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Geocaching is an outdoor sport or activity in which cachers use a GPS receiver to find a "treasure" hidden by other participants. Caches are watertight containers containing items for exchange (mostly inexpensive trinkets) and a logbook in which the finder records their discovery of the cache. The coordinates of the cache's location are stored in online databases such as opencache.uk, along with the description and instructions necessary to find it.

News


15 November 2016

This is one of the most important Opencache news items for a long time.

First I should introduce myself. My caching name is Amberel. My Opencaching "qualifications" are that I have a proven long term commitment to Opencaching, having been involved in Opencaching UK almost from the beginning. I have set many Opencaches and found a great many more, and I have served on the committee for many years.

Many of you will be aware that Lord Darcy (the Opencaching UK founder) retired in the summer. The new web master did a lot of work updating the site, and it appeared that he was nearly finished. But then it was closed down without warning or reference to the committee and we have been unable to get hold of him. The Opencaching Facebook page was also closed.

Since then we've been trying to rebuild. I created a new Opencaching UK Facebook page. The nearest domain name I could obtain is opencache.uk, which is not as good as having access to the original domain but is OK. I was able to obtain from Lord Darcy all of the source code for the web site, and the database as of June this year. And I tried to get it to run. But this is a complex web site, and I have no experience in this area – I really struggled and wasn't getting very far. Cacher dartymoor also looked at the system and tried to assist.

But then we had the most amazing turn for the better. I was contacted by Grzegorz, an Opencacher from Poland who is one of the team that developed the Opencaching web site software. Under his guidance I set up a virtual server on the web, and he then took over, converting the data and installing the latest version of the software. We have also been helped immensely by Andrei from Romania, with whom I have been working to translate the site into English.

So we have now ended up with the latest version of the software and a better web site than we have ever had before, and we are ready to relaunch Opencaching in the UK, at opencache.uk instead of opencaching.org.uk.

As I mentioned, the main database was restored from a June 2016 backup. Activity that occurred in the interval generally is not in the database. However, I do have some data in my offline GSAK database and may be able to help if you have lost logs you entered during this period – just let me know your caching name and the cache(s) and I'll see what I can find.

We are still dependent on our Polish and Romanian friends for support. It would be wonderful if we could find someone else in this country with the relevant Linux, Apache, PHP, MySQL programming and sysadmin skills to help dartymoor keep the system running. But a long term commitment to Opencaching is as important as the technical skills.

In terms of the number of caches listed, Opencaching is not a rival to geocaching.com. But we hope it will grow, and be seen as a place where you can find quality caches (our guidelines on https://wiki.opencache.uk/index.php/Caching_Guidelines go into more detail). We think it is good to have alternatives, especially where those alternatives are not subject to commercial pressures. And alternative sites allow for more innovation (geocaching.com favourites were copied directly from the Opencaching recommendations feature).

For Opencaching to reach a critical mass in this country we need people to have a long term commitment to Opencaching and quality caching, even when the number of finds on their caches is low. We need people to remember to keep a particular eye open for Opencaches when they are out and about, because finding is as important as hiding. And can I ask that as part of the relaunch, cache owners check the status of their listings please, especially where caches are cross listed – if the cache has changed status it is very easy to forget to update the listing on ALL sites.

So, please do visit the new site as soon as you are able, and see the improvements. Help build Opencaching in the UK by using the site, and sharing the news with your friends. And remember the new address is opencache.uk

Overall number of caches: 882 active caches: 542 | Finds: 2,837 | Number of users: 460

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Cache Open Sesame: The Quest for Aladdin's Lamp hidden by abanazar
A challenging quest!
United Kingdom (UK) > Gloucestershire, Wiltshire and Bristol/Bath area

This was one of three abanazar high terrain puzzle caches that were our primary objectives on my visit from Surrey with Amberel today. Although this was the easiest of the three physically, I found it to be the hardest puzzle Frown.
Part 1 of the puzzle was not a problem. Part 2 was much trickier and I never did locate the characters I needed. However, after a fair amount of searching I did find something that was close enough and which started giving some meaningful text. There did seem to be a few ambiguities so both Amberel and I decoded it separately and checked our answers. I was pleased to find that they agreed Wink.
So with Amberel and digdug123 we followed the decoded instructions and what followed. I particularly liked one stage that has given me ideas for a future cache of our own Wink.
And so onwards to the underground part of the quest that the cache description warns about. This was my first experience of such a type of cache. I followed the others and before long they had found the cache, but not just any cache. Instead of them opening it and passing me back the log to sign I was encouraged to squeeze past to see it before it was opened. It was good to see the theme carried through all the way from cache page to the box itself Smile.
The box was passed back to me to open, but like FTFers we also almost lost the jinni Frown. Thankfully digdug spotted it before it was too late.
Thanks for a fun introduction to this style of cache.
TNLN TFTC
 


Autor: Woking Wonders


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