Wednesday, January 28, 2015

2014 - The Year in Review

Didn't really think I would have much to blog about when I first thought of running just our stats for just 2014.  Then I ran them and learned a few things.

First the obvious stuff:

2014 was not a very good caching year for us.  We found just over 1000 caches, 1036 to be exact.

We cached  only 89 days which is partially the reason for the low numbers but also my health was less than lackluster 2014.

As far as the breakdown of our 1036 finds, 591 traditional, 275 mystery, 92 multi, 46 events, 6 Wherigo, 6 letterbox, 5 earth and 5 virtual, 3 CITO, 1 webcam and 1 Mega event.  Add to that 5 Lab caches, 18 Benchmarks and 167 Waymarks.

Nana & I took several trips during the year which accounts for the 9 different states we visited.   In late February we accepted an invite to Geo Fest in the Park just outside of Auburn, Alabama and had a terrific time meeting some old friends and making some new ones.  The Auburn area was gorgeous and we really enjoyed the event.

In July Nana & I went touring State Parks in not only Virginia but in Maryland and Delaware.  Along the way we picked up our oldest geocache for the year, GC2DC, Mason-Dixon-A3.  Originally hidden in  February 2001 we also picked up one of the most talked about travel bugs we have ever found at that location.  We carried it with us until the GCHR Mega-event in late August and everywhere we took it, cachers were not only amused but amazed.

We made two other trips during the year and both were for other reasons but we did manage to get in some minor geocaching while visiting colleges in Tennessee and Kentucky.

So, what one thing surprised me the most by running just our 2014 stats.  We never found a cache on Monday during the entire year.  Less than a handful Wednesdays also but absolutely no Mondays.  We will have to see if we can change that during the upcoming year.

We covered a good portion of the D/T grid including 3 5/5 caches!

We completed several different Geo Art projects during the year including: Final Approach (north of Greensboro, NC), Star Trek (Hampton, VA), Tobacco Heritage Trail (Brunswick, VA) and Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets (also in Hampton, VA).  We also started but have yet to complete The Beaver Trail geo-art in Gloucester, VA.

Our major accomplishment during 2014 happened on March 22.  Nana & I successfully launched what is currently Virginia's largest geo-art.  SNAP!!!-land.  Located in Suffolk Virginia the art is composed of exactly 100 caches.  Since it was published on that March morning over 88 cachers have completed the entire series, some coming from several states away specifically just to complete the series.

Goals for 2015:
1) Find about 1500 caches (which will put us over the 8000 finds mark)
2) Attend at least 2 Mega-events
3) Find caches in at least 3 more states

We hope to run into some of you during the year.  Everyone please - Stay Safe & Keep Caching!!!

Suffolk Nana & Papa

SNAP!!!

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy New Year... and the WINNER IS......

First of all, we want to thank all you readers out there that take the time to leave feedback or drop us a note, an e-mail or come up to us at a meet n greet.  

2014 was a pretty good year for Pam & I.  We found just over 1000 caches during the year, finished # geo-arts {VTCC, The Tobacco Heritage Trail, Star Trek and Final Approach} and started one other one we have yet to finish.  We also visited 8 states, other than Virginia.

In late March, Pam & I published what is currently Virginia's largest Geo-art (or graffiti).  SNAP!!!-land contains 100 easy puzzle caches and can easily be completed in a 6 to 8 hour period.

So, enough of the small talk, let's get to the main reason for this blog.  In our second year of caching, while traveling back to Suffolk from a day of caching, we would talk about the best cache of day.  It didn't take long for this to develop into The "COVETED" SNAP!!! Cache of the Day Award. 

The idea of a Cache of the year came to us in 2011.  We took each of the winners of the Cache of the Day and laid them all out and eventually came down to 3 or 4 best of the year.

In 2011 we took a trip to Pennsylvania and visited GC59AF: Thousand Steps Cache.  To this day both Pam & I think of it as our best cache ever and it was named the 1st SNAP!!! Cache of the Year.

The 2012 winner was in Smithfield, VA,  GC3PTB0: Smithfield's Porcine Parade.

Last year the winner was a WVTim cache.  GC44RDE - The Key is the Key.

So here we are, the moment of truth:

3rd Place: GC5CVD9 - NHT:  Symbols of the Cemetery - hidden by cameramoose - located in Norfolk, VA.  This is a very well put together Wherigo that teaches you about the different types of headstones and monuments.

2nd Place: GCA8E - Great Big Rock - hidden by 9ingers - located in Forsyth, NC.  This cache was hidden in May of 2001 and is well worth the visit.  A nice walk through a park and a short hike up a hill to a great location.

The 2014 WINNER of the
"EXTREMELY COVETED" SNAP!!! Cache of the Year

GC4XD7M - The Hermitage Gardens: A Walking Tour - hidden by Prytz+1
located in Norfolk, VA
This is another really well put together Wherigo cache and it takes you on a great walking tour of one of Norfolk's hidden gems.

Congrats!!!

May everyone have a safe and Happy New Year!!!

As Always: Stay Safe & Keep Caching!

Suffolk Nana and Papa

SNAP!!!



Sunday, December 28, 2014

"EXTREMELY COVETED" SNAP!!! Cache of the Year - Top 10

Several days ago we blogged about our Yearly award and listed the top favorite caches of those we had found in 2014.

So, just to make sure everyone is on the same Page: Most days we go caching we award favorite points to those caches we find and like.  Most of those days we will find at least one cache that really stands out.  That particular cache will be awarded the "COVETED" SNAP!!! Cache of the Day award.  At the end of the year we then look at each of those winners and come up with the overall favorite cache of the year which then is awarded the "EXTREMELY COVETED" SNAP!!! Cache of the Year!!!

Past winners were:
2013 - GC44RDE - The Key is the Key by WVTim
 2012 - GC3PTB0 - Smithfield's Porcine Parade by Chihuahuak94me 

    Since we published the last blog, Nana and I had a long discussion and managed to whittle down the list to the Top 10 Favorite Caches.  Here is the top 10 list - in no particular order.

GC3N3Z3 - wild cat alley - hidden by bambie2 - located in Beaufort, NC
GC3RE6V - a mICRO iN tHE wOODS - hidden by altbiers - located in Chesterfield, VA
GCA8E - Great Big Rock - hidden by 9ingers - located in Forsyth, NC
GC4Q2TG - Hiding From the Pandas - hidden by Team Slug Jr - located in Gloucester, VA
GC4M9FD - Can't See the Lake From Here - hidden by 2CachingClowns - located in James City, VA
GC5C50C - NHT:  I think you know my brother. - hidden by cameramoose - located in Norfolk, VA
GC5CVD9 - NHT:  Symbols of the Cemetery - hidden by cameramoose - located in Norfolk, VA
GC5ACT1 - Norfolk's Historic Triangle:  Yellow Fever, 1855 - hidden by cameramoose - located in Norfolk, VA
GC4XD7M - The Hermitage Gardens: A Walking Tour - hidden by Prytz+1 - located in Norfolk, VA
GC22V4X - SECRET AGENTS ONLY (MISSION 2) - hidden by MONTFAM - located in Currituck, NC

Congratsulations to those top 10 cache owners.  We will try to announce the overall winner around the 1st of the year.

As Always, Stay Safe & Keep Caching
Suffolk Nana & Papa
SNAP!!!







Wednesday, December 24, 2014

End of the Year

With Christmas just one more day away and the end of the year fast approaching, it is time to look at those caches we have encountered this year and loved.  We loved them so much we awarded them the "COVETED" SNAP!!! Cache of the Day Award.  Having earned that award in the year 2014 means they are all illegible for the ultimate award we hand out, The "COVETED" SNAP!!! Cache of the Year Award!!!

Here are the caches in the running for the award this year:
GC32DG3 - You've Been Mugged - hidden by Oceandrive2004 - located in Alamance, NC
GC3N3Z3 - wild cat alley - hidden by bambie2 - located in Beaufort, NC
GC568W2 - THT01 GeoArt - hidden by ththider - located in Brunswick, VA
GC4XY5M - OGL 1.5 Mile Run - Gold Award! - hidden by Prytz+1 - located in Chesapeake,VA
GC1BKG5 - Pointless Roads #1 - hidden by nemisis83 - located in Chesterfield, VA
GC3RE6V - a mICRO iN tHE wOODS - hidden by altbiers - located in Chesterfield, VA
GC22V4X - SECRET AGENTS ONLY (MISSION 2) - hidden by MONTFAM - located in Currituck, NC
GCA8E - Great Big Rock - hidden by 9ingers - located in Forsyth, NC
GC2NA1G - Blast from the past. - hidden by firemanbrad - located in Fulton, GA
GC4Q2TG - Hiding From the Pandas - hidden by Team Slug Jr - located in Gloucester, VA
GCQ7E9 - Blanche's View - hidden by FeatheredFriends - located in Guilford, NC
GC4M9FD - Can't See the Lake From Here - hidden by 2CachingClowns - located in James City, VA
GC55KEH - Don't Let This Birdhouse Send You to the Nut House - hidden by Kemallor - located in Newport News, VA
GC5DV21 - JUMP - hidden by gigiwoll - located in Newport News, VA
GC592BP - Forest Lawn Memorial CITO - hidden by cameramoose - located in Norfolk, VA
GC5C50C - NHT:  I think you know my brother. - hidden by cameramoose - located in Norfolk, VA
GC5CVD9 - NHT:  Symbols of the Cemetery - hidden by cameramoose - located in Norfolk, VA
GC5ACT1 - Norfolk's Historic Triangle:  Yellow Fever, 1855 - hidden by cameramoose - located in Norfolk, VA
GC4XD7M - The Hermitage Gardens: A Walking Tour - hidden by Prytz+1 - located in Norfolk, VA
GC40F5B - This Old Magnolia (A geoFITguy 1K Cache) - hidden by Hunster - located in Pitt, NC
GC56X01 - Ammunition #9 - hidden by TheCuppFamily - located in Virginia Beach, VA
GC4MEY5 - Bamboozled - hidden by AllstarSS - located in Virginia Beach, VA
GC53ZA0 - Duck Duck Cache - hidden by Mikey2times - located in Virginia Beach, VA
GC54YTN - Just hang in there! - hidden by Lacey1961 - located in Virginia Beach, VA
GC31ZH7 - Something is Going on Here - hidden by vabikerider - located in Virginia Beach, VA
GC54205  - Lego My Signal - hidden by GoodSunCachers - located in York, VA
GC51B0N - Sometimes you feel like a nut - hidden by dowjr - located in York, VA
GC5ERPB - ST #61 The Final Frontier... I Mean... Cache - hidden by Kemallor - located in York, VA
GCNP18 - Turkey's Delight - hidden by 5 Lost Marbles - located in York, VA

During the last few days of the year Pam & I will be looking at each of these caches trying to whittle this list down to the top 3 and finally settling on one final cache.  We will announce the winner shortly.

As Always - - - Stay Safe & Keep Caching

Suffolk Nana & Papa

SNAP!!!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Keep Hydrated When Hiking/Geocaching

A little over a week before I was one of many friends worried about a fellow geocacher on a good length hike (8.1 miles).   Just eight days later it was me, Papa SNAP!!!, that ran into trouble on a geocaching hike through a local park here in Hampton Roads Virginia.

Although this park had been on our “to do” list for quite some time, I had not planned out the day as I usually do.  We gathered up the supplies and off to the park we went.  I did some quick calculations in the parking lot and decided that two 16 ounce bottles of water should be more than enough to keep me going.  I knew the hike would be somewhere around the 6 – 6.5 mile length and really didn’t want to carry the backpack.  I easily fit 2 bottles of water into the waist bag and off we went.

 Almost 4 hours later I hit a wall.  I really don’t know who placed that wall there but there was no getting over it.  The last half mile had been a task.  Walk a short ways, rest a bit, walk a little more, rest.  Then the wall appeared and I knew I would not make it.  I still had a sip of water left but I had rationed it as far as I could.  Nana was a real trooper as I told her to leave me there and to go get help.  I was actually beginning to feel a little better when the Park Ranger pulled up to check me out but he insisted on calling the EMTs before he gave me a lift back to the parking lot.  The EMTs ended up being my saving grace because as they hooked me up to the monitoring equipment things were not good.  Long story short, I ended up in a hospital for two days recovering from my kidneys shutting down from severe dehydration and my heart had experienced a bad interaction between my blood pressure medication and the dehydration I was experiencing.


Now that I am back at home recovering and getting my strength back, I “googled” “How much water should you take on a hike?”  Most of the websites I looked at said 64 ounces of water for a day-long hike.  Granted, everyone is different, and I for one sweat more than anyone else I know sho I would guess I should take more.   One site I looked at said a half litter (~16 ounces) of water for every mile you hike.  Guess I was off by quite a few bottles.  The hike I had planned was supposed to be about 6 miles but my fit-bit said I walked over 10 miles that day.  Guess I spent more time looking for caches than I had planned!

Yes, I am home now and Yes, I am OK (or at least as OK as I used to be).  Bottom line is pre-planning and, of course, drinking plenty of water.  Please do not go through what I just did - - take plenty of water on your hikes!!!

Special Thanks goes out to my lovely wife (Suffolk Nana or the "SN" of SNAP!!!) of 35 plus years (36 is coming up really fast).  I know it was really hard for her to leave me sitting there and go get help but I do not honestly know where I would be today if she had not left me there to go get help!

Please – Stay Safe (drink plenty of da water) and Keep Caching!!!


SNAP!!! – Suffolk Nana & Papa

Friday, August 8, 2014

Some more... Best Caches of GCHR

Are you coming to the 12th Annual Geocaching Hampton Roads Picnic ?
Do you plan on staying more than one day to do some caching in the area?
If so, then this list might help.

Here are the top 5 caches in every South-side city in the GCHR area
(based on percentage of favorite points to finds).

Virginia Beach

1.  GC4TABG - The Nose Knows - hidden by steve-n-kim - 81% (Multi)
2.  GC4JXYB - Signals  - hidden by drakeotemy - 78% (Puzzle)
3. GC389YR - Twinkle Twinkle Little Star - hidden by southtexas - 74% (night cache)
4. GC4TTGR - The KEY to Happiness - hidden by steve-n-kim - 72% (puzzle)
5. GC4R264 - B.Y.O.B. #2 Connect Two - hidden by CachinCousinz - 71%

Chesapeake

1. GC190EK - EVIL - hidden by Frogman83 - 68%
2. GC37AQ2 - The Dark Side  - hidden by southtexas - 67%
3. GC4R8BR - Frankencache - hidden by The Mad Scientist - 66%
4. GC2C7GF - A Cryptex Trading Cache - hidden by ARONK76 - 62% (Puzzle)
5. GC4XVBD - OGL 1.5 Mile Run - hidden by Prytz+1 - 59% (Wherigo)

Norfolk

1. GC51KMT - Forest Lawn: Meet the Residents - hidden by cameramoose - 74% (Wherigo)
2. GC44DXW - NFWC  - hidden by drakeotemy - 72% (Puzzle)
3. GC4Z6KA - Escape from Norfolk - hidden by Prytz+1 - 68% (Wherigo)
4. GC4XD7M - The Hermitage Gardens: A Walking Tour - hidden by Prytz+1 - 60% (Wherigo)
5. GC360WK - In Plain Sight: 15 to 51 for Litech - hidden by Willcoje and Xckarebear - 57%

Portsmouth

1. GC36J27 - Revenge for 302 - hidden by HuffinPuff - 52% (Premium)
2. GC36JHM - Are you kidding?  - hidden by ny311fan - 43% (Premium)
3. GC2Z3RY - The Meatless Steak - hidden by Carole & Tucky - 31%
4. GC8880 - Cradock Cache - hidden by Seth! - 15% (Multi)
5. GCH83K - Cannon of the Presbyterian Church - hidden by ATLas Carva - 9% (Virtual)

Suffolk

1. GC44PNY - I Can't Find My Finger - hidden by southtexas - 70% (Puzzle)
2. GC4FR3R - SNAP 108 - $m@rt Phone Video Cache  - hidden by SNAP!!! - 70%
3. GC44PQW - Something to Chew On - hidden by steve-n-kim - 59% (Puzzle)
4. GC302K3 - Usta B #13 - No Dumping Allowed - hidden by kan1stv- 54% (Multi & Premium)
5. GC3611F - Log It! - hidden by toystory2 - 50%

Isle of Wight

1. GC3PTB0 - Smithfield's Porcine Parade - hidden by chihuahuak94me - 72% (Puzzle)
2. GC47DE8 - Head To The Point - hidden by Ioannes Cornu, Muskrat1337 & Holliehp  - 39%
3. GC3ETZ9 - Historic Fort Huger - hidden by GreatScott - 35%  (Multi)
4. GC1WQAD - Bronze Statues Hold The Key - hidden by chihuahuak94me - 33% (Puzzle)

5. GC2NYVE - Off The Beaten Path - hidden by muskrat 1337 - 28%

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Best Geocaches near the upcoming picnic

With the 12th Annual GCHR Picnic fast approaching I know plenty of people will be heading this way to not only participate in yet another great MEGA-event put on by GCHR (Geocaching Hampton Roads), but also to grab some great caches that we have here in the area.

So in an effort to make things easy on ya'll - here is a list of some of the best caches in the area:

Favorite Caches on the Peninsula
Based on percentage of favorite points
(Newport News, Hampton, Poquoson, York County, Williamsburg and Gloucester)

96% - GC55KEH – Don’t Let This Birdhouse Send You to the Nut House – A fairly new cache with an amazing 96% favorite rating.  A short drive south of the park will put you in the vicinity of this amazing cache.
90% - GC44NEP – The Colonial Treasure – a tour of local history awaits you at this cache.  An amazing 90% favorite point rating.  The start of this puzzle/multi-cache is in the heart of colonial Williamsburg but the tour provided by this cache will take you to various historic places around the peninsula.  Be prepared to spend at least half a day (minimum) completing this cache.
82% - GC4Z16X – Hanging Out in the Woods – this unique cache is a short drive from Newport News Park.  Can be completed in less than an hour.
81% - GC1YBHP – The Rune Stones of Harwood’s Mill – a complex puzzle cache that more than likely will take you more than a day to complete.  Located very close to Newport News Park.
68% - GC4GN2M – Limberakis Gerakaris– This tough puzzle cache features and amazingly scenic walk to get to the final.  The start of this puzzle/multi-cache almost an hour drive south of Newport News Park but is still on the peninsula.
68% - GC42D4J – Saga of Thorvald Erikson – A well thought our puzzle/multi-cache that will take you on a tour of the grounds around the Mariner’s Museum (Noland Park).  This cache can be completed in a few hours.
67% - GC34RA8 – Raiders of the Lost Ark – one of four Indiana Jones themed caches located near Newport News Park.  This cache can easily be completed in an hour or two.
59% - GC3A5X2 – The Last Crusade – Another of the four Indiana Jones themed caches located in or near the park.  This multi-cache starts very close to the mega-event. 
54% - GC52EER – VTCC#21: Final– this cache is the final of the Virginia Tech geo-art located just south of Newport News Park.  If you have done your homework and prepared, the entire geo-art can be completed easily in less than a few hours.
48% - GC3TQ28 – Larry’s Handiwork – a rather unique cache located just off the hiking/biking trail in Newport News Park.  This cache can easily be completed in an hour or two.
45% - GC44HME – The Signs of U.S. Route 17 South, Grafton, VA – a unique puzzle cache located a short drive away from Newport News Park.  This simple puzzle cache can easily be completed in less than one hour.
45% - GC29RNC - Camp Patrick Henry – A nice puzzle cache located just south of Newport News Park.  This could be a fast find if you know what you are doing!
43% - GC42B9M – Hysterical – a rather unique cache located at the back of a local business.  This cache is along route 17 across a toll bridge in Gloucester County.
43% - GC3VJRV – Huntington Heights – A unique cache that should be a park n grab.  This cache is located south of Newport News Park.
40% - GC51B0N – Sometimes you feel like a nut – a unique cache that shouldn’t take too long to find.  This cache is just a short drive from Newport News Park.
40% - GC1RH2Z – MiNd GaMeS – A very good puzzle cache located a short distance from the park. 

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

My First and Only (so far) Water Caching Experience

 WARNING:  This story contains scenes of a graphic nature that may, to some, be extremely disturbing.  Be warned before reading, this story may induce nightmares, tremors or sickness of a violent nature and intestinally related.  It is only after months and months of therapy that I can now relate this story to you as hopefully a learning experience.  By continuing to read further you take it upon yourself to suffer the consequences without any fault being cast upon or towards either this publication or the teller of the story.

Last August , after months and months of arm twisting, friendly bullying, and taunts of a genial manner, that I finally agreed to go kayaking with a close friend and fellow geocacher:  Tim, or ATT "All-Terrain Tim" (please note the name was changed to protect him from harassing calls) as those of us close to him lovely refer to him.  He was, in part, tired of my whining about filling in my D/T grid.  He agreed it would be a short trip and that "he would take it easy on the old man!"  As the day of our adventure rapidly approached my dread of the event steadily reared its ugly head.  Here I was closer to 60 years old than any other even number, and the last time I had been out on the water in anything smaller than an aircraft carrier was when I was about 7. That plus the fact that I am, as my doctor states, in bad need of a sever weight reduction regime.   My concern was not that I would drown, although in the days just before the adventure those thoughts did cross my mind.  No, the main worries were that I, Suffolk Papa of the geocaching couple SNAP!!! would embarrass myself by going into the water before or just after pushing away from the dock and then several times afterwards just to ensure the embarrassment set in good and deep.

The morning of the adventure arrived.  It was to be a gorgeous day with calm winds that were supposed to gradually increase through the day.  We rented a Kayak from a local source and I guess my first clue that something was afoot was when the "kid" at the counter said to "go pick out one you like" with a smirk on his face.  I questioned ATT about the difference in kayaks and he stated something about "Won't really matter for this short of a trip".  That being said I pointed to a kayak and the "kid" helped us load up and get on our way after paying him for the experience I was about to undertake.

We arrived at the launching point and we once again paid for the experience, just a few dollars more and my sense of dread that had given me concern most of the night before was dwindling into a memory.  "I could do this" was all that I heard in my head (at least at this point).  We readied ourselves and ATT gave a few pointers to the less experienced "old man".  When he was done with the pointers I jokingly said to myself - well if that's all there is to this - this should be a SNAP!!! (pun intended).

We started by going up river which gave me a chance to learn to navigate the channel.  Paddle, paddle, paddle - seems to be easy.  Why am I going in a circle - was one question that popped up but I soon figured out what I thought was a good plan of attack on the watercraft and the channel.  Once we had a good handle on paddling and turning (or so I thought) we reversed course and set off down the channel.  Over the next half hour or so we located several caches, of which ATT retrieved all of them from the banks as "he didn't want to chance my turning over just yet."  In the back of my mind at this point I seem to remember a small voice whispering "Yes, he’s waiting for the water to be deeper before you turn over" but I managed to pretend I didn't hear it.  I did notice that we were headed due South and the wind was out of the North and was gently pushing us along.  I also remember asking ATT at least twice during the first hour, "Tim, are we going to have any problem getting back against this wind?"  His answer was a laugh and some comment about our low profile on the water and the wind not being anything to worry about.

I'm not sure how long we had been out on the water but we had located seven caches plus the first stage of a multi when we rounded the turn and the thoughts and dread from last night returned in a flash.  There lying before me was what appeared to be open ocean!!!  In reality it was the upper part of North Bay and, as ATT so eloquently put it in an attempt to calm me and the savage beast that was swelling up inside me: "We are just going to skirt the edge and pull in right over there (pointing at a 45 degree angle).  The beast retreated and I looked at the seascape for what it really was.  Gentle waves, a nice breeze at our backs, and we were just going right over there!  Looking back on it now, it really wasn't that bad.  The gentle breeze pushed us along and all we had to do was steer and as we pulled into the next channel the reeds blocked the breeze and the water was extremely calm.  We pulled into a small group of cypress trees and I even managed to extract myself from the kayak to retrieve the next cache.  Like a champion, with my chest puffing out with pride,  I signed the log, returned the cache to its proper place and managed to get back into the kayak without even thinking about flipping over!

We managed to grab two more caches and the final for the multi when ATT turned to me and asked me a question which really should have been my second clue that not all things were as they seemed.  It basically was put to me that it was time to head back BUT instead of paddling all the way back to the dock there was a second option.  ATT would take me a little further ahead where there was a place for me to wait (about an hour/hour and a half).  He would paddle back to the dock, where he would drive around to where I was waiting and then pick me up.  In retrospect, the pride that had swelled in my chest concerning the aforementioned accomplishments must have deprived my brain of oxygen because I, for some silly reason, brushed back his attempt to save me from what was about to come and I volunteered, yes, you heard that right, I volunteered for what lay ahead.  The next thing I hear was a voice that sounded strangely like me saying "Heck No - let's go - let's paddle all the way back!!!"  I do not honestly know, even now, months later, if it was pride, ego, or maybe even total exhaustion that was my down fall, but the story that follows is entirely my fault!!!  At this point in the story I must repeat the warning that I shared with you at the beginning of the story.  Be warned: the rest of the story is not pretty!

After reassuring himself that I was not delirious, ATT and I set our sights back to the small part of North Bay.  What was, a few minutes ago, gentle waves with a nice breeze coming out of the North had turned into waves, and even though I am sure they were about a foot high with white water on the top of almost every one, they appeared to me to be at least three or four feet high, with white water cresting the tops.  The gentle breeze that had at one time this morning gently caressed our cheeks had escalated into a full on flurry of wind out of the North East!  ATT paused as I readied myself, took a few breaths and then commenced to, at least in my own mind, to paddle like an Olympic champion against the raging sea.   It did take some time, and ATT was having entirely too much fun paddling circles around me like a little puppy teasing a cat, constantly taking pictures of Papa SNAP!!! struggling onwards towards the finish.  I did eventually make it to the mouth of the first channel.   I slowed my paddling, taking deep breaths trying to calm my beating heart and gently progressed towards the turn ahead.

 ATT was busy laughing and cavorting back and forth in front of me as we approached the turn.  Then it happened, just as the turn approached.  The once calm and serene creek or brook or channel turned into a monster.  We made the opening of the turn and should be headed directly northeast.  The problem was that the gentle breeze that had once been coming out of the North was now a gale force wind out of the northeast!!!  For at least the first few minutes I seemed to be maintaining my station (that means, or at least I think it means that I was neither progressing forward, nor being pushed backwards).  Then it happened: I needed to take a break!  The problem was as soon as I stopped paddling, I was being driven backwards by that gale force wind I mentioned earlier!  I screamed in frustration, took several deep breaths, bent my head forward and commenced to paddle as if my life depended on it (and at this point of the story I was beginning to think that it might!).  I paddled like a champion (once again), there was water splashing everywhere, I must be making headway the way water was flying!!!  I paddled for what seemed like hours, I knew I was making progress down the canal - I just had to be!  That's when I peeked - just a quick peek but a peek none the less.  I looked to the side to see how far I had paddled since making that turn.  500 Yards?  No!  100 Yards?  No!  50 Yards?  No!  Here I was paddling for all I was worth and as I looked at the shoreline - I was disheartened to see - I was maintaining my place, neither forward nor backwards, in the exact same spot I started in!  I immediately collapsed but immediately realized - I was now being pushed backwards by the wind, and at not a casual drift as I had been in the early hours but at an alarming rate!!!  "HELP!!!" I yelled into the distance as I realized ATT was so far ahead of me he appeared to be nothing more than a speck on the horizon!!!

 Ok - I had managed to get ATT's attention but I soon learned that I had to keep paddling as if my arms were propellers because I soon realized that if I hesitated for even a second I was being pushed back towards the gaping mouth of the bay at an unbelievable sped.  Lucky for me ATT appeared as if propelled by a 150 horse power outboard motor.  He paddled circles around me with a questioning look and it only took him a second or two to realize I was so spent I must have appeared wraith-like in appearance.  He circled me once or twice more and suddenly he had a tow rope attached at the front of my kayak.  He told me to hang on as we slowly built up speed into what now felt like gale force winds.   Now, as embarrassed as I was, I did not want to feel totally useless even though I was being towed into port so I at least attempted to appear as though I was assisting ATT by paddling to help him pull me in.  Trouble was twofold.  First, as we were gathered speed the paddle started to feel like it was being ripped out of my hands, second was that ATT was paddling so fast that I was being drenched by the spray from his paddles.  Then the speed increased even more, I felt I could get out of the kayak and water-ski if only I could stop the torrents of water that now began to feel as though I was being water-boarded.  It didn't take ATT long to paddle us back, all the way to the dock but I swear I heard some egrets complaining out the huge wake that was coming off of our two kayaks as ATT paddled us back to the pier!!!

 As ATT pushed my kayak into the slot at the pier it certainly felt as if I sort of rolled out of the kayak and then every-so slowly attempted to stand on my own two feet.  All I know is, it was the first time in my life I actually saw Tim panting.  Come to think of it - that was the first time since I have known Tim - that he actually looked somewhat tired!!!

 There you go - that is the tale of my first and only time I have combined kayaking and geocaching!!!  But the more I think about it - I might just try it again.  That is if Tim is willing to be there for me!!!


 To tell you the truth - I may have exaggerated just a little concerning the details in this story.  I do know than when I read the paper the next day the weather section said winds had accelerated the previous day and had topped off with gust of about 40 knots.  Not exactly gale force winds, but definitely more than I could handle.  Thanks Tim, for a great day on the water, geocaching and filling in part of my D/T grid!!!

Friday, April 25, 2014

Thanks Becky!

Yesterday, as we were all standing around in a parking lot trading stories about our latest tick find, geocaching mistake, or the abundance inch worms in the area, I half-jokingly asked fellow cacher bdramatic, to ride all the way out and check one of our SNAP caches.  It is simple math really.  Now that the SNAP!!!-land geo-grafitti (or geo-art to some) has been published, Nana & I now have about 174 active caches.  The only way to know which ones to do maintenance on is to read each and every log that we get and sometimes even read between the lines.  The problem is: we have a few that are way out in the middle of nowhere, miles from the nearest town, burg, city, or even intersection and those don't get found very often.  So yes, I was half joking and half hoping she would take my offer to go check on SNAP 80 - Free Ride (GC3HK6D) as it hadn't been attempted since June of 2013.  I had explained to her, as we were soaking up the sun at the latest AACC event (GC525CE), that it was a glorious country ride, that you could see just about any kind of wildlife in the area, and to top it all off, you get to take a free ferry ride, courtesy of the State of North Carolina, after finding the cache!!!

Well - - - Thank you - - we appreciate you going all that way!!!  We hope you enjoyed the drive.  We really enjoyed your log!  Logs like these are the types that make our days!!!  Kinda wish we could award favorite points to certain logs!

Stay Safe & Keep Caching!!!

SNAP!!! - - - Suffolk Nana & Papa

Saturday, January 4, 2014

2013 Year in review... and the “Long-awaited” Winner of the "Coveted" SNAP Cache of the year!!!!

2013 was quite a year for Nana & I. During 2013 we found 1660 caches for a grand total of 5920. We cached not only in Hampton Roads but also in Maryland, North Carolina (not “The Carolinas”), West Virginia and Pennsylvania.
During January we tried to finish off several series in the Virginia Beach area. Some of the series we finished off in January, others took us a few more months but here is a partial list of series we did: Patriots, Superbowl, BBB’s, Kilo India Sierra Sierra, Presents for Daddy, Rock Band (we are still working on that one) and, of course, Christmas Lights.


February started off with the 6th Annual Milestones Meet n Greet. Also in February we took a short trip to Richmond and then came back home to start the HUGS and Greek Olympians, and Battlefield Series.


In March we started off the month teaming up with alara and making a big circle through North Carolina just to get Hyde county. This was the trip where I actually got bit by an ammo can and ended up getting my hand glued together!!! Towards the middle of the month we teamed up with Jtmlam59 and wiped out more area caches. The end of the month had us with alara again wiping out more caches on the peninsula.


April started out with Nana & I making a last minute weekend trip up the Eastern Shore and (at the time) wiping out nearly all caches south of the Maryland line. We made another trip down to North Carolina with Jtmlam59. Towards the end of the month we made made a trip up to Fairfax Virginia and attended our first CITO event and cached with our oldest son in his home area.


May had us taking a weekend trip with jtmlam59 down to the Raleigh/Durham area and biking 18 miles on one of the North Carolina Rails to Trails bike paths.


The end of May/beginning of June had us in the Harrisonburg area. We had taken our #2 grand-daughter to a HOBY conference and spent the weekend caching in the area while she was attending the conference.


Also in June we attended the opening of the Virginia Capital Power Trail.

July saw us in Richmond teamed up, once again, with jtmlam59 and grabbing a bunch of caches along the river. Towards the end of the month we were part of a bigger group and managed to solve and find all the clues to Colonial Treasure.


The big event (or should I say events) for August were the AACC events that I hosted every weekday in August. Then at the end of the month was the 11th Annual GCHR picnic where a whole bunch of people gathered just to sing Happy Birthday to me (lol).  Really enjoyed spending the day with my oldest son (Geochef74) manning the GSAK booth at the picnic.


Jtmlam59 teamed up with us once again and the beginning of September saw us attended the kickoff event for Washington County Maryland. We found enough of the required geocaches to earn a coin from the nice folks up in Washington County. The next day we headed west and managed to finish the “WV” geo-art in upper West Virginia.

The end of September saw me (the Papa half of SNAP!!!) go kayaking for the very first time. There is a very funny story associated with this trip and I might tell it someday but not here in this blog (at least not today!).

In October, jtmlam59 teamed up with us for a short trip to Greensville, NC. Well worth the trip, plenty of caches down there and it is about 2 hours away!


November and December saw us taking mainly day trips close by or staying here in the Tidewater area.


Pam and I were have been awarding “SNAP!!! Cache of the Year” since 2010. We take all the winners of the “Coveted” SNAP!!! Caches of the Day Award which we give out most days that we are out caching and decided which of those was the best cache of the year. This year was a tough one. We finally whittled down the list to the 10 best caches and then started debating. End the end we finally agreed on one cache.


Best geocaching trip during 2013: Washington County Maryland

 The BEST Cache of 2013:
 GC44RDE - The Key is the Key by WVTim

CONGRATS!!!

 As always - Stay Safe & Keep Caching!!!
 SNAP!!! - Suffolk Nana & Papa