Saturday, January 16, 2010

Geocache Team #7

Team #7 Rachael, Katherine, Kevin, Michael Kelly

Geocache Assignment

Unfortunately, I regret to say that ur group did not find our geocache. In our first attempt to find the location, the coordinates were entered as a waypoint into a handheld Garmin GPS unit. Once this way point was selected to navigate to, the option of choosing the on-road route was not available to us because on this particular GPS unit street maps for New Zealand have not been uploaded. Once we confirmed the location's distance of approximately 2.28 miles (straight line distance) we decided to walk to it by staying as close to the highlighted route as possible in a southwest direction. We quickly found that this method was much harder and longer than what we had initially expected. Obviously we ran into obstacles like fences and paths that were blocked. This made traveling longer as we had to back track when we hit dead ends or go around obstacles. For instance, we came to the Hamilton boy's high school and crossed the playing fields only to reach a steep embankment with a fence, causing us to take a much longer route around the high school. After walking to about 45 minutes we reached downtown Hamilton at Victoria street and continued to walk in the direction of our way point. At a distance of .28 miles from the waypoint we were located on the opposite side from the location of the geocache on Lake Rotorua. At this point it was eight o'clock and walking around the lake was about two more miles and we collectively decided to come back on Wednesday because we were loosing sunlight.

On Wednesday we had learned from our mistakes and looked up the location on Google Maps, getting a street location of Lake Crescent drive near the Hamilton Yacht Club and we took a taxi to the location. Using the hints given on our assignment sheet and the handheld GPS we were able to find the location and from their proceeded to start looking for the geocache. From the hints we were given we definitely were in the right location, but after searching for over and hour we could not find the geocache. It is likely that the container we were looking for was stolen or removed as was mentioned on assignment sheet. Another indication that the geocache may have been removed is that we found fishing line attached to a tree branch with the end cut off.

In hind sight, we should have looked up the location on Google Maps and taken a taxi or bus on our first attempt to find the geocache. This would have saved us valuable time and effort. We did gain experience from this though, especially in using the GPS unit and trying to maintain a consistent direction of travel. Most importantly we learned that it is best to plan ahead, do research, and determine the best path and method of travel before attempting to find a location.

On the assignment sheet the hint said to ‘walk the plank’ and find the ‘natural seat’. Obviously this was the tree branch and while it said to take the plank furthest to the right we searched all of the branches extending into the water or ‘jelly’. The play ground is located behind this tree.,175.272746&spn=0.004815,0.006652&z=17

The fishing line that we found attached to the tree.

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