Friday, June 27, 2008

The Enemy

This is my nemesis, the mosquito. Supposedly, only the females bite...I won't say anything else about that; my wife might have something to say about any further comments.

I've noticed that getting off of the beaten path here on Okinawa usually involves being subjected to well coordinated attacks by wave after wave of large mosquitoes. I'd like to get your input on the best ways to prevent being targeted by these voracious beasts. Commercial bug repellent, B-complex vitamins, dousing yourself with gasoline? What's your favorite bug-proofing method?

Let me know in the comments.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Kin Spring

Went out at lunch today and found a cache near a running spring where the locals will actually still cary water home from. It was well guarded by a cloud of very large mosquitoes...this must be a common theme with this activity!

It was still a fun way to spend the lunch hour.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Nakagusuku Wakamatsu Park

Here's some pictures of the Geocaching trip my wife and I made today at the Nakagusuku Park. There appears to be some castle ruins on this hill, and the mosquitoes were big enough to carry off a small child. It was still a fun afternoon.

First Find!

The above picture is of the contents of my first find. It was located in "Kin Park," in the popular town of Kin Villiage here on Okinawa.

It took me four visits to the park to complete it, since it was a "multi-cache," or two part cache. The first cache was a "nano," or really tiny cache that contained nothing but the lat/long of the final cache. The nano is in the top picture. The final cache was hidden so well, that it took me two visits to find it.

It was worth the effort, and I picked up a trackable "travel bug" that I can see the history of.

Now if I can just find a way to make my GPS get a signal under tree cover...

Welcome to Gunny's Cache!

This is my little spot to document my new-found enjoyment of Geocaching, the popular outdoor game of treasure hunting.

Geocaching involves using a GPS receiver to find caches, or hidden containers, of goodies that someone has hidden in interesting locations. You can then log your visit to the cache at the Geocaching website, and see who else has found it.

Hopefully, this site will grow rapidly with notes and pictures from here in Okinawa and, eventually, back in the U.S.

Geocaching is something that I have heard of before, perhaps in a magazine article somewhere, but didn't give much more thought to. Recently, the topic came up in a conversation and I decided to give it a try. I own my own GPS receiver, and I have been using GPS technology in the Marine Corps for several years.

Exploring an unfamiliar area, and searching for a hidden item sounds like fun. Luckily, many other players have hidden caches at interesting locations. For example, there are many castle ruins, museums, and scenic locations here on Okinawa. Some locations are remote, and would probably remain undiscovered by most Americans if it were not for the game of Geocaching.

Knowing all of this, I tried my hand at Geocaching. Using my GPS was easy enough, although the game of Geocaching uses a location format that is different than what we use in the miliatary. Geocaching uses degrees and minutes of latitude and longitude, while we use the Military Grid Reference System, or MGRS in the Marine Corps. It's not difficult to switch between the two, and my Garmin Etrex GPS does it with the push of a couple of buttons.