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Everything posted by Stefanoodle

  1. I'm definitely keen, though will know only closer to the time how things are shaping up. I have to fly to Upington the next day for business, so might have to do a bit of preparation instead of a great hike.
  2. Either option -- peninsula or Skelmbos -- sounds really good. Need to be back for the event cache on Saturday night, though. I'm sure the beer could act as an anaesthetic to all the pain from earlier in the day. Sunday also cool with me. I'll keep an eye on the forum. I don't have a facebook page, so please also keep the thread going here for the social media phobes like me.
  3. Ok, this is really taking geocaching to new heights (in more ways than one): spending several thousand rand for a GPSr to find a leaky Tupperware container full of broken McToys somewhere in the wilderness. Now to hire a cherry picker to retrieve a container on top of an old silo. What can I say ... the adventure calls. I'll be there. let's try drum up some more support to make it a bigger party to bring down the costs!
  4. Alas, I'm going to the Cederberg for the long weekend. Grrrr, I would have loved to join this hike. Then again, can't go wrong being out in the Cederberg either. Have a great one ...
  5. I'd be really keen, either weekend, though I'll have to negotiate with the "government" Also, I have family coming out from the UK, so taking time off from home might be a little tricky, but I'll definitely give it some thought. Keep me posted.
  6. I'm definitely in. It sounds like it's going to be epic. I'm just about to load all the caches into my GPSr, ready for the hike. See you all there.
  7. At this stage my diary is open; I'd be really keen to join the hike. I'm sure I did this hike in the years before geocaching, and would love to go back again. Please keep me in the discussion. And the Kalkbay caves would be fun, too, if that happens sometime.
  8. I use a bit of free software called "img2gps" that can load the various tiles as one stitched file directly into my Garmin Etrex Vista. Because it loads onto my micro SD card, I can transfer that same card to a Nuvi. The tiles from free routeable maps for Garmin have id numbers, so you might have to write them down so you know which tile is which. Even though one single "imgsupp" file is loaded, in the GPSr I can switch on and off the tiles as necessary. The only nuisance is that they all have the same name, so you have to try a bit to see which tiles are switched off when you deselect them on the GPSr. I have not tried using Mapsource to load the files, but I hear that's also an easy way.
  9. Mapping via Open Streetmap is a great activity to do in parallel with your caching. By default I collect tracks when out caching. While it might not sound all that exciting driving every street in a town, one does get a feeling for what a town is like, and one makes wonderful discoveries of little shops or pleasant restaurants and cafés in the process. What better way to get to know a town or a suburb a little better? And by contributing your tracks, you may be updating maps quicker than the commercial providers can.
  10. Looks like a really beautiful coin. I know I have not been out caching for ages, so I have not seen the view for a while, but has anybody noticed that the image of Table Mountain (presumably from Blouberg) is left-right inverted. I hope this is not how they are going to print it ... or is this how it appears for minting purposes so that it's correct when it appears on the final coin?
  11. When I started caching a few years ago, I checked the "drift" of my location over a day, taking several readings every 30 minutes. I repeated this kind of exercise a few months later, but in the second case I downloaded the GPSr's location data every second, for about three hours, using the NMEA option on my unit, and some freeware GPS software to plot the location. A quick summary of my findings is that the two factors that affected my readings most are: * number of satellites being picked up (with only three, I have been out by up to 150 metres on occasion!!!!) * satellite geometry (if they are all in one line, accuracy is compromised; my units warns me about poor geometry) Since my unit is the original one used on Noah's Ark, a Magellan Trailblazer XL, steam-powered!!, I can't really comment on how it's accuracy might compare to much newer units. The sensitivity is definitely lower, so foliage affects my unit much more severely than newer models. The processing power is also probably a lot lower, so the algorithms to calculate the location are possibly not as good, in order to cut down on calculations. However, none of this has stopped me from successfully finding caches, nor placing some. Also, I have to admit that I generally use a magnetic compass to locate the cache, so once I'm about 50 metres from it, I triangulate with the compass and then switch off the GPSr. The compass has definitely improved my ability to locate the cache quickly.
  12. Yeah, Helga, I'm really surprised that a tall, blonde Swede such as yourself hasn't been snapped up already. I was under the impression that gentlemen preferred blondes. Wot's up?
  13. It might also just be a way of saying to the owner that the bug is still alive and well, not languishing at the bottom of a drawer somewhere. I picked up a bug with a particular request to be placed in a cache in London. Since London was the last stop on my 5-week Europe trip, I simply logged the bug in and out of caches as I found them, and then finally dropped off the bug in the requested cache. That way the owner was aware that there was some movement and the bug had not expired. Also, it might be the case that one gets to a cache but decides that the cache might not really be safe or appropriate (lots of muggles, high risk of being trashed, too small to accept the item, not receiving many visits, etc.) to leave the bug. In that case a log in and out collects miles and number of caches, but doesn't expose the bug to undue risk. Of course, at the end of the day, the bug owner is entitled to hope for a particular travel experience for their "baby" which they have let loose into the big, bad world, and picking up a bug implies the cacher doing so accepts this, and hopefully respects the owner's wishes.
  14. aaawwww, c'mon Goofster, I'm sure that BMW would be great fun boulder-hopping and all ... . I'd love to come, though I probably won't be able to stay the night, as I have a house-sitting commitment. No 4x4, but a bakkie, if anybody needs camping supplies to be brought along.
  15. I also noticed the site supposedly down for maintenance the last few days, yet if I went to another page, like Global Rat's, and used a link to a cache from there, I could get into the geocaching site, no problems. Sneaky, huh
  16. You guys are probably right that Conservation would probably veto before thinking. That's why I suggested to Larks, Vespa and Goofster at our cache event that perhaps a CITO in the Cape of Good Hope NR might get them on our side. The Atlantic shoreline in places was quite littered from what ships discharge and throw overboard. I'm also trying to track down a journalist friend of a friend who could possibly publicise the event, but with the holidays right now people seem to be away. I though Larks would be a good cacher to have on board, as he works for SAN Parks. January, when everybody is back, will probably be a good time. I also just need to gauge whether I'm overreacting to certain placements. I'm thinking of a few placements, such as Tygerberg Tortoise Cache; it's only a few metres off the path, which I wouldn't normally worry about, but there is a sign that says "No through path for hikers". Or West Coast Flowers; it's not very far beyond the fence (300 metres?), but does the farmer know? There are quite a few more. These are great caches, and I'm definitely not calling for their archiving. I enjoyed finding them. But I wouldn't want geocaching as an activity to end up being banned or associated with trespassing and vandalism. We do have several caches on private land, such as Papkuilsfontein 4x4, or Peg's Treasure that have the landowner's permission, so I think this is what we should be encouraging, if we want to place caches not generally accessible to the public. Thanks, Erik, I'll bear in mind sending a note to the reviewer. It's not that I worry about the cache owner getting stroppy with me personally. But it is probably slightly better that the appropriateness question comes from higher up. That means that all cachers should at least be aware that a cache might be placed a tad out of bounds. Unfortunately, not all of them read the forums.
  17. As South Africans we have a way of pushing the envelope and trying to bend the rules in many ways. However, sometimes we tend to flout authority which may not be the best way to go. I have come across several caches -- and have read about more in logs for caches I still want to find -- that have been placed in direct contravention of some sign: either in an area with a sign that says "no access" to hikers, or on a road that says "private road, no access without authorisation", or beyond the boundary fence on someone's farm. Given that none of us want our caches to be muggled, it's quite tempting to hide in a place that won't be visited by too many people other than cachers who will ignore the sign. Most of these caches have probably been placed without any intention of causing a problem, but I'm sure Farmer Brown wouldn't be too impressed if he knew strangers were hopping his fence to dig up a container hidden in his field. And people in nature conservation might also pop a fuse if a select few visitors thought they were above the rules and traipsed over areas that were closed for rehabilitation. Most of us are probably guilty of going for that smilie anyway, and perhaps logging a comment about the location being a tad inappropriate. But that's where it ends. Some of you may have been following the heated events regarding caching in South Carolina, and how legislation was being passed to ban it, or highly regulate it. Seems it was sparked by caches in cemetaries and cachers perhaps being insensitive about visiting the areas. So, while most of the caches I have found have been in magnificent areas, and there have been no problems with their placement, it would be sad if geocaching in SA were to become a frowned-upon activity by organisations such as nature or heritage conservation because of a few inappropriately-placed containers. The guidelines for geocaching cover this adequately, but what suggestions does anybody have for getting the situation rectified when necessary? Obviously, nobody wants to seem like a spoil-sport and be the first to send a note to the cache owner to suggest the cache is moved slightly to a better location, although I have done it once or twice. Any other ideas? Fire away, I'm wearing my flame-proof suit.
  18. Hey guys, this is a great opportunity to help out with conservation, while enjoying your geocaching and seeing nature. SARCA (Southern African Reptile Conservation Assessment) is compiling a listing of reptiles in South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland. They have already produced similar work for frogs. All you need to do is take a photo of the reptile you encounter (could be snakes, chameleons, tortoises, lizards, etc.) and submit the photo with the co-ordinates of the location where you saw the animal to their website: http://www.saherps.net/sarca/particip.php That way you will be contributing to the formation of a catalogue / database of reptile species, at virtually no additional effort to your geocaching. I have to admit that the site is not yet particularly user-friendly, especially when you are trying to do a search, unless you are already a herpetologist and know the binomial Latin naming. However, a birding friend has raised the matter with the webmaster, so we hope to see a change one of these days. Hopefully, one will be able to search by common names too. Happy caching, and don't tread on any reptiles this summer
  19. I think that pretty much settles it then; Helderberg and Somerset West sound good for us all. And absoloodle, Stefanoodle and Goofster wanted to go spelunking many moons back; it looks like Discombob has even done us a favour by adding two caches in Echo Valley as part of his Lord of the Rings trilogy.
  20. I have not done my homework, so I do not know which caches the other people have or have not done yet. I don't mind going even as far as Hermanus, as I have not done any caches there. But we could also perhaps do some around Stellenbosch and over to Franschhoek, coming back via Somerset West. That's also at least three beautiful mountain passes on the route. I'm not too fussy. I'm not trying to set any records for number of caches found in a day, so the journey part with a nice spot for breakfast or lunch, and a few caches thrown in for good measure, will suit me just fine.
  21. I've just done my calculations, based on g=9.81 m/s^2. I get the wrench dropping at -13.62 m/s after two seconds, i.e. travelling downwards. The distance below the point where it was released is 7.62 m, and in two seconds the helicopter has risen 12 m. Therefore, the separation between the wrench and the helicopter is 19.62 m. Does that look right?
  22. Sure, I would probably go for a cache like this. As mentioned, it would be helpful if the constants were specified (I would have used g=9.81 m/s^2, just because that is what I have always used). Methinks, there is an error in your last formula. It should read: Vf^2 = Vi^2 + 2ad All the best for a great puzzle cache. It has given me an idea for a cache of my own. Cheers
  23. I requested the file of all the trig beacons in South Africa from the Directorate of Survey and Mapping in Mowbray when I was trying to calibrate some digital maps of South Africa, also free of charge from the Directorate. They sent me a text file the next day. As pointed out, though, the co-ordinates are in the South African Grid format, so after trying to convert them myself, using a bit of simple trigonometry, but assuming a spherical earth, I found I was often out by up to 400 metres. Therefore, I bought some software from Survey and Mapping for R50.00, and it does the conversion quickly and painlessly. From what I can see, the text file contained only trig beacons, either on cylindrical concrete plinths, or on top of certain buildings, such as churches or water towers. None of the descriptions sounded like the town marks you guys describe. It would be interesting to have some of our TSMs listed in the benchmarks section of geocaching.com.
  24. You don't have to be a Premium Member to import the caches into GoogleEarth. As suggested in some of the other posts, if you have a particular area in mind, you could do a search for a cache there by name and then click on the "find all nearby caches" hypertext, or better yet, if you know the approximate co-ordinates of the area, do a search by those. That will automatically include all nearby caches. If you are logged in, you will be able to check each cache or all of them in their check boxes. Then download them (they will be in .loc format). This file you can then import into GoogleEarth, and all the caches in the .loc file will be displayed on your map. GoogleEarth also links the markers back to the original pages on geocaching.com, so if you see a marker near where you would like to be, you can click on the marker and it will open the cache page in geocaching.com. All wonderful stuff. I hope that helps. regards Stef
  25. Well done, Whostops. Always chasing me; the stress this is causing . Happy hunting for the next 100.
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