Earthcaches

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Sunday, September 15, 2013

A losing streak?!?!

Intercoastal Waterway
As much as I enjoy the beach I have to admit that I was bummed out by yesterday and today's losing streak when it comes to cache-hunting. After a great day at the beach and one cache find on the way home I was all set to meet an old friend and introduce him to geocaching. We traveled from Ocean Isle to Calabash, North Carolina. There we stopped to grab a letterbox hybrid cache, then fill up with gas at a 26 cent savings in South Carolina. North Carolina has high gas tax tacked on. From there we went to a great and inexpensive seafood restaurant in North Myrtle Beach. The place is called The Shack and is located at 1128 Sea Mountain Road. The food was excellent and our meet up with our friends was great. We hadn't seen them in over 10 years. Now that they've moved to Myrtle Beach we'll have a better chance to get together with
Intercoastal Waterway, tough paddling
more frequency. After eating we headed over to Barefoot Landing, a commercial center on the water with all kinds of shopping and entertainment opportunities. We had a good time walking around and catching up. My three-year old grandson was with the family. He asked me if we could find a geocache. I mentioned it to my friend and discovered he'd actually be on a geocaching hunt once. He went with his son in New Mexico earlier this year. They went for three geocaches and came up empty-handed. I thought for sure this would be his chance to experience a find. There were two caches I'd not found in Barefoot Landing. We hit them both, searching high and low and attracting all kinds of attention during the night. No cache! My friend wonders if geocaching is for real. He's 0 - 5 on geocaching. Sadly he'll have to learn more later.

Kayaking to a lost cause
Today I had a repeat of the experience. After a day at the beach we tried for two caches on the way from Sunset Beach back to Ocean Isle. Both left me empty-handed. As soon as I got back my son-in-law had the kayak loaded and we were ready to go to the Intercoastal Waterway. We headed a few miles away to launch the kayak at Ferry Landing Park. The kayak trip was great. We paddled out in our two-man kayak, rounded the pier where some fisherman had use of the water immediately in front and we turned south along the Intercoastal Waterway. We paddled a few minutes to cover the .47 miles showing on my GPSr. As we approached the beach we traveled through about 75 yards of three-foot tall grass. Since it was high tide we paddle right through it up to the beach. The beach was completely infested with small crabs that scurried
A pretty easy cache once the coordinates were right
everywhere when I got out of the kayak. I ignored them and was grateful that my wife wasn't along. I'd have been carrying her had she seen the crabs. I tracked to a prominent tree, certainly the one where the cache owner had attached a regular size cache up in the tree above any rising water. I looked and looked. My son-in-law looked but to no avail. The cache just wasn't there. Some storm may have taken the cache. It has been about a year since it was logged. We checked the surrounding trees to make sure and found no sign of a cache. The light was fading so we headed back, this time with my headlamp as a way to warn boaters of our approach. The trip was even easier returning north. We made it back to the beach, loaded and went home...without a single cache for the day. Bummer!

Hey, there's a good side to every bad day! The next day or two work out better. I came home to look at the logs on Angel's Trace (GC444YH). I found out a clue. The next day I went back. Still no joy! Back to the log to read more. Some distance back in the logs I saw a cacher had given a better set of coordinates. Having the right coordinates makes all the difference in the world! We stopped by on day three and there it was, some 50 feet away from the posted coordinates. I logged it and also logged a maintenance needed note. Either the cache needs to be moved to the posted coordinates or the coordinates need to be updated with something more accurate. All's well that begins with geocaching!
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