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Mystery Cache

Pirate Pete's Plunder

A cache by gotta run
Hidden : 10/30/2007
In Wisconsin, United States
2.5 out of 5
3 out of 5

Size: Size: regular (regular)

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Geocache Description:

November 2008 Cache of the Month Cache of the Week, May 2010

This is a puzzle cache, and the coordinates are for the parking location. NOTE: The cache area is open to bow deer hunting during the "early" season (Sept-November), and the the area is reported to be CLOSED to hiking during the two weeks of gun deer season (late November). Check park and Wisconsin DNR hunting schedules before you head out.

This is a puzzle designed to be solved by families and a cache to be enjoyed by any child who is a pirate fanatic. Although designed with families in mind, the total walk is about 2 miles out-and-back. Almost all of it is groomed trails except for about 300 feet at the end of your search where some light bushwhacking is required. It is recommended that you follow established trails until you get near the final cache. You should need only a little patience and proper clothing for what you might encounter in the woods—no machetes, hip waders, or rappelling gear required. You are encouraged to post photos, and your photos may include pictures of the cache location and cache itself.

The Story of Pirate Pete

Once upon a time, there was a pirate named Pete. Now Pete wasn’t really a mean, nasty pirate; in fact, he was rather a pleasant guy, once you got to know him. Like most pirates, Pete had amassed a bit of treasure in his years on the high seas, and had hidden that treasure for safekeeping at one of his favorite ports of call. Of course, Pete had drawn himself a map to help him find the treasure when he finally retired from his day job of plundering.

Pete was a bit more paranoid than your average pirate. He was afraid to put a simple “X marks the spot” on his map for fear that his shipmates would find the map and pilfer his fortune. So, he devised a better plan.

First, he decided to use two maps to safeguard the secret location of his treasure. On the first map, he would place an X, but that was just to tell him where to park his PT Cruiser. He also wrote a set of coordinates on that first map that would lead him to the second map. On the second map would be coordinates to his treasure chest. And of course, he would securely lock his treasure chest so that even if it were somehow uncovered, the finder would have to have the right code to unlock it.

But Pete’s paranoia led him to complicate his plan even further. Rather than simply write the coordinates on the map, he would encode them and create a code wheel so that he could decode them when the time came to reclaim his treasure. And he would use pirate trivia to hide the secret lock code.

Now, we’re not saying how we came across Pete’s maps, clues, and code wheel, but we figure that everyone should have a chance at finding his treasure chest and sharing in some of his ill-gotten booty. The “X” on the map below marks the location of the listed coordinates, which is the place to park to begin this adventure. Pete's ENCODED coordinates are under the map.

Finding the Treasure!

In order to get to Pirate Pete’s Plunder, cut out the two discs of the code wheel. If you want, you can also cut out a small piece of cardboard about the size of either wheel to use for a base. Then cut out the two notches of the second wheel. Place the second wheel on top the first wheel, and the first wheel on top of the cardboard, then attach all through the center point, such as by pushing a flat thumbtack through the top wheel into the cardboard or by punching a hole and using a brass fastener. Now give this wheel to your young pirate fanatic and have him or her “decode” the coordinates. If you want, you can record the decoded coordinates in the "Waypoint 1" line on the clue sheet below. MAKE SURE TO BRING THE WHEEL WITH YOU on your search, as you will need it to decode the coordinates on the second map!!!

It might also be interesting to print off the trail map with the latitude and longitude lines on it. When your kid-cachers decode WP1 and the final cache location, they can try to plot the approximate locations of both on the map and help choose a route to get there.

(Note: if you don’t want to print the wheel, the code is a simple 5-off number rotation: 0=5, 1=6, etc., and we’ve noted this on the clue sheet at WP1 as well.)

Unlocking the Treasure Chest

When you find the treasure chest, you will see that it is securely locked. It is a standard tumbler lock that uses a three-number combination. Turn the dial clockwise three turns to clear the tumbler, then stop at the first number. Turn the dial counterclockwise, PAST the first number, stopping at the second number. Then turn the dial clockwise, stopping at the third number. Don't worry, the instructions are also on the outside of the chest.

Answer the following trivia questions to learn the lock combination. (NOTE: You will be able to find all this information through Internet or other research. Try Don't worry, there will be a way for you to confirm your lock code at WP1).

First number: In the year 171X, Blackbeard was killed by Robert Maynard. What is the last digit (X) of that year?

Second number: In one of his most notable captures, Sir Francis Drake seized the ship The Cacafuego. How many tons of silver did The Cacafuego carry?

Third number: Before she became a pirate, Anne Bonny was married. At what age did she marry James Bonny?

About the Treasure Itself

When we first found Pirate Pete’s Plunder, it was filled with all manner of kid-friendly, pirate-themed treasure. We think Pete would like it if you kept only pirate treasure in his cache and, since you are not a pirate yourself, we know you will not steal the swag in the cache without fair trade. However, there are doubloons in the cache and you are welcome to one as a souvenir of your find without a trade. How cool is that! Please email us through if the supply of doubloons runs low.

Here's a sheet for the young pirates to use to record their decoded clues (right-click and print, or print from the image gallery). You should have BOTH Waypoint #1 AND the lock code decoded BEFORE you head into the field. You will find the location for Pete's cache when you find Waypoint #1 in the field. DON'T FORGET THE LOCK CODE!

Print (right-click the image and choose 'print') and cut out both wheels and a piece of cardboard about the same size. Cut out the two notches in the second wheel. Pin the second wheel on top of the first into the cardboard. Give it to your kids. Get solving, and BRING THE WHEEL WITH YOU!

For a higher-resolution map to print, click the image or HERE. The First ENCODED Waypoint is N99 84.357 W533 59.406. Use the wheel to find the true coordinates!

Main trail map to use for reference.
Did we mention DON'T FORGET THE LOCK CODE! Good luck, and have fun!

Additional Hints (Decrypt)

JC1: Ovt I znexf gur fcbg
Svany: Pebja funcrq fghzc

Decryption Key


(letter above equals below, and vice versa)

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There are no Trackables in this cache.



87 Logged Visits

Found it 64     Didn't find it 1     Write note 11     Temporarily Disable Listing 3     Enable Listing 3     Publish Listing 1     Owner Maintenance 4     

View Logbook | View the Image Gallery of 24 images

**Warning! Spoilers may be included in the descriptions or links.

Current Time:
Last Updated: on 3/29/2015 10:22:16 AM Pacific Daylight Time (5:22 PM GMT)
Rendered From:Unknown
Coordinates are in the WGS84 datum