Monday, September 22, 2008

The Island King's Cache

Sunday afternoon the Island King and I went over to Okaloosa Island to check on his geocache, Captain Billy Bob's Booty. This is a really cool cache the he hid quite a while back and as the name implies it's a pirate cache.

We got an email a few days ago from someone who recently found it and apparently the area where the cache is hidden flooded when Ike blew by. The cacher found the cache laying in the open and he rehid it for us - where he thought it was supposed to be.

So off we went to make sure the inside of the cache was dry and that it was hidden where it needed to be.
It's a half mile hike across the island to reach the cache but it's a beautiful walk.

We started at the parking area on Highway 98

And made our way out to the Bay

Then we headed east along the edge of the water

After a short while we ran across a clearing on the beach where someone had placed a few boards between tree branches to use as benches. It looked like a good spot for a break.

This is a multi cache and the GPS coordinates we've given take you to a spot along the shore where you find Captain Billy Bob's headstone tucked into a small clump of scrub oaks. The headstone is a weathered piece of wood with the words:

Here Lies Captain Billy Bob
Born 236 May 9
Died 323 January 1

If you're familiar with GPS coordinates you'll see that these numbers are actually the coordinates for Stage 2 of the cache. At the top of the headstone is a wooden disk with a pirate carved on it. The cache log tells you to look for another clue at the headstone and if you're looking you will see that the wooden disk swings up and underneath is another disk that says:

They planned to head west
They didn't get far - they hit a sandbar
So Captain Billy Bob sat to rest
And hid his booty in a nest

So once you've found the headstone you now have a new GPS coordinate for the booty as well as a written hint.

We reached the headstone and saw that the disk with the clue was broken and was resting against the bottom of the headstone. The Island King used some wood glue and fixed the disk and then it was time to find the booty.

Here's where things get a little tricky. The headstone has given you the new set of coordinates and they point you to the east. The clue on the disk tells you to go west. But pirates lie. So you have to rely on the coordinates you've entered into your GPS. After a short walk to the east you come across a mound of pure white sand with no vegetation growing on it at all. Obviously this is the sandbar the clue talks about. The clue on the disk tells you that once Captain Billy Bob found the sandbar he hid the cache in a nest. The GPS coordinates lead you to a small clump of saw grass growing on the side of the mound and tucked down in the grass is the cache.

Except the cache floated around some during the storm and the cacher who rehid it didn't hide it in the saw grass. We spent some time searching for our cache (do I get a smiley for that? LOL) and finally found it hidden near a sand pine, quite a ways from it's original spot.

Did you see it?

I saw it but it was tough to find

We took it back up to the sandbar to see how it fared in the flood

Inside of the can was bone dry. These ammo cans are amazing! They just don't leak. We buy them at the local army surplus store for $5 and the Island King gives them a camoflauge paint job and so far we haven't found anything that will stay dry and hold up to the elements like these do.

The new hiding spot turned out to be such a good one that we changed the coordinates for the cache and put the can back where we found it. The cacher that rehid it for us did a good job.

The view from the cache

This flock of pelicans flew by while we were standing there

I love sea oats

The sun was starting to set so we rehid the cache and started the long walk back. We watched a beautiful sunset but the batteries on the camera died and I didn't get any good photos.

It was a nice walk and we always have fun messing around with our caches.
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