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Posts posted by CapeDoc

  1. I will probably do the 'Dark George' hike with a hiking group tomorrow. Anyone keen to join, please send me a message through my profile or look up my details in the WC database. Meet 7:00am at the helicopters parking lot in Newlands Forest.

  2. It would be nice if we had an option to choose to navigate with the iOS Maps application since it beacame possible with iOS 6. Android has a similar feature and I indeed used it a lot with my former phone. Now you must "View on external map" which launches Google Maps browser version, copy the location from the browser's address bar and paste it into the Maps app. Very slow...

    +1 This is exactly what I was going to request!

  3. Maybe you can share in the mean time what they were "very concerned" about to ensure we consider it in all our actions (if they actually defined it...)

    Well, by their rules, no one is allowed to leave the standard paths. I also think there was a perception that geocaches were being placed in their 1000s around the park, all leaving a trail of destruction in their path. When I told the manager that there we 410 caches in his area, his reply was "Oh! That is manageable" making me feel quite relieved! The parks get around 12 000 000 visits a year (I think), so we are relatively small in their list of concerns. I think the discussion I had with him has tempered some of his concerns. They ARE worried about protecting very endangered species, but we cant do much about that till this process has played out.


    I will also suggest they monitor this forum, perhaps then they can give us constructive direction here.

  4. Doc, I think it commendable in what you are doing. Good luck and I supportt you wholeheartedly.


    I seem to recall that the KNP issues address by Fish Eagle also touched on the TMNP as well or am I incorrect there? Maybe Andy could shed some additional light on that and thrown in his 2c worth prior to the letter being posted. That is my 2c worth.


    I will be watching this with interest as I think this will not be the last of these types of issues.

    I did approach FE, as well as Rotsip, BruceTP and Globalrat. Rotsip has given his support.FE felt he couldn't give official support as he is no longer a reviewer.

  5. I am concerned about the future of geogaching in the TMPN reserves on the peninsula.


    Recently a cache was placed in Cape Town on an island. I had previously seen the island as a potential location, asked the relevant authorities permission, and was denied. This prompted me to place another cache with the theme of "getting permission". As such I contacted the Table Mountain Parks board and asked if I could place a cache in a restricted area, with the provisor that if a cacher wanted to find it, they had to get permission. I thought it a good way of introducing cachers to the "Powers that be" and facilitating permission for future caches.

    The response has been one of escalation: "speak to my boss". As I have gone about this, I have spoken to officials higher up the chain in the National Parks structure who have been aware of geocaching already and have "been very concerned" about geocaching. To make this clear, they were "very concerned" PRIOR to dealing with me. I feel that geocaching is at risk of alienating the relevant authorities in the Cape. I have been asked by them to make proposals on how to improve our relationship with them.

    Now I am just a lowly individual, and have no "right" to represent geocaching in any way. I do not want to do anything to anger others in the community. I think that we MUST interface with the parks to protect the future of caching, but I feel we, the geocaching community collectively need to agree on the approach.


    I have drawn up a letter of reply and request your comments, opinions and suggestions before proceeding any further. Further, if anyone feels they are better suited to negotiations and want to take my place, feel free to come forward (I don't particularly want to do it, but the need is pressing). I would appreciate any support anyone can give.


    I personally hope that ALL geocachers are ecologically sensitive, cherishing the spots that we have been shown by geocaching. If this process results in caches being removed form sensitive areas (as advised by TMNP) I would hope that we all would rsepect the need to preserve our heritage over our selfish desires. For example,(as told to me by the more senior TMNP managers) there are some species of plant on TM where only 3 or 4 individual plants are left. Clearly there ARE places where we should not be placing caches.


    Below is the letter. Please make comments and suggestions.



    I, dr de la Harpe, am part of a community that participate in a sport or hobby called Geocaching.


    We concerned that as the sport grows and becomes more popular, that the geocaching community has a good, ecologically sound relationship with all National Parks, including Table Mountain National Parks.


    Geocaching is a “sport” or hobby in which any registered “player” or (cacher) can place a hidden container (a geocache), containing a logbook, somewhere for other cachers to find using a GPS. The intent of the sport is to hide geocaches in interesting areas. These may highlight areas of natural beauty, historical, geological, botanical, social, archeological (etc!) interests. It is a regulated sport, with a controlling web site, rules and a review process. Every cache placed is reviewed by a competent, appointed reviewer who ensures the cache adheres to the rules of geocaching. Geocachers tend to be fairly wealthy, intelligent, geeky people who are environmentally sensitive.


    The Table mountain National Parks areas are beautiful and mostly free to access and therefore have been used by geocachers wanting to share the beauty with others. Geocaches have been placed within the Parks for 11 years already (since 2001).


    To give an idea of the environmental impact, I thought you might want to get an idea of some statistics:

    • At present there are about 410 geocaches in the Peninsula Reserve areas between Signal Hill and Cape Point

    • The oldest cache in the country is in Silvermine and has been found 140 times in 11 years (geocachers make a pilgrimage to visit it, wanting to visit the site where it all began)

    • The greatest number of finds on any cache in the area is on a cache near the cableway, which has been found 635 times in a 7-year period. (It is the most found cache in South Africa)

    • Giving an average is very hard, but caches on top of Table Mountain away from more touristy areas are probably not found more than 10 to 20 times per year.


    Most caches are hidden very near main paths. Some of them are placed on the more adventurous routes up the mountain and are near unofficial paths. These caches receive less finds than caches on the standard routes.


    Some proposals to ensure a good relationship or even mutually beneficial relationship between Geocachers and TMNPs :


    1. TMNPs supply us with a map of ecologically sensitive or threatened areas. This could be passed on to the geocaching reviewers who could ensure that any caches in the areas be removed and that no new caches are placed in those areas

    2. TMNPs could register with the Geocaching web site and browse the geocaching maps of the caches in the Peninsula area and highlight caches of concern. Those caches could be visited by TMNPs, perhaps in combination with a geocacher, and if the cache is thought to be unsound, the cache could be removed.

    3. In other areas of the country, National Parks have appointed individuals to interface with geocachers , to overview and review the placement of new geocaches. TMNPs could copy this practice

    4. If geocachers can help the TMNPs in any way a TMNP representative could again interface with the geocaching to facilitate beneficial events. Geocaching does cater for events (or “get togethers”). Some of these are called CITO (“Cache in Trash out”). These are get togethers where geocachers remove rubbish from the environment. Geocachers could be requested to : remove trash in high tourist areas, hack alien vegetation, remove graffiti or maintain paths by TMNP. In this way the Geocaching community could give back to the TMNPs as a gesture of good faith for allowing us to continue using the TMNP reserves for geocaching.


    We hope to convey that Geocachers are environmentally sensitive and are wanting to work with the TMNPs (and all National Parks) in preserving the reserves, whilst enjoying them.


  6. Come and join us this Saturday (15 September / 12h00) at S33 52.900 E018 29.370

    The Dishonorable Plunder will be doing duty again.


    Scuba Steve is the name of the game.


    Bring along a sense of Adventure, and come and have fun with us...


    Extra Boats are welcome too...


    Thus far ... Henzz , Cownchicken & Huskies...

    How about making it a "RED AND YELLOW" mini-event in honor of Scuba Steve?




    might see you there!

  7. I only log a NA if the cache contravenes the rules. Normally this is where a cache has inadvertently been placed on private property without permission. If a cache was causing damage in an ecologically sensitive area I would also log a NA. I would not log NA if the cache were simply apparently missing, there I would log a NM, if the cache is not replaced the reviewer should archive it in time (if the reviewer had placed a warning log on the cache more than 6 months ago, I may log a NA to bump the reviewer into fulfilling the warning.

  8. Example of armchair geocaching on one of mine today (note the date of the "find"):


    You are receiving this email because you are the owner of this listing.


    Location: Western Cape, South Africa

    "A cacher" found Table Mountain Travel Bug Hotel (Traditional Cache) at 12/12/2011


    Log Date: 12/12/2011



    Visit this log entry at the below address:



    Visit Table Mountain Travel Bug Hotel



    Profile for cacher


    why not have a lottery Doc - seems fairer as there is obviously a lot of interest - i cacher per team - unless as you say there is not enough demand.




    .....Only about 10 people have expressed interest here so far....

  10. An update:


    - the trip can only be done on a Saturday.

    - We meet at 10am at Cape Town station

    - the 16 places are for the whole trip and tour and meal. I am sure familes would be able to join for the train trip (own expence - I don't know the cost.)

    - if demand is high, then spaces will be reserved for cachers only, if low, then I can be more accomodating.

    - no hop on's or offs.

    - cownchicken et al can have another cacher book their places for them via a "will attend" posted by that cacher. The peron they appoint must stipulate who, and how many places they are reserving.


    - rules can probably be bent in many ways... :D


  11. Who's up for another Cape Doc event with a difference?


    This time its going to be

    - a return train trip from Cape Town station to Simonstown.

    - a submarine tour

    - and a meal at Harbour View. You will get a R60 meal voucher for lunch.


    Total cost per person for the above will be about R55


    Who is keen? What dates? (Next 3 months only please).


    No booking places here or with me AT ALL! Places will be determined on a first come, first served basis when you log a "Will Attend" on the event page. I have 16 places, all welcome for lunch though, but if you are not on the train you will not get a meal voucher.



  12. Table top Trove on Table Mountain had its 600th find recently! If one imagined all those that had found it sharing a beer together, there would be quite a crowd!

  13. Hi all

    Karen Watkins is looking for a few people to answer the following questions for an article about geocaching (for a popular magazine):


    1. Your name and where you live.


    2. How long have you been geocaching, what drew you to it and what do you get out of it?


    3. What caches have you created, info about them and where are they?


    She is looking for answers from far and wide. (Carbonhunter? Cincol? FishEagle?)


    Her email address is: karen.watkins1@gmail.com

    Please send her a mail if interested.

  14. Today I am taking 25 cachers on a Sewer Tour under the city.


    Do you check for H2S as you go? Your event sounds fun, but I don't think I'd line up for your tour unless I knew that poisonous and explosive gas that collects in sewers had been taken into consideration.

    Make that a storm water drain, well ventilated by frequent manholes, guided by a reputable guide.

    We had a blast! 300 year old brick tunnels can be quite impressive!!


    Find something special to DO on an event cache.

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