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Boat required PQs


H2"O"
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I run weekly PQs with the "boat required" attribute. I recently became aware of a lot of caches that I missed because the COs didn't select the attribute. Plenty of water caches are also rated below 5 terrain so I can't think of any way to get these in my PQs. I'm pretty sure I know the answer but does anyone have any ideas about this?

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1 hour ago, H2"O" said:

I run weekly PQs with the "boat required" attribute. I recently became aware of a lot of caches that I missed because the COs didn't select the attribute. Plenty of water caches are also rated below 5 terrain so I can't think of any way to get these in my PQs. I'm pretty sure I know the answer but does anyone have any ideas about this?

Are you sure these are caches where a boat is required? Or maybe they're caches where a boat can be used, but there are alternate routes that don't require a boat.

 

The last time I went on a group geocaching kayak/canoe trip, some of the caches were accessible only from the water by boat, but others were also accessible via hiking trails.

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10 minutes ago, niraD said:

Are you sure these are caches where a boat is required? Or maybe they're caches where a boat can be used, but there are alternate routes that don't require a boat.

 

The last time I went on a group geocaching kayak/canoe trip, some of the caches were accessible only from the water by boat, but others were also accessible via hiking trails.

There's also the matter of a cache being accessible only by water, but not necessarily requiring a boat. For example, there's one cache near me that's on an island in a lake, but it's only about 50 feet from shore, so it's easily swimmable. I'm pretty sure that's why the CO rated this one D4.5. Therefore, you could also look for caches that have the "May require swimming" attribute.

 

Of course, if neither attribute has been added and the terrain rating isn't 5, it makes it hard to identify these caches.

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Yeah with all those inconsistencies regarding the use of the attributes and the T rating I check them manually on the map...

 

Too bad the reviewer can't force someone to put a T5 on island cache.

 

5 hours ago, niraD said:

Are you sure these are caches where a boat is required? Or maybe they're caches where a boat can be used, but there are alternate routes that don't require a boat.

 

The last time I went on a group geocaching kayak/canoe trip, some of the caches were accessible only from the water by boat, but others were also accessible via hiking trails.

Well around here the alternate road is on frozen ice.

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6 hours ago, colleda said:

Does that include all those islands in the Pacific that can only be reached by boat?  Or the little islands in a lake that can be reached by floating on a Li Lo?

 

If you need to go with your own boat.

 

Rating Difficulty Terrain
  Effort needed to solve and find the cache and logbook at GZ. Physical effort needed to arrive at coordinates.
1 star
Easy to find or solve within a few minutes.
The hike is less than 0.5 mile (0.8 km) and wheelchair accessible (attribute required). Most likely paved and flat.
1.5 stars
Easy to find or solve within 10-15 minutes.
The hike is less than 0.5 mile (0.8 km). Most likely flat but may not be wheelchair accessible.
2 stars
Relatively easy to find or solve within 30 minutes
The hike is less than 2 miles (3 km) along well-defined paths with no significant elevation change or overgrowth.
2.5 stars
A mild challenge, but relatively easy for an experienced geocacher.
Terrain may have small elevation changes or moderate overgrowth.
3 stars
A somewhat challenging puzzle or hiding spot.
The hike may be more than 2 miles (3 km) on varied terrain - too difficult to ride a bike due to elevation changes or significant overgrowth.
3.5 stars
Quite difficult. Be prepared for a mental challenge.
Quite strenuous, extended hike on widely variable terrain.
4 stars
Very difficult and may take special knowledge, advanced preparation, or multiple trips.
Very strenuous movement that may include significant distance, overgrowth, swimming, or elevation changes.
4.5 stars
Extremely difficult. Most likely requires special knowledge or skills.
Extremely demanding movement over potentially hazardous terrain.
5 stars
The most extreme mental challenge. Requires specialized knowledge, skills, tools, or significant effort to find, solve, or open.
Requires specialized equipment such as scuba gear, a boat, rock climbing gear, or similar.
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3 minutes ago, barefootjeff said:

 

What about on an inflatable cow?

 

d1f73087-aa77-4212-a7db-8c51c1fc39da_d.j

 

This was at a water-access event a few years back, where GZ (a sand bar) was only land for about an hour at the king low tide.

Yep, that's a serious piece of equipment requiring special skills........... to stay on it:)

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On 9/27/2019 at 1:24 AM, colleda said:

Does that include all those islands in the Pacific that can only be reached by boat?  Or the little islands in a lake that can be reached by floating on a Li Lo?

 

I made the same point in another thread.   I haven't paddled out to any islands in the Pacific but I did a kayaking (before I started caching) trip in Newfoundland to and island (where there was a cache last time I looked) that was about 1 mile off of shore and require a launch through 3 feet of breaking surf.  The water was in the mid-40F.  The effort to reach that island was much much greater than paddling a $5 inflatable air mattress a couple hundred feet out to an island in a small pond,  yet they might have the exact same d/t rating.  

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20 minutes ago, Dread_Pirate_Bruce said:

There are caches on Catalina Island, which is 26 miles off the California Formica coast. Most people who visit go by boat, either a private boat or a ferry boat. However, there is an airport and one can fly there. Once on the island, one can hike or bike or even drive to most of the caches. Are these boat required caches?

 

IMHO, if one can fly there than I wouldn't consider them boat required.  Generally,  most of the boat required caches that I have seen are accessible with a canoe or kayak but could be done with a small power boat.   I know of a few people that have kayaked to Catalina from the mainland.  It's a long, difficult paddle but doable.  I also have had training from three kayakers that circumnavigated Iceland by kayak, but I wouldn't consider caches on Iceland "boat required" become it's also accessible via commercial airlines.

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5 hours ago, Dread_Pirate_Bruce said:

There are caches on Catalina Island, which is 26 miles off the California Formica coast. Most people who visit go by boat, either a private boat or a ferry boat. However, there is an airport and one can fly there. Once on the island, one can hike or bike or even drive to most of the caches. Are these boat required caches?

No. Never mind the airport: people live on Catalina. They don't need a boat, so I think that makes the decision clear cut.

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Endless discussion. For me any Cache on the American continent (and others) is kinda T5, right?

 

I once did a kayak T5 together with a friend. We walked the most there, just a few day's before Christmas. The we went swimming with a wet suit (would have been possible without as well). Still worth a T5?

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On ‎10‎/‎22‎/‎2019 at 4:13 AM, Dread_Pirate_Bruce said:

There are caches on Catalina Island, which is 26 miles off the California Formica coast. Most people who visit go by boat, either a private boat or a ferry boat. However, there is an airport and one can fly there. Once on the island, one can hike or bike or even drive to most of the caches. Are these boat required caches?

 

I think the best way to think of "Boat required" is to treat it as "you need to supply your own boat". If you can take an existing ferry to the cache, it isn't a T5.

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49 minutes ago, DerDiedler said:

Still worth a T5?

If a typical seeker would need specialized equipment such as scuba gear, a boat, rock climbing gear, etc., then the cache should be rated T5 to communicate that. There is no need to consider whether it is "worth" a T5 rating. Terrain ratings are not something a finder "earns" by logging the cache. Terrain ratings are a communication tool, a way for a CO to communicate the general nature of the cache experience to potential seekers.

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1 hour ago, niraD said:

If a typical seeker would need specialized equipment such as scuba gear, a boat, rock climbing gear, etc., then the cache should be rated T5 to communicate that. There is no need to consider whether it is "worth" a T5 rating. Terrain ratings are not something a finder "earns" by logging the cache. Terrain ratings are a communication tool, a way for a CO to communicate the general nature of the cache experience to potential seekers.

 

I was working on my Fizzy Challenge. I needed a 1.5/5 cache.  Searched the programs and found one I thought I might be able to do.  Part of a kayaking series.  I walked through the frozen swamp, sat on a log floating in the river, and found the cache!  Yeah,  The way I did it, it was a 5T cache.  But I don't have a kayak.

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1 hour ago, The A-Team said:

 

While many others may have the same opinion, the Help Center explicitly lists boats under T5:

 

Yes it does. Like many things it can be the subject of interpretation. e.g. Definition of "boat", a constructed craft or anything that floats, like a log. I've found caches on islands that were only accessible by ship (a big boat) that weren't T5. How specialised does equipment have to be? Or, does specialised mean it requires a special skill that one should be trained for, like SCUBA? mountain climbing?

Going OT, for just a moment on what could  topic of its own, should there be a separate terrain rating for water accessible caches such as, but not limited to, wading, swimming, flat water, rivers, open sea, rapids etc.?

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9 hours ago, niraD said:

If a typical seeker would need specialized equipment such as scuba gear, a boat, rock climbing gear, etc., then the cache should be rated T5 to communicate that. There is no need to consider whether it is "worth" a T5 rating. Terrain ratings are not something a finder "earns" by logging the cache. Terrain ratings are a communication tool, a way for a CO to communicate the general nature of the cache experience to potential seekers.

Agreed!

But still. If one could walk the most part on a gravel road and then swim (or wad, water is just reaching up to the chest) 10 meters to the cache, does this justify a "boat required" attribute and T5 rating?

I´ll answer by my self: Yes and no. The cache is part of a Kayak series and intented by the CO to be logged by Kayak. So there´s a yes. But some clever guts sneak up to the cache by foot and take a little swim, that feels clearly like a T4, there we have a no.

Now that we did it in T4 manner, haven´t we proofed that it´s not T5? Since hey, surely no boat required :D  

 

I´m not saying this aint a justified T5. I take it gladly. But still, it does not feel like I´ve really earned a T5 there, no matter what the owner communicated through his rating. And that´s where you´re a little wrong. Lot´s of players want to "earn" ratings. Maybe not you, and thats just fine. But if there wasn´t a kind of competition out there, there wouldn´t be as much discussion about that issue.

+ There´s another species of cacher who don´t care about "earning" a rating as long they baged it in theyr´s statistics.

 

A never ending controversy :)

 

2548556e-27c7-4e42-b2e5-018444606ea9.jpg

 

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2 hours ago, DerDiedler said:

Now that we did it in T4 manner, haven´t we proofed that it´s not T5?

No, you didn't. Just because there is a way for some daredevils to get to a cache without "T5-worthy" equipment doesn't mean that it's a good idea to do so. The T-rating should reflect what's reasonable to do. I always shake my head when some guy brags in his log that they, e.g., climbed a T5-rated tree without equipment and state that this should "really be a T4.5".

 

I know several cachers with the attitude "It's only T4,5? Of course I'll do it without gear!". In your example with the swin/wade through a calm river, it might be relatively harmless. But I've personally watched one case, where someone climbed 15 meters up a T5-rated tree without gear just "because he could". Yes, there were enough branches (otherwise, it would have been physically impossible), but there were quite a few "critical" steps and it had rained a few hours before, so the branches were still somewhat wet. For me, it was hair-raising to watch, and I was super-happy when the guy was safely back on the ground. It was a totally stupid thing to do, and I'm sure that if the cache had been rated T4.5 only, there would have been much more potential Darwin-Award candidates up in that tree. Since that day, I'm really not a fan of statements like "This isn't a real T5, so please don't label it as such".

 

2 hours ago, DerDiedler said:

But still, it does not feel like I´ve really earned a T5 there, no matter what the owner communicated through his rating. And that´s where you´re a little wrong. Lot´s of players want to "earn" ratings. Maybe not you, and thats just fine. But if there wasn´t a kind of competition out there, there wouldn´t be as much discussion about that issue.

If players think, that a T5 (or D5) rating is something you must "earn", it's their problem. And I could even say it's their fault, because nowhere in the guidelines does it say or even imply, that finding high D/T-ratings is a "special achievement" by the cacher.

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@baer2006 I absolutely understand your points. I even agree. I just wanted to highlight that there is a whole lot gray in between black and white. I never ecouraged an owner to change the rating from T5 to T4,5 just because it was posible for me to do so. I just did it, when gray fades away into cristal clear (wich is still subjective of course).

But no doubt, there are redicolous ratings out there. Overrated and underrated. And to get back on topic, false set attributes, often chosen by the owner just for fun or to "please" the community with rare attributes.

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9 hours ago, colleda said:

Yes it does. Like many things it can be the subject of interpretation. e.g. Definition of "boat", a constructed craft or anything that floats, like a log. I've found caches on islands that were only accessible by ship (a big boat) that weren't T5. How specialised does equipment have to be? Or, does specialised mean it requires a special skill that one should be trained for, like SCUBA? mountain climbing?

 

Up until I bought my kayak in 2015, I didn't have a boat so all those T5 water caches around here were very much Unobtainium to me. Most people don't have boats, especially if they live away from the coast, so in that sense it is specialised equipment. Of course I could have hired a water taxi to take me to those caches, I suppose, but that would have been pretty expensive and also would have lessened my enjoyment of those caches when I finally did buy the Stubby Little Longboat.

 

One of the things that irks me is people rating "easy kayak paddle" as T4.5, in the sense of being a T5-lite. There's nothing in the definition of a T5 that says it has to be hard and doing that justs muddles those up with what I consider the real T4.5s that require extremely demanding movement over potentially hazardous terrain.

 

I have a cache I rated T5 because a couple of its waypoints are boat-access. A few people have managed to work around that, by some guesswork and research or other means, but most people have done what I suggested in the description and used a boat. It's certainly the easiest way to complete that cache, assuming you have or can get hold of a boat. These days I guess someone could do it using a drone, but that would probably also be specialised equipment.

 

9 hours ago, colleda said:

Going OT, for just a moment on what could  topic of its own, should there be a separate terrain rating for water accessible caches such as, but not limited to, wading, swimming, flat water, rivers, open sea, rapids etc.?

 

Another of my caches has the Wading Required attribute. It's in a grotto, a small cave that normally has a moat about ten to twenty centimetres deep at its entrance (except for the current drought when it's been mostly dry). I rated that one a T2.5 but that's more for the scramble up the rocks to get into the cave than it is for crossing the moat. I really don't think it warrants a higher terrain rating, just a warning that it's best done barefoot.

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44 minutes ago, DerDiedler said:

But no doubt, there are redicolous ratings out there. Overrated and underrated. And to get back on topic, false set attributes, often chosen by the owner just for fun or to "please" the community with rare attributes.

Indeed.

 

And to get back on topic as well ;) ... there are several lakes in my home zone, and there are short "boat cache trails" on some. I.e., caches distributed mostly around the bank of the lake, in a way that it's impossible to reach them from the shore (e.g. because the area is a nature reserve, where it's forbidden to leave the path). Also, the lakes are way too big to swim all the way. Of course, all have a "boat required" attribute. Nevertheless, a few pf these caches can still be reached with one, either by swimming a moderate distance from the nearest beach and/or because you can legally reach the spot and then wade few steps into the lake. Theoretically, you could omit the "boat" attribute for these caches, but in my view this wouldn't make sense. So if there is a series of caches along or in the water, which can only be completed with a boat, then all these caches should have the "boat" attribute.

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I´ve just looked up my stats. I found not more than 8 caches with the boat required attribute. And the only one I can remember to have used a boat don´t even have that attribute set :D

The one Kayak cache I refered to earlyer also don´t have that attribute set as well.

So I really wonder what caches I have acomplished, cheating the boat requirement :ph34r:

Edited by DerDiedler
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Can´t keep my fingers off this issue. I Did research.

On Project GC I´ve collected 8 "boat required" caches.

Running PQ`s filtering my finds for that thing. One I couldn´t find.

That 7 results:

1.) Mystery about a Sailer. No water close to the cache. T2

2.) A cache at a industrial harbour, close to water but an easy walk. Almost drive in by car location. No way to log from a boat. T1,5

3.) Cache under a pedestrian bridge. Description say that one might use a rope to secure. No way to log by boat, far to high up ans unsailable waters. T4

4.) Placed on a jetty, acessible by foot for the public. T1,5

5.)  Prototype Museum Hamburg. Easy clap by foot. They have some boats in the exhibition of course. T1,5

6.) Drive in location in vincinity of a lake. T1

7.) Virtual at the "Belagio" fontaine in Las Vegas. T1

 

So, one thing can be said for sure. The caches I did so far rarely required a boat. And all of them claiming to require a boat absolutley don´t require a boat (#8 pending).

 

Edited by DerDiedler
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15 hours ago, colleda said:

Yes it does. Like many things it can be the subject of interpretation. e.g. Definition of "boat", a constructed craft or anything that floats, like a log. I've found caches on islands that were only accessible by ship (a big boat) that weren't T5. How specialised does equipment have to be? Or, does specialised mean it requires a special skill that one should be trained for, like SCUBA? mountain climbing?

Going OT, for just a moment on what could  topic of its own, should there be a separate terrain rating for water accessible caches such as, but not limited to, wading, swimming, flat water, rivers, open sea, rapids etc.?

 

I liked A-Teams earlier post which I think clarifies "boat required".  If one needs to provide the boat, then it's "boat required".  Taking a ferry or cruise ship to an island is, to me, using a form of public transportation.  I suppose there is a grey area if one can rent a kayak or canoe.  There are a few caches near Tybee island that are on small islands only accessible by boat (theoretically one could swim, but it would take awhile) and because the water is so shallow,  a canoe/kayak would be the ideal craft for reaching GZ.  I have rented a kayak from a local outfitter there a couple of times.  A canoe or kayak might not seem like specialized equipment unless you don't have one.

 

The range of conditions one might expect for a cache which requires navigating a body of water is so broad that I don't think a separate terrain rating would help much.  A boat required attribute would help users identify caches which have some sort of water access then the CO can clarify in the cache description, if, for example the cache was reachable by wading or swimming or that conditions were especially difficult such as open sea or navigating class III or higher rapids.  

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Project-GC shows I've found 41 caches with the Boat Required attribute but only 33 show up with a PQ (I guess the other 8 have been archived). Most are valid, in that they were water-access-only caches and I got to them using my kayak, but there are a few odd ones:

  • two caches on land in the village of Spencer have that attribute. Well I suppose Wisemans Ferry Road isn't all that great, but don't think it's bad enough to say a boat is required.
  • a cache on Lord Howe Island has that attribute. Strange, as even though it's an island, cruise ships don't go there so just about everyone arrives by air. Nothing water-related in the cache itself other than a suggestion to bring a snorkel if you feel like swimming after completing it.
  • there's one in Lake Macquarie on a swimming enclosure, but most people get to it by wading and a bit of swimming (depending on the tide).
  • a virtual on Fort Denison in Sydney Harbour originally required accessing it by boat, but with the island currently closed to visitors the logging requirement was changed to just posting a photo of the island from anywhere. The attribute remains, though.
  • there's a traditional on Cockatoo Island in Sydney Harbour with that attribute. Apparently when it was originally placed, you did need your own boat but now there's a regular ferry service there.
  • a cache close to the old Mooney Mooney Creek dam has that attribute. At the time it was published, there was a kayak on the more accessible side (still a long walk from the nearest road) and the idea was to paddle across to the cache, but the kayak got removed in a clean-up so all the recent finders have come in through the bush from a road on the far side.
  • a multi on Sydney Harbour requires travelling on each of the six new ferries to get information from signs on board. Yes it's on boats but it's one you couldn't do with your own boat!

All the others are either on islands requiring a BYO boat or are in water-access-only locations on rivers, so they look fair enough.

 

Of the 33 I can see, 14 are T5, 3 are T4.5, 11 are T4 and the rest all much lower T ratings including one T1!

 

Edited by barefootjeff
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6 hours ago, NYPaddleCacher said:

I suppose there is a grey area if one can rent a kayak or canoe. 

I don't own a boat of any kind. All of my geocaching-related boating has been done with a rented/borrowed kayak, canoe, pedalboat, etc.

 

I don't think ownership of the watercraft is what distinguishes between a public transit cache and a boating cache.

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On 10/25/2019 at 7:17 PM, niraD said:

I don't own a boat of any kind. All of my geocaching-related boating has been done with a rented/borrowed kayak, canoe, pedalboat, etc.

 

I don't think ownership of the watercraft is what distinguishes between a public transit cache and a boating cache.

 

The difference, as I see it,  for a boating cache one must provide the watercraft (even if that means renting/borrowing) while a non boat only cache would be accessible using public transit (e.g. a ferry)

 

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IMHO the boat, scuba and climbing gear att's should force a T5 rating (and/or vice versa, if you want to rate T5 it should have at least one of those attributes) the same way as the wheelchair attribute works with T1.

 

I've been listening to a fair few US based podcasts recently (Im in Australia) and im blown away by what they seem to think a T5 caches is (e.g. requires a ladder). Over here if you cant get to it with a ladder it's not getting published as a T5. Even my latest T4.5 hids I had to confirm it wasnt accessible with a ladder before it would be published.

Edited by BFMC
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