Mike & Judith's Geocaching Page
Home Page > Geocaching
Geocaching is an adventure game for Global Positioning System (GPS) users. Participating in a cache hunt is a good way to visit some extraordinary places (and some not so extraordinary places). The basic idea is for individuals and organisations to set up caches all over the world and share the locations of these caches on the internet (http://www.geocaching.com). Other GPS users can then use the location coordinates to find, and log, the caches. Geocaching melds the world of high-tech navigation, the internet and general exploring, and sometimes requires the use of specialised equipment like a 4-wheel drive vehicle, mountain bikes, kayaks, advanced rope/climbing techniques, and the like. We find that it often takes us to places which we would not normally visit.
Our handle at geocaching.com is "funigalo", derived from "Fanagalo" which is one of the unofficial languages of South Africa. Fanagalo was established to assist communication between speakers of various languages found in South Africa and is mainly used on the mines (and on construction sites).
Our geocaching stats can be seen by clicking on the following Stat Bar icon (you may need to be logged in to Geocaching.com to see them):
Alternatively, our statistics generated by GSAK can be viewed by clicking on the icon below.
- The geocaches that we have found are shown on the map below (excludes Locationless caches).
- Our Geocaching Favourites List currently consists of the following, with the dates of when we found the geocache shown:
29/11/2014 GC50WP3 War Tunnels Earthcache
25/10/2014 GC5DPWT Narrows Interchange Monument
25/10/2014 GC41PJ7 Ore Obelisk in Perth
19/10/2014 GC3G6XH Dom Salvado
04/10/2014 GC5D334 Dot to Dot
19/07/2014 GC2AE7K Granite in Red
01/07/2014 GC3PQCE Iddefjordsgranitt i Monolitten
13/04/2014 GCVE73 Ducks Crossing
23/03/2014 GC3XMTQ Orb Spinner
09/03/2014 GC2ZE73 Zoom in on Perth - Bumming around
27/12/2013 GC9FDB Welcome to KL
03/07/2013 GC1JRYV NP Zuid-Kennemerland 2
19/06/2013 GC9A6E Historic Words
15/06/2013 GCKN5P Vaclavak / Wenceslas square
14/06/2013 GC2T2TP Mrákotínský monolit
13/06/2013 GCF496 Cache my Czech (Prague)
25/05/2013 GC3E2W4 Ä Houz Käsch ar Aare
20/01/2013 GC2C9JN Dastardly Deed
03/07/2012 GC2K3K9 Helsinki City Museum
29/06/2012 GC37A1T Janottaako?
09/04/2012 GCK5W9 Glass and Steel
06/04/2012 GC3A4EM Paconaua
06/04/2012 GC2A441 Pinnacles - Enigmas in Stone
06/04/2012 GC2A43V Lake Thetis - Living Fossils
28/06/2011 GCDE4C Northernmost in Denmark
28/06/2011 GC1BJ4E Two Oceans
04/06/2011 GC1HA96 Butterfly Garden @ Changi Airport T3 Tra
18/11/2009 GC1A4FC The Arches (Otago)
15/11/2009 GCP5HY Hole E Wellington (Otago)
12/11/2009 GCMRG5 Curio Bay Earthcache (Southland)
07/11/2009 GCZ03Q Lakeside Walk (Fiordland)
18/06/2009 GCYB23 One in the Hole
14/09/2008 GCTP8M Bishops Retreat
15/10/2007 GC2C0E Muizenberg, Cape Town
15/10/2007 GC51A0 Lightning Conductor?
15/10/2007 GC336A Silvermine Tales - 2 The Rancorous Wolf
08/10/2007 GCP77P Trappieskop
06/05/2006 GCKKJ1 Cloudmaker
30/12/2005 GCKXGK Quayside Wandering (West Coast)
19/12/2005 GCJGEB Gates of H... (Southern Alps)
14/12/2005 GCHF67 Saving Private Ryan (Central Otago)
29/10/2005 GCNX27 Wild Dogs
12/06/2005 GC5BFD The Dish
15/05/2005 GCKH1B Wall 2 Wall Views #2 - Pulpit
14/05/2005 GCKQ58 Wall 2 Wall Views #3 - Lockley
14/05/2005 GCKM2W Hay, Hay Its .............
27/03/2005 GCKW94 Living Desert
- Our Geocaching/Navigation Equipment and Software
Having had a GPS since they first became available, we are a little disappointed that we only became aware of Geocaching in January 2005, about a year after arriving in Australia. We think back to all the great places we have visited and all the caches that could have been logged. Geocaching is an amazing "excuse" to get out to off-beat places and whenever we go away, we always try and locate a cache or two.
Late in 2005, we decided to upgrade from the most basic yellow Garmin eTrex to the Garmin eTrex Vista C, which has mapping capabilities. With the electronic compass it is a lot easier to align with paper maps, and the built-in barometer/altimeter allows one to predict the weather. As a GPS has always played quite a big role in all of our outdoor activities such as hiking and kayaking, it was only time before we ended up geocaching.
In October 2011, we upgraded to the Garmin eTrex 30. It has a far superior satellite lock-on time, and paperless geocaching which is handy. Map regeneration times are also far superior to the older unit, and the compass does not need to be level to operate so it's not affected when on the bicycle handlebars.
In November 2014, we upgraded to the Garmin Oregon 600. The speed that it handles maps and the large number of waypoints/geocaches is far superior to the eTrex 30, and the slightly bigger screen also helps. The touch screen takes some getting used to, but seems to be an improvment over the joystick on the eTrex.
Following a six month cycle tour in 2015, it became apparent that Garmin products, and in particular the Oregon series, cannot handle long term day-to-day usage from a robustness point of view. The input cable connection failed on both Oregons as there is no way to remove the GPS from the bike mount without first removing the cable. It doesn't take long for the continuous plugging in and out of the cable to damage the data cable port. On our return, Garmin Australia refused to repair/replace the port (at whatever cost) even though the GPSs were practically new. They gave us an option of sending the units to them, and then for a $95 fee they would send us a refurbished unit! Why would we want somebody elses refurbished unit when our very own ones were practically new. Furthermore, we found the Oregons to routinely switch-off for no apparent reason. In some areas in the UK and Norway, both GPSs would suddenly switch off at the same time while cycling through open country, and then often got stuck in a loop when re-booting! On a few occassions we thought we had "bricked" each of the GPSs when they failed to reboot. Following this experience, we realised that we needed to look elsewhere for our navigation needs, and Smartphone GPS functionality has improved a lot in recent times.
A big disadvantage of using a Smartphone as a GPS is the waterproofness and its robustness. This was solved firstly, by using an IP67 Smartphone (Samsung Galaxy S5), and then placing it into a Tigra Bikeconsole Power Plus Protective Case. This is a very hard case which looks like a brick, but doesn't require plugging/unplugging of the cable. Furthermore, all data transfer can occur through the phone's wi-fi. Battery power isn't an issue as the secondary battery supplied with the Bike Console is continuously charged by the bicycles dynamo.
After much investigation and trials on which Smartphone Navigation App to use, we settled on Locus Map Pro which is available for Android. It satisfies our needs one hundred percent and is continuously being improved. It far exceeds the antiquated software provided in the Garmin GPSs. It's fully offline so no data is required and combines mapping, auto-routing, track following, geocaching, POIs, and pretty much everything we need. It's been a great improvement!
Navigation Equipment/Software that we use on a regular basis is summarised as follows: