19. Feb, 2021

Maldon Clear Up

I had been snowed in for a week and for one reason or another had been unable to get out until today. I had a morning to play with so checked my lists and spotted Maldon Clear Up which had a mixture of trads, letterboxes plus a multi and a mystery, perfick.

I arrived at St Peter’s Hospital, a clever trad and was on my way to the next one as dawn broke. I was about to embark on a series of a dozen trads called SID’S WALKIES set by local cacher, sidsgranma. I drove to #1 and it was missing. I drove to #2 and not only was the cache missing but the original host had been replaced. ๐Ÿฅด

My route took me past three drive trads in the No Mud! series set by another local cacher CrazyHedgehogs which I found very quickly apart from Ironwork, a well hidden 2/1.5 cache. 

Now I was back on the WALKIES and drove to the farthest one away #10 and followed the rest of the route by foot. I had received a message from Sylvie, sidsgranma, saying that she would walk SID past #1 and #2 to check on them.๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป

On the walk, I passed a couple of interesting items - a mural by local artist Peter Kennedy in 2008 on a wall in Thomas Beecham Court and just around the corner, in Fambridge Road, a very rare “G” type post box. This is only the second one that I have seen and the other one is outside Basildon rail station.

I was on my way up to Maldon Water Tower to try to find one of my bugbear caches - Water Tower #1 Maldon. I think that I first failed here about three years ago and DNFed a few times since. It had recently been moved slightly so I was trying to strike lucky today.

Nearby was the final of a mystery cache Home Alone At Christmas set by kareninwb. I quickly found this one awarding it a fave for the container and walked down to the tower. I soon worked out the coords for the multi and set off the final. Now I was only the second person to find the cache since the revamp but the container was in place but the log sheet was missing. Luckily there was enough spare paper on the shopping list for later that I had in my pocket to put a temporary log in.

 I was now finished in Maldon but before I could set off, Sylvie had come back to me saying that #1 and #2 were missing and that I could claim them.๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป She added that she was relieved that I had found the rest of the series as she thought that the series was being targeted.๐Ÿฅด 

I was off to VS Heybridge Basin for a 3/3 Letterbox set by nathanjhunt and based on a jigidi. I had been here before but had foolishly forgotten to note the hint released when the jigsaw is finished.๐Ÿคฌ I didn’t have time then to solve a 200 piece jigsaw sitting on the sea wall which probably would have been very therapeutic. 

I walked over the sea lock and along the sea wall, spotting the Telegraph fishing smack moored up. This was built in 1906 in Boston, Lincolnshire and looks in good shape. It’s now part of the National Historic Fleet. I reached the search area for the cache and after read the very lengthy hint, had a very quick find. I really didn’t need the hint after all.๐Ÿค”

By the way, I had been taking a few photos on my journey so far this morning and I have posted  them in the Photo Albums which you can find on the “drop-down” on this page.๐Ÿ˜€ These are a new addition to the blog.

Now I was on the way home via Bicknacre and I was getting hungry. I had noticed a burger van on route in a lay-by by Lion Seeds a few weeks ago and I hoped that it would out. But it wasn’t.๐Ÿ™ There was another cache here that had been on my radar for a couple of years. I did a planning visit for the 2/2 multi Bicknacre Priory Back then but I had lost the notes so I had to start from scratch. However a new trad had been placed in St Giles Churchyard and I now knew that the church yard now an Essex Wild nature reserve held the key to the first part of the multi. I found the trad, gathered the info for the multi and set off for the original starting point for the multi.

It was time to don my wellies and walked across the waterlogged fields to what I knew to be the second stage, the 12th century gateway which was all that remained of Bicknacre Priory. I now had the coords for the final stage which I knew was going to be tricky anyway.

Now a couple of years ago, I wouldn’t have have the technique to find the final coords in my geocaching toolbox so experience is a wonderful thing.๐Ÿ˜€ As I tramped over the waterlogged fields to the final, I realised that there was a mystery bonus to the multi plus a helpful photo from the CO Mr Mercator. 

I got into position at the final and tried to marry up the photo with the natural scene as is now. The wellies were handy as I traversed the stream looking for the elusive cache. Eventually I struck lucky and had the the cache in hand. I was eager to get the coords for the bonus but I was rewarded with a bearing and a distance. But I have this new technique don’t I, and the 400m wasn’t too far away. I soon had this well hidden bonus bonus in hand and there was a further bonus in both caches were resuscitated.๐Ÿ˜€

I had two more caches to look for on the way home near Hyde Hall Gardens in East Hanningfield. The No Hydeing Place trad at the entrance to the Gardens was a very quick find but the best is best left until last.๐Ÿค”

You Know My Number set by nathanjhunt is a 4/1.5 Letterbox (a very tasty D/T for my Letterbox grid๐Ÿ˜€). I had looked at this one before but couldn’t identify all the flags. However as I was coming out this way, I decided to have another try. I sorted out all the flags and then struggled to come with how to use the information. I had a flash of inspiration and the numbers came tumbling out. To cap it all, I had a quick find at the final stage.

So, all in all a great morning with all caches found. The only draw back was that I couldn’t find  any food.  

2 Letterbox 2 Multi 2 Mystery 18 Traditional 

#11866