Unfortunate first geocaching experience

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storchburp
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Unfortunate first geocaching experience

Post by storchburp » 19 November 12 8:54 pm

Thought I would quietly nip out and find my first cache - that would be First Name Basis : Wallace near the town of Wallace in VIC. I must stress that this is absolutely no fault of previous geocachers or its creater. I went alone.

As the grass was long on either side of the road and I didn't want to block someone's driveway, I did a u-turn at the end of the no through road in order to find the best spot to pull up. I noticed a female muggle jogging, who also did a u-turn at the end, and waited for her to pass before walking off the road and going to the cache. I found it, updated the log, and swapped an item.

When walking back to the car I was approached by a man in another vehicle demanding to know what I was doing and saying that I was following his daughter, and threatening to call the police. I wanted to be completely honest with him and told him I was geocaching, and that more importantly, I was following coordinates that were published on the internet with no expectation that his daughter would be there.

Maybe its the fact that I am non-white, male, and have a fairly thick accent, I do not know if I mispronounce the word 'geocacheing' and may seem more thretening in Australia. I pulled out my Garmin and offered to even show him what it was all about, that it involved a container placed at those coordinates, but he wouldn't hear any of it and just insisted I leave before he called the police. I felt it was only considerate to both him and future cachers to mention that other people would likely also go to the cache after myself, and that it was nobody's intention to alarm his daughter.

Other than simply not being on the same stretch of road, I don't know if there was anything I could have done to avoid the situation. Waiting till the muggle had passed me in order to discreetly access the cache was seen as following her, and there did not seem to be a better way to position the car without blocking other vehicles. I hope this is not a regular occurence.

Should I also mention this in the website? I fear the man may attempt to remove the cache to prevent people from going there in the future, but since he refused to see it or look closely at my Garmin, I don't know if he'll find it. Then again, being a large-ish and easy beginner's cache, who knows?

I'm truly sorry if my first trip had inconvenienced others :(

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caughtatwork
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Re: Unfortunate first geocaching experience

Post by caughtatwork » 19 November 12 9:07 pm

That cache has been there for over 5 years and 220+ finds and it's not exactly hidden in cloak and dagger fashion. From memory it's by the side of the road. Not much more obvious for 220+ people to be spotted.

While you don't want to get into an altercation, I would not have been worried had the police been called. They've been called on me before and you are not doing any illegal.

I think the old man was a little worried, but you shouldn't let his paranoia get to you. Log the find, go find another one. It's all part of the game.

Damo.
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Re: Unfortunate first geocaching experience

Post by Damo. » 19 November 12 9:26 pm

Just bad luck with your timing. I got pulled over by QLD police and had my car (illegally) searched once just because I missed an address i was driving to and did a u-turn at the same time they were doing one down the street and they thought I was fleeing.
Don't worry too much about it. Bury your head in a street directory next time instead of checking out the girl. :lol:

storchburp
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Re: Unfortunate first geocaching experience

Post by storchburp » 19 November 12 9:28 pm

Well yeah, as a beginner I went for an easy cache. Thanks for the assurance though. Hope he doesn't start fretting over future geocachers going to the location.

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Richary
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Re: Unfortunate first geocaching experience

Post by Richary » 19 November 12 10:59 pm

These things happen occasionally, not sure how he thought you were following his daughter though as you stopped and got out after she had gone past. Some people see what they want to I guess!

Sounds to me like you took the best approach which was to be honest about what you were doing and why you were there. I have had to show the police in Wellington NZ the app before when they caught me skulking in the bushes using the iPhone torch near the waterfront one night about 6 months ago.

covert
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Re: Unfortunate first geocaching experience

Post by covert » 19 November 12 11:33 pm

Been in a few spots like that. I polity ask them if it is a private road or a public road. I then offer them the number to call the police, advise the person I will be around for another 5 minutes and happy to explain my actions to the police, if they want to call the police they best hurry up.

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Cheesy pigs
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Re: Unfortunate first geocaching experience

Post by Cheesy pigs » 20 November 12 8:24 am

Damo, what do you mean illegally searched?

Police have the power to search without warrant any vehicle in a public place where they suspect the driver or occupant of the vehicle may have committed an offence ;)

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Re: Unfortunate first geocaching experience

Post by wyrdsister » 20 November 12 8:51 am

It is a sad reflection of peoples anxiety these days, don't take it to heart I think that regardless of nationality your gender may have placed you in the situation either way, this incident was about this familys head space. I would have encouraged him to call the police. Keep on caching you will soon outweigh this bad experience and have a good time. Hope to catch you out there. Wyrdsister

Damo.
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Re: Unfortunate first geocaching experience

Post by Damo. » 20 November 12 2:28 pm

Cheesy pigs wrote:Damo, what do you mean illegally searched?

Police have the power to search without warrant any vehicle in a public place where they suspect the driver or occupant of the vehicle may have committed an offence ;)
Well I did a turn on a suburban dead end road and was stationary indicating my intention to turn into a driveway when the police car blocked me off and the officers questioned me what I was doing there and had me open the boot of the car. Like I said, just bad timing as they were turning at the end of the road at the same time. My behaviour of then driving very slowly for 20 metres indicating to turn into a driveway after I spotted them was obviously suspicious enough for them to suspect me of an offence and search my vehicle. Reasonable grounds then?

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Cheesy pigs
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Re: Unfortunate first geocaching experience

Post by Cheesy pigs » 20 November 12 2:36 pm

Unfortunately for you yeah it could be. If there was a history of burgs in the area then yeah they may be targetting anything driving slowly through that might look like they were casing houses.

Always being up front when stopped by the police is the way to go :)

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caughtatwork
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Re: Unfortunate first geocaching experience

Post by caughtatwork » 20 November 12 2:58 pm

Absolute honesty. Even caught on camera. Doh!
http://www.caughtatwork.com.au/caughtatwork.avi (1.6MB avi file)

LouiseAnn
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Re: Unfortunate first geocaching experience

Post by LouiseAnn » 20 November 12 4:22 pm

Do you know who that was?

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caughtatwork
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Re: Unfortunate first geocaching experience

Post by caughtatwork » 20 November 12 5:12 pm

LouiseAnn wrote:Do you know who that was?
Me :oops:

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blossom*
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Re: Unfortunate first geocaching experience

Post by blossom* » 20 November 12 6:48 pm

caughtatwork wrote:
LouiseAnn wrote:Do you know who that was?
Me :oops:
I suspect your current avatar photo might not look an awful lot like you in reality :lol:

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Facitman
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Re: Unfortunate first geocaching experience

Post by Facitman » 20 November 12 8:27 pm

blossom* wrote:
caughtatwork wrote:
LouiseAnn wrote:Do you know who that was?
Me :oops:
I suspect your current avatar photo might not look an awful lot like you in reality :lol:
I can absolutely assure everyone that the c@w avatar is a true and accurate photo of the man himself. no photoshop.

If it wasn't the fact that some members of this community actually fit this description I would also suggest that he is currently a maths/statistics lecturer at a leading Australian University.
:lol: :lol:

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