Wednesday, January 5, 2011

A Century Old Wreck


Notice: Please be aware that this report contains serious spoilers and coordinates of clues that may spoil this adventure for you. If you plan to do this cache in the near future, rather read this report after you've found the cache.

We are still new to this Geocaching hobby. I quite like the more adventurous caches but I don't get the ones that are just sitting on the veranda of a shop somewhere. What's the point?

We have moved recently and there are a lot of caches around here. I could probably have found 15 by now but I am limiting the ones I spend time on to the interesting ones. Caches that have some adventure, an interesting story, or both!

The next cache we set our sights on was a so-called "Multi Cache". This is a cache where you have to search for the series of caches with each giving you the clue to the next cache. It also involved a shipwreck and some caves. Now that sounds like my kind of thing.

First some background: I am very much over weight and unfit. Since we've moved to a beach house in Glentana 6 weeks ago I have started walking, working up the distances I walk systematically. I was confident that this walk would be no problem at all. With this cache though you have to time your walk to catch low tide so in order to maximize the time available to us we started our walk 2 hours before low tide. The weather forecast for today forecast a beautiful day with a high of 27 degrees Celsius.

When we started it was not hot yet, the beach covered in mist:

Up on that hill is the remains of a stone built look-out point high up above the shore. According to the owner of this cache the look-out point was built by one of the first land owners, an Italian family by the name of Tomicelli, in the early days of Glentana.

During low tide you can walk along the beach in stead of climbing over the rocks that sporadically stretch into the ocean.

On our way to the first cache the GPS leads us up to this ravine:

We had to go into the ravine, climbing and crawling over some pretty big rocks:

Look at the size of those rocks versus the size of the people:

We searched and searched, battling with GPS reception in the narrow ravine, but after about 40 minutes we found it!

And our next clue:

And so we head along the beach towards the old shipwreck.

This is the wreck of a floating dry dock that was washed ashore in a heavy storm in 1902.

Docks like this were used in the past to do repairs to ships at sea. The ships were positioned on the dock and then the water was pumped out, leaving the ship dry for repairs to the hull.

Side view of the wreck from near the second cache:

Searching for the second cache:

Which we found easily!

The final clue:

Apparently on our way to the next cache we had to cross this VERY narrow ledge. It's high and dangerous.

Surely this could not be it? Another family (we suspect they were also looking for this cache) was also looking at this with disbelief.

We looked for an alternative route along the beach but found none. While searching for an alternative route we spotted some kids coming from the other side:

You can see in relation to their bodies just how high it is. If you fell down there you could be seriously injured or worse.

Also, over the narrow ledge is an overhang so low that even the kids have to crawl that section:

My body must be four to five times the size of that kid's, so we decided to abandon this search. It's simply too dangerous. I HATE giving up, but risking serious injury or death to one of the family to find a plastic container is simply not worth it. Damn! And we timed it so well. It was right on low tide now.

I took some more photos of the wreck while the other family started walking back.

While spending time around the wreck I spotted a rather "big bodied" fisher woman coming back along that trail. I watched her as she walked and crawled along the ledge and got down to the beach as if it was nothing. Maybe we were over reacting? I decided to at least try.

It was hair raising!

But I got over.

The kids followed:

My heart was in my throat! Mrs.TR has vertigo so she decided not to chance it and rather wait for our return.

That wasn't the last narrow and dangerous section either...

Walking along the beach to here was relaxing and no problem at all, but on this last section there was a lot of climbing up and down rocks and I was starting to experience the first symptoms of dehydration. Stupidly we did not bring any water with. That was our first mistake.

Decision time. I had no water. The tide was turning and we might be rushed for time getting back. Also, when the mist breaks the heat will be much worse than now. And as I dehydrate my balance and concentration will be affected and we still had to negotiate that narrow ledge. Everything was working against us...

But I HATE giving up. And besides, the cave we were looking for wasn't that far away on the GPS screen. Just over those next rocks. Or the next...

We continue.

Up and over rocks, down to sea level, up and over rocks, down to sea level, etc

After what seemed and eternity we reach this secluded beach. I was exhausted!

But there it is!

This cave is quite deep. And of course it is here that we realize the torch we brought is still in the backpack that we left with Mrs.TR. Second mistake...

We searched and searched. With no light it was near impossible to find it. All we had was the camera flash. We knew it was under a flat rock so we were turning over rocks in the dark and feeling underneath. Not really a smart thing to do but what the heck, this is an adventure!

After searching and searching we remember something in the clues about the cache being 60m into the cave, so we count 60 steps into the cave. I can't get in that far - the cave is too low and small. Soon Asterix cant get in deeper either. It's up to my youngest.

In pitch darkness, finding his way into the unknown, he finds it!!! Success!!!

After we signed the log it was up to him to return it again.

The view from the cave towards the sea - beautiful area this:

We started the climb back. No time to be wasted now.

The view of the wreck on the way back:

Just before negotiating the ledge...

I was happy to be back on the beach. As it turns out walking is much easier than climbing. I really have to work on my fitness.

Before we go home we collect some fresh oysters. One of the perks of living next to the ocean.

This was a great cache. The best one yet!   And the cold beer I had when I got home was one of the best I've ever had.

Our route:

Geocaches like these are definitely worth searching for. This one was well thought out and definitely an adventure we thoroughly enjoyed.

I hope there are more caches like these in our near future.

Source: Geocaching


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