2015 Caching Diary

2015 Caching Diary


2015’s plan was probably just to do a bunch of caches – the more the better really. I ended up having my best year ever, helped mainly by the release of a massive series of caches (the Hatley Heart Attack ) towards the back end of the year. There was only one new country. We went on holiday to Portugal, where we’d been before, but while we were there we popped over the border into Spain for a day in Seville.

January (78 finds)

  • On January 1st there was a BBH event up on Totternhoe Knolls – 2 finds
  • On January 8th I grabbed a few caches placed for a previous Roundabout MK event – 8 finds
  • On January 11th I had my first big day out of the year ( see Between Hare and There ) – 42 finds
  • On January 15th there was a Roundabout MK event – 1 find
  • On January 17th I went out towards Dagnall for a bit of night-time caching – 3 finds
  • On January 19th I was working in London and grabbed a random cache at the station on the way down – 1 find
  • On January 20th I was working in London again and grabbed a handful near Euston Station before heading to the office – 3 finds
  • On January 24th I drove around a bunch of church micros in the Milton Keynes area while the kids sat in the back of my car playing on their iPads ( see MK Churches ) – 18 finds

February (136 finds)

  • On February 1st I got the month off to a good start as Izzy joined me for a wander over the fields of Cambridgeshire ( see Catworth & Covington ) – 45 finds
  • On February 11th and 12th I was down at Eversley in Hampshire on a business trip and grabbed a couple while I was there – 3 finds
  • On February 14th we were up at my folks’ house and I went out for an afternoon to grab a series which proved to be very short-lived ( see Treacle Mining ) – 37 finds
  • On February 16th I was on a business trip in Basingstoke and popped out in the evening for a few church micros – 6 finds
  • On February 18th there was a BBH event down in Leighton Buzzard – 1 find
  • On February 21st we were down in Brighton for a running event and I grabbed a few caches on the Saturday afternoon – 15 finds
  • On February 25th I was on a business trip in Basingstoke and popped out in the evening for a few church micros – 2 finds
  • On February 28th I went with Ami and a group of local BBH cachers to do the Green section of the MK Boundary Walk ( see MKBW Green Section ) – 27 finds

March (208 finds)

  • On March 14th Izzy joined me for a bit of a bash around Dunstable ( see Dunstable ) – 51 finds
  • On March 17th there was a BBH event down in Wing – 6 finds
  • On March 18th I was down in Basingstoke again on a business trip and it was the first evening of the year where the light was fit for long enough to go out caching in the evening – 15 finds
  • On March 20th there was a solar eclipse and I took the day off work to enjoy a local event, and then head off to finish a nearby series I’d started with Ami earlier in the year ( see Eclipsed ) – 38 finds
  • On March 21st we went on a running trip to Reading and Ami and me went for a walk through some woods to grab a series of puzzle caches ( see FF40 ) – 55 finds
  • On March 26th there was a Roundabout MK event – 1 find
  • On March 28th I went over to Alconbury to hack round a new series there ( see Alconbury ‘n’ That ) – 41 finds
  • On March 31st I was working in Hook and grabbed a cache in the car park outside the office – 1 find

April (135 finds)

  • On April 4th we got the month off to a decent start by completing my final remaining stretch of the MK Boundary Walk ( see MKBW Indigo ) – 27 finds
  • On April 9th I found a random church micro in Ramsdell as I was passing by on a business trip – 1 find
  • On April 11th I found a couple of local caches including the Golden Bonus for the MK Boundary Walk – 2 finds
  • On April 12th I headed east to bash a couple of circuits in the Giddings ( see Sawtry and the Giddings ) – 62 finds
  • On April 18th I had a saunter around the centre of Manchester while Kas was resting up before running a marathon ( see Manchester Marathon ) – 19 finds
  • On April 20th I had a pootle around the old Greenham Common Airbase whilst on a business trip ( see Missile Silos ) – 19 finds
  • On April 26th we grabbed a few caches in London whilst elbowing our way through the crowds as Kas took part in “some running thing” from Blackheath to the West End – 5 finds

May (170 finds)

  • Over the first May Bank Holiday weekend we were up in the North-East and grabbed a few local caches, including one of the UK’s very oldest ( Angel’s View (Tyne & Wear) ) – 3 finds
  • On May 9th I had a hack around the south-east corner of Milton Keynes gathering up a few of the more recently placed caches there – 26 finds
  • On May 10th I final completed the solution to a puzzle that had been sitting unfound for quite some time, so I got an FTF ( ANTiPATHy ) – 1 find
  • On May 14th there was a Roundabout MK eent – 1 find
  • On May 24th I headed east to complete a large series near Huntingdon ( see Molesworth Melee ) – 69 finds
  • Over the second May Bank Holiday weekend we headed down to the Kent coast at Dover so Kas could do a long running event on one of the days ( see Doing Dover ) – 34 finds
  • On May 30th I ventured over to Cockayne Hatley with Izzy to complete a short series on a bright and breezy Saturday afternoon ( see Cockayne Hatley ) – 36 finds

June (181 finds)

  • On June 6th I went to Letchworth with Izzy to finish a series I’d started the previous year and I managed to drop my GPS down a drain ( see Letchworth Disaster ) – 46 finds
  • On June 8th, 9th & 11th I popped out to grab a few caches in Milton Keynes either before, after or during a dull training course – 12 finds
  • On June 13th we were up in Liverpool for a running event and I went out for an afternoon on The Wirral ( see Wirral Wander ) – 20 finds
  • On June 28th I set a new personal best for one day up near Peterborough ( see Yaxley to Connington ) – 103 finds

July (81 finds)

  • On July 5th I hacked over to Grafham Water to finish off a couple of bits of series I’d started before ( see Grafham Grabs ) – 32 finds
  • On July 11th we popped over to Walkern with the Happy Hunter and one of Pat&Roch to do a series of multis, thereby making ourselves eligible for at least one Challenge Cache that requires the finding of 20 multis in one day ( see Walkern Multis ) – 26 finds
  • On July 14th I killed off a few remaining caches from a part of the MKBW Orange series – 6 finds
  • On July 21st there was an evening event in Stoke Bruerne – 2 finds
  • On July 22nd there was a BBH event down towards Hemel Hempstead and I grabbed a handful of local caches whilst there – 9 finds
  • On July 23rd I grabbed a single new cache close to home – 1 find
  • On July 29th there was a BAD event over towards Bicester that all four of us went to – 5 finds

August (254 finds)

  • On August 1st we began our family holiday in the Algarve with a single find on the beach ( see Brum Brum Brum ) – 1 find
  • On August 2nd we popped down to Albufeira Marina after a very long day the previous day ( see Albufeira Marina ) – 2 finds
  • On August 3rd we drove to the end of the world ( see The End of the World ) – 3 finds
  • On August 4th we did a few local caches in Albufeira and attended an event on the beach ( see Caching on the Beach ) – 6 finds
  • On August 5th we took a boat rde in the morning and I went for a caching walk in the afternoon ( see Caves, Coves and Caches ) – 11 finds
  • On August 6th we went to Tavira but didn’t really enjoy it ( see A Disappointing Day ) – 4 finds
  • On August 7th we didn’t do a lot but managed to stop for a pzzule cache while we weren’t doing it ( see Wotta Lotta Notta Lot ) – 1 find
  • On August 8th we made a trip to the lovely towns of Silves and Carvoeiro, including Portugal’s only webcam cache ( see Silves and Carvoeiro ) – 7 finds
  • On August 9th we went to Seville for the day ( see Seville ) – 7 finds
  • On August 10th we the girls did a bit of parasailing and I didn’t ( see Parasailing ) – 2 finds
  • On August 11th we began our family holiday in the Algarve with a single find on the beach ( see Praia do São Rafael ) – 5 finds
  • On August 13th we went back to Sagres ( see Back to Sagres ) – 9 finds
  • On August 14th the girls stayed at our apartment while I scooted out to do a few final caches in Albufeira before we went home ( see The Final Day ) – 11 finds
  • On August 15th we went back home again, stopping off in Northampton for aingle find on the way home to enable a souvenir ( see Coming Home ) – 1 find
  • On August 16th I grabbed a couple of nearby caches – 2 finds
  • On August 18th there was a BBH event in Aylesbury – 3 finds
  • On August 22nd I made a trip to Elsworth on a warm summer day to do a series there ( see Elsworth Excursion ) – 53 finds
  • On August 29th I grabbed a few caches near Newport Pagnell while the girls were driving up north for the Bank Holiday weekend – 6 finds
  • I finished the mopnth on August 30th and 31st with a trip to Kent to grab as many as I could while the girls were away ( see Big Days in Kent ) – 120 finds

September (118 finds)

  • On September 19th I went over to NorthBedsCambshire to do a couple of series ( see Twin Turbine Trail ) – 81 finds
  • On September 23rd I was in Bath on a business trip and grabbed a few random caches in the evening – 7 finds
  • On September 25th I took a day off work to hit the first of a set of new series near home ( see Charlie’s First ) – 30 finds

October (201 finds)

  • On October 3rd I got the month off to a flying start by heading over towards The Giddings for a few caches I’d not had time to do earlier in the year on my previous trip on Sept 19th ( see Giddings and Thurning ) – 83 finds
  • On October 10th Izzy and me went to hit another of Charlie’s Loops ( see Charlie’s Second Loop ) – 20 finds
  • On October 11th we grabbed a random Earthcache in Milton Keynes Shopping Centre while we were out shopping ( A World Beneath Your Feet ) – 1 find
  • On October 15th I realised I was now eligible for a challenge cache I’d signed in Kent earlier in the year ( Tribulation & Topography Challenge: On Tour ) – 1 find
  • On October 20th I was on a business trip to Bath again and grabbed a few quickies before going out for dinner – 3 finds
  • Over the weekend of October 24th-26th we were away in Snowdonia and grabbed a number of caches at various interesting locations while we were there ( see Snowdonia ) – 18 finds
  • By October 31st someone had released the Hatley Heart Attack series, so I was duty-bound to go and try to find some of them ( see Hatley Heart Attack Begins ) – 75 finds

November (85 finds)

December (197 finds)

  • On December 12th I did a couple more of Charlie’s Loops ( see Charlie’s Third and Fifth Loops ) – 38 finds
  • On December 19th-21st we dashed up to my folks house for a pre-christmas trip and I passed some of the time by going out caching a couple of times ( see Measham Dash ) – 31 finds
  • On December 22nd the girls were off school so I took the day off and Ami came with me to do some more of the Hatley Heart Attack ( see Pre-Christmas Heart Attack ) – 74 finds
  • On December 26th we spent a couple of days up in the North-East – 6 finds
  • On December 31st there was time for one more go at the Hatley Heart Attack before calling it the end of the year, this time accompanied by Izzy( see New Year’s Eve Heart Attack ) – 48 finds

New Year Heart Attack

New Year Heart Attack

Whilst I was in the middle of attempting to complete the Hatley Heart Attack series, one of the two responsible COs added another whole loop onto the bottom of a location that I’d been to before. So obviously I had to go and find those ones, especially given that it looked like a really easy series, with all the caches packed together at near minimum distance, and the terrain looking uniformly flat.

On this particular day, I managed to persuade Izzy to come with me. I probably bribed her with the promise of going to McDonald’s for tea. She can be bought fairly easily when there are chicken selects and a strawberry milkshake on offer. To be honest, I’m probably bought fairly easily too, although not as easily as if it were beer.

Back at the plot, having Izzy with me is always fun. She moans a little bit about going caching, but then when we get there she’s really keen as well as being her normal chatty self. And she can keep going for a surprisingly long time, subject to there being a reasonable supply of Pringles or cookies (or both).

We managed to find 48 caches in under 4 hours, which is pretty good going by anyone’s standards. It was just about all the time we had available anyway. There isn’t much light in January, we didn’t start early, and it was New year’s Eve, so we had to get home and make ready for doing something else.

The caches we found were :

Christmas Heart Attack

Christmas Heart Attack

After a brief trip up to Measham to see my folks over the weekend I had a few days holiday left to use up and, of course, the kids were on holiday. Time for a bit of caching then.

I managed to persuade Ami to come with me for this trip, having assured her we would take appropriate “provisions” and also that we wouldn’t be trying to walk further than she can manage. That’s never an issue, because she can manage to walk a long way when she wants to.

Our target was a couple of sections of the Hatley Heart Attack starting in the village of Tadlow. We set off quite early because, after all, it was December 22nd and hence equal shortest day of the year, with only about 8 hours of useful daylight to deal with. I deliberatetly picked a location where we could duck out half way around, just in case the weather was rubbish, or we timed out, or just got bored.

We set off from Tadlow in a north-easterley direction walking around a biggish clockwise loop leading down towards Guilden Morden and back into Tadlow. From there we had a second (somewhat smaller) loop running west and then north towards Wrestlingworth.

I didn’t take my camera, so no photos, I’m afraid.

We were out all day, but we did finish both planned loops and found 74 caches over a distance of 18.5 km, and it was properly dark not long after we got back to the car.

The caches we found were :

Measham Dash

Measham Dash

Walking Round Measham

We were spending a pre-Christmas weekend up at my folks’ house in Measham. We drove up on Friday night, as we usually do, and ran parkrun at Conkers on Saturday morning, as we also usually do. Once we’d done all the usual I found myself with a spare afternoon, as a result of the ladies of the family having an attack of “it’s cold” or “I’m tired” or “meh!”, so I decided to go for a bit of a walk to attack a small series of caches in Measham that had appeared since we were last there. Or at least, they’d appeared since I last went caching there.

The series was good from the perspective that it didn’t need the car – it started and ended in Measham village. It was also of a conveniently short length that it could be done comfortably in the afternoon, even right near the winter solstice.

It involved a walk that I’d pretty much done before on a previous day, although that day I was with Kas and we were running. It went over the fields towards Oakthorpe and then east towards Willesley before turning back around towards Measham. It’s not a hugely long walk and the series had 21 caches on it.

There weren’t any hiccups en route apart from nearly falling down a hole in the road (it had to be straddled to reach a cache). It was a cold day and a bit wet. This caused me more disturbance than the caching, which was quite straightforward.

Anyway, I got back home before darkness, and probably in time to have to find some reason for not watching Strictly.

Monday Morning

We weren’t in any hurry to get home on Monday so we planned to stop for lunch. As ever I woke up earlier than I want, and the girls were in full “lazing around” mode, so I jumped in the car to go and do a mini circuit of some church micros to the west of Measham, specifically those at Linton (x2), Lullington, Coton in the Elms, Cauldwell, Chilcote and Rosliston.

Gotta spend my time doing something, you know.

Caches found over the two days were :

Charlie’s Third and Fifth

Charlie’s Third and Fifth

A cold and grey day in December with nothing much to do. Might as well go hunting for tupperware.

First up was Charlie’s Third Loop, which required parking on the road between Woburn and Little Brickhill. It was a short loop of 17 caches which took me less than two hours to do. It involved a very pleasant walk through some of the woodland up on Brickhill, followed by a dive down into the bottom and a walk over ground I’d previously covered doing the Orange section of the MK Boundary Walk.

Second up was Charlie’s Fifth Loop, which required parking in Milton Keynes over the park from the Open University campus at Walton Hall. This one was a more urban route around the paths in Walton Hall and Woughton-on-the-Green, so it was quite fast going. It was getting pretty well dark by the time I got back to my car though.

In all I found 38 caches on the day. They were :