This footpath, known to local children as "the Chalkie" is well known to locals who use it as a shortcut. But for cachers unfamiliar with the area, part of the challenge is to find one of the four entrances to the footpath.
The footpath is a testament to people power! I remember a time when the Council kept fencing off one of the entrances and people who used the path would cut down the fence. Now the Council has obviously given in, as they have put in a gate, some steps on the most slippery slopes and even a sign!
The terrain to the cache varies greatly depending on which of the entrances you find. While one of the entrances is a walk in the park, some of the others are heavily overgrown at different times of the year, and there is a steep slippery hill at one entrance. The path is covered in rough gravel and it can get slippery when wet! At high tide the river comes right up to the path and the cache - if you pick the right day and time, people might think you were actually tickling trout, when you look for the cache. If you are caching with children, they will need to be closely supervised, especially at high tide. If you want to check the tides before you visit then click here for tide tables.
It was originally intended that this cache would be subaquatic. However, to make it more accessible to most cachers, placing it where it was submerged part of the time was a good compromise. Please remember that the cache is vulnerable and carefully seal and replace all protective devices. Also be prepared to get your hands dirty/fishy when handling the cache.
From the cache site, you will see a wide view of this part of Southampton and witness various stages of the transformation of its use from boat yards and industrial estates to luxury riverside flats... (sorry, appartments!). There is also usually a distinct smell of fish! There are actually some popular fishing spots along the path and on the opposite bank of the river.
There is a railway line next to the cache but it poses no danger as it is separated from the path by a tall barbed fence. If anything, that's a clue to finding the entrance - it should be on the correct side of the railway line.
The cache is small plastic container about 10cm square. Just enough room for a log sheet and a pencil and a few fish-related goodies. Please bear this in mind if you want to swap and place only small fish-related items. (You are invited to use your imagination in making whatever you have relate to fish!)