Found: 22 Jan 2012
And so it was, in honour of my 40 years on this planet, that we found ourselves at Port Welshpool for a lovely evening meal at the Pier Port Hotel. Half watching as geo-husband and geo-son flexed their respective ego’s around the pool table, I sat chatting with geo-daughter and tentatively tested the geo-waters. Casually whipping out my iPhone in a manner which in reality screamed “ohmygodeveryonelookatmeihaveaniphone” I tap tap tapped until the Groundspeak app launched.
By the time the battle weary men had returned, geo-daughter and I had already discovered there was a cache hidden not too far away, and had hatched a plan to seek it out on our way home. After finishing an absolutely amazing meal – I highly recommend the food here – our search party was duly formed, instructions given, and off we went. Destination? The Long Jetty.
We’ve been here before of course, but never for the reason that brought us here tonight. The Long Jetty actually has quite a history. It’s 1km long (reputed to be the longest jetty in the Southern Hemisphere) and was built and opened in 1939 for Naval ships to use during wartime, and then later during peacetime it was used by commercial fishing boats. It’s closed to traffic now but I remember coming here as a kid and seeing cars driving down to the end of the jetty, can’t blame them… it’s a long way to run back if you run out of beer while you’re fishing rod is in the water.
In 2003 there was a fire on the jetty, and the Gippsland Port Authority closed it off, putting up fencing and a gate to restrict access. Luckily the Port Welshpool Working Group quickly jumped in and had it proclaimed a heritage site, before anyone got any ideas of pulling the jetty down. The desire of this group is to see it restored, reopened and boasting an Underwater Observatory at the end of the jetty – I hope they get the funding, that’s gonna be an awesome place to hide a cache!
So a short stroll along this historic jetty quickly had us to Ground Zero, or GZ as I soon learned it’s affectionately known in the caching world. Geo-son retrieved the cache and we emptied it out amidst much ooh’ing and ahh’ing. And then it happened. I picked up the pen which was in the box, all excited and ready to declare triumphantly to the world that we had found this cache… and the freaking pen wouldn’t work. Like a doctor who won’t let a flat-lining patient go, I was frantically working away at the pen to pump some life back into it. Eventually geo-husband touched me gently on the shoulder and told me it was time to let the pen go. And so it was that we left the Long Jetty, unable to leave our mark on the cache, and not even anything swappable in our pockets that would allow us to take a memento of the wondrous occassion. Farewell Long Jetty, I won’t forget you, or the moment we shared together.