They’re the muggles you never thought you’d have to worry about: seals. And for Pauline Driessen (Nekozoeki) placing a geocache near one of her favorite places on earth, the habitat for hundreds of seals, provided an experience she never expected. She says, “I’m a Dutch Flight attendant and I’ve stumbled upon the fun of geocaching a little under two years ago. I’m now 1097 caches in 41 countries further and it’s become a huge part of my (flying) life.”
Pauline aka Nekozoeki
The seals’ swooping underwater ballet inspired Pauline. “One of my favorite spots in the world is the Cape Fur Seal Colony of Duiker Island, near Houtbay in South Africa. Every time my airline sends me there, I go down to dive with them. During one of these dives I met my dive master friend (and now cachebuddy) “Tomdog707.” Together we hatched a plan for a super cool underwater cache to show the rest of the (geocaching) world this awesome place!”
Weeks of planning, working with a marine biologist and exchanging emails with geocaching community volunteer reviewer ROTSIP paid off on one day.
Pauline says, “It was finally time to head back to South Africa for all the fun: First we constructed a seal proof container with dive slate logbook in the tool shed of my friend. Then we hiked up a mountain to hide evil seal bonus cache GC2Z8C9 “Gotta dive deep to reach the top!” and then the grand finale: time to install GC47Y71 “Cape Fur Seals and the Great White Mystery” below the waves.”
Placing the geocache
Pauline’s friend and photographer Olivia Anderson captured the geocache placement. So far everything had gone to plan. Then Pauline says crafting and brain storming the geocache sparked something with her new dive master friend, “So I met dive master Tom. Nice guy, had a fun diving, nothing more. Tom had never heard of geocaching but thought it was cool. Like old buddies, (we were) working on the geocache in the tool shed, hiking up a mountain to place the bonus cache, crawling in T5 caves and finally diving down to place the cache.”
Geocachers diving in to log the FTF
Then she blurted something out, “Is it strange that I’m starting to realize I’m kinda missing you?” He blurted something back. Now the two watch the geocache listing together and plan time in South Africa for even more diving.
The good luck keeps rolling. A team of geocaching divers logged the FTF shortly after the geocache was published. They rewarded Pauline and Tom with great logs.
Geocacher paddawon writes, “I was feeling a bit rusty but followed AndyT1 overboard and down we went. The great white mystery was soon to reveal itself. We opened the fantastic container and signed the logbook… The seals were beginning to awaken from their slumber and get out of bed. Soon they were whizzing all around us… All too soon we surfaced and gracefully clambering back on board the board. I think some of the seals acquabatics must have rubbed off. What a fantastic cache! A huge amount of time and effort has gone into the container and makes it all the more worth while. Thanks to Nekozoeki and Tomdog707 for placing the cache and getting me out here.”
The geocache is right about there… if you have scuba gear.