Our Forty Sortie was on 1st August - an exhausting day.
I'd originally planned to do this on the Monday of the week before, but had to cancel it at the last moment because of a holiday-booking mix-up at work. That meant that we were doing it a week later. So as well as having my son Bobcat with me we were also accompanied by my daughter Emma (recently returned from two weeks charity work in Kenya).
We woke up early and after checking we'd planned for all possible eventualities, left at 6:30. I'd solved nearly all of the Olympic ring puzzles in the week before, and had another fifty from East Sussex (solved over the last year) as back-up. So with well over a 100 puzzles loaded into the GPS I was confident that we could do it. Bobcat turned on the GPS as we neared the A3/M25 junction and we discovered to our horror that they had all been deleted. We still had the paperwork though so he spent the rest of the journey frantically re-entering everything as waypoints.
I'd originally planned to do the Black ring first but without a navigator all I could do was just aim at the general area of the rings. Not a good start at all. Then suddenly I spotted a road that I recalled was a suggested parking spot. It was 8am by then. I stopped, flicked through the paperwork and we were off with two from the Yellow rings followed by a couple of Blues.
By the time we'd finished them it was getting on towards 9am so we'd only got four in the first hour. To get our average up I decided to do the whole of the Black ring next. We managed that with one DNF (so no bonus cache) by 10:30 and the total stood at 14. However then we had a long walk back to the car.
By now Emma was getting tired. There were three more Yellows near to Borde Hill Gardens. It meant a long walk though (so Emma didn't want to go). An hour later we returned with nothing to show for it. The Yellow Ring have the best of the puzzles IMHO but their author AnTsInRpAnTs also tends to have the most cunning hides. Even Bobcat rebelled at this point and we decided not to do any more Yellows today.
We picked up a quick Green on the way to Haywards Heath and decided to have lunch. Emma wanted to go to Starbucks so we did. It was 12:30 but we'd only got 15 so far. I took stock and had a look at what to do in the afternoon and decided on the Greens and the Reds.
We'd finished off the Greens by 3:30pm (with the total now at 26) but Emma had started flagging again so it was left to me and Bobcat to do the Reds. By 5pm we'd done them too and the total was 37.
Just three more and no more said Emma. That's easier said than done though and it took us another hour and a half until we'd completed the 40. We rang the CO to confirm we'd finished it - as a "team" rather than "solo" but in my opinion I had a much harder job (doing it while keeping two stroppy teenagers entertained)
We went to pick up the cache tonight. A nice hide that didn't take too long to find. We nearly picked it up on Tuesday in fact but we were spooked by a passing female motorist who shouted out "I know what you're doing" just as we started searching. Not a muggle I guess but I don't know who she was.
Qualifying list of caches
#1066 TFTC (+fave point)