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Atlantic ocean UNDERWATER geocache


netuseraz
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Hi guys

 

I'm placing two underwater geocaches in the atlantic ocean, in the Azores.

 

The two of them are on ship wrecking places in sand banks about 800 meters from coast and 20 meters deep.

 

I would appreciate any pointers and advice that might help or improve my caches.

 

Thanks in advance

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I'd opt for the underwater marker and board if that's possible. Sending it up to the surface means making two dives. As I recall my dive tables, that could be time consuming.

 

Perhaps have an anchor under water and attach the cache with long enough cable to reach the surface -- you'd need some sort of spool to keep it on underwater. Crew above water could open, sign, tug and diver could wind it back down and hook it, whatever back near its anchor.

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I'd opt for the underwater marker and board if that's possible. ...

 

How exactly does this work as a logbook? People write found it on the board and take a picture to prove it?

Why would they need to prove it? :unsure:

 

The point of having a logbook is for the owner then confirm if people really did the cache or not, right? :)

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So do you sign the log underwater or do you have to bring the cache all the way back to the surface to sign and then dive back down to replace the container?

 

That's the idea... take it to surface/boat, sign and take it back again....

Right on. I was thinking on the lines of DragonWest. Have a log book that divers could sign(underwater board) under the water so they don't have to surface. Makes for a longer dive at the site instead of going down, back up then back down. I really like the idea however you go about it and I would try a cache like that but everytime I went underwater with a tank all I could here was the JAWS theme music. :laughing:

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So do you sign the log underwater or do you have to bring the cache all the way back to the surface to sign and then dive back down to replace the container?

 

That's the idea... take it to surface/boat, sign and take it back again....

Right on. I was thinking on the lines of DragonWest. Have a log book that divers could sign(underwater board) under the water so they don't have to surface. Makes for a longer dive at the site instead of going down, back up then back down. I really like the idea however you go about it and I would try a cache like that but everytime I went underwater with a tank all I could here was the JAWS theme music. :laughing:

Ran across one in the Bahamas like that.(not sure if it is still there) The board and markers like divers use. There was a sign at the location saying the cache's name. And they just took pictures. It may seem like a virtual but it's really still a logbook but with photo as proof.

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So do you sign the log underwater or do you have to bring the cache all the way back to the surface to sign and then dive back down to replace the container?

 

That's the idea... take it to surface/boat, sign and take it back again....

 

You understand that such a cache would tempt people to do very unsafe things, right? Surfacing from 20 m and going back down is not a good idea.

 

You are a certified SCUBA diver, right? Didn't they go over this in your training?

 

While ultimately the decisions about safety need to be made by the cacher, I think it would be far better to have a log that can be signed in situ in some way.

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So do you sign the log underwater or do you have to bring the cache all the way back to the surface to sign and then dive back down to replace the container?

 

That's the idea... take it to surface/boat, sign and take it back again....

 

You understand that such a cache would tempt people to do very unsafe things, right? Surfacing from 20 m and going back down is not a good idea.

 

You are a certified SCUBA diver, right? Didn't they go over this in your training?

 

While ultimately the decisions about safety need to be made by the cacher, I think it would be far better to have a log that can be signed in situ in some way.

 

I confess :) this topic was started / open to to serve a purpose :)

 

I mean, have general consensus that the BEST and good / SAFE way is to have a divers board and marker :)

 

Depending on the reviewer I will get might be difficult for them to accept that the board and marker is the only safe option. If the situation presents itself (hope not) I can point the reviewer to this topic and get the problem solved ;) It's "thinking ahead ;)

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I'd opt for the underwater marker and board if that's possible. ...

 

How exactly does this work as a logbook? People write found it on the board and take a picture to prove it?

Why would they need to prove it? :unsure:

 

The point of having a logbook is for the owner then confirm if people really did the cache or not, right? :)

 

If you're concerned about people claiming finds even though they did not do the cache, using a log book that would be taken to the surface in order to be signed is not the answer. If it can be brought to the surface than anyone sitting comfortably in a boat can sign the log to "prove" they found the cache.

 

Since nobody else has mentioned this so far, you might want to thoroughly test those containers by submerging them in a bucket of water for a week or so to ensure that they are indeed watertight.

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I am also going through the motions of placing an underwater cache here in South Africa.

 

One of the considerations that if the cache has not been found in a while ie there is not regular activity, the container / slate soon becomes colonised by marine organisms and this becomes part of the artificial reef. Any cacher who then finds the cache destroys the growth that has happened, no matter how prolific it has been. This does not seem to be a problem with containers placed in a freshwater environment. Just about the only material that marine life seems to avoid is copper ......

 

So I will do as my caching buddy did in this cache - http://coord.info/GC3856X

 

Rather let them collect the info, continue the dive and enjoy the marine environment and then sign the log at a location on dry land.

Cache maintenance is so much easier as well.

Edited by AndyT1
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I'd opt for the underwater marker and board if that's possible. ...

 

How exactly does this work as a logbook? People write found it on the board and take a picture to prove it?

Why would they need to prove it? :unsure:

 

The point of having a logbook is for the owner then confirm if people really did the cache or not, right? :)

 

If you're concerned about people claiming finds even though they did not do the cache, using a log book that would be taken to the surface in order to be signed is not the answer. If it can be brought to the surface than anyone sitting comfortably in a boat can sign the log to "prove" they found the cache.

 

Since nobody else has mentioned this so far, you might want to thoroughly test those containers by submerging them in a bucket of water for a week or so to ensure that they are indeed watertight.

 

I would test them at the depth they would be submerged at. The pressure may affect the seal.

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EXACTLY.. make it a multi..

the part underwater, contain the info needed to find the log, located safely on land !

I am a scuba diver my self, and for safety and good dive style this is my humble recommendation..

you will otherwise be asked for service all the time, and have to disable it all the time.

 

a big plastic sheet with large deeply ingraved numbers or letters, that are very easy to see

after a little bit of wipe clean by dive gloves, will work for a long time.

 

I as a diver will normally remove items looking like trash,

to keep the reef or dive site nice and clean,

so be sure it dont look like normal liter,

mark it very big and clear,

 

UNDERWATER GEOCACHE

HINT FOR GC12345

THE CODE IS 123 ABC

PLEASE DO NOT REMOVE

THIS GAME ITEM

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EXACTLY.. make it a multi..

the part underwater, contain the info needed to find the log, located safely on land !

I am a scuba diver my self, and for safety and good dive style this is my humble recommendation..

you will otherwise be asked for service all the time, and have to disable it all the time.

 

a big plastic sheet with large deeply ingraved numbers or letters, that are very easy to see

after a little bit of wipe clean by dive gloves, will work for a long time.

 

I as a diver will normally remove items looking like trash,

to keep the reef or dive site nice and clean,

so be sure it dont look like normal liter,

mark it very big and clear,

 

UNDERWATER GEOCACHE

HINT FOR GC12345

THE CODE IS 123 ABC

PLEASE DO NOT REMOVE

THIS GAME ITEM

 

Very good idea!!

 

I will use it on one of the underwater geocaches.

The other one I will go for the traditional type and handle the maintenance!

 

Loving the brainstorming on this topic!

 

Thanks again guys

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So do you sign the log underwater or do you have to bring the cache all the way back to the surface to sign and then dive back down to replace the container?

 

That's the idea... take it to surface/boat, sign and take it back again....

 

You understand that such a cache would tempt people to do very unsafe things, right? Surfacing from 20 m and going back down is not a good idea.

 

You are a certified SCUBA diver, right? Didn't they go over this in your training?

 

While ultimately the decisions about safety need to be made by the cacher, I think it would be far better to have a log that can be signed in situ in some way.

 

huge-eye-roll

Link to comment

So do you sign the log underwater or do you have to bring the cache all the way back to the surface to sign and then dive back down to replace the container?

 

That's the idea... take it to surface/boat, sign and take it back again....

 

You understand that such a cache would tempt people to do very unsafe things, right? Surfacing from 20 m and going back down is not a good idea.

 

You are a certified SCUBA diver, right? Didn't they go over this in your training?

 

While ultimately the decisions about safety need to be made by the cacher, I think it would be far better to have a log that can be signed in situ in some way.

 

huge-eye-roll

 

To go for this diving places everyone has to be! :)

Link to comment

So do you sign the log underwater or do you have to bring the cache all the way back to the surface to sign and then dive back down to replace the container?

 

That's the idea... take it to surface/boat, sign and take it back again....

 

You understand that such a cache would tempt people to do very unsafe things, right? Surfacing from 20 m and going back down is not a good idea.

 

You are a certified SCUBA diver, right? Didn't they go over this in your training?

 

While ultimately the decisions about safety need to be made by the cacher, I think it would be far better to have a log that can be signed in situ in some way.

20m? ~60 feet? My dad and I used to freedive to that depth (spearfishing). Even when we used SCUBA, we were down to that depth multiple times during a dive.

Link to comment

So do you sign the log underwater or do you have to bring the cache all the way back to the surface to sign and then dive back down to replace the container?

 

That's the idea... take it to surface/boat, sign and take it back again....

 

You understand that such a cache would tempt people to do very unsafe things, right? Surfacing from 20 m and going back down is not a good idea.

 

You are a certified SCUBA diver, right? Didn't they go over this in your training?

 

While ultimately the decisions about safety need to be made by the cacher, I think it would be far better to have a log that can be signed in situ in some way.

20m? ~60 feet? My dad and I used to freedive to that depth (spearfishing). Even when we used SCUBA, we were down to that depth multiple times during a dive.

 

Refering to dive tables - depending upon the amount of time you spend at that depth (60 or more safely use 70 ft) you need to decompress coming back up.

 

I'm also a PADI certified diver and am keenly aware what works for some is not the rule for all, particularly where a cache encourages someone to spend a dive going up and down rather than enjoying the dive itself.

 

I also like the Multi idea, that's a pretty good way to go about setting up a diving cache and reduces the odds of it being muggled. Many wrecks have plaques which can be used to find the final.

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Breath-hold free-diving IS NOT THE SAME as breathing compressed air at depth! :wacko:

 

You might be able to descend, take a breath or two and ascend with no ill effects...or maybe not. Personally I'm not prepared to risk the bends or an embolism to find out.

 

I like the multi-cache concept, which by nature eliminates the difficulty of creating a container that will survive at depth.

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How about trying an offset cache where your actual container is hidden on dry land somewhere near the marina/harbor/dock etc. where the divers are most likely to depart from. Then sink some sort of permanent plaque with the coords to the container on the wreck. That way you don't have to worry about hauling out your SCUBA gear every time you need to maintain the actual container and don't have to worry about keeping the container and logbook dry.

Edited by briansnat
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How about trying an offset cache where your actual container is hidden on dry land somewhere near the marina/harbor/dock etc. where the divers are most likely to depart from. Then sink some sort of permanent plaque with the coords to the container on the wreck. That way you don't have to worry about hauling out your SCUBA gear every time you need to maintain the actual container and don't have to worry about keeping the container and logbook dry.

 

That's a multicache :)

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I agree with briansnat. Unless you want to lose your geocache, hiding it in a well known dive site is not a good idea.

 

Or, better yet, hide your cache in a not so often visited site.

 

My first scuba cache (True Scuba cache) had me finding a set of coordinates that were under water, and after my dive, i had to find the actual container on land.

 

1.) This does not ruin your dive

2.) this gives you a better chance of the cachr staying in place

 

good luck

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How about trying an offset cache where your actual container is hidden on dry land somewhere near the marina/harbor/dock etc. where the divers are most likely to depart from. Then sink some sort of permanent plaque with the coords to the container on the wreck. That way you don't have to worry about hauling out your SCUBA gear every time you need to maintain the actual container and don't have to worry about keeping the container and logbook dry.

Probably doesn't even need to be the whole coordinate string, just a random 2 or 3 digit number that you will add to the posted coords to reach the final on land.

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I like the idea of just providing a random 3 digit code for each coord if you are going to leave something at the bottom - may just use it myself.

 

Otherwise counting portholes, ladder rungs, railings etc is a great way of getting divers moving around the wreck / feature if you don't want to add something to the ocean bottom.

Just don't make it too much work, folk tend to forget to watch their air supply when preoccupied with tasks.

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I'd opt for the underwater marker and board if that's possible. ...

 

How exactly does this work as a logbook? People write found it on the board and take a picture to prove it?

Why would they need to prove it? :unsure:

 

The point of having a logbook is for the owner then confirm if people really did the cache or not, right? :)

I suppose there are players anal enough to require such 'evidence'. I own a bit more than 60 active hides. All of them have logbooks. I've never compared signatures to on-line logs. I reckon we don't all consider confirmation as the purpose of a logbook. For me, when I find a cache, the logbook is a place for me to share my story. Just like the digital log.

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I like the idea of just providing a random 3 digit code for each coord if you are going to leave something at the bottom - may just use it myself.

 

The info at the bottom must be used to provide the location of a physical cache that can be signed, or else it will not be approved, as that would be a virtual cache.

 

Or it could be made an earthcache.

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I'd opt for the underwater marker and board if that's possible. ...

 

How exactly does this work as a logbook? People write found it on the board and take a picture to prove it?

 

I'm thinking that when he says uw marker and board, that the intended device is something like a plastic board and grease pencil.

This was common way of exchanging information way back... still works but is erasable on site, not very permanent.

 

One thing I used to do (and many others) was to take a piece of plastic sheet and rough it up with fine sandpaper. This becomes a writing surface for a common pencil. I've used various types of acrylic sheet, and even material like that common in white bottles etc. Experiment a little and you will find something that works for you and is very stable underwater... you should be able to provide holes for binding together (split rings? or cord). The specifics are based on your needs and survivability... placed in some sort of NON waterproof container to keep it in place on the bottom and well marked for finding. That can be anchored and the only way to sign it is to go there. Don't forget a sharpener or BYOPencil... Watch out for floating plastics (low density) or it can get away from you... By the way, the most common pencil retainer was a short piece of rubber surgical tubing slipped over the end, but I also used a piece of bicycle inner tube with holes in it... again whatever works.

 

While 20 metres is fair game for most trained divers, it takes a fair bit of air on you to get into decom, I'm working from memory, but I seem to remember a 60/60 rule of thumb for no decom for 60 feet. HOWEVER, I think that the idea of avoiding random un-needed changes is a good one. Especially since the re descent could come at the end of ones air supply, or after time allowed for repetitive dives and so on. Like Geocachers, Divers come in many flavours and skill levels, and of many different training programs. Best advice would be to make it challenging, but not exceptionally hazardous.

 

We just buried a friend who didn't make it back from a 'fun' dive in Cabo recently. One of many over the years... Don't need to add to that. I was lucky to survive long enough for certification programs to come into existance, and to make a good living diving in the later years I was active. Trust me that there are more than enough hazards there even with modern training and gear.

 

Have fun and good luck.

Doug 7rxc

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I'd opt for the underwater marker and board if that's possible. ...

 

How exactly does this work as a logbook? People write found it on the board and take a picture to prove it?

Why would they need to prove it? :unsure:

 

The point of having a logbook is for the owner then confirm if people really did the cache or not, right? :)

I suppose there are players anal enough to require such 'evidence'. I own a bit more than 60 active hides. All of them have logbooks. I've never compared signatures to on-line logs. I reckon we don't all consider confirmation as the purpose of a logbook. For me, when I find a cache, the logbook is a place for me to share my story. Just like the digital log.

You need to be a special kind of anal to scuba dive to double check it.

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I like the idea of just providing a random 3 digit code for each coord if you are going to leave something at the bottom - may just use it myself.

 

The info at the bottom must be used to provide the location of a physical cache that can be signed, or else it will not be approved, as that would be a virtual cache.

 

Or it could be made an earthcache.

 

I believe that was their intent

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I like the idea of just providing a random 3 digit code for each coord if you are going to leave something at the bottom - may just use it myself.

 

The info at the bottom must be used to provide the location of a physical cache that can be signed, or else it will not be approved, as that would be a virtual cache.

 

Or it could be made an earthcache.

 

I believe that was their intent

 

:D

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Yes, I think it would be better to either do a multi-cache or to do an underwater signing. The multiple dives are the problem here. The first dive, yes, maybe up to 50 minutes by the tables. But then you need your SIT time, and the residuals mean the second dive is necessarily shorter. Typically that means that you would make a dive, then have a rest, maybe a meal, often move the boat, and then make a second dive, probably somewhere a bit shallower. Most tours would not dive the same spot twice that way, so it would be better to do all the cache in one dive.

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Netuseraz, I am a public safety diver / technical diver / underwater geocache owner, and I can give you some quick pointers:

 

1.) If you put it underwater, the container will be subject to condensation and flooding.

2.) If you put it in salt water, the container will be subject to corrosion, marine growth, and storm surge.

3.) If it is meant to be removed and opened at the surface, cachers may or may not return it to the intended location.

4.) If it is meant to be removed and opened at the surface, cachers or muggle divers will open the container at depth.

5.) If it is affixed underwater at depth, you will receive "successful" finds from non-divers who were on the boat watching the bubbles.

 

I maintain several lists of SCUBA caches and the lists are constantly changing. Underwater geocaches are inherently problematic and will quickly change status from available to needs maintenance to missing and eventually to archived.

 

If you want to see my lists and read through some of the successful and unsucessful underwater cache ideas, the lists are on my profile and here:

 

SCUBA caches

Caches requiring SCUBA in the United States:

http://www.geocaching.com/bookmarks/view.aspx?guid=821648e5-a67a-4092-9adf-965e7785b236

 

SCUBA caches (archived)

Archived caches requiring SCUBA in the United States:

http://www.geocaching.com/bookmarks/view.aspx?guid=4abd47bb-1b80-410d-9bd4-6dfac1e27693

 

SCUBA caches (International)

Caches requiring SCUBA outside of the United States.

http://www.geocaching.com/bookmarks/view.aspx?guid=58289500-0b1b-4c85-a705-ef1834015c85

 

Keep me posted if you do decide to list a new cache or two and I will be happy to add them to the list!

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Netuseraz, I am a public safety diver / technical diver / underwater geocache owner, and I can give you some quick pointers:

 

1.) If you put it underwater, the container will be subject to condensation and flooding.

2.) If you put it in salt water, the container will be subject to corrosion, marine growth, and storm surge.

3.) If it is meant to be removed and opened at the surface, cachers may or may not return it to the intended location.

4.) If it is meant to be removed and opened at the surface, cachers or muggle divers will open the container at depth.

5.) If it is affixed underwater at depth, you will receive "successful" finds from non-divers who were on the boat watching the bubbles.

 

I maintain several lists of SCUBA caches and the lists are constantly changing. Underwater geocaches are inherently problematic and will quickly change status from available to needs maintenance to missing and eventually to archived.

 

If you want to see my lists and read through some of the successful and unsucessful underwater cache ideas, the lists are on my profile and here:

 

SCUBA caches

Caches requiring SCUBA in the United States:

http://www.geocaching.com/bookmarks/view.aspx?guid=821648e5-a67a-4092-9adf-965e7785b236

 

SCUBA caches (archived)

Archived caches requiring SCUBA in the United States:

http://www.geocaching.com/bookmarks/view.aspx?guid=4abd47bb-1b80-410d-9bd4-6dfac1e27693

 

SCUBA caches (International)

Caches requiring SCUBA outside of the United States.

http://www.geocaching.com/bookmarks/view.aspx?guid=58289500-0b1b-4c85-a705-ef1834015c85

 

Keep me posted if you do decide to list a new cache or two and I will be happy to add them to the list!

 

Thanks for all the education :)

 

I'm going forward with the two geocaches.

 

One will be traditional and the other one a multicache.

 

Traditional is 12 meters deep so maintenance is not such a big problem since the wreck is +/- 100 from the coast.

 

Multi is 800 meters from the coast at 20 meters deep so second stage and last one will be on land :)

 

When they are up I will let everyone know :)

 

Thanks again

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Thanks for the list Wreck Diver - very useful !!!

 

Two I did not see on your International list:

 

http://coord.info/GC16A1F

 

http://coord.info/GC3856X

 

Andy, thanks for the tips. I have added both links.

 

I am always glad to see new and interesting wrecks (I have been on 62 different wrecks now) and if there's a feasible way to add an underwater cache to it, I'm interested.

 

I did have the good fortune of having a geocache on the Juliett 484 (Soviet Ballistic Nuclear Submarine) that sank AFTER the geocache had been aboard for several years. Navy Salvage Divers eventually recovered the ammo box from a depth of sixty feet:

 

ed74b7a9-0cd2-4e79-95d5-e04d77feaeb6.jpg

Before:

 

fcdf373f-72cc-4923-aad0-6e9a12c21720.jpg

Recovered after sixteen months underwater.

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I am always glad to see new and interesting wrecks (I have been on 62 different wrecks now) and if there's a feasible way to add an underwater cache to it, I'm interested.

 

I did have the good fortune of having a geocache on the Juliett 484 (Soviet Ballistic Nuclear Submarine) that sank AFTER the geocache had been aboard for several years. Navy Salvage Divers eventually recovered the ammo box from a depth of sixty feet:

 

...

 

 

And the locals are still waiting for the official "opening of the ammo can" event!

 

(Edit: typo)

Edited by BBWolf+3Pigs
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And the locals are still waiting for the official "opening of the ammo can" event!

 

 

BBWolf+3Pigs, The Saratoga Museum Foundation and the Russian Submarine Museum were both interested in making an event out of the return of the cache container and a re-opening of the container, but with the loss of the Museum facilities and the decision to scrap the Juliett, there were some complications arranging the event location and an agreeable time frame.

 

I will pass a query on to the Museum staff today and see if they wish to continue with a joint event or if they would just prefer to pass on the cache container without the publicity.

 

I'm all for underwater caching, but that turn of events was such a disappointment.

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And the locals are still waiting for the official "opening of the ammo can" event!

 

 

BBWolf+3Pigs, The Saratoga Museum Foundation and the Russian Submarine Museum were both interested in making an event out of the return of the cache container and a re-opening of the container, but with the loss of the Museum facilities and the decision to scrap the Juliett, there were some complications arranging the event location and an agreeable time frame.

 

I will pass a query on to the Museum staff today and see if they wish to continue with a joint event or if they would just prefer to pass on the cache container without the publicity.

 

I'm all for underwater caching, but that turn of events was such a disappointment.

 

Hopefully something can be worked out. I know a lot of the locals are interested in the opening of the can.

 

And I am so very glad I went for it when I did. I was there just a couple of months before the unfortunate sinking. I had put off doing it, and finally got all of the pigs to do it. Thanks for the great cache!

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