9US


The 9 Usual Suspects have been around since 2014, we are a group of Geocaching friends based in North West Wales of diverse ages and abilities. Our primary purpose is to get together, place caches, hold events, leave our environment in a better state than we found it and most importantly have fun. On average we hold about 20 events a year from monthly Nosh ‘n’ Natters, several Cache in Trash Outs (CITOs) and hosting the Geocaching Souvenir moments.

New Caches

We have no new physical caches to report this week, but Event Season has begun, between now and New Year the local social geocaching scene is going to be very busy. Not only do we have Community Celebration Events, GIFF, CITO Season 2 to fit in but also this months N&N and of course Christmas Dinner.

For this years GIFF we are in Talysarn Community Centre, a bigger venue with plenty of parking but it is a lot more expensive to hire. 9US funds are not in a very healthy position so to try and alleviate this problem, as well as the raffle, we will be having a ‘Bring & Buy’ table. If you have any items that you wish to sell please bring them along, already priced, and any sales will be subject to a 10% 9 Usual Suspects Tax. There maybe some 3D printed containers…… For more details please contact us.

Confirmed Diary Dates
GC9G662 Aberystwyth: Meet on the Prom! by Rusty_Rustlers 17.10 2021 2.30-3.00pm
GC9H7A8 9 Usual Suspect – Nosh & Natter 42 by 9 Usual Suspects 26.10.2021 7.00-9.00pm
GC8ZDAZ Community Celebration Event / Halloween Special by martin&lindabryn 30.10.2021 6-11pm
GC9H8N8 GIFF Geocaching International Film Festival by 9 Usual Suspects 20.11.2021 2.15-4.30pm

Events to be published
All dates, venues and times of the following events to be confirmed on publication:
No Date Community Celebration Event by Moseley_Bach
6.11.2021 Community Celebration Event: Belated Halloween by Ann@Birdbrook
14.11.2021 CITO Season 2 by 9 Usual Suspects
30.11.2021 Christmas N&N by 9 Usual Suspects
31.12.2021 Community Celebration Event: New Years Eve by Naturesbyte

New Caches

Just one new local cache this week, and it’s not on Anglesey! No guessing needed for who got the FTF!


GC9GYTZ An Oak Goal by gosodcoeden83 Traditional D1.5/T1.5

Other Stuff

The souvenir image above illustrates folding of sedimentary rock.

Just a quick reminder this weekend, 9th – 10th October, is International Earthcache Weekend by logging an earthcache you will earn the above souvenir.

West Midlands Mega 2022

EARLY BIRD camping deals are available from the Mega shop. This offer is only available till the end of the year. A FULL 7 night deal for only £140 and a three night weekend deal for only £65, both these deals include electric hook up (EHU). More flexible options will be available in the new year but are unlikely to be at these Early Bird deal rates.
Book now and join us for a week of Mega madness.

Coastal Watch, Ponta Delgada, Azores

One of the guns still in place from WW2

GC7ZR5T JOKER PDGT – COASTAL WATCH – P. Delgada CANONS by PALHOCOSMACHADOD D5/T4

This letterbox cache explores a WWII defence post high on Pico da Castanheira over looking the city of Ponta Delgada and its harbour. Portugal was neutral throughout the war but the Azores Islands laying in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, 870 miles west of Lisbon and 1,200 miles southeast of Newfoundland, Canada were strategically very important to both sides.

The CO pointing out the importance of the guns siting in relation to the harbour

After meeting the cache owner, Luis, at an event we took up his kind offer for a guided tour of this fascinating place. The three guns are all still in situ and in remarkable condition seeing they have been in place since 1940 with no maintenance since 1969 when operations here ceased.

Into the tunnels

On the cache page there is a map of the underground tunnels and rooms, it is advisable to bring a copy, as well as studying the attributes. The condition of the tunnels is remarkable, no sign of damp and seeing they are open to all there is no vandalism or graffiti.

The doors lead to one of the gun emplacements

The hunt for the coordinates of the final hide guides you around the battery exploring the different rooms and tunnels. As with all military establishments your rank determined conditions and facilities, with the Battery Commanders having proper toilets!

A latrine for the lower ranks

The tunnels eventually lead to the underground observation post which would have been manned at all times, here there was a machine gun, only the concrete mount remains today. All defences of the battery were positioned for a seaward attack.

View of the sea and Ponta Delgada from the observation post.

This is another one of those places that we would never have known existed let alone visited if it had not been for Geocaching. Having Luis as a guide with his knowledge of the history of the fortifications added to our understanding of how it operated and its position strategically.

We certainly did!

New Caches

First we must apologise for not maintaining this feature while we have been away – I thought it would be easy to keep it updated but with very indifferent internet connections and a very busy schedule we found it impossible.

This week we have a new series around Barmouth, one at Llandanwg and one on Anglesey.

GC9GGJP Invigorate Your Senses by llandanwg Traditional D1.5/T1.5

GC9GMBT Colossus of Roads by Glaslyn1 Traditional D1.5/T1.5

GC9G8JN Brook’s Barmouth Bash #1 – Up to the tops, we go! by CazzaB80 Traditional D1.5/T2
GC9GTMKBrook’s Barmouth Bash #2 – Fern en-route by CazzaB80 Traditional D1.5/T2
GC9G8K0 Brook’s Barmouth Bash #3 – Panorama Walk by CazzaB80 Traditional D3.5/T3
GC9G8KH Brook’s Barmouth Bash #4 – Panorama Viewpoint by CazzaB80 Traditional D3/T3.5
GC9G8KX Brook’s Barmouth Bash #5 – Mossy Tree by CazzaB80 Traditional D1.5/T2.5
GC9G8M9 Brook’s Barmouth Bash #6 – Cae Fadog by CazzaB80 Traditional D1.5/T3.5
GC9G8N0 Brook’s Barmouth Bash #7 – Frenchman’s Grave by CazzaB80 Traditional D3/T3.5
GC9G8NQ Brook’s Barmouth Bash #8 – Dinas Oleu by CazzaB80 Traditional D3.5/T2.5
GC9G8Q3 Brook’s Barmouth Bash #10 – Stone Wall Stile by CazzaB80 Traditional D3.5/T3
GC9G8QH Brook’s Barmouth Bash #11 – Big Reach Tree by CazzaB80 Traditional D1.5/T2.5
GC9G8QQ Brook’s Barmouth Bash #12 – Stone House by CazzaB80 Traditional D2T3
GC9G8R1 Brook’s Barmouth Bash #13 – Top Crag by CazzaB80 Traditional D2.5/T3.5
GC9G8R7 Brook’s Barmouth Bash #14 – Ditch by CazzaB80 Traditional D2.5/T3
GC9G8VB Brook’s Barmouth Bash #15 – Barmouth Sign by CazzaB80 Traditional D2.5/T2.5
GC9G8V1 Brook’s Barmouth Bash #16 – White Stile Wall by CazzaB80 Traditional D1.5/T2
GC9G8VP Brook’s Barmouth Bash #17 – Boulder Path by CazzaB80 Traditional D2.5/T3
GC9G8W7 Brook’s Barmouth Bash #18 – Llanaber by CazzaB80 Traditional D1.5/T1.5

At the time of writing this #9 has not been published.

Other News

We have missed the deadline for publishing an event for International Earthcache Weekend, 9-10th October, so sadly there will be no event this year. There is a souvenir for finding and logging an Earthcache anytime over the weekend.

Finally we would like to take this opportunity to wish sionyn68 a very speedy recovery from Covid 19, the hazards of being a teacher, and hope to see both Sion and Wendy at our next event.

Post Card from the Azores, Flores

After five and a half years planning we are here in Flores, the most westerly point of Europe, surrounded by the Atlantic ocean, next stop the USA. The scenery is truly amazing and we find ourselves repeatedly exclaiming WOW. With Waterfalls over half a kilometre high and volcano calderas two a penny here it’s hard to describe the beauty. Geocaches however are a contrast often a small fragile plastic bottle from a popular local non alcoholic drink being abandoned in strategic locations, without the respect of private property or stone walls. Our lack of Portuguese is a handicap even with google translate often the text and hint are often incomprehensible.

New Caches

Gwyn, another new cache on Anglesey……….
GC9FQCW Rhoscolyn High Ground by delbee1983 Traditional D1.5/T1.5

Events

Ever fancied a night in a bothy? Here is your chance………
GC9FN1B M-I-T-M-O-N #14 (again) Dulyn (again) by trebor nosnwot 24.9.2021

For anyone wishing to join us in the Azores there is still time to book your flights……….
GC9FNZ5 9 Usual Suspects on Tour – Angra do Heroísmo by 9 Usual Suspects 18.9.2021

Nosh & Natter 40

Jude with her leaving present

Tuesday saw the return of Nosh & Natters at the Anglesey, Caernarfon, the hardy few braved the cold August evening to enjoy the view of the Menai Straits. It also gave us a chance to give Jude100 an early send off as they are moving to Lancashire later in the month. Bob and Judy have been part of 9US since the beginning and have been part of many adventures over the years, their absence from events, especially CITOs, will be very much missed. On behalf of all the 9 Usual Suspects and their Geocaching Friends we would like to wish them all the very best in their ‘posh’ new home.

Will the flag be flying in Ainsdale?

Our GPS history and why we still use them along with our phones

We have been using a GPS since we started Geocaching way back in 2010. Our first GPS was the eTrex 10 with no maps, we just ‘followed the arrow’, it did however support downloading Geocaching GPX files via USB which made it ideal for Geocaching. A testament to the eTrex’s toughness and simple design is that this model, although revised is still available today. It was bomb proof had no touch screen just a thumb-operated joystick, monochrome display and a pointer to where the destination was, and how far away it was. The eTrex has exceptional battery life but was slow to get a signal and its accuracy was truly hit or miss under tree canopies. This little unit spawned many adventures for us.

Garmin eTrex 10 Patche99z, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

After a few years of finding ourselves on the wrong side of a river or having to make a long hike due to a dual carriageway or some other obstacle blocking our progress we decided on the Oregon 450T which had Ordnance Survey maps 1:50 k. This was a revelation and for the first time allowed us to see a map which allowed us to plot a route unhindered by obstructions. The Oregon 450t had a touch screen, a SD card slot for maps and extra data, an electronic compass, a barometric altimeter and could store thousands of Geocaches. We got about 6 years of use and abuse out of these units. Maintenance, mainly due to rough handling, resulted in screens being replaced, buttons fixed and other sundry parts replaced until they both were beyond repair. I recycled parts from both and with some bits off a Russian GPS breaker on eBay, a ‘Frankenstein’ Oregon 550 GPS was created, this had all the same features as the 450T it now sported a 3.2 megapixel geotagging camera. Although this unit has now slightly out of date OS maps it is still fully functional and in constant use to this day.

By Garmin - garmin.com, CC BY-SA 3.0,
Garmin 450T By Garmin – garmin.com, CC BY-SA 3.0,

I personally own a Garmin GPSMAP 64s now, I never liked the touchscreen which with my big hands didn’t work so well for me, I love the buttons and simple menu system. The unit has a good sized display that can be read in bright sunlight which was always a problem with the older models and mobile phones. The reception is great even under trees, and the unit is quick to get a GPS lock. The 64s uses GPS + GLONASS + WAAS although not Galileo. I also 3D printed a simple mod that allows rechargeable batteries to be used and charged in the unit whilst connected to USB. Bluetooth is available and in reality only useful for transferring Geocaches to another compatible unit, it’s a battery killing extra I don’t need and is designed for external sensors like heart rate, therefore remains switched off.

Garmin GSMAP 64S By Virgilinojuca – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0

So why do we still use this old tech? We get at least a couple of days battery life out of both the 550 and 64s which is a lot more than our mobile phones. If the battery runs out we just pop in another couple of AA batteries and off we go. They survive rough treatment much better than mobile phones. Detailed maps can be downloaded from sites like Open Street Maps and preloaded on SD Cards, these are always available even when there is no phone signal, this is also great for caching abroad where maps can be preloaded. They accurately track our route which can be examined in Garmin’s Basecamp software when we get home. I’m not saying GPS units are more useful than mobiles, but a phone with apps like Geocaching, C:geo, Looking 4 Cache is a perfect compliment to a GPS.

New Caches

We have 16 new caches this week, of which two are on Anglesey to ruin Gwyns map!
GC9FB3E Pont Ffatri Cymunod Bryngwran by TegwenEdwards Traditional D1.5/T1.5
GC9FB4H Water Pump Bryngwran by TegwenEdwards Traditional D1.5/T1.5

This series is an extension to the Slate Trail and guides you around the old slate workings at Aberllefenni.
GC9F3VH Miners’ Trail 1 by Oldquincepie Traditional D2.5/T1.5
GC9F3T4 Miners’ Trail 2 by Oldquincepie Traditional D2.5/T1.5
GC9F3TC Miners’ Trail 3 by Oldquincepie Traditional D2/T1.5
GC9F3TG Miners’ Trail 4 by Oldquincepie Traditional D2/T1.5
GC9F3TN Miners’ Trail 5 by Oldquincepie Traditional D3/T1.5
GC9F3TQ Miners’ Trail 6 by Oldquincepie Traditional D2/T1.5
GC9F3TV Miners’ Trail 7 by Oldquincepie Traditional D2/T1.5
GC9F3TZ Miners’ Trail 8 by Oldquinciepie Traditional D2/T1.5
GC9F3V0 Miners’ Trail 9 by Oldquinciepie Traditional D3/T1.5
GC9FDG6 Miners’ Trail 10 by Oldquinciepie Traditional D2/T1.5
GC9F3V4 Miners’ Trail 11 by Oldquinciepie Traditional D2/T1.5
GC9FDGA Miners’ Trail 12 by Oldquinciepie Traditional D3/T1.5
GC9F3TC Miners’ Trail 13 by Oldquinciepie Traditional D2/T1.5
GC9F3VB Miners’ Trail 14 by Oldquinciepie Traditional D2/T1.5

Nosh & Natter Reminder

GC9EXTX 9 Usual Suspect – Nosh & Natter 40


When: Tuesday 31st August
Where: Anglesey Arms, Harbour Front, Caernarfon LL55 1SG
Time: 7pm to 9pm or when the last person leaves

Our first N&N since February 2020! Let’s hope for a nice evening so that we can sit outside and watch the sunset while enjoying a beer or two. Please could the first ones to arrive ‘grab’ some tables as the pub does not take bookings on outside tables. All Welcome.

International Geocaching Day 2021

On Saturday 21st August, the 9 Usual Suspects celebrated 10th International Geocaching Day. The event was hosted by Bess’s Friends at Rocklands in Caergeiliog and despite the Met offices gloomy forecasts the rain held off. There was a great turnout with lots of the Usual Suspects along with some new faces. With the Geochat and food, of course, there were games this time organised by Bess’s Friends. The two teams were picked at random from a ‘hat’ with Bob and Steve being the first people out of the hat and therefore were nominated as team leaders. A treasure hunt was the first event and a great success for ‘Team Steve’, there was also a new throwing game donated by Team Marzipan which was successfully trialled, Elaine, Jude and Dawn were the only players to get a point, I think this says more about our collective dexterity than the game itself. ‘Team Bob’ fought back in subsequent games to win the competition by a narrow margin. Ray manned the BBQ and cooked the contributions bought by all, keeping up a regular supply of hot food for the afternoon. There also was a selection of home made cakes & puddings including a trifle from Sion, which complemented the great spread put on by Ray and Julie. The annual raffle was drawn, this one spanning 2 years due to covid with all the prizes being collected or posted to the winners. As part of the celebrations the 2021 TB Race was also started and the TBs embarked on their travels. The race can be tracked here as it unfolds over the coming year.

A huge thank you from all of us to Ray and Julie for their hard work in putting this event together.