by far!
3. What device(s) do you use for locating caches?
I started out using my HTC Wildfire S, and now use my new phone which is a Motorola Moto G. It runs very nicely and has space to store caches, but extra power is often required from my friend Terri’s in car charger between caches. We cache together quite a lot, so I reckon her car, Steve the Yaris should get a mention as a geocaching device as well!
4. Where do you live and what is your local area like for geocaching? (density / quality / setting etc)
Well, I’ve not lived anywhere else while I’ve been caching! There are certainly plenty of caches about here in Sunderland, and I’ve found some really fun ones. The UK in general seems to have quite a lot of caches, and there’s lots of variation as well thanks to some keen disco cache setters and puzzlers.
5. What has been your most memorable geocache to date, and why?
Very early on in my caching “career”, I really, really enjoyed finding Stretch! (GC4VF7E) – it wasn’t premium back then. Here’s the blog. Terri and I have had two brilliant “days out” caching (alongside our occasional local jaunts) one just around town which was a bit of a numbers drive, and another road trip to Holy Island, which was great fun with loads of top-quality caches. Another memorable one was the one cache I found in India – there aren’t many around there! Caching in such a high-density urban environment and in a foreign country was quite a challenge! Do I have to pick just one?? After all that, I might have to go for Stretch! Though Terri’s many cache-grabbing manoeuvres over the past six months have also created lasting memories! Oh, another memorable geocache has to be the event that Terri and I hosted together, where we met some local cachers and put some faces to names – that was really good fun.
6. List 3 essential things you take on a geocaching adventure excluding GPS, pen and swaps.
I guess I’m fairly slapdash as a cacher – I’ve sometimes got a bug to dip, and occasionally have some tweezers. I think the best things to take are proper sensible clothes – Terri swears by her anti-nettle waterproof trousers – and maybe some snacks along with the phone charger for longer trips!
7. Other than geocaches and their contents, What is the weirdest thing you have discovered whilst out caching?
A real-life Wild West themed street in the middle of Edinburgh, probably. I don’t know if I’ve discovered much in the way of weird, but have definitely come across lots of cool stuff that I didn’t know was there!
8. On a scale of 1 to 10 where 1 is I am obsessed by numbers and 10 is I am all about the experience and the quality of each individual cache. Where do you put yourself?
I do like the numbers, but I think I enjoy the variety and visiting new places even more. Maybe I’d put myself as… seven? Being fairly new to the hobby I’m just at the stage where I’m attempting more than just traditionals and I’m finding lots of fun in puzzles (even though I’m TERRIBLE at them) and multis.
9. Describe one incident that best demonstrates the level of your geocaching obsession.
10. Have you picked up any caching injuries along the way?
Thankfully nothing more serious than nettle stings!
11. What annoys you most about other geocachers?
Hmm… that’s a tough one. Probably when I see a log that’s something like “What an easy/simple/straightforward find!”. But only when I can’t find the thing… 😉
12. What is the dumbest thing you have done whilst out caching?
Done a whole series of caches and forgotten to write down the clues to the bonus. Hands down the silliest thing… and two of us did it!
13. What do your non caching family and friends think of your hobby?
Well Terri got well and truly into it, and I’ve taken a few others on little forays, notably out of town visitors, or locals I’m visiting, and most recently my mam and her friend Lin – both of whom follow this blog. Mostly they enjoy the activity as an add-on to whatever we’re already doing. My dad has also driven me to the sites of a few caches and waited in the car while I’ve grabbed them!
14. What is your default excuse you give to muggles who ask what you are up to or if you need help?
It very rarely happens to be honest! I can’t actually remember being approached by non-cachers but I’d probably just tell them I was caching. I do enjoy other people’s stories about their excuses though!
15. What is your current geocaching goal, if you have one?
I’m in the middle of doing the Blue Moon challenge cache (GC4ZJ1Z) – which Terri is doing as well. It’s going to take a full year to complete, so that’s a good long-term goal! I’d like to do some more tricky caches – maybe fill up my D/T grid a bit seeing as I’ve just become a premium member and can see those stats more easily now. Generally if I go anywhere new I like to pick up a few caches as well – I like putting pins on a map anyway and caching is just another way to do that! Keeping up with Terri’s numbers would be good too!
16. Do you have a nemesis cache that despite multiple attempts you have been unable to find?
Pretty much every church micro ever! Terri and I certainly have nemesis cache-setters (The GIlls!) whose caches almost always take multiple attempts! I keep a list on my phone of caches that I’ve DNFd and love it when I can tick them off. There are 13 of them on there at the moment – mainly thanks to the fact that I’ve struck off a bunch of them recently.
17. What 3 words or phrases best sum up what geocaching means to you.
- “I didn’t know that was there!”
- “Watch the nettles!”
- “Check the past logs!”
18. What prompted you to start blogging about geocaching?
I have blogged about caching right from the start. My blog is a total mix of stuff anyway, and geocaching adventures seemed to be a good addition to the mix. Also, it serves as a great “log” and a way for me to look back and remember caching adventures.
19. Which of your own blog entries are you most proud of.
For geocaching, Probably the one detailing the Holy Island trip, just because it was a really fab day and I took lots of pictures to go along with it! Non-caching, probably one of my blogs from my trip to India – Agravation was a great one to write, mainly for the catharsis but it was an amazing day in many ways!
20. Which other geocaching blogs do you enjoy reading?
Eep! I have to say I only really occasionally read Washknight’s blog! I’ll have to do better, clearly! Thanks for inviting me to take part! I now challenge Terri to answer the questions which apply to her!
Terri and I met up for a quick post-work cache as part of the Blue Moon Challenge (GC4ZJ1Z).
Found the last of the BTB Cleadon series (GC2X5PA) with Terri after missing it last time – I was on the right track during our last attempt but when I hunkered down to have a proper look I sandwiched a nettle and stung my legs and so with a cry of “nope nope nope” the search was abandoned. Now the nettles are dead and we were triumphant!
This was my 100th find, too, and containted the final clue for us to have a go at the final mystery cache (GC32XAH) hidden somewhere in the villiage.
We still had some time before Terri’s prior engagement, so we decided to go for another previous DNF – Academy Path (GC4ZA3R) which the cache owner had given us a hint on. As with other previous DNFs we were totally certain that we’d checked this spot and found a box-shaped hole, but no!
We found it straight away looking just as it was described. Completely flummoxed as to how we missed it on previous occasions! We dropped off a travel bug and picked up a new one to move on.
The Blue Moon Challenge list is now…
Yesterday my mam assisted me with a cache and dash Earthcache close to home. I’ve often walked past Marsden Rock Earthcache (GCQ1R9), so didn’t feel too bad just leaping out of the car for the snap – plus it was absolutely necessary that I found a cache on that date. Why?
Aside from this being a find in its own right, I took my first step towards completing the Blue Moon Challenge Cache (GC4ZJ1Z).
The challenge is to find 13 caches on days when there is a full moon. A blue moon, according to the cache description, is the second full moon in a calendar month – something that doesn’t happen very often. Interestingly, I was lucky enough to discover this challenge cache at a time when there are 12 full moons before the next blue moon… so I’m able to claim 12 consecutive full moon finds, and find the blue moon challenge cache as the final 13th moon, which is also a blue moon day! Very pleasing…
Naturally, Terri is also in on this action, but she is on holiday just now. So committed is she, that she bravely nabbed a cache yesterday as well – despite not being on top form health wise. So we are both still on track to complete the Blue Moon Challenge… More on that next month!