Now that is impressive. Congrats!
Hollora told me she had posted my acomplishment on here so I thought the least I could do is come in and read it and perhaps tell everyone something about the find. I didn't set out to find the oldest unfound cache. I just booked a cruise and then started looking for caches at all the cruise ports. Belize city only had a couple within 20 miles and one of them was on a little private island 20 miles off shore. I read about it, read again, and then again. It intrigued me. I couldn't figure why no one had ever gone. One of the problems was that apparently it wasn't actually hidden on the island in a physical spot, it was given to the owner of the islands fishing camp to hold until someone asked for it. The few people that went could never find the guy there. Not wanting to waste time and hundreds of dollars to get there and find no one home, I asked the cache owner if he could verify that it was actually still on the island. This began a long debate in the national forums in which the cache was discussed and I was repeatedly bashed. From what the owner and those people said, it was clear that it was more important for them to hold "the record" of the oldest unfound cache than have someone actually find it. Little did they know that they were fueling my desire to get it, although unfortunately it was more to spite them. I mean, I really wanted to go there for that special feeling but I was more willing to go to more lengths. Finally it was discovered through the forums that the cache had been lost years ago so the California owner mailed a new one to the island. When I figured enough time had passed, I called the owner on the island from Miami to see if it had arrived and it had. I asked if he would be there on the Wednesday that our ship docked and he said he would. I then asked if he knew someone that could boat me to the island. He gave me a name of a local fisherman and said he would meet me at the local fishing co-op. Shortly after getting on the cruise, I discovered that ships time doesn't change so our docking time was 2 hours off from Belize time. I ended up using the stateroom phone at $9.99 a minute for too many minutes trying to talk with the island owner who barely spoke English and being from Maine, I can barely understand English myself. If they don't sound like a lobsterman, it's hard to make out. I heard a couple girls in my hallway speaking in Spanish and I actually got them to come into the room to talk to him for me. My wife was there and I stood outside the room! When Wednesday came, I had only 5 hours total to make it. Carole wasn't willing to go because she didn't believe I would catch the ship. I myself had doubts and had all my options ready to miss the ship and need to purchase transportation to the next port or back to the states. I walked to the co-op and met my ride. He had two other people with him and loaded some supplies. The boat was an old fiberglass skiff with the old fashioned hand on the engine steering. No seat pads. No lifejackets. The fisherman spoke even less English. He did know where I was going since it was a fishing camp. First he needed to get gas, which I paid for ($50). Off to the docks. Got there and no one to get the gas. Time lost. Further down the coast to another fueling station. No one there. Captain off to find someone. Time lost. Finally he comes back with someone to get gas. We start out and get 100 yards out and the boat stops. The fuel line had come undone from the tank. Watching my watch and wondering what did I get myself into. Fuel line put back on, pulling the rope, no starting. I think my wife had the right idea. Finally we get going and he heads out to sea, in the wrong direction. I try to convey that I have a little cache icon that shows where we should be heading and the track line is heading the wrong way. After much frustration, I finally get the message that it is easier on the boat and faster if he follows the coast and then head to the little island across the way than against them. Finally we get going in the right direction and I am satisfied but still not convinced I'm going to get back on time. According to our cruise ships Captain, the swells were 6 feet, but that day as we hit each wave sending the bow up and then a hard down, I would have thought 20 foot waves. It didn't take long for my butt to feel very bruised and a couple times my neck even took some whiplash damage. No one really knows where I am and I know I was going to die out here. We get within a couple miles and there are a couple of big fishing boats anchored which we head too. We lose a passenger and all the supplies and more of my precious time. We head out again and I can see the island, all of maybe a quarter mile long, covered with mangroves, on not much sand, and I also find out, many crocodiles. I didn't know they were out in the ocean. The other passenger even gratiously showed me the chunk taken out of his butt cheek from one of them. Now I know they will never even find my body. Skirting the edge of the mangroves we come into sight of several shacks with a beautiful wooden dock connecting everything. A more modern cabin boat anchored a couple hundred feet out. We tie up and the camp owner greets me. One of the most friendly people besides Hollora I have ever met. He seemed more anxious for me to see the cache than I was (if possible). He explained that there was a group of California high school students with teachers here learning marine biology. He walked me right into the shack where they were holding class and interupted them and introduced me. He then have me explain why I was there. It seemed none of them had heard of caching and I had to give a short class on it. He then walked me to the back room and handed me an opened FedEx box with a tupperware lock n' lock in it. There it was. I couldn't believe I was smiling so much. What a feeling. He insisted I look at every item in it even though I just wanted to sign and leave. That was one excited guy. He took the pictures of me with it with my camera. I signed FTF, gave him back the cache, and went to catch my ride back. I never once looked at the time as I didn't want to get depressed knowing I had a long walk back to the U.S. if I was late. The ride back was quicker with the wind behind our backs. It wasn't smoother though. It was nice to see the 2 cruise ships come into sight and it's hard to believe that according to the GPS, we were still a little over 10 miles away. We got back to the fishing Co-op, I gave him $210 which I didn't know if it was a little or a lot and I couldn't tell from his face, thanked him, and trotted off down towards the tender. I actually had a touch over an hour left too! What an experience! One of the top 5 moments in my life. I just couldn't stand to pay for ship internet fees but I had to log it. The next day I found an internet cafe (without the cafe) in Cozumel and for $1 for 30 minutes was able to get to Geocaching.com. That is the long boring story, sorry for rambling, but now I won't have to write Hollora personally, she can read it here. Oh, and Ha, Ha Gob-ler, I beat you to one. So there!
Now THAT'S a caching story!!! Thank you sooooooo much......cause now I won't get scolded if I get up at 5:001m to travel 15 miles to a cache. I'lll just show her this.
Good God! What an adventure.
Far off distant exotic lands, old sea captains, old fishing boats, miles out in the middle of a ruff ocean, engine failure, ocean crocodiles, old men showing scars to each other and then uncovering the treasure.
Holy crap! What an adventure!
Can anyone say "GPS The Movie II"
That *has* to be the greatest FTF story eveah!! Proud that it came from the great state of Maine! Way to go Darterkitfox!!:cool:
Wow!!! What a great adventure! We really enjoyed reading the story and seeing the pics. Certainly one cache you will never forget! : ) And what a tribute to Gob-ler....no matter where we go in the WORLD, we are always looking over our shoulder for his shadow!!
And to think some folks think I am crazy! I think your cost to FTF ratio is a little out of wack!
By the way, congratulations on your well earned FTF!
Whatever makes the cacher happy - I told Steve I was not sure I would be brave enough to do this with the chance of missing the departure of the ship. Just goes to prove ~ Getter' done! And he did!:)
Originally Posted by Gob-ler
Quite an accomplishment indeed, glad to see a local do it!
I did a quick search for unfound 2001 caches, it seems there are a few left, in order from oldest (6/21/01) to newest (10/27/01):
Geocache (GCD30) by turco (2.5/1.5)
4.5lb Walleye (GCDFB) by Jamie Matear (4.5/2.5)
Kougarok (GC1259) by J.O. Keener (4/2)
Conch Shell Horn (GC105E) by Jeffrey Courrier (3/3)
Nikolay-Kam (GC14C3) by Nikolay-Kam (2.5/3)
Mount Temple (GC1607) by MCpl. Paul Franklin, MCpl. J. Pawsey (3.5/5)
Pljesevica (GC255D) by Ivan Ramljak (2.5/2.5)