July 28 – The Big Day at Piratemania 11

A 9 km walk and fun Lab Caches

Hello from 1066 – A Medieval Mosiac

We arrived at the Piratemania II Mega just at 10 am and walked over to the marquee just as the heavens opened up again. How it can rain here! Mind you it was not cold and it did not last long.

We walked around the stalls collecting one geocoin and some travel tags. We got one travel bug which we will attach to the Medieval Mosaic to make it discoverable and we also got two travel bugs in order to make discoverable name tags for ourselves to use for geocaching events.

Then we set off on the B track – the flat one. There are two geocaching trails but the other one is hilly. When we got back we had walked 9 km and 13500 steps so no wonder our feet hurt! On a positive note, we had collected 21 caches and met lots of geocachers often walking with various groups often in the company of OSD and Team DG.

On our return to camp we had lunch then we went to do the 10 lab caches just as the heavens opened up again. Man! It can rain! The lab caches were excellent. Lab caches are set up especially for an event and are not left in place afterwards. Most of them were inside the marquee which given the weather was just as well. They try out various geocaching skills like code breaking and following instructions. Mike’s favourite was picking a padlock with a combination of two picks. We are not sure about the morality of being taught to pick locks but we only use the skill for geocaching. My favourite was the Grotten13 where I had to use a rotor system to break a code. The clue is in the name so you use a rotor of 13 hence A + 13 = N, B = O, C = P etc. However, it was not as easy as that as only one of the sets of beads spelt out the right word and there were about 20 that needed checking. That is my type of puzzle. The answer to each of the lab caches was the name of a sea or an ocean and we then logged the caches directly using a special app on the cell phone. The log caches were very clever and very entertaining and we always look forward to doing them.

We left at about 6 and found another 4 caches on the way back through the forest including some caches on the A trail. We then spent about 45 mins trying to get out of the park as the pay machines stopped accepting geocachers discount voucher number. There were at least 8 car loads of people involved and after trying multiple times we drove through the barrier hoping to sort it out tomorrow. As it turned out it was fine and someone came out to fix the system and it was working properly the next day.

Brilliant Day! My hat off to all the organisers, all the stall holders and everyone who contributed to a great Piratemania!