Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Geo-Caching and Oyster Whacking

     Well, when the weather doesn't cooperate on your camping adventure, what do you do? The winds were between 20-30 mph the entire time we were on Anastasia Island….not even one canoe, para-sailer, nor kayaker ventured out into the red flagged 'hazard' waters. We had to change plans quickly or our cuties would mutiny and we knew it.
     One of the activities we did that was planned was Geo-Caching. Ever heard of it? There are over 2 million active geo-caches worldwide. In simplest terms, a geo-cache is a hidden box or item containing smaller items hidden in urban or remote locations. You find them by using a GPS and clues. Once you find your geo-cache you can 'register' that you found it, take an item out and replace it with an item that you brought. There are hard core geo-cachers like the guy camping next to us who had found over 300 of them throughout the US. (Whoa, dude! Slow down there and let us novices catch up!) There are even virtual geo-caches. Watch the video here to discover more about this unique and basically free hobby. Before our trip we found out there were 3, yes 3 caches in the area. The girls had a ball finding them and learning to use a GPS and a compass in the process. We even located one near our house. There will def be more of this in our future! It's really fun!
     We made a trip into historic St. Augustine….mostly to see the Fort made from the now famous Coquina quarries we toured at the park. The quarries were actually a virtual geo-cache found by GPS. Really fun. The ladies also 'fished' with The Doc….which means Nature Girl fishes all of 5 minutes until her line gets tangled up in the rushes, all the while talking…..so The Doc ends up setting his rod down to fix Nature Girls' rod while Blondie rushes in and ties herself up in unseen Dad's line ….only to snap it. Once Nature Girl's line is fixed and back in water, The Doc can again restring his line only to turn around to find Nature Girl has abandoned her pole and no longer wants to fish…..which doesn't matter because her line is again tied up in the reeds and has to be redone….again. Now 30 minutes of restringing, losing bait and hooks, have commenced with not much of that time actually having lines with bait on them in the water. Soon all 3 girls abandon fishing ship to go 'oyster whacking' which is much more lucrative.          
      Oyster whacking is a new sport….easy to play but slightly dangerous. One must wade into the salt marsh murky water just deep enough to find clusters of oysters on the bottom but not so deep as to flood your clomping boots. (Please see previous post for definition of 'clomping'.) Once you have a hunk of oysters you run, run, run right smack back through your Dad's fishing line that he now has back in the water, break it again just for sport,  and throw the oyster clump on the ground. Then proceed to 'whack' the you know what out of that oyster clump with the side of a shovel. If you do it just right tiny little crabs, sea worms and other pleasantries will delight you by scattering out. Hurry and catch them before your sister whacks you too! Once oyster has no scared silly creatures departing from it's innards, return oyster to water and find another. Delightful game that kept cold Princesses entertained (and warm) for quite some time.
     The Historic St. Augustine Lighthouse complete with Captains records dating back more than two centuries was another highlight. You could climb all 245 stairs to the tippy top (under strong wind advisory) to stand on this 'really, really little' metal railing to see 360 degrees around the harbor. Quite impressive and the history behind it is extraordinary. The light keepers had to carry 5 gallons of oil every couple of hours to keep the light going 24/7 in it's heyday. Light keepers were disbanded in 1939 with the introduction of electric lights. This lighthouse is still in use today…surviving multiple hurricanes and even earthquakes. Pretty amazing and not just a little scary for those of us who have issues with heights. Heights with windy looping metal stairs you could tumble over at any wrong step while you are hanging for dear life onto small children….and at the end a tiny little ledge with which to peer out at mini people below in 30mph winds. Sound fun?  Now….let's get to the pictures.
Don't let this picture fool you. She fished a grand total of…..30 seconds. 

Oyster whacking. New Olympic sport coming soon to a body of water near you. Only attempt if wearing proper clomping attire.

Whacking prize!

Setting out on our geo-cache adventure….

Learning how to read a compass and a GPS. They nailed it. Smile!

You're hot! You're so hot!

This pole was numbered with the original Geo-cache. The container was damaged so people were using the little side box. The girls left a mini- horse for the next explorers to find.

So cool….and much larger in person.

This made me want to hurl. Keeping it honest. I did not make it to the top….two Princesses did, one didn't. Any guesses who backed out?

The Doc and one of the girls waving….on that ledge….14 stories high in a high wind advisory. Uhm, yay.

Hunting. There was a virtual geo-cache on the old Coquina Quarry Mine trail.

Running the Coquina hills. The Doc and I ran a 4 mile trail through these woods. Spectacular.

Checking out Coquina walls in the old historic district. They were a lot more interested in this than we thought they would be. 

Fort- hill -rolling is a must do for every kiddo. I rolled down these same hills when I was a kid oh so many moons ago.

Seriously. The best pic of Nature Girl I think ever. Y'all have no idea.

Can you spot us? The Doc captured this shot from the fort wall above. I was desperately cold….and trying to listen to the Park Ranger (respectfully I might add) but her accent was so thick I could hardly understand her. I kept inching closer to her to try and get the gist of what she was saying…..I'm sure she thought the white lady in the red coat, who happens to LOVE history…..holding squirmy, bored, Asian child…inching ever closer while tall daughter kept falling off cannon-ball stack and interrupting to ask "Whenisitooovvveeerrr?"……. was nothing short of a weirdo.

They do a cannon firing re-enactment from the only time period when Americans actually controlled the fort…..the Revolutionary War. It was very cool….it was very loud….

One word. Kilwins.

Poor, poor Rod. He was abused.

Yep. Getting it done.

The very last picture we took. They were over it….pictures that is…but I really wanted a pic of this sign. They were taunting me and I can see total 'MOM, REALLY!' all over their faces. They complied…just barely. I offered to feed them when we were done. :)
Hope your Thanksgiving was spectacular!!

1 comment:

  1. Have I told you before how much I love your life? :) Great shots!!