9. Jun, 2017

Way Out West - 6th June

I had an early morning go at a few caches on West Canvey planned for this morning. There was rain forecast but the local weather maps were showing that they were missing this area. However I took my cagoule with me just in case.

After a quick find of a trad magnetic nano at Getting On My Wick, I parked up in Morrisons carpark and had a quick look for a trad called Off Your Trolley. The hint suggested that the cache was in the gutter of a trolley station but I couldn't find it. I even stood on a trolley for one gutter but no joy and the trolley collector appeared in the distance so I moved on.

I got over to the sea wall for the first cache which was near the old Conoco pier. This had three cracking caches on it at one time, they are probably still there. The pier went a mile and a quarter into the estuary and you could only get up there on a series of ladders erected by fishermen who frequented the pier head. Unfortunately the powers that be removed all ladders and staging so nobody could gain access and the caches were archived.

The first cache Near The Pier was a simple magnetic trad over the sea wall. Moving west, I could see the tide coming in, remembering when I used to come this way lugging my birdwatching gear to count the waders on the mud flats. Anyway, the next cache was another trad Hide And Seek On The Jetty. It was a 3/3 so I was expecting some difficulty, in fact, if the water was nearer high tide, I'd have had to give it a miss. As it was, it was an easy enough find. I was disappointed that the CO had not taken coordinates from where the cache was because I'm sure it was well below sea level. See I'm always looking at the stats.😉

It was about this point when a slight drizzle started but I soldiered on To The Point for another quick find. Next up was Tube Central, a 2/2 trad which was quite difficult. A number of tubes, say, 4' high, had been driven into the ground to form a livestock fence. These were interlocked with more horizontal tubes and the cache was in there somewhere! I wasn't going to be beaten even if it was raining harder and eventually I got the very cleverly hidden blighter.

The rain was chucking it down and the wind was whipping up. I thought about calling it a morning but it wasn't in me so to do. I was wet anyway so let's carry on. I had been looking forward to the next one, A Bad Case Of Piles.😬 One cacher, the infamous Grobbo had the FTF but the next one along had written a note wondering how Grobbo had got to it. The cache, a 4/4 trad was in full view but placed on a perilous rotting wooden pier. The weather hadn't improved, it may have been worse but dumbo that I am, I edged out to the cache, signed the log and very gingerly reversed backwards to the concrete plinth.

I had one cache to do and that was near one of the Thames Tidal barriers on the way to Vange Creek. The Most Westerly Cache On The Rock, a rock keysafe was quickly found in one of the worst westerlies I've ever been caught up in. I wanted to get out of there as quickly as possible and tried to take a quicker but unauthorised way back but was thwarted.😡 I had to retrace my original steps all the way back to the car like the proverbial drowned rat!

Luckily, I have a change of clothing etc., for such moments so got changed in the supermarket gents and retired to the cafe for a warming mug of coffee.☕️ I counted my tally, seven trads in the worst weather that I'd been geocaching in. Still I needed the numbers and no doubt when everything had been washed and dried, I'll be out there again.😀 I've just realised that I didn't take a single photo today, silly that!

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