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Everything posted by Brian~!

  1. Sitting on 33 countries at the moment (24 of which have been in Europe), but an upcoming cruise should expand the list by nearly a third as we're doing a Los Angeles to Miami Panama canal cruise. We've never been to any of the Central American countries before, so they'll be all new (and we're hitting up Columbia for the first time too as a bonus). So hopefully by this time next year we should be up to 42 countries visited for caching. That also includes a trip we're planning pre-Christmas to Latvia as well. Considering adding a further trip to a new country earlier in the autumn too. Perhaps Poland. As someone pointed out before, you don't get a lot of time to find caches on a cruise stop. Both through lack of time, and sometimes because you're on a planned excursion. So we never get "big" numbers is a place where we've stopped in a cruise port, I always aim for one and then anything on top of that is a bonus. I try not to let caching get in the way of the exploration, although in some cases the two do go hand in hand quite neatly.
  2. The wife and I did a cache near Bratislava airport in Slovakia earlier this year - we arrived early before we could check in and had some time to kill. This was perhaps three minutes walk from the airport and a very straight forward on-site one stage multi (plus it was interesting to boot). GC4WHM9
  3. I get it work in Chrome - but I rarely drop one or two caches at a time. It's much faster to transfer them as a group from a pocket query - which is very simple, as you just dump the unzipped files into the geocache folder on the gps using file manager. Just remember to disconnect on the computer before unplugging - I had it crash on me one time for not doing that. Also, just be aware that the world wide maps are not brilliant when travelling. While I've had them be perfect in the UK and in the mid-western United States, the maps were really off in Alaska (by about ten to fifteen feet) and pretty non-existent apart from really major roads while in Brazil.
  4. Speaking as a cache owner, I'd much rather get a long log than a short one.
  5. Make sure to let us know how it goes - it's often something I've wondered about. The idea of steering a boat up to GZ and then jumping off to grab a cache appeals greatly to me!
  6. Thanks J - I guess that's the only thing I'll be able to do.
  7. I'm slightly concerned. I completed all ten lab caches last weekend at the Kent Mega in the UK and thoroughly enjoyed them all. But different parts of the website count them in overall finds and others don't. At the top of the website my overall find count is now ten higher than the overall finds count on my stats page. It wouldn't be too bad, but I'm close to a milestone which is like to be some special on my trip to Rio in two weeks. But the overall total milestone will be ten more than what the stats page thinks. Is this something that is going to be fixed?
  8. Certainly interested - I have to admit I looked up flights this morning and found there essentially wasn't any from Heathrow to Munich for a normal price anymore! Then again, it is August. The thought of caching on the way there through a variety of countries makes it a very tempting prospect, that's for certain. **signs up for Facebook group**
  9. Going to be a big caching year for this - aiming to go to our first Mega in Kent and then we're going to be going several overseas trips. The first is coming up soon as we're off to Venice (although we cached while in Rome a couple of years ago, so it won't be a new country), then just before the world cup we're heading to Brazil (sadly, not for long enough to warrant a trip to the Ape cache). But that'll be a new most southern cache and our first in South America. Then in October we're heading to Goa - so that'll be a new most eastern cache and our first in Asia. We won't have volume (we're thinking of holding an event in Goa due to the extremly sparse number of caches), but it'll be great for the stats.
  10. Sounds like a great trip! I went to Harstad several years ago with the military (only right at the dawn of geocaching, many years before I took it up). We did some Norwegian caches whilst on a cruise last year and loved the style - they tend to use these black tape covered zip lock bags with magnets attached. They become very effective when behind a grill or in a dark place as they're black on black and incredibly thin. We found them in all three of the towns we stopped at, so I imagine you'll see them when you go out there.
  11. I'm utterly addicted to Pointless, so happy to help.
  12. Turn off wi-fi - your phone is constantly looking for connections, and so it could be draining the power that way. I use an iPhone 4S, and I managed to pick up a relatively cheap battery pack/case hybrid which I've used a few times for caching and found it to be very good even if it runs a bit warm when it is taking power out of the pack. You also might be surprised just how low older second hand GPS units go for on eBay.
  13. I was one of the idiots that dropped the Winchester Geese cache on the wrong side of the gate. :S
  14. I saw a Heron whilst out caching not too long ago. First time I'd ever seen one. I thought it was one of those plastic ones you put next to ponds but jumped out of my skin when it moved. Never seen a bird so big.
  15. I distinctly remember a Groundspeak rule stating that all that was needed to log a find was to sign the logbook. So no sig, no log. Of course you get the occasional ones where a pen is forgotten and a photo is taken instead. I've worked out several puzzles but haven't even thought of logging them. Heck, I solved one, forgot the answer and now can't solve the darned thing. It happens!
  16. I'd hail a cab and head to the nearest virtual!
  17. Woohoo! We just picked those two up as well. And one in Circo Massimo, and at other very historical places Mr. terratin had our whole vacation planned around caches We did a 12km hike from north of Vatican downtown and back towards the river island along some really marvelous sights and nice caches We didn't end up doing the Circo Massimo one as it was just a fraction too far away from where we were. Only of my favourites had to be the Tiber Island cache - I probably would never have gone there without that multi.
  18. I've found two. One was a medium sized confectionery jar in the woods. The other was a small micro sized container which had then been wrapped in black tape. The actual cache had shattered - the entire container felt squidgy because it was the tape allowing it to keep the shape.
  19. I love doing it too. We've only done a handful, and I'm pleased that the states and provinces of the US and Canada come up separately as well (although not as countries as such, but its just as fun). Plus its really interesting to see the style of caching in other countries. For example in Italy we found that the caches are very similar to at home in the UK, but they are absolutely fearless when it comes to placing caches near famous monuments. A highlight has to be finding one actually on the Spanish Steps, and another in a wall about 50 feet from the Colosseum, brilliant. Plus we liked that we could claim at least for a while to have found all the caches in a country - even if was just the Vatican! The hides in Wisconsin were quite different, with them being more open to the extent that I found myself not even looking in the really obvious places because people in the UK I guess are just more sneaky! Norway on the other hand used quite different containers which was interesting. We noticed that they used little plastic pouches covered in black tape and then magnetised. Interesting idea that I might have to try in the UK. Literally the only negative experience I have had in my travels was in Belgium (Brussels to be precise) where it just seemed that the coordinates put you in a vague area and were never where the cache or even the hint item was. We only found a single cache there. My top hint for numbers of countries is that the Channel Islands of Jersey and Guernsey both count as different countries (I've only cached on Guernsey during a business trip) and are easy enough to get a ferry between. I doubt the other islands count as anything separate as they all fall within the Balliwick of Guernsey. As for the future, well we've fallen in love with cruising over the last two years which rather goes hand in hand with hitting numerous countries but not great numbers in any particular one. One cruise we're planning to do in the next two years is a baltic capitals one, where you go to Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Russia, Germany and Latvia all in one trip. We're not going for the caching in particular, but it'll be a great bonus. Of course, if only we're started caching a year earlier - we did a big driving trip up the eastern seaboard of the United States. Had we been caching we could have grabbed caches in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, DC (we spent an entire day on the Mall - the virtuals there alone!), I think we nipped Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Ontario (not a state, but we still hit it - Niagara Falls - the Earthcaches!), Michigan and Indiana. So yeah. Loved that trip, and perhaps Geocaching might have ruined it (I could see the argument "But Delaware will only take an hour detour to do one cache") but I still dream of that lovely highlighted US map on the stats page.
  20. Forgot to mention the random computer cables that kept the cache open to the elements and allowed the teddy bear to go mouldy. And cigarettes. I just threw those away.
  21. The problem is that speaking from experience with Government, it'll have been written down in an internal policy document. And if the old pen pushers have moved on, then the new ones will simply follow the policy without even knowing the reason why it was created in the first place. However saying that, I wish they'd allow Earthcaches in public areas (i.e. on existing paths etc). I'm not sure if there would be anything specifically to place there which isn't already within London as I'm not a Earthcache placing expert. I understand their concerns about cachers trampling down areas they wouldn't want - but I also think that while it wouldn't be used necessary to promote the parks themselves, they certainly could place their own caches to generate footfall. I think we're on our way there slowly following the Museum of London creating it's own cache last year, and perhaps if a few other institutions see Geocaches as a way to indirectly promote themselves then perhaps the Royal Parks may review it's policy. After seeing how the National Parks in the States view Geocaching (which admittedly vary from state to state, but some states heavily endorse it), it rather sucks how the Royal Parks responded. I would even be happy to see Royal Parks limit cache placement to only themselves - as I think they could create some truly brilliant caches in the setting.
  22. Absolutely, we didn't do it and found a whole bunch in the major stops. I think the excursion takes you out into the woods for the higher terrain ones.
  23. This is more of an opinion piece - although it's other people's opinions I'm interested in! Basically, what do people think is missing from the central London cache circuit? We have a large thanks to Nickie, we have the majority of cache types (the only type that seems to be lacking are Letterbox Hybrids as we have plenty of the others, and probably more Wherigos than most cities). But is that what people are after, or is it the missing difficulty/terrain parts? The obvious thing missing there is a 5/5, but how would you do that in central London that wouldn't put the cacher in danger (or bring Geocaching into disrepute - after all, you could drop a waterproof box into the missing of the Thames and make it a puzzle to find the coords, but I think the River Police might not like it too much if people suddenly start whipping out scuba gear in the middle of the river on a Wednesday afternoon. Thoughts? Brian
  24. Wow, that certainly is alarming (from another Explorist GC owner)!
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