5. Apr, 2018

Turning Mersea Yellow?

Mersea Island is a large island stuck out there at the mouth of the Rivers Colne and Blackwater, connected to the mainland by a long causeway called The Stoop. You have to plan your visit taking account of the tides. If you just turn up, you could wait to get on but even worse, if you are on and The Stoop is covered by water, the stress is magnified. As you’ve guessed, I always check the tide times. I had a look earlier in the week and low tide was at 0930 today, a Thursday, so it seemed a good idea to have another visit.

Mersea Island is made up of two halves, East and West. It’s more busy and inhabited at the west end and that’s where I have done the majority of my geocaching. In fact, West Mersea is predominately yellow but the East is a different matter. So today, my plan is to find all the caches on the East end and turn Mersea Yellow. It won’t happen.🤔

I leave home about 0700 and to kill a bit of time, I hunt for a couple of missing letter boxes for the LBSG in Tiptree and then make my way into Jam Town to have a look at an Earthcache - “Geology and the Fruit Picker.” The questions are based on the geology of the plinth of a bronze casting of a fruit picker. I have researched this type of stone before so I’m confident that I have all the answers.😀

Now I’m on route to Mersea but there are a couple of caches on the way. I pick up Oxley Meadow, a trad in Tolleshunt Knights and the VS mystery in Salcott before arriving om Mersea. There is a series of trads, I think it’s a series, along the sea wall to the north of the island. They look easy enough but it’s going to be a route march to get them. I decide to attack three from the west end and the rest from the east end near Cudmore Grove CP.

I parked up on the muddy lay-by on the East Mersea Road and set off down the footpath that hopefully would end up on the sea wall. It seemed to be private land with notices everywhere stating that Samphire pickers will be shot.🤔 After a while, after clambering over a couple of broken bridges, I do get on the right track and get to the first trad. All that is there is a half burnt bonfire of cut down bushes and no cache. However, after a bit of prodding, I find the log sheet and the cache lid. So my luck is in! I placed the remains of the cache in a safe spot and set off, eventually arriving at Before East Is East and then East Is East. I took a detour back to the car as I couldn’t face the trudge back the way I had come.

There were only three caches left to find on West Mersea. I get the first one, formerly a DNF quickly and then drive down to the front to find Hutchy’s Hutch, a trad hidden in the back of Hutchyweb‘s beach chalet. The next cache was Beyond The Green Plateau about half a mile along the beach. This was a quick find but a long walk back.

Next up was the CM in East Mersea. This is a multi with half the clues missing.☚ī¸ I’d DNFed before  because one of the grave stones was missing. I found out that it had been removed because it was now a double plot rather than a single and additions had to be made. However when it was replaced, all the information needed for the coords was not on the stone. Fortunately a kind cacher has put the required numbers in the log so I was now able to work out the coords.😀 The cache was a very quick find, can’t say anymore than that.

I was now at the east end of the island and instead of paying for parking in Cudmore Grove, park closer to the sea wall for free. Now it was time to tackle the rest of that trad “series” on the northern seawall. The thing about these trads is that they are too low in the D/T rating. How can a walk of three miles there and back to The Remote One, on a hot day, rate a 1.5/1.5! 

I pick off four trads but Pyefleet Channel, a good mile each way was missing despite first being reported missing for six months! I had another DNF at Islands End but had a good walk around the pill boxes at this end of the island. Talking of walking, I have had a very tiring day and can’t face trudging around Cudmore Park for multis and Earthcaches so the plan to turn Mersea yellow has to go on hold.🤔

However, I do have a couple of caches up my sleeve. I’m keen to put the Tollesbury Triangle series to bed. This is based on trios of CMs in the Tolleshunt and Tollesbury area providing bonus numbers for three bonus caches, which in turn provide numbers for the Final. 

The Tollesbury Triangle- D’Arcy Bonus has been missing for about 18 months. As it holds bonus numbers, I’ve been unable to get the Final cache. However, the cache has recently been replaced and immediately DNFed so I’m not holding out much hope.☚ī¸ So I got to the tree where the coords said that the cache would be at. However the cache wasn’t there. I checked the details and thought that there was no place for a cache of that size on this tree. Then I noticed that the CO had said that the coords would have to be adjusted.🤔 There was a large tree about 70 yards away so I walked down there and immediately had the cache in hand. Unfortunately there were no bonus numbers đŸ¤Ŧ but I had the cache at last.

I had time to do two more caches in Maldon. Gilly’s Secret Garden was a trad in a delightful park off the beaten track that earned a fave. Maldon Water Tower #1 was a multi that had eleuded me before. This time I gathered up all the answers and set off for GZ. I couldn’t find anything there so it was time to call it a day. I was going to check over the road but seeing a dead badger there, I decided not to.đŸ˜Ŧ I did contact the CO to check the coords. They came back to me asking if I had noticed in the blurb that the cache was across the road from GZ! One for another day.

1 Mystery 1 Earthcache 3 Multi 13 Traditional 

#7042

Updating my fitness progress, today I managed 28,084, walked 22.8 km and climbed 7 flights.