The Geocaching Blog


Through Twist of Geocaching Fate, #PSNoBoundaries Photo Contest Brings International Space Station Travel Bug to Geocaching Block Party

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Earlier this year, the National Council for Exams of Engineering and Surveying (NCEES) kicked off the Surveyor Trackable and #PSNoBoundaries Geocaching Contest. Geocachers were challenged to explore benchmarking by taking a selfie with a NCEES trackable at a NGS marker. The winning photographer would receive a trip for two to the 2015 Geocaching Block Party in Seattle.

As a twist of geocaching fate would have it, the winning photographer was Lieutenant Bob Cizaukas (Username: cizzors). Bob happens to be the geocacher who made Geocaching in Space possible. In 2013, 11 trackables hitched a ride to the International Space Station with Astronaut Rick Mastracchio. Bob convinced Mastracchio to take the trackables into space with him on Expedition 38. He also made this an interactive experience for elementary school students in Connecticut by giving each trackable to a school so that students could follow its adventure into space.

Thanks to NCEES, Bob will now be bringing one of the trackables that made the voyage to space to Geocaching Block Party for other geocachers to enjoy! We asked him to tell us about his experience with #PSNoBoundaries.

How long have you been geocaching?

I started geocaching with my wife, Jennifer, my daughter Karisa and my son Ethan (little cizzors) in November 2010.

Why did you start geocaching?

I geocache with my family and friends to exercise and be adventurous. My wife likes hiking, but I seemed to enjoy hiking more with the challenge of finding a cache. We also really enjoy the great places we have discovered and the friends we have made through geocaching.

I learned about geocaching through a chance conversation with a hot air balloon pilot about navigation. The pilot, while explaining how her GPS helps guide her hot air balloon, mentioned that she also uses the GPS for geocaching which intrigued me and so it began. I don’t recall her name and never saw her again after that 30 minute conversation in November 2010.

Tell us about the NCEES #PSNoBoundaries winning photo!

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Blooper photo #1!

My family had never found a benchmark before so we were excited about finding one and taking a picture. We noticed there was one on the Thomaston, CT Police Department, not far from our home. We activated our new trackable, attached a bicycle reflector (since we have seen surveyors use reflectors) and headed out. My daughter Karisa, age 7, my son Ethan, age 10 and our dog Pluto, age 7 months, headed out in our geomobile to search for the benchmark. We found it and intended on getting Pluto in the photo but he wouldn’t stay still and didn’t make it into the final submission. We took the photo and a couple months later we found out we won!

The picture was of NCEES surveyor TB (TB726TN) at Benchmark LX0604.

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Blooper photo #2! Pluto did not make the final cut.

What was the first thing you did when you learned you won tickets to Geocaching Block Party?

When I found out I won, I called my wife at work and told her the exciting news. I have always wanted to go to the Geocaching Block Party but have not had the opportunity.

What is the #1 thing you are excited for at Block Party?

I am most excited to be able to show everyone attending my Geocaching in Space bug (TB5JJN1) and the ISS geocache log.

What tip would you share with new players who want to start having fun with trackables?

My advice to new geocachers wanting to have fun with trackables is to do your best to log them and drop them into another cache as soon as possible. I also like to post a picture when possible. Attending geocaching events and asking questions to other cachers is how I found the best information about trackables.

We also asked Bob to take the What’s Your Geocaching Road Trip ‘15 Vehicle? quiz. His result was “Station Wagon.” (Although we’re guessing he’ll be taking an airplane to Block Party!)

The last Geocaching Block Party will be Saturday, August 15. Explore new geocaching adventures, celebrate 15 years of geocaching, and hang out with nearly 3000 of your new best friends. There will be plenty of fun events, food trucks, interactive exhibits and vendors. Plus, it’s a great way to earn the Meet Your Road Trip Crew souvenir. Mark your Will Attend here.

Inside HQ: Take a Tour of the New Message Center

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Connecting with Geocachers is Now Easier than Ever

After a few months of testing, getting feedback from the geocaching community and making changes, the brand new Message Center is no longer in beta. With this new feature, you can send and receive messages from Geocaching.com and the Geocaching Intro app.

Watch this short video, featuring two Geocaching HQ developers who worked on the project, to learn a little bit more about what went into the new Message Center.

Since first releasing Message Center beta, we’ve added a few things and tweaked a few others based on your feedback including:

  • Email notifications now display the content of the message that triggered the notification .
  • You can contact another player just by clicking the link on their profile or you can access their profile by clicking a player’s avatar image from the Message Center.
  • The envelope icon in the header now updates every 15 seconds to alert you that you have updated conversations.
  • You can contact a geocache owner directly from the geocache page. The GC code and name will be automatically inserted into the message.

And don’t worry – improvements to the Message Center won’t stop here. We’ll continue to improve the Message Center based on your feedback.

Check out the new Message Center now.

Deep Blue Something (GC43K9C) — Geocache of the Week

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Dean's Blue Hole Photo by geocacher wiggerl der Bayer

Dean’s Blue Hole Photo by geocacher wiggerl der Bayer

Geocache Name:

Deep Blue Something (GC43K9C)

Difficulty/Terrain Rating:

2/4.5

Why this is the Geocache of the Week:

The Geocache of the Week isn’t always a geocache with tons of finds or Favorite Points—sometimes it’s a cache that’s designed to inspire your next adventure. For those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, summer is here and visiting a tropical location sounds quite nice. If you’re in the Southern Hemisphere, you’re in the midst of winter and finding a geocache in a place like the Bahamas probably sounds pretty awesome right about now. At this geocache, you’ll not only see a beautiful location, you’ll also see something you can’t see anywhere else: Dean’s Blue Hole, the deepest salt-water blue hole in the world at 663 ft (200m).

What geocachers have to say:

“Wow! What an amazingly beautiful place. Before I found this cache, I jumped into Dean’s Blue Hole from on top! Surreal! TFTC! :)” – monkey_travels

“Gorgous view! That spot needs a cache! Perfect for snorkeling! Loved it!” – Bobby738

“Awesome place! First time here and won’t be the last! Thanks for the cache!” – rglenn13

What the geocache owner, rockthecachebx, has to say:

My parents live in a little house nearby and we walk down to the Blue Hole just about every day for a snorkel while visiting them. Initially we (husband Jeff and I) wanted to put a cache at the BOTTOM of the hole, 662 feet down, in hopes of it being the longest running undiscovered cache. But we were afraid of the very real possibility that someone might get hurt searching for it and we knew we’d never be able to maintain it at that depth! The name, Deep Blue Something, seemed appropriate and is a nod to a 90s band that was popular in our college days.
We’ve had some great times snorkeling and exploring around Dean’s Blue Hole. I’ve seen Hawksbill sea turtles, upside-down jellyfish and nudibranchs that I included in my obscure animal ABC, P is for Pangolin. There’s a tiny territorial damsel fish that will attack if you swim near his rock at the edge of the cove. Once my husband spotted an adorable baby octopus living in a glass bottle. Swimming across the Blue Hole is a bit eerie. Gazing down into the depths, it is easy to let your imagination run wild, creating fantastic sea monsters, sunken treasure and ghostly forms between shafts of sunlight in the deep blue. Sometimes we visit at night to scare ourselves silly, once we even tied dive lights to a rope and lowered it into the hole to see if we could attract any interesting creatures.
I was surprised that it took over a year for Deep Blue Something to be found! It has been so much fun to read everyone’s logs of adventures at the hole and I love seeing their photos. The location attracts an international crowd. It is a bit of a mecca for the world’s freediving community. The still water and incredible depth make it the perfect place to test human endurance and set world records. I’m a bit surprised that Deep Blue Something is still the only traditional cache on Long Island.
To the Geocaching Community: The place does have a history of tragedies, so swimmers should be cautious and inexperienced swimmers should stick to the shallow parts of the cove. Consider making your visit a CITO visit. Like most islands, Long Island is plagued by plastic rubbish that washes ashore. Locals can point you to the island’s dump which makes an interesting visit in its own right! A note to spearfishers, please target lionfish! This invasive species eats anything that fits in its mouth and is very detrimental to the local ecology. They’re delicious, just watch a YouTube video on safe handling.

 

Photos:

From above. Photo by geocacher Bobby738

From above. Photo by geocacher Bobby738

The blue hole from the beach. Photo by geocacher wiggerl der Bayer

The blue hole from the beach. Photo by geocacher wiggerl der Bayer

And then it just drops off... Photo by geocacher Bobby738

And then it just drops off… Photo by geocacher Bobby738

What’s the most beautiful place geocaching has ever taken you? Post your photos in the comments.

Continue to explore some of the most engaging geocaches around the globe. Check out all the Geocaches of the Week on the Geocaching blog. If you would like to nominate a Geocache of the Week, just fill out this form. Thanks!

 

 

GeoTours Deliver More Fun With Favorites

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Blog post by Geocaching HQ Business Development Coordinator Meg Hatch (Username: Ponystream). 

Looking for ways to earn that first shiny Fun with Favorites souvenir now that the Geocaching Road Trip ‘15 is finally here? Well we’ve got an insider tip for you: try a GeoTour!

GeoTours are special collections of caches designed to take geocachers like you on an awesome journey through interesting places such as a town or city, a park, or even the Kennedy Space Center. Not only do GeoTours guide you through a cool destination, but they will also take you to some pretty cool, highly favorited geocaches. In fact, GeoTour caches earn three times more Favorite Points than other geocaches!

Geocachers are awarding blue ribbons left and right for the Geocaching Capital of Canada GeoTour in Ontario, Canada. This GeoTour launched just over a month ago and has already racked up over 1000 Favorite Points, thanks to caches like GC5RC88. Geocacher whatandwhere says,“Thanks for placing all these amazing caches out there. They certainly took a lot of time to make and a great deal of thought. Still have a few more to find — can’t wait to get back up there to finish them.”

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Complete the Prague Airport GeoTour series to receive this awesome wood coin (as if experiencing great geocaches wasn’t enough!)

Or maybe you’ll be passing through the Prague Airport sometime soon. The Prague Airport GeoTour has well over 10+ Favorite Points on each of its cleverly disguised geocaches. Now that’s one way to spend your layover! Like many other GeoTours around the world, the Prague Airport GeoTour even rewards you for completing its GeoTour.

Seeking out highly favorited geocaches is a great way to ensure a fun, unique geocaching experience with your fellow geocachers’ stamp of approval. Geocaching Premium members can grant Favorite Points to their favorite geocache finds and sort by Favorite Points to seek out the best of the best geocaches using the new geocache search. Not yet a Premium member? You can find some awesome geocaches by experiencing a (free!) GeoTour near you.

GeoTours are popping up all around the world, all of the time — there may even be one near you. Now get out there and discover your own favorite geocaches!

Tell us — what GeoTour is closest to you? No GeoTours nearby? Let us know that too so we can try to make one happen!

gigantesque – The Big One (GC5Q8N) – Geocache of the Week

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No big deal, just walking into a geocache. Photo by geocacher patafix86

No big deal, just walking into a geocache. Photo by geocacher patafix86

Geocache Name:

gigantesque – The Big One (GC5Q8N)

Difficulty/Terrain Rating:

1/1.5

Why this is the Geocache of the Week:

The first souvenir for the Geocaching Road Trip ’15 is Fun with Favorites: find any geocache with 10+ Favorite Points to earn it. After finding this geocache, you’ll not only have the new souvenir, you’ll also be one of the few geocachers who can truthfully say, “I’ve walked around inside a geocache.”

What geocachers have to say:

“What a super cache. Thanks to the owners for allowing it. Must be a tourist pull!Well done Johnny-Vegas. TFTC” – creditdog

“It is a great moment of geocaching and a very beautiful discovery. I do not know how to express all this without revealing it too much. As a result, I would content with inviting the other players to come to discover this “box” and to see what it contains. A warm congratulations and thank you for this outstanding geocache.” – cukcelte

“Wow!!! What a beauty, This must be the largest cache we are ever likely to see. Thanks for the welcome from Johnny Vegas. Nice to have met you. We will try and visit this cache again and bring more stuff.” – DaiGym

What the geocache owner, Johnny-Vegas, has to say:

“I wanted to be more involved with Geocaching so my mind started ticking over with ideas. It’s the way I am, quite imaginative and some say over imaginative!

Our new home came with a 7.5 tonne DAF lorry parked up in the barn. It was registered in the UK and so very difficult to re-register it here in France. There is already plenty of storage and outbuildings so another “store room” was not really required.
I decided to convert the lorry and it’s massive box on the back to be a cache container but I didn’t want it to just look like a half-hearted attempt. So decided to paint it a deep green colour just like an ammo box, I had vinyl lettering made to create a geocaching.com label in extra large letters. Camouflage netting was placed over the cab to “blend” it into the background and a camouflage interior design was created.
I really wanted it to look and feel like a cache container and not the back of an old truck.
With the cache being located within our grounds I get to meet other cachers and share their experiences which is wonderful. Reading their feedback tells me they are really happy with finding the cache (not hard to locate!) but also sharing their excitement with me, it really is great fun.”

Photos:

So, are they considered swag now? Photo by francoizik

So, are they considered swag now? Photo by francoizik

A happy family outside the container. Photo by Les moregans

A happy family outside the container. Photo by Les moregans

A giant logbook to match the cache. Photo by geocacher C2iC

A giant logbook to match the cache. Photo by geocacher C2iC

What’s the largest geocache you’ve ever found? Post your photos in the comments.

Continue to explore some of the most engaging geocaches around the globe. Check out all the Geocaches of the Week on the Geocaching blog. If you would like to nominate a Geocache of the Week, just fill out this form. Thanks!

 


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