Yesterday I attended the ACE 2011 geocaching event. Main reason to attend this event was some highly favorited caches published during previous editions of the event in 2009 and 2010. Besides this, it is always fun to meet other geocachers.
The event was limited to 200 geocachers and just after the official starting time of 10am I arrived at the event terrain. The cantine of the camp site where the event was taking place was already pretty crowded with geocachers. After checking in I got an envelope with a consumption ticket and an empty notebook (logbook?) with the name of the event printed on it. That is always a warm welcome. While having a cup of coffee or tea, all geocachers were patiently waiting for the new caches to be distributed.
Most geocachers had done some homework and solved the puzzles already published by the event team and were now waiting for the final pieces of information to calculate the cache coordinates of these mysteries. Just before 11am the event team started distributing the first series of caches. Of course everybody was curious whether their homework was correct and started solving the mysteries. As puzzling is not my cup of tea I had not done the homework and decided to go for a multi cache, a six kilometer walk around 'Landgoed Kasteel Keppel'. I turned onto the parking area just behind team rietje-10. As we left the event terrain soon after the caches were distributed, and most other geocachers were working on the mysteries, we figured out we had a chance on a First to Find.
So off we went and quickly found the first waypoints and answered the questions. Untill waypoint 9, where we were unable to find the links of chain. Due to this we were caught up by Heanigan and team Janneke&Jip who found the links almost immediately. After this little moment of trouble it was very easy finding the cache with its empty logbook and a non registered coin for team Janneke&Jip. As FTF ranking is not important for me, my name ended up on the 4th page. Suddenly the forester turned up and congratulated us with our first find. Now that is what I call a good relationship with the area manager.
After finding the cache, it was lunchtime already so I went back to the event terrain. While I was having lunch, I finally met some cachers I wanted to meet for a long time and we had a very nice chat. Also there was some buzzing going on about a chirp signal but I did not really catch that. Must have been one of the mysteries.
In the second cache distribution round, there were no very interesting looking caches, so I decided to go for a cache from an earlier edition, 'De schat van Schinderhannes'. Allthough I did not have all the items mentioned in the listing with me, I decided to go for this cache. Luckily for me the cache owner was prepared for this and hid all the required items in the woods for people like me. At waypoint 3 I was caught up again, this time by molenzicht, roccotje and borghuis. The four of us appeared to be a good team, solving all the creative waypoints (and even found one of another cache!).
Somewhere halfway the cache my friends for this cache said: "There is another cache somewhere here for you to log." And they starting searching for it. As they were not really sure about the location they pulled out an iPhone and checked it on the web. Indeed there appeared to be a cache just 100 meters from here. When we arrived at the spot, another team was already searching for the cache and plowed almost the whole area. "These boys know where the cache is!" I tried to relief them but after looking at their puzzled faces I was not so sure about that anymore. "I can not remember this area at all." All three of them said...
After this weird incident, we decided not to join the search for the lost cache but continue our own hunt and found the cache. When I got back to the car, the other team just arrived and confirmed they had found the lost cache but it was very hard to find. I decided to stick to the event caches and there was just enough time to do one more short multi to finish the day. After also finding this cache, again with another team, I decided it was time to go home.
For this event 14 new caches were published, 4 multi's, 1 letterbox and 9 mystery caches. None of them are really award winners in my opinion, but the award winners from earlier editions and the good atmospere at the event terrain make this an event worth visiting for everybody next year.