Whether sailing around the BVI on a charter yacht or whiling away the days in a rental villa, the challenge often facing the holidaymaker is to find something to do to get lazy crew or friends off the boat or out of the house and exploring the beauty of the islands.
Long days in the hammock or lounging in the infinity pool are not to be sneezed at, but sometimes you have to get up and go do something. Especially if there’s a bunch of teens or tweens involved. Those guys have energy to burn, and they’d otherwise be busting up the rental property if you didn’t have a plan involving physical exertion and mental application.
Some areas offer hiking trails or destinations, such as Salt Island or Jost Van Dyke’s Bubbly Pool, but for those wanting a greater challenge or a reason to try an unfamiliar destination, there still remains a large obstacle to overcome: inertia.
When the gamers have had enough of the Play Station or Mad Killer Sniper Attacks, and it’s time to get all 3-D and real world on their short attention spans, geocaching’s the answer. It’s a puzzle, it’s a physical challenge, it’s a competition and, best of all, it costs nothing (well, almost).
Photo by David Blacklock.
Geocaching is basically a type of treasure hunt propelled by the GPS chip incorporated into a smart phone or in a portable navigation unit. Following clues and data, mostly in the form of a latitude/longitude position obtained from the website such as geocaching.com, users proceed to the cache site they’ve chosen to explore and then search for a container that might reveal a trinket or some other kind of swag. Or, if you prefer, you can set up your own private caches close to your house or preferred anchorage to keep bored crew from mutiny and away from the boat or villa for an hour or three. If you’re traveling in company with other boats, you can set up a competition with winners, losers and rum.
Some caches might include a clue leading to yet another site mere yards or even miles away. And so the adventure proceeds. Part of the fun is in logging the discoveries made and attempting discoveries of increasing difficulty. One of the odd things about geocaching is that players rarely encounter one another in the field—although they often encounter evidence of other players’ recent presence at sites.
The geocaching.com web site logs 32 different caches in the British Virgin Islands, ranging from Sage Mountain to the north shore of Anegada by way of the Soggy Dollar and Saba Rock. So what are you waiting for? Grab your smart phone or your GPS, a decent pair of shoes, and get searching