How an impulse buy turned into a weekend long hunt for level 5 terrain geocaches

Updated: Sep 29, 2020

This week we're at Wivenhoe Dam

Caches found this week : 7

We've all done it. You find a product you simply cannot live without, and instead of waiting for that voice of reason, you rush out, throwing your money at the cashier.

After finishing work on Friday, I was daydreaming about spending the weekend hunting for geocaches. We've found all of the caches close by, so I decided we'd need to do something new. On a whim I changed our search settings, looking only for level 5 terrain caches. Cool, there's quite a few out in the country, but they all require a boat.

So I go online, casually looking for a small watercraft. Still not too serious about the idea, I chuckle at the thought of us swapping our hiking boots for a swimsuit.

That's when I found it. An inflatable boat. Big enough for the both of us, and supposedly durable enough for an adventure into the outdoors.

The decision is made. We need it.

So, we rush to our local outdoors store, snatching up our new boat and life jackets with only minutes to spare before they closed.

We tried to do everything right. We tested it the night before. We packed everything, including our emergency beacon, just in case. And in the morning, with our lunches packed, we headed off.

Now, don't get me wrong. We are seasoned adventurers. We've hiked through remote islands filled with crocodiles, and ventured into the jungles of Thailand. But until now, our journeys never involved little inflatable row boats. And after this weekend, they never will again.

Luckily for us, my step-dad is a drone photographer. So, when he asked if he could tag along, I got a little excited, thinking we'd catch some awesome footage of two wispy looking adventurers rowing off into the distance.

In reality, what he got was horrendously embarrassing and a little confusing.

It started off fine. We jumped in, and watched as we slowly drifted from the safety of the bank. We can see where the cache should be, on the other side of the dam. This shouldn't take us too long.

Our impulsively bought boat

We tried to row. It felt a little awkward trying to move the oars while they were clipped into the side of the boat. Maybe they aren't supposed to be there...

So, we unscrew them, almost losing half an oar to the water.

Alright, this is better. Kind of. We're moving forward now, but are my arms meant to be moving like this?

Maybe if we each take control of an oar...

We start to go in circles. As we tried our best to stay patient with each other, this should have been the moment we headed back to shore.

We ignored the drone and the park full of people, knowing we didn't look like the water babies we'd hoped to be.

But we're determined. And after an hour, we somehow made it to the other side. After getting our name on that logbook, the boat didn't seem so bad. We jumped back in, feeling ready for the next one.

Then, one of the oars broke.

Alright, that's fine, I packed some gorilla tape.

I use the whole micro roll I have to repair it. Cool, we can keep going. And we shouldn't, but we do.

Then the other oar breaks.


I don't know how long it took us to limp back to shore, but as we dragged our boat from the water's edge, we avoided eye contact with anyone that may have seen.

Now, you'd think this is where the story should end, right?


As we drove home, with our dignity in shatters, we made another impulse decision.

We need kayaks. Not one, but two.

So again, we rush to the outdoors shop half an hour before they close.

Our second attempt an an impulse buy

And again, with our lunches packed and a bandaid over our egos, we set off early the next morning.

Expecting to make another comedy video, our drone photographer joined us, chuckling at our determination to hunt for hidden containers in hard to reach places.

But this time was different. We were amazed at how easily we could move through the water. Within the first half an hour, we came to a unanimous decision.

We love kayaking.

The moment you can say "found it" makes it all worth it

By midday, we had five level 5 terrain caches found. Feeling relaxed and a little smug, we headed back to shore.

So, the moral of our story is - to have a good time, make sure you have the right gear. That impulse buy might be irresistible, but spending a little more time on your decision could be priceless.

As for us, we've already started planning our next kayaking adventure.

And no, you cannot see the drone footage from our first expedition. That monstrosity will be reserved for blackmail purposes only.

We do, however, have some incredible footage from our second go, courtesy of John from Sky Hooked Photography. Thanks John, you're a legend!

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