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Everything posted by Copepod

  1. Masterfull view http://coord.info/GCJ2FY is one of the first two geocaches I ever found, while visiting my partner who was working near Oban. I'd been to the port many times before and since, as several relatives used to lived there. Oban has a distillery and is a lovely place to visit - nearly always seals and seabirds in the harbour, excellent fish and shellfish cabins around the harbour, McCaig's Tower (round folly), ferries to isle of Mull etc. There will be lots of tourists in August, but slightly fewer in second half of month, after Scottish school term starts, but English, Welsh & Northern Irish schools are still on holiday and may be visiting Scotland. However, the site of Masterfull view isn't a place reched by many tourists, as it's a bit of a climb, rewarded by a great view over islands.
  2. When looking for news of JK Orienteering competitions on Nopesport orienteering forum, I saw this thread: http://forum.nopesport.com/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=14544 entitled "geocache orienteer idiots at lancaster" regarding an incident during Temp O competition on Lancaster University campus on Friday 3rd April. I guess it should be possible to discover geocaching user names of those involved, if the location of geoache is known. Might be better for the inconsiderate people to admit their guilt, particularly as they must have realised that the temp o competition was very important to those taking part, especially as there are far fewer trail orienteering opportunities than regular orienteering.
  3. Except the trig point in Wandlebury Country Park isn't the highest point in Cambridgeshire [that's in Great Chishill, nearer Royston in Hertfordshire] and it's on the edge of a clump of trees, in a field, surrounded by trees. On a clear day, you can see Ely Cathedral from the edge of the Park, overlooking the golf course.
  4. In case you're not already aware, Mon 25th May 2015 is Spring Bank Holiday in Scotland and England. The week beginning Mon 25th May is half term holiday, which means schools are closed, so pupils and teachers are on holiday, so attractions, transport, accommodation etc will be busier than usual. Not being either a teacher, nor a parent, I tend to avoid holiday locations that week, because I can visit at other times. However, it's not so bad, so you shouldn't be discouraged. Rannoch Moor is a wonderful bleak place, but only go if you have a map, compass and skills, not just a GPS, as batteries can run out, and the safest place to cross a stream [usually called a burn in Scotland] is not usually when following an arrow on a GPS.
  5. After finding over 100 caches with a GPS, I had a phase of seeking several geocaches without a GPS [no longer have access to a shared GPS] or a smartphone [haven't got one]. I plotted grid references onto OS maps, plus carried print out of cache page, plus any potentially useful photos eg which tree, which pile of stones. Only got my own GPS this week, so hoping to find a few this weekend, if I have time between work and other commitments. Taking a few print outs of cache pages and a couple of OS maps, too.
  6. Just checked where you're from, ValliantKnight, so perhaps as a fellow Pom, who has travelled widely in Australia, including expedition in far north Queensland rainforest (5 weeks camping in December / January, tracking yellow bellied gliders at night and trapping brush tailed bettongs), more bush walking in QLD rainforest on mainland and islands in Jan / Feb, Overland Trail in Tasmania in March, hiking in Snowy Mountains of NSW around Thredbo in April (as snow arrived) on one trip; 3 months as field assistant to PhD student researching flood history of Fitzroy River, northern WA July to Sept on another trip, perhaps I can give some appropriate guidance. First trip was pre GPS, but 2nd trip we used GPS to record locations, although this was pre 2000 and thus pre geocaching. The key to avoiding snake bites is not to upset snakes ie look where you put your feet, make lots of noise / vibrations to give them a chance to get out of your way. Many snake bites don't actually involve envenomation ie the snake doesn't inject venom through its fangs. In Tasmania, poisonous snakes have grooved teeth, so venom is not injected through hypodermic needle-like fangs, but drips down grooves, so consider wearing gaiters and / or socks, as if they bite, most of the venom would be absorbed by fabric. While most snakes are not usually aggressive, Tiger snakes in Tasmania, defending their young in autumn (ie April) and a few tropical snakes are exceptions and can be aggressive ###s. Having said all that, make sure you (and all in your group) know how to treat snake bite and carry the right kit ie compression immobilsation technique, using rolled compression / crepe bandages. see http://www.health.qld.gov.au/poisonsinformationcentre/bites_stings/bs_pressure.asp which covers technique and when to use it ie which species / groups of animals. As well as looking where you put your feet, look where you put your hands ie don't put hands into holes unless you can see completely clearly - carry and use a stick and torch. Take notices seriously - saltwater crocodiles, for example, are to be avoided and respected. Also, for your own comfort, but also to protect ecosystems, get to know local noxious plants - noogoora burr, for example, in northern WA is unpleastant to humans, but devastating to livestock, having already meant the end of sheep in Fitzroy river area, so avoid spreading such plants. In my experience, I was actually disappointed at how few snakes and spiders I saw, but that's a biologist's view! As a nurse, I was quite glad not to need to treat myself on anyone else I was with. I walked Overland Trail with a Canadian bloke I met in a hostel, and on one of the few times he dared to walk in front, he stopped dead when he saw a large body lying in a sunny patch among trees, turned to me and asked if it was a wild pig and was it going to charge us. I reassured him that it was a wombat, a species not known for aggression, and we watched it bumble off into undergrowth. One risk you might not consider is that a frightened goanna lizard would scratch you badly if it mistook your leg for a tree trunk - normal escape behaviour is to climb a tree.
  7. Will there be a suspension of caches around Glasgow and other Commonwealth Games 2014 venues, eg Chris Hoy cycle stadium in Edinburgh, in the same way as London Olympics & Paralympics 2012? Partly answered above about one park, presumably in Glasgow?
  8. Insect numbers are known to be down on normal levels currently, but will probably catch up eventually, delayed by long cold spring. Remember that many birds and mammals, especially, are more difficult to see if you're out with other people, at times other than dawn and dusk etc. Hoping to spot lots of wildlife at this event http://www.museum.zoo.cam.ac.uk/events/bioblitz.cambridge.2013/ Wandlebury Country Park, just outside Cambridge, also has 2 multi caches, 2 traditionals and 1 virtual.
  9. I've always orientated the map so that map matches the ground - and that's what I teach as an orienteering coach.
  10. Highfield Farm Campsite at Comberton (west of Cambridge) is near to several caches - 4 trads and a puzzle in an around nearby Coton Countryside Reserve, for starters. There's also a caravan / campsite at on A1307 at Great Shelford (southern outskirts of Cambridge). Another batch of caches at Wandlebury Country Park - 2 multis, 2 trads and a virtual - about 2 miles from Gt Shelford, with a couple of caches on or just off the way at Terry Dactile's Nest, Clerk's Piece, Babraham Rd P&R site. Several more around Trumpington, about 1 mile NW of campsite. Plus, loads more caches within city - best to use P&R services, instead of driving into city. Never stayed at at campsites near Cambridge, due to living here.
  11. Two rural areas on the outskirts of Cambridge have plenty of caches: Wandlebury Country Park: http://coord.info/GC2BQ3R http://coord.info/GC2BQ6C http://coord.info/GC2BQHJ http://coord.info/GC3DMKE http://coord.info/GCABED Coton Countryside Reserve (and around): http://coord.info/GC2Q11F http://coord.info/GC2Q11P http://coord.info/GC2Q11Y http://coord.info/GC2KKAT http://coord.info/GC1AZCE http://coord.info/GC2J648 Within Cambridge city, there are large commons eg Coe Fen http://coord.info/GC2MTN4 http://coord.info/GC1QTJT http://coord.info/GC2MTX4
  12. Just had to "sign" a log book - didn't have a pen with me, but did have a safety pin, so pricked date and name on paper. Hope the CO approves!
  13. On the Monday after the closing ceremony, after a fortnight of Games Maker duties, but not actually seeing any sports action, I was rostered to work in Bedford for one of my paid jobs. So, naturally, I checked to see if there was a gold post box in town, vaguely remembering the connection of the town with Etienne Stott, double canoe slalomist. It's in St Paul's Square, near the riverside. On leaving, I noticed a signpost in the churchyard of St Paul's, a church which had been refered to as "somewhere in England" and used for broadcasting daily services to personnel in mainland Europe during WW2. So, on checking the area, I was surprised that the connection hadn't already given rise to a cache. So, I hope that the area does get a cache to celebrate both 20th history and recent Olympic canoeing success.
  14. Even cheaper to pick up short biro pens from pavements outside betting shops.
  15. Actually, I'd say that Latin / scientific names are especially useful, as they are international, between languages / continents / regions eg what is a harebell in Scotland isn't the same as a harebell in England (OK, not a tree example, but you get the idea) Worldwide, there are approx 600 species in Genus / Subgenus Quercus, but you can narrow down options considerably by location. Admittedly, I'm in perhaps an unusual situation, having gained Latin 16+ (CSE grade 1 / O level grade at a bog standard comprehensive in 1982 (can't be many CSEs in Latin), which became useful when I studied Nursing in mid 1980s, then Marine Biology at University 1989 - 92, but anyone can look up such names on internet these days. I work as a ranger at a country park, which includes running / assisting in courses for the public about various topics, including use of GPS, orienteering, tree ID, plant folklore, nest box making etc.
  16. Mrs Blorenge - hope your life feels better for knowing about Copepods? Running Penguin doesn't do much caching these days, preferring adventure racing etc. He wouldn't find Adelie penguin attacks quite so painful if he worer trousers instead of shorts around Rothera! I only cache occasionally when I get the chance between work - not looking at copepods these days, but working at country park & countryside reserve, marshalling (unpaid) at adventure races and occasionally competing, but somewhat limited since a knee injury caused by falling down a cattlegrid on Dunstable Downs at 2am on 25th July, while putting out signs for a cycle sportive - only one organsier and me to signpost about 150 miles route. I couldn't even walk to the caches near the Gateway Centre after that! My visits to Greenland, Svalbard and Canada were all before geocaching started, and I was too busy with scientific fieldwork & youth leadership to do any caching in Falklands or South Georgia. Consequently, I've only caches in Scotland and England - my first caching experience was when Running Penguin was working at a marine lab near Oban.
  17. Recently, 3 of us watched all the episodes of "Frozen Planet", each Wednesday night. One of us (Running Penguin) being an Antarctic engineer meteorology projects who thinks all penguins are vindinctive little bleeps who peck your knees and s**t in meltwater supplies, another is a non-caching marine biologist, just moved back to Antarctic research after a few years in Irish fisheries, and me who has counted Antarctic copepods down a microscope, worked on Antarctic met records, land beetles, sea urchin gonads etc, spent 2 summers in Greenland, 1 in Svalbard and 1 in Falklands / South Georgia. So, you can perhaps imagine some of the banter and laughter among the wonder and delight at the filming!
  18. It's to avoid issues like that, that I plant my pole in the ground, not tuck it under my arm - admittedly, being female and havingto squat makes things a bit different. When staffing checkpoints for adventure races, I'm oftne out in the field for up to 48s hrs, so have to pee a few times, away from checkpoint, but in sight, so if a team arrives, I can see them before they see me, and to keep on good terms with any sheep in the vicinity.
  19. Can I respectfully suggest you fit a bell? I'm not being facetious or cross or anything but not all pedestrians have such acute hearing that they can hear gear changes. Consideration (and safety) to other path users goes both ways, and as a fellow cyclist, I find pedestrians much more appreciative when I ding my bell from some way away to warn them of my presence when using a shared route. Just a thought. As a fellow cyclist and walker, often on shared use paths, I find that having a lock that clanks in my handlebars alerts most walkers as I approach, at reasonble, not breakneck speed, from behind. As I get close, I say "excuse me", as I find that causes far less confusion, particularly when there are more than one human and / or dog, as they all tend to go in opposite directions, which sometimes means a long near-invisible dog lead is across the path or people are on both sides of a narrow alleyway - if they both / all went to the same side, it would be much easier to pass and leave them in peace. Even in a city with lots of foreign tourists and people from parts of UK where bikes are less common, "excuse me" is widely understood and easier for ears to locate than a shrill bell.
  20. Definitely a head torch, not one to hold in hands. If you want really dazzling lights, look at what night orienteers use! Otherwise, the more LEDs the better, and although they don't draw much power compared to blubs with elements, worth having spares or at least choosing torch that takes same size batteries as GPS and / or camera. Personally, I usually buy cheap head torches eg Mountain Warehouse / Aldi / Lidl etc. Usually cost from £5 each up to about £16 for 2. Haven't had one fail yet, but have lost or given away a few over the years. Most have hinges, so you can adjuts light beam downwards when talking to someone - or switch it off. However, be prepared to be dazzled by someone who needs to lip read you!
  21. Pubs in all parts of island of Ireland are generally good. When they serve food, including puds (puddings) sizes are usually generous, rather than small
  22. Geocaching has been around for over 10 years now, and it's probably a fair assumption that glass containers have been used on occasion for that long as well. Depending on the location and method of hiding, a glass geocache container should be no more or less dangerous than a glass container in your kitchen or local shop. This is reflected in that there is no mention - either for or against - the use of glass containers in the Groundspeak guidelines, the knowledge books, the GAGB guidelines, or the code of conduct. If there had been a problem with glass containers (other than lapses of common sense) I'd have expected to see a mention in at least one of these..... I think a cache container is in a very different environment to your kitchen or local shop. Three easy steps for a cut hand 1) water gets in cache 2) water freezes as cache is outside 3) glass breaks due to expansion of ice. A cacher then comes along and uses hand to feel for the cache and you have an accident. Plastic containers would stretch a bit and could crack but I'd doubt you'd get cut on one. You make a fair point although at the same time feeling for a cache in an area you can't see inside is asking for trouble from items unrelated to the cache. Who knows if someone unrelated to caching has left broken glass or used needles there, or if an animal has taken up residence or similar? Thinking about the risks of fingers touching other things inside a hole which might house a cache occured to me with the final location of GCHMV6 The Tynemouth Trail, http://coord.info/GCHMV6, but as always, I used a pokey thing to listen / feel for distinctive sound / touch of a plastic box.
  23. Advice regarding cattle around rights of way in Uk from Ramblers Association here: http://www.ramblers.org.uk/rights_of_way/knowledge_portal/advice_notes/animals.htm Advice for crossing a barbed wire fence - ideally don't do it, but a map in a map case gives reasonable protection if you're careful! Personally, having grown up in rural Worcestershire, I am delighted to have found myself at university in Newcastle upon Tyne, where there are friendly cattle on Town Moor & Castle Leazes, and now working in Cambridge, where many fens and commons have cattle and cycle paths / foot paths - usually, I stop to give them a pat or let them lick my hands. And I work at Wandlebury Country Park, which means I go into field with Highland cattle every shift :-)
  24. Agree - report the incident to the Police. Plus, if it was on land where you know the owner eg council or charity that owns a park, then tell them, too, especially if there are any bylaws relating to cycling and / or dogs, leads etc. I spend a large proportion of my time as a park ranger enforcing dogs on leads only rules and no cycling in certain areas rules and pointing out bike racks.
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