Geocaching Record Attempts and an Icy Run

Sunday was the final full day of our trip to the Isle of Man and we had several geocaching records that we could try to beat.

  1. Number of caches in a day – current record = 15
  2. Number of consecutive days with finds – current record = 6
  3. Most finds in a month – current record = 36
  4. Most finds in a Year – current record = 79

With only 53 finds so far this year we weren’t going to complete the last of these but we could get closer to it, but the other 3 were possibilities.

I started the day with a longish, hilly run from Ballabeg to Ballasalla and then up through Silverdale and onwards and upwards through Grenaby to the Cringle reservoir before heading back down towards Ballabeg. It was pretty cold at this time in the morning. The run up through Silverdale was nice but then the hills started to drag on. As I climbed higher I started running through snow and ice and some pretty impressive avenues of snow. The snow was still lining the roads, covering the hedgerows to either side and towering over me in strange contorted shapes where it had started to melt. The descents were a little dodgy though thanks to very wet roads from the snowmelt that had then frozen overnight resulting in large expanses of sheet ice. I took it easy, walking some sections rather than risk falling.

Back at Pats it was time for a bath and breakfast before we headed off in search of caches. We had several planned for the morning. None were proper cache and dashes though and they all required a bit of walking so getting close to our 15 caches in a day was going to be a challenge. The first two caches, one near Billown Quarry and another near Malew Church were soon found and logged.

Next was a geocache in the centre of Castletown where we also made a visit to the Old Grammar School exhibition. This was followed by an Earth Cache at Scarlet Point. Anna has done loads of geological field work here before so walking around here and looking at the igneous dyke and folded limestone brought back plenty of memories for her. The next caches out on Langness were also full of geological memories and points of interest. One of these was also part of the Isle of Man Extremities series so we had now visited the most Northerly, most Westerly, most Easterly and most Southerly points of the Isle of Man.

We did one more cache this morning at the end of Ronaldsway airport runway before returning to Pats for lunch. 7 caches down for the day so far and we had now found caches on 7 consecutive days which is a new record for us.

After lunch we had another 8 caches planned which would equal our daily record of 15. If we managed that then the plan would be to do at least one more after dinner, no matter how late or dark it was!

Pat came with us this afternoon but it didn’t start well. Our route this afternoon pretty much followed the route of my run from the morning, with 3 caches in Silverdale. We couldn’t find the first two though, but Morgan and I ran on ahead and found the third one. The next one was a multi cache in Grenaby. We started badly on the wrong footpath on the wrong side of a river. Got very wet muddy feet so retraced our steps and started again, this time on the right path through a field warning us of a bull. The first micro was found easily in a lovely location and things looked promising. This one gave us the coordinates of the next micro. We found the location but despite crawling around and looking everywhere we could find no sign of the next set of coordinates. Yet another DNF on this one, although it was a nice walk.

Further up the hill along the route that I ran in the morning we stopped at the bottom of the Whiskey Run where Morgan and I tromped through waist deep snow to find a geocache not too far from the road. Our target of 15 for the day was now looking unlikely though thanks to the 3 DNF’s so far this afternoon.

If we found the next one near to the Cringle Reservoir then we may just be able to do it but unfortunately another DNF loomed. We found GZ without any problem and the coordinates seemed spot on but we just couldn’t find the container. We admitted defeat and walked back to the car. We decided we’d give up on the attempt at the daily record, but we could at least extend our consecutive days eating ice-cream if we stopped at the shop in Colby on the way home. So that is exactly what with did, along with a quick stop at Cringle Plantation to find one last cache for the day.

Not a bad attempt in the end with 11 finds, 4 DNF’s, and an extension to our consecutive days caching (7 days and counting). We also beat our monthly record having now found 40 caches in April, but there are still more to come as far as that record is concerned. We are also up to 64 finds for this year so we are edging closer to the annual target of 79.

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Alan Cole

Alan is a Freelance Website Designer, Sports & Exercise Science Lab Technician and full time Dad & husband with far too many hobbies: Triathlete, Swimming, Cycling, Running, MTBing, Surfing, Windsurfing, SUPing, Gardening, Photography.... The list goes on.

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