Saturday, 27 June 2015

G'day Mate, Welcome to Victoria!

Back in 2011 the GCGV (Geocaching Community of Greater Victoria) held the 1st and only GCGV Track Me Challenge. Everyone who wanted to participate brought a new trackable that we wanted to enter into a trackable race to an entry event, and all those trackables were sent to Australia where they would be picked up by geocachers over there at a starting event to begin the race. Similarly we did the same for our Australian friends back here in Canada.

Well back then Mrs. GO! Team entered her trackable "TB3QV2M - RED 3 Corner Pocket" (you can see the trackable page HERE). Well it came in dead last.. In fact it never even got started. It was received in Australia and put into the starting event, it was picked up by a cacher, and whoever picked it up didn't log they had it and placed it in a remote cache that no one visited in the entire year the race was on.
Finally after giving up on it and moving it to lost status on January 19, 2012, it was finally found in New South Wales and picked up by that cacher the very next day on January 20, 2012. However the Race was over and the trackable gained no points and therefore was in last place, and for that Mrs. GO! Team got a booby prize.  It was no prize to scoff at though, it was a signed copy of "The Joy of Geocaching" by Paul & Dana Gillin.  The trackable travelled a bit, but never did anything interesting.  All it did was travel from Melbourne to New Zealand over and over and over again.  Noticing this I decided that  I would put a note on it that I would like it come home.

It took a while for it to get in the right hands, and the right hands belonged to Australian cacher chrissy61. And the best part was that she was coming to Victoria BC on holiday! She contacted me and asked how to get it into my hands, and I told her I would hold an event in honor of her visiting our city and for returning that trackable to us!

A little bit of planning and some online event page writing later, we had an event set up and published!  I purchased a nice new Canada Fox Geocoin and got one of our wedding pathtags out to give to chrissy61, and had a nice thank you gift to give her. Now to just wait until the day!

The day of the event arrived and due to a shift swap that Mrs GO! Team made she was not be able to come with me, but really all that matters is the we have at the very least one of us there.  It would have been nice for her to receive her trackable herself, but again not entirely necessary.  For once I left home with tons of time to get to my venue, and arrived 30min early.  But my stomach got the better of me and I ended up going to a nearby Starbucks at the Robert Bateman Center.  This of course would be my downfall, as they were slow as molasses and caused me to be late to my own event... OK, OK, I caused myself to be late by going there, but you can't blame me for being a little bothered by it!  Once I had my coffee and treat in hand I busted my butt back across the street to find many of the attendees already there, but thankfully I had beat my guests of honor!
I took a little time introducing myself to everyone I didn't recognise, and it turned out we had more people from other locations joining us.  We had 2 cachers from California, and 3 visiting from the Mainland, so a big welcome to them!  Soon chrissy61 arrived and we finally met.  She ceremoniously returned our trackable, and gifted us with some Australian exclusives like Tim Tams.  I gave her the gifts that I mentioned earlier, and backed off so she could meet the others at the event and discover the various trackable that everyone brought with them.

After the event I was talking a bit more with chrissy61 and they asked about the Sharkz Store (Canada's first geocaching brick and mortar geocaching store).  Knowing how far from the event the store was I offered to be their chauffeur and take them there.  When we arrived chrissy61 was like a kid in a candy shop, flitting around the store checking out the various trackables, picking out a few things that she wanted to purchase to take home with her.  I was very happy to be the one to get her to the store so she could experience it for herself. 
Once she was all shopped out I took them to an one of my earthcaches nearby, and helped them verbally thought the questions so that they could log their vary first earthcache!

I had a great time hanging out with Chrissy and Bill, and we parted ways after going to Victoria's cache with the largest amount of favourite points "Sounds like Geocaching - GC10JDZ".  

Thank you chrissy61 for contacting me to let me know you had our trackable and that you were coming to town.  And thanks everyone that showed up for the event!
Stay tuned right here for more stories to come soon!

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

For Valour & Stairway to Nowhere: Geocaching Road Trip 15 Kick Off

The time has come, and the Geocaching Road Trip '15 has started.  The first of the souvenirs launched on Friday June 19th, and the mission theme was "Fun with Favorites"!  I actually really enjoy the different things that has planned as the goals to earn the various souvenirs that they are offering.  Last year's "7 Souvenirs of August" was a big step in the right direction after the the previous "31 day of August" by offering a smaller amount of souvenirs with one that is a special reward for completing the collection.
The Road Trip '15 plays on the same theme, however they only become available on specific dates throughout the summer but are collectible after that date right up until September 2nd. That in it's own is a huge improvement in that we have more time to get the reward instead of a single day like the past two years.

The dates and categories that are included in this challenge are as follows:

Jun 19 - Sept 02 - Find a geocache with 10+ favorite points
July 03 - Sept 02 - Attend a geocaching event

July 17 - Sept 02 - Find a D5 or T5 cache
July 31 - Sept 02 - Find an Earthcache or attend a CITO
Aug 14 - Sept 02 - Find a mystery cache
Aug 14 - Sept 02 - (Special Reward) Collect all other Souvenirs before Sept 2nd

As I said the first of them went live with "Fun with Favorites". And this particular souvenir gave me
an excellent reason to go after a particular mystery cache that I had solved 2 years ago. I know that there is the one in August for mystery caches, but I have a small surplus of solved mysteries that I can call upon for that one. But as I said this one gave me a reason as it had 10 favorite points to qualify for the reward.

We had what I would call an epic day going after this cache, and due to that I wrote a lengthy log already on!  I figure instead of writing it all out again I could just share the log here.
So here is my log for "For Valour - GC1N6J8":

"Well now, what an epic 2 years in the making.

I remember solving this in the spring of 2013 and getting my confirmation email from ikster in May of that same year (so technically still spring). Over the last two years I have planned to go for this with quite a few people, but nothing ever came of it ever. However this year (spring) I was talking with a few people and formed a tentative group with the A Team & G Force.
While planing a tentative date to go presented the Geocaching 15 Road Trip and announced that there would be a souvenir for finding a cache with 10 favorite points. Well this cache has 10 favs, so we planned to go the day after the souvenir went live and kick off this Geocaching 15 Road Trip with a bang! Getting closer to the date I found us another solver to join our merry band of cachers, and so Tadrew joined the team.

On the day of the trek we made the walk to the cache nice and easy, and armed with reading a lot of the previous finders logs we felt confident we knew what we were in for. Boy were we wrong!!
We spied what we thought might be the spot via images from the website, but we just were not sure so we relied on a PAF to our caching friends Stellalabella. She confirmed our worst fears, and so we gave it a valiant try. However the A team didn't quite feel comfortable with the location after making a very scary crossing. Tadrew who stayed behind with her dog Sunnie explored a bit back down the

trail, and exclaimed that she may have found a better prospect. So the A Team crossed back, while we all held our breaths.

When we all made it safely back to the trail Tadrew pointed out her proposed location, and sure enough all our GPSr's pointed in same direction. We had made a bad choice, and wait, what is that, OH MY LORD, the cache was visible from our vantage point!!! Mrs GO Team and I started to head over, but my knee started to misbehave (I have a diagnosed problem) and I had to back out. So Mrs GO Team, A Team, and G Force continued forward.

Well I tell ya, I have one brave little wife! She decided to give the attempt all on her own, and up and over she went with a little assistance from G Force. A Team decided to attempt the climb to the cache too, and that is when the scariest moment in my caching career happened.... A TEAM FELL!! A yelp of disbelief came from group, and him tumbling down played in our eyes in slow motion. And when his fall came to an end, he got back up and exclaimed he was ok!

Mrs GO Team quickly finished with the log signing and slowly made her way back down the cliff, and was safely assisted by A Team & G Force to steady ground. They slowly made their way back to the main trail, and when they returned my wife being the nurse she is gave A Team a look over. He really was ok, and only sustained a few scrapes. However I am sure he will have a bit of bruising and will be a bit sore tomorrow!

After a round of high-fives we started our return trek and grabbed a few more caches along the way!

Thanks ikster for the fun mystery and for the epic adventure!!!!

Find number: 5400



Our weekend didn't end there however.  There was another cache I had planned to do that was a rare 1D/4.5T rating.  While this one too was a cache with 10 favorite points, it was a back up in case the day before was a bust.  But since it wasn't a bust it was going to be another amazing adventure with even more people who were relying on a cool cache for the souvenir.

The cache planned was "Stairway to Nowhere - GC1ZP2F", and it is really only approachable by boat. So naturally it took a little extra planning.  Like the cache the day before I wrote a lengthy found it log on the cache page, so instead of writing it all out again I will just share it here:

"What a great adventure!
We found this with WestCoastNavigator (WCN), A Team, G Force, Tadrew, Neltra, Poarchlizard, and SoobaxM on this beautiful Father's Day!

Several months ago while on Facebook I did a general question of who had a boat that could assist in me getting to this cache. It was on my personal Facebook and not the GCGV side, but thankfully I have cacher friends on that side and WestCoastNavigator (formerly of Moss Troopers) said she may be able to help out. There was some general discussion between her and I, as well as a few people tossing it out there that they would interested too. But nothing much came of that then, as it was still winter and a long way from a plannable time.

Time went on and WestCoastNavigator contacted me and said she had a boat lined up and asked if I had an idea of when I thought I would like to make this happen. I mentioned June, and she agreed and said the boat she had lined up could take up to 10 passengers. So concluding that end of the idea I proceeded to send invites to my good caching friends who I knew would appreciate the invite. Of course there were a ton of people I would have loved to invited, but there was only so many spaces... So I am sorry to anyone who may feel left out!

The morning of the trip Mrs GO Team and I got up nice and early and got our gear together, and were soon on the road to Brentwood Bay to meet up with our team. We arrived to find Porchlizard already on the scene who gave us some parking instructions for the area. As we began to search we saw A Team and G Force arrive, followed by the rest shortly after. Once we were all together we headed down to the docks and met our Captain and boarded his boat the "Knotty One".

When we started to leave the docks you could feel the excitement of the team buzzing in the air and it

only got stronger as we neared and saw the stairs for ourselves. Upon arrival we were lucky to find that there was a convenient mooring buoy just off the beach near the objective, so we tied the boat to it and started to off load ourselves 2 at a time in the row boat that WestCoastNavigator used to get us all to dry land.
Once we were all there it was a matter of figuring out the best way to approach the stairs, so we all climbed up a short embankment to a dirt road that seemed to head in the general direction of the cache. And then after a small little scurry down a hill we were all on the stairs.

The cache was in plain sight when we arrived, so that made short work of that. And of course when we were done signing we made sure to cover it up a bit better so that it wont be exposed to the wrong people in the future. Of course what kind of group outing would this have been if we didn't take a few group shots, and pictures of the surrounding area. But sadly too soon the time to leave came upon us, and we all made the trek back to the beach and again 2 at time were rowed back to the "Knotty One".

Thanks you to my entire team, I had a fantastic day with you all and enjoyed every moment of it. Thank you to WestCoastNavigator for arranging the transportation, and of course A SUPER HUGE THANK YOU to our Captain for taking a group of strangers onto your boat and giving us the means to make this all happen!!! Thank you Kiwibirdman for placing the cache, without your contribution the adventure would never have happened at all! Of course this gets a favorite point from us!!!

Find number: 5405


~The GO! Team~"

Thank you everyone that came along on all the adventures this past weekend.  We had such a blast hanging out with you and going to some pretty cool places for the first time!
And thank you to our readers, we appreciate that you take the time to visit and read about our many stories!

Saturday, 13 June 2015


This weekend (Saturday the 13th to be precise) was the 12th Annual World Wide Flash Mob.  This event happens every year around the May to June range, and the events that happen globally for this typically vary in activity.  Last year saw a whopping 27,188 geocachers attending WWFM events across the globe, and I personally am interested in seeing the numbers for this year.

Here in Victoria (as well as in other places) our WWFM Event was a Freeze Mob, so our job was to freeze in place at the appointed time and when the whistle blew.  And as usual the event was hosted by A Team & G Force.

Click images to enlarge
The day of the event Mrs GO Team and I had a late start... Well that isn't entirely true, as I had
woke up early but let time run away on me resulting in a late wake up for my wife.  That's right, I was her alarm clock!  Anyway we got ready as quickly as we could and headed out the door.  We arrived with just enough time to get into position and start wandering around the field in the park waiting for the whistle.  We could see many of our geocaching friends strewn about the field doing various activities, some we knew would be pretty funny when the muggles (non-geocaching folk) saw us freeze in place.  Soon the whistle blew, and all of us froze.  Frisbees fell to the ground, as did softballs, and all around people seemingly enjoying their day were frozen in time.  When the minuet was up we all resumed our activities as if nothing even happened, to which when looking around we could see a few very confused faces!!!!

A few of the local cachers went after a particular D5/T5 cache (a very difficult cache) in a tree at the grounds, and they replaced the very wet log with a rite-in-rain logbook and had a mass signing for all who wanted it!  Those that didn't need the cache like us (we were part of the FTF crew on it) headed over to sign the event log instead.
Once everyone was there and did the same they held the draw for the WWFM XII geocoin, and LookerNL was the winner of that cool piece of swag.  And of course what kind of event would complete without a group photo, so we quickly gathered together for that too.

Mrs GO Team and I hung out for quite a while chatting with Pat&Rob and our new geo-friends Team Geosaur, who by the way recently published their first cache GC5TV5T which is worth a visit and favorite point!

Thank you A Team and G Force for hosting this event.  And thank you to all who attended, while the number of attendees was smaller than in past years it didn't take any of the fun away!

Click images to enlarge