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Tuesday, November 15, 2005

New Hobby? 

I've discovered an interesting new hobby. I didn't know it existed, let alone is this popular. What is it I hear you ask? Geocaching. What's Geocaching I hear you ask? It's like a high tech version of treasure hunting by using GPS. Here's how it works.

People all over the world hide a little cache (a container usually that contains small items of little value (sometimes following a theme, and a log book). They hide them anywhere.. eg. in their local neighborhood, park, whatever. They then post the GPS co-ordinates on the Internet. While it's not a central body, there is a popular website called or which is where people post the co-ordinates of the caches. People then go looking for the caches in stealth using their GPS unit. They do it in stealth so that non-geocachers don't steal or move the caches. The Geocacher then signs the log book and replaces one of the items (if they want), if they find it. They then put the cache back carefully for the next person. These caches stay in their locations literally for years in some cases hence the importance of doing it in stealth.

It's not as easy as you would think though because even with GPS, it will get you into the vicinity only, and because satellites are always moving around the sky, the location tends to shift eg. You can stand in one place and think you are within 5 metres of the co-ordinates, but it can shift to like 15 metres without you even moving. So once you're in the vicinity, you then have to go searching. The fun part is the sometimes having to decipher clues and follow puzzles to find the cache. I've now looked for two of them, and not found either of them.

The great thing about this hobby is I get to visit parts of town I would never have seen before hence giving me some photo opportunities. Eg. The other day I went to a park in Chatswood I didn't even know exists. Amazingly, this is a very popular pastime.. Within a couple of kilometres of my home here in Chatswood, there were around a dozen or so caches in various locations. And this is occurring all over the world including Australia.

I hope to get out tomorrow and try my luck with another cache located somewhere in Lindfield (again only a couple of kilometres from home).

I'll update on my success soon.

Monday, November 07, 2005

On Holidays 

Well, i'm on holidays and I can't think of what to do with myself. I guess I should have planned it a bit better. I hoped to get out a bit and take some pictures, but so far, every day except one has been cloudy. I'm just a bit nervous about setting up my camera and having it start to rain. The weather forcast for the next week isn't looking very promising either.

I went out last night to try some panoramic photo's at cremorne wharf using my 80-400mm VR lens, but to my astonishment, the photo's sucked. I guess you have good days, and bad days when it comes to taking good photo's. One of these days if the weather clears up somewhat, I'd like to try some panoramic shots in the blue mountains, but we'll see how it goes. It's a long way to go just to have it drizzle or rain once I got there.

I'm racking my brain on how to improve my site. My Guestbook page needs new content since the guestbook is no longer there, and my photo galleries need a change since I don't think it will fair very well with panoramic photo's. Let's hope I can think of something soon.. Even i'm getting bored with my site. I can only imagine what it's like for all of you.