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Posts posted by square_peg

  1. Let's give Groundspeak some time to work out the bugs in the current system before asking them to set up a new 3-tiered system.


    And all of you who want a 3-tiered system - you saw what the cost of Google would be for one avid cacher, ~$10/month or $120/year. Are you really willing to spend that much for Google? And are you willing to chip in a bit more for the programming time that Groundspeak uses to implement that new third tier?


    So your new Premium-Plus membership might cost you the original $30/year + $120/year for Google + some additional cost for the necessary programming to make the system work. So how does $150-$170/year sound? How many current premium members are going to pony up for that?


    I'm sure that Groundspeak has their hands full right now working on the new system. Shall they set that work aside and first work on some premium 3-tiered system? A system that most will be unwilling to pay for?

  2. I'm more disappointed with Google than with Groundspeak. Given the situation I'd rather use the best free maps available rather than see a big jump in memberships dues.


    And while I can appreciate that some members might happily pay a premium for Google service, I think that Groundspeak's responsibility lies first to their broader membership. Before they invest time in creating a special membership class I'd like to give them some time to work out the kinks in the current system.

  3. It was great meeting you today, Dick! :P

    That's quite the station you have set up there.


    And you're getting along rather well. You look like and move like a man 15 or 20 years younger than your age. I guess geocaching keeps you young.


    Thanks again for the little boat. It'll get wet soon. :laughing:

  4. Hehehehe.


    Yep, I'm a big boy. :laughing:


    That's cool to hear your history with Blake Island. A shame to see such a cool place reduced to being a checkmark on a tourist's list. Still a great place for a paddle cacher to explore. Just don't bother with Tillicum Village. :laughing:

  5. We made it. Found both the caches and hiked around Blake Island. What a fantastic day of caching!!!!! :unsure:


    We launched here (Google map). There's room for one vehicle to park here without blocking the gate. Don't block the gate!


    From here it's just a little over a mile across the water to the Blake Island South End Campground. There's a trail leading up off the beach at that spot. We found a father and daughter canoe pair camping there.


    We planned our trip for a day with a low tide just after our crossing. This gave us a favorable current in both directions. We also selected a day with good weather, high pressure and little wind. We found the water almost glassy for the crossing. We really lucked out with the weather.


    The inland water advisory for the area predicted 1 foot swells with winds up to 10 knots. The tidal current, the swells and the winds were essentially a non-factor for this trip. I wouldn't want to do this crossing in a rubber raft under rougher conditions. We were prepared to cancel the trip if we found rough water.


    The beach on both sides is barnacled cobble. We had to be careful launching our rubber rafts. I brought beach shoes for launching and dry shoes and socks for hiking once we were across. As we approached the island there was a notable northwest current close to shore. You need to account for this with your bearings (note, the current would be different after low tide).


    Once ashore we pulled out the trail maps and compared them to the NW Trails maps on our Garmins. Neither are particularly accurate. We saved our tracks to send in to NW Trails but we didn't map the whole island.


    We first hiked up to the Chief Sealth's Birthplace cache. It was a pretty easy hike with most of the elevation gain right at the start. Once there we debated back tracking along the mapped trails and looping around to the Blake Island Summit cache. Instead we elected to bushwack about 600 feet to the other trail. This turned out to be a good idea. The forest was fairly open and a small game trail was easy to follow. That saved us a mile or two of extra hiking. The second cache was as easy to find as the first.


    Then we hiked down to the NW corner of the island and followed the island loop trail east to Tillicum Village. We arrived at the village just before an Argosy Cruise boat arrived and disgorged a load of tourists. That was interesting. :unsure:


    From their we followed the shoreline trail around the east side of the island and back to the South End Campground and our boats. Total trail hike was about 7 miles. Total water crossings were about 2.5 miles.


    We used the tide tables for Point Vashon. We found the actual tide change at our crossing was about a 1/2 hour behind the Point Vashon tide table. As we approached the Southworth side on the way back there was a notable current running to the SE, bringing us to shore a little east of where we were aiming for.


    All in all I'd say this crossing is very doable in a modest craft provided that you are an experienced boater and you have planned ahead for favorable tides and weather. Any time you're crossing part of Puget Sound in a small craft there is inherent danger. Keep that in mind and you'll be fine.

  6. My thought is to launch from somewhere just north of the Southworth Ferry Terminal. I would take advantage of tomorrow's noon low tide, launching in the morning (maybe 9-ish) and riding the outgoing tide north to Blake Island. Then after seeking the caches I would ride the now incoming tide back south to Southworth.


    Anyone here have experience with this trip? Suggestions? Cautions?

  7. What will happen if you click the recalculate mileage tab?


    That worked for me! Thanks.


    Has anyone considered that this could be a cache problem, that is, a problem with our computers local cache. Has anyone experiencing the problem tried refreshing/reloading the TB page? If the 'mileage traveled' is something that gets stored locally on your computer then it could be calling up the old mileage when the TB page loads.


    Just a thought.

  8. Yesterday on March 13, Petronella and I (Tobias) reached #1000 at GCGV0P - ORIGINAL STASH TRIBUTE PLAQUE. We would like to thank mc3cats for going down their with us and taking our picture for us.


    Congrats, T&P!!! yay.gifyay.gifyay.gif


    And thanks for dropping my Plumb Outa Luck bug in that fine cache. bow.gif

  9. The norm around here is that all present during the search can share the co-FTF if the actual finder cares to share it. Most actual finders do.


    The actual finder gets to sign the log first and collect the FTF prize if there is one.


    Cachers who walk up while the cache is open but already found don't normally share in the co-FTF.


    These are never hard and fast rules.

  10. There is a new contact person for Mt. Saint Helens national Monument.


    His name is Rod Ludvigsen.


    Rod's a good guy. I've dealt with him a few times while arranging star parties (amateur astronomy gatherings) in the monument.

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