Hello, Mrs Hg137 here.
Before boarding the ferry to take us back from the Isle of Wight back to the ‘Big Island’ to the north, we had a morning in which to fit … some more caching. We headed north-east in the drizzle along the coast from Sandown, stopping first at the ‘Up and over TB hotel’. This cache is right next to Bembridge airfield, a grass strip where one plane had also done an ‘up and over’ !
A mile or so away is the village of Bembridge, where we found another two caches. On the second, we had just started our search, when a muggle came out of his house to move his dustbin, spotted us, and came over to see what we were up to. We had been rumbled! But he was friendly and we explained about geocaching, found the cache, and showed it to him (it was hidden by the wall of next door’s garden). For the future, he will know what is up when suspicious-looking folk appear and start rootling around at the end of his drive.
Leaving Bembridge, we moved onwards to St Helens, heading for the harbour but stopping along the way to find a cache at St Helen’s Quay. This is a new record for us; at -1 metres, this cache has the lowest elevation we have yet done. (Editor’s note: it seemed above sea level to me!) The drizzle had now turned to rain, the cloud base was not much higher than us, and it was a high spring tide, so we never found out if the next cache merited its title ‘Beautiful Beaches’. Nearby, right by the sea, is an interesting building, half church tower, half whitewashed landmark. This is the remaining part of old St Helen’s Church http://www.sthelensparishcouncil.org.uk/history.php and legend says that it was Admiral Lord Nelson’s last view of England, as HMS Victory anchored here to take on water before sailing off to the Battle of Trafalgar.
‘The Old Links’ was our next cache. A number of the previous logs had mentioned MUD, so we were prepared, with walking boots, geopole, etc. Those logs were not wrong; we slithered and sploshed around for some minutes before finding the cache right where the GPS said it should be. Covered in mud we arrived back at the geocar; I’d seen quite a bit of the island’s geology over the weekend, and mostly it had ended up stuck to me! Luckily, I had stayed upright, so the mud was only on my feet, and not everywhere else too. (Editor’s note 1: my walking trousers are not nearly as waterproof as I would like them to be!) (Editor’s note 2: mud is very cold indeed if you sit down in it on a cold rainy day!)
We had time for one final cache, and a coffee break, in a pleasant spot overlooking Bembridge harbour, before driving back to Fishbourne to catch the 13:00 ferry. We arrived a bit early and asked if we could catch the 12:30 ferry instead – there wasn’t one, so we sat and watched the rain through a steamed up car windscreen, reflecting on a successful, though wet, morning’s efforts.