Showing posts with label Mission Bay. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Mission Bay. Show all posts

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

More San Diego Geocaching: Part I

This week is week 3 of my 6 Sigma Black Belt training. Once again I am down on Mission Bay for the week. My geocaching day was in two parts, before class and after class. I'll break down the story into two posts to make it easier for everyone. I like to ramble on with my long winded stories and I have a lot of pictures to share. Bear with me. (Click any image to enlarge)

Part I: There have been some new caches added since my last trip to Fiesta Island. I arrived at the island around 6:30 in the morning and the sun was just barely ready to peek out above the hills. I quickly found my first cache of the day. It's nice when you find a lock and lock in such a public place. Walking back to my car, I was humbled by the beautiful sunrise seen above.

As I approached Ground zero of the second cache, I was stopped 80 feet short of pay dirt by a chain link fence. I walked a little ways each way but did not see an entrance. I wasn't going to jump the fence and the clock was ticking so I was off to the next cache. When I found the decon container hiding in a bush, I saw the entrance to the inside of the fence that I was looking for earlier. Nice! Let's go!

As I was walking the quarter mile to my third find, I started noticing very strange patterns in the sand. It looked like some sort of worms were leaving very erratic trails. I thought sand worms only existed in Dune. I snapped a photo as evidence they really exist! I found the camouflaged M&M tube and was on my way.

As I walked back to my car, the sun was shining, the crew teams were out practicing and I was at the edge of the Pacific Ocean. My race Prius looked as if it were posing for a Toyota commercial. I stood on the berm at the edge of the road and just enjoyed the views. I could see SeaWorld and I was glad I live in Southern California.

I grabbed the cache I had forgotten to look for last time I was here and I had just enough time to get over to the conference center, change my shoes, get a cup of coffee and set up my laptop for class. On my lunch break I walked the half mile to a new cache that had been placed since my last time down here. Some of the logs mentioned the coordinates being a bit off and most geocachers were finding it using the coordinates provided by Duncan, the FTF. I looked a bit too long and the half mile back to class took a little more than the four minutes I alloted! I'd have to come back with Duncan's numbers. As I was walking back I saw this large sail boat in dry dock. I like the image on the side. It's hard to see just how tall this ship is, but the street light helps put a little perspective on it.

Something rather strange happened at 1:30 in the afternoon. All of the sudden, the fog rolled in off the ocean. It got very windy and the temperature cooled down about 10 degrees. I snapped a picture from just outside the classroom looking out in the marina. (It can be hard to focus on statistics when you have a view like that out the window.) An hour later the fog was gone and it was sunny again. Mystery fog. Just enough to scare a GPS purchase into an unsuspecting novice boater!

Geocaching around Mission Bay was a great way to start my day. Here's a new geocaching slogan for you; "Geocachers, we turn over more rocks before 7:00 am than most people do all day!" Stay tuned for part II where there are signs of rattle snakes!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Mid Week Geocaching

This week is week two of my 6 Sigma Black Belt training. One again, I get to spend the week at Marina Village in the Mission Bay area of San Diego. I was much less organized in my geocaching this time. On Monday I wasn't prepared and did not have my GPSr loaded with geocaches. On Tuesday I tried to load some caches in the morning before I left and that took just enough time to land me in rush hour traffic. I ended up not having enough time to go geocaching. On Wednesday I was ready, both physically and mentally.

I learned my lesson the hard way last time and brought my hiking boots to change into. I got there around 6:30 in the morning. The sun was up and the breeze made it a bit chilly. I parked and followed the GPS for about 400 feet and quickly made my first find. There were a few people fishing from the jetty and a few more out in their boats drifting in the bay. They were far enough away for me to take my time and sit on the rocks while reading the log book and poke through the swag.

The next geocache was about a quarter mile away. I started walking along the large rocks lining the bay. There is something abut the ocean that calls to me. Walking there in the morning, all by myself with the sweet smell of saltwater in the air triggers something inside me. I must have been a pirate in a previous life. I love it down there. I ended up on an asphalt walkway on top of the jetty at Hospitality Point. The warnings of possible danger due to high seas were of no concern today. I could see however, outside the breakwater, the ocean was a bit rough.

I was searching for a cache called Our Love Endureth forever. For some reason, the GPSr pointed me to the left at the end of the jetty. The piles of huge rocks use to build the jetty provide a limitless number of places to hide a geocache. I looked in a few obvious places and got back on the walkway to recalibrate my GPS. It was now pointing to the other side, right at a rock that had the words "Our Love Endureth Forever" Painted on it. I sat down and quickly found the heart shaped cache container. I don't know if the cache owner painted the rock or it was just the inspiration for the cache name.

I signed the log and traded for what I thought was a regular geocoin. It turns out it is a non trackable geocoin. It's from the Utah Association Of Geocachers dated 2007. It has a sunset picture and it says "Breathtaking Vistas." It's a very nice coin. I'm not sure if I'll keep it or trade it. A shadow box display of geocoins would make a nice decoration of collectibles.

I made two finds. I could have done more but I was enjoying myself and taking in the scenery rather than rushing from cache to cache. Unfortunately I came down with the funk that has been going around. I'm home sick today. Hopefully I get over it quick and am able to go for a hike this weekend. We'll see.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

50 Finds! Finally, A Milestone!

I've reached the half a century mark in geocache finds. This week, I was at the Marina Village Conference Center for some work training. I am in training to become a 6 Sigma Black Belt. That is basically a statistics based method of problem solving. Marina Village is in the Mission Bay area of San Diego. My classes started at 7:30. To avoid rush hour traffic, I got there early. Why not do some geocaching before my class starts?

On Monday, the first day of training, it was pouring rain in the morning so I could only dream. On a break I ran over to attempt a mystery cache. I believe I got the final coordinates OK because of some of the things I was seeing near ground zero that were mentioned in the logs of previous finders. I found things like a folding chair, a jar filled with an unknown liquid, some gold rimmed dinner plates and some random pieces of clothing. There are a lot of homeless people in the area due to the mild weather at the coast. The one thing I didn't find was the cache.

Tuesday was a much nicer day and I decided to check out nearby Fiesta Island. The island has a one way road around it that is popular for joggers, bike riders and dog walkers. The coves surrounding the area are popular for water sports such as water skiing, wake boarding and kite boarding. There are 11 traditional caches on the island. I started with a smiley on a cache that was an M&M tube tucked inside the top of a no parking sign post about 8 feet in the air. For my next search, I had to venture further in and through some very wet, very sticky sand. This was my obligatory DNF for the day. I made the find on a lock and lock container before heading off to my meeting. By the end of the day, the sand on my shoes had dried and there was a sandbox underneath my seat. OOps!

On Wednesday, I decided to take my camera as cover due to the number of "healthy muggles" in the area. I made 3 finds near the popular OTL fields. Over The Line or OTL is a game played with three players per team. One team hits a ball and tries to get it past the other. the annual OTL world championship tournament draws as many as 20,000 people to Fiesta Island. It is known for heavy drinking, rowdy crowds and half (sometimes fully) naked people. The center of the island is a giant OTL sandbox. Once again, I showed up to class all sandy. this time I was smart enough to bang my shoes off before going in!

Today, Thursday, I headed back to the island with 49 finds and 5 caches left to find. Find #50 was at Fiesta Island Returns Again. I made the find easily and signed my name on the 50th log to grace my grubby fingers. NICE! I then had to walk through a grass field towards my 2nd DNF for the week. The grass was not tall but it was WET!!! I didn't realize how wet it was until I felt the moisture soaking into my socks. That is not fun on a 40 degree morning with the aspect of 9 hours of classroom training ahead of me. I moved from this bummer of a cache to one that will go into my favorites. Don't fear the Reaper was an easy find and a cool hide. The cover is the shape of an old coffin. When you lift the hinged lid, a full size ammo can is revealed. Good times. I grabbed another parking sign M&M tube cache on the way back to the car. For some reason, I thought I was done and drove right past the final cache on the island on my way out. It probably had something to do with my water logged shoes and pants. This last one haunted me all day. I'll have to get it during week 2 of training in a month.

When I got to the conference center, I realized my pants and shoes were wetter than I first thought and guess what sand does to wet clothes. It sticks to it. That made for an uncomfortable day, but the caching was worth it.

I have now made 52 finds in 62 days. Not a bad average! If I keep this up, I'll be at 1,000,000 caches in no time!

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