15. Apr, 2017

The 39 Steps

No, it's not that classic spy film but a cache out on the restricted MOD area on Foulness Island, near Southend. It wasn't my original plan to come here this morning as I was planning 1/4.5 and 1.5/4.5 tree climbs in Kent but I had such a poor night's sleep, I didn't feel up to it.

So I decided that I would pick off some strays out in Shoebury and Great Wakering. I drove through the MOD security gates to get onto the island which is open to the public at weekend. After negotiating the bends and gates past Battery signs, they test guns and munitions here during the week and parked my car at Wakering Stairs. As I started my half mile walk out the the cache, I noticed a few bird watchers. As I got near to the cache, I could hear a "reeling" Grasshopper Warbler, a rare enough migrant,so I alerted the twitchers to the fact. I found out that they were after some Ring Ouzels which had been seen the day before before they rushed off after the warbler.

At the cache, The 39 Steps, I expected a large staircase to search but it was a nano tucked away on a lifebuoy rack. Slightly disappointed, I worked my way back through the concentrating twitchers and walked back to the car.

My next port of call was the elusive Wakering Common #6, which I found very visible at the bottom of the ditch before I replaced it where it should be. Nearby was a multi called Nicholas Treasure based on finding clues on ten gravestones in St Nicholas Church in Great Wakering village. There used to be a multi CM here based on a similar premise until the CO suddenly archived about a 100 caches including a fine 50 cache power series without a by your leave! So sad, really because I and many other local cachers would have adopted a great many of them.

I found 9 of the 10 gravestone clues, made an educated guess on the other and set off onto Wakering Common. I made a quick find of the cache in an exposed position but it was in poor shape. I put a replacement log in there to give following cachers something to sign and hid the thing a bit more securely.

So it was a good morning altnough I only found 3 out of 3 caches. I have been looking at these exposed caches for a while and I'm so glad to turn them smiley 😊