Friday, September 9, 2016

A Great Log...

A Really Great Geocaching Log!

For those of you who won a geocache that we have found, or for those who know us - you already know that we love great geocache logs!!!  In our humble opinion, the only thing that is almost as good as finding a really great cache is writing and getting comments back on a really great geocaching log.  Recently, a good friend of ours was out enjoying a great water cache when his day took an amusing but interesting twist.  With both his and the cache owner's permission, and for your amusement and enjoyment, here is his log for Happy Paddle XIX - GC5P4QC.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

p.s.; in order to publish a log this large, it had to be split into three parts.  

Another day and another set of water caches to try and find.....and get to. The getting to challenge wasn't planned into my itinerary. Yes, I went into this trip planning for only a “three hour tour”.  I obviously didn't do the appropriate reading/research about these six water caches I planned to do today that included "Hell or High Water". I also didn't realize others had challenges finding a route into the series of five caches that included "Hell or High Water". I didn't realize that the geocaching map showed a WRONG non-existent entranceway to the five caches in question. Apparently there was a lot "I didn't realize". 

After finding the first cache that was alone on a different offshoot, Happy Paddle XXXV, I made a fruitless search for the entranceway to these other five caches paddling back and forth over and over again all to no avail. I just couldn’t find this entrance that the geocache google map showed as being there. So I decided to study the satellite map closer. Hmmm, there looks like might be a way in, but it is all the way off of another branch of North Landing River. I finally got reoriented paddled the mile or so to what appeared to be an entrance and finally found a possible way in. Did I mention that the water levels are quite low today? I surveyed the inlet and had a sinking feeling. Do I really want to do this? I would have to go over 400 feet down this very narrow log strewn swampy inlet to reach the wider waterway where these caches were located! I was having second thoughts. I could not paddle my kayak through due to the low water levels. I read the logs and the cache page for the Hell or high water cache. That is when I realized that I probably should have researched better before heading out on this caching adventure. There was a reason one of these caches was called “Hell or High Water”! The cache page informed me that if the water level wasn’t high, it would be “HELL” getting to it. I decided in my infinite wisdom to proceed anyways. I had my dive boots on and I hopped out and started dragging the kayak through this tiny channel using my walking stick to test the bottom and sweep for snakes as I slowly plodded my way step by step. I got about half way and suddenly stepped in a spot and proceeded to sink way down to my waist in muck. Startled, I grabbed the kayak to stop my decent and in my haste one of my fingers caught the tether of one of my Garmin’s that was hanging out of my safety vest pocket and sent it flying through the air in a perfect arc into the water and muck.  Crap, dammit! Hope it is really water proof! I made my way over to the spot where the Garmin entered the water and reached down to try and find it. Would I find it fast? NO! Unfortunately the bottom swamp muck was very loose for about a foot in depth and as a result it took about 5 minutes to find my Garmin, but I did find it! Luckily it was turned off. I had a second Garmin that I was using for navigation and to leave those very important breadcrumbs……so I would be able get my ass back out of this god forsaken place I was heading into! At least I didn’t send that Garmin flying.  After that scare, I continued dragging my kayak down this damn water deprived inlet. I finally broke through and arrived at a spot where I could get back in my kayak. Time for a beer! 

After getting Happy Paddle XVIII with no issues, I headed confidently towards this cache. Tough to get in, but once in everything seemed fine and easy going. My spirits were up, the rest of this was going to be easy peasy!  So relaxed, I proceeded onward with the song “Cool Change” by the Little River Band playing in my head.
As I approached the island mentioned in the hint, I looked up, and that's when I noticed the very large water moccasin sunning himself and all curled up right at the point that my kayak was about to hit. He didn’t seem pleased with my rapid arrival. I immediately jerked on my paddle to stop my momentum and....wait for it.....caught the lanyard on the other Garmin I WAS USING TO NAVIGATE WITH and watched admiringly as it went flying in a perfect arc through the air and splash into the water.  CRAP, DAMMIT AGAIN! Did I mention that this water was much deeper than where I had splashed the other Garmin?  So now I had a decision to make. Do I try and retrieve this Garmin? I of course thought back to the ORM (Operational Risk Management) I had learned during my time in the Navy and have always used in situations like this. Wait a minute; I have never really been in a situation exactly like this.
OK, ORM. So what are the risks?
Well, there IS a very large water moccasin
He doesn’t look pleased with my presence
The water is at least waist deep
The bottom is very loose
I have no idea how far I will sink into the swamp muck if I get into the water
There is that snake!
Water Moccasins are venomous snakes
I am solo
I would have to get in the water
Next step is to list strategies to minimize the risks:
I have a stick!
I can get more distance between me and the snake.
I have beer!
I can drink a beer!  (Got to stay hydrated)
I have a stick!

So I decided to implement ORM risk mitigation strategies and execute my search and retrieval of my Garmin that we spent at least $300.00 for. I looked warily at the water moccasin and he was just watching me (or laughing his ass off and daring me to retrieve my Garmin). I was at a safe distance now but the Garmin entered the water much closer to where the water moccasin was.
I grabbed another beer out of the cooler, drank the beer, then took my vest off, grabbed my stick and entered the waist deep water. I said to myself over and over that "they are more afraid of us then we are of them"! I slowly started searching so as to not disturb the damn water moccasin. Did I mention that he was very large?  The snake seemed like it was not going to move so I took my eye off of it to better focus on my search. I needed to find this damn Garmin fast!

After about a minute or more of searching I looked up to check on the water moccasin and.....IT WAS GONE! Where did that damn snake go? I looked and looked and there was no sign of it. Crap, is it in the water now?  I looked all around to no avail. Do they attack from under water? I looked back at my kayak and the damn thing was slowly floating away! I lunged towards and grabbed my kayak, looped the bow rope around my wrist and moved back to commence my search with new motivation to find the Garmin fast. That was not to be. It took over 15 damn minutes (at least it seemed like 15 long minutes) before I finally came up with the damn Garmin all the while wondering where that damn snake was!

I remounted my kayak in record time. Looked around again for the damn snake, but it was nowhere to be seen. I then did what any other red blooded American would do after an experience like that and grabbed another ice cold beer from the damn cooler. After rehydrating, I went back to my search for the damn cache. I finally made the damn find after a short damn search. Still euphoric at being able to find my Garmin, I commenced to proceed further down this sheltered waterway towards the next cache hoping all along that the rest of my adventure would indeed be easy peasy.
I hope the damn Garmin's stay in the damn kayak for the remainder of my damn trip!  Oh, and the cache is in good damn shape!  I also added an extra damn tether (zip tie) to keep it in place. Original tether was getting pretty damn brittle. Thanks Dan!  Hope my description of my little adventure gave you a chuckle. Funny thing is it's all damn true!
By the way, I am adding this to my damn favorites! 
SL as jtmlam59. TNLN TFTDC!!! 
I hope you enjoyed the log.  I know you will agree with me when I say
 it was certainly a lot more amusing than "TFTC " or even "Found".

Coming soon - an amusing little contest for cachers in the Hampton Roads area.
Nothing big, but a idea I am borrowing from my geocaching friends "down under".
Look for details right here next week.
  Till next time!!!
Stay Safe & Keep Caching!!!

Suffolk Nana & Papa - - - or just plain ol' - - - -  SNAP!!!  

On Twitter at: @SNAPgeocaching
On Instagram at: snap_geocaching

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