Northernpenguin has been voted this month’s Cacher of the Month. Lets see if we can get him to stop snapping pictures long enough to answer some of our questions.
Q and A with Northernpenguin
Q: Where do you call home?
Q: Where does the name Northernpenguin come from?
A: The penguin is the mascot of Linux, my preferred operating system. I live in the northern hemisphere, so I added Northern. I like to geocache in the wintertime, in weather most suitable for penguins. And more importantly, my wife says penguins are cute.
Q: When you are not caching, what do you do? (work and/or relax?)
A: During the week, I make sure all the computers at work keep talking to each other. On the weekend, I am rarely apart from my wife and two cats, or from my camera. I love to photograph landscapes and will often set out in search of a cache, only to stop for the sake of a photo.
Q: How long have you been geocaching?
A: About 4 years. My first cache find was in July 2003 with a borrowed gps. I did not find many other caches until GHAGAFAP III in September 2004. We decided after that event that we had to get a GPS and I found myself out caching on a weekly basis.
Q: How did you find out about geocaching?
A: When we moved to Georgetown in 2003, my sister-in-law of the team “Alden and his mom”, showed up to our housewarming party with a GPS and a print out of a cache. She had chosen that cache, res2100’s “Please Water the Flowers”(GCAF17), because it was only a couple hundred metres from our new house. Our whole extended family enjoyed going for the walk and solving his puzzle together. That pretty much hooked us on the game.
Q: Have you gotten anyone else involved in the sport?
A: I have introduced many co-workers, family, and friends, as well as the occasional muggle that I startled on the trail to a cache.
Q: What gear do you use for caching?
A: I am always looking to upgrade my gear. I currently rely on a Magellan eXplorist 600 for most of my caching. I started with a Garmin eTrex Legend, and that now powers my HAM Radio for APRS. I also use a PDA with Cachemate on it. An essential part of my gear of course, is my Nikon D200, as I do not want to miss any opportunities for photos.
Q: Tell us some of your caching milestones. (First, most memorable etc.)
A: I’ll always remember visiting GC5F44 – Mr Whiteface near Lake Placid. This was one of the first 10 caches I visited with Kitten on the Hunt, and it was also the second highest at 4000′. GHMCMC was one of the first “series” that I completed, and that series brought me to some really interesting places.
Q: What are your favourite caches?
A: It would be too difficult to pick a favourite cache as there are so many, but I generally find my favourite caches to be the ones that have given me a sense of accomplishment when I arrive. The accomplishment could be from having solved a puzzle, having finished a long hike, or having discovered an interesting new place to take photos. The thrill of finding a cache that had unique camouflage or was hidden in a creative way, can also make it a favourite of mine.
Q: What are your least favourite caches?
A: There have been a few caches in areas that seemed to be the ‘wrong end of town’, especially at night when I do most of my caching, and in those cases I have chosen not to continue the search because I felt uncomfortable there.
Q: Any recent highlights you would like to share?
A: Myself and a small group of geocachers managed to survive all the way through a 39 km expedition led by res2100 along the Bruce Trail (GCZZZ2). I look forward to doing it again in a few months with them. I also had a lot of fun recently helping host the BFL Boot Camp II – GC14ECD, with an incredibly proactive group of volunteers and our weekly nightcaching buddies, “The Keepers of the Order of the BFL”. I would say event caches like these are my most favourite aspect of the game, because I enjoy the camaraderie of all the cachers at them.
Q: Any thoughts on caching you would like to share?
A: Geocaching has entertainment value for everyone of just about every ability, physical and intellectual, because of its variety. There is a wealth of different types of geocaches and I think this should be encouraged, as few other sports appeal so greatly to the different strengths we all have. As geocaching evolves, I hope it remains a game that is fun for everyone, from the geocachers who find the caches, to the owners who research and hide the caches, to the approvers who volunteer their time to check them.
Thanks to Northernpenguin for taking time out between finding caches to share a few moments with all of us. Always looking forward to reading about your adventures.