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Cacher of the Month - September 2010

Flotsom and Jetsom

Flotsom and Jetsom

Flotsom and Jetsom

The first time I had an opportunity to meet Flotsom and Jetsom was at an event held at the Assiniboine Park Zoo in 2008. They worked with the Manitoba Zoological Society (of which, they are members), and with the MBGA to create several themed and educational caches within the zoo, an event, and a challenge. They had cachers roaming around the zoo, attempting to be stealthy with the myriad of zoo muggles also wandering about. The day was a lot of fun, family friendly and very well organized. Since then, they have also hosted and co-ordinated two more Zoo events with new caches and new challenges each year. Many new geocachers are introduced to the sport through these events. I'm very proud to have them as our Zoo ambassadors to geocaching.

  1. When did you start Geocaching?
  2. We have been caching for about 4 years when Jetsom received a GPS from our son as a birthday gift - hooked from then on.

  3. How did you find out about Geocaching?
  4. The gift came with a note about the website - prior to that we hadn't heard about it.

  5. What was it about geocaching that got you hooked into the game?
  6. Obsessive compulsive disorder - just HAVE to make it to the "next" milestone.

  7. Have you cached in any other provinces, countries?
  8. We have travelled extensively in North America and w. Europe and we've taken the GPS on all our trips. We love geocaching along the route to give us a break from driving and to discover some of the local highlights and history along the way. - furthest geocaches - south of France, Texas and New Mexico. Wish we had been into caching when we were even further afield.

  9. Have you ever introduced someone to geocaching? If so, who?
  10. Oh yes…people leave the room when we begin to expound. Friends, relatives, youth group and anyone dead or alive who stays in our orbit long enough.

  11. How do you describe the sport of Geocaching to your family and friends who haven't tried it yet?
  12. Hide and seek or a treasure hunt for geeks

  13. What are other interests or hobbies that you have (please go into detail / accomplishments)?
  14. Both of us are retired now: Flotsom formerly a library "storylady" and Jetsom was a scientist with the Canadian Grain Commission. Since retiring we have been blessed with our first grandchild and light of our lives. We spend lots of time thinking about her and making little toys and books for her. Otherwise, Flotsom occupies her time gardening, quilting, baking and thinking up jobs for Jetsom. Jetsom still consults in the agriculture industry, with science in the schools and is coediting a book on canola. His other interests are photography, curling, golf, entertaining at seniors homes and keeping out of Flotsom's way. We are both involved in church work and community volunteering: meals on wheels, Manitoba museum, UNICEF and other "worthy causes"..

  15. What are some things you don't like about geocaching? What are your pet peeves?
  16. Caches that take you to potentially dangerous spots or where we intrude on others' space - thinking here of some caches we've done near creeks, rivers and bridges which appear to be the "living rooms" of homeless people or drug/party sites. Also - not much of a fan of caches along busy thorofares. People who don't fill in the attributes on the cache descriptions such as size of cache. And cachers who don't replace caches carefully. On a personal level - why is it we always seem to arrive at caches by the "back door" and see the path AFTER we've bushwhacked, waded or muddled our way to the cache.

  17. What is the most interesting/unusual place that geocaching has taken you?
  18. We enjoy caching as we travel so we've been to some interesting spots - eg> the real GROUND ZERO in Greenwich, Eng, Grand Canyon, midpoint of Highway 66 (Adrian, Texas), caching series in Sarlat, France.

  19. What is the most memorable cache that you have found (or tried to find?)?
  20. Really enjoy the caches which are of historical note -eg. in Nebraska there is one placed close to the ruts (still visible) made by wagon trains on the Oregon Trail, Locally there are some interesting caches placed by the Bergman family highlighting local history/events (eg Headingly) which we weren't aware of even though we've lived here all our lives. We also enjoyed caching through the Swan River Valley - many sites of abandoned churches and schools are remembered with caches and these are very poignant. Always enjoy the earth caches and caches placed at scenic spots as well.

  21. What is your favorite Caching Story?
  22. Meeting fellow cacher at Greenwich (and was able to keep in touch when he visited Canada), exchanging travel bugs with Dutch cacher whom we met at a cache in Sante Fe., NM

  23. What is your most interesting item found in a cache?
  24. A mini first aid kit - which came in handy on the very next cache when some bushes attacked our legs.

  25. What items if any do you carry with you when you go on a hunt?
  26. Aside from GPSr's we have a small bumpack with extra batteries, multitool and small trading items or, when in the country, a larger backpack with similar plus a flashlight, first aid and emergency supplies and cord, mosquito repellent, net, rain poncho etc.

  27. What kind of GPSr do you use?
  28. We have a Megellan Triton 300 and a Garmin Etrex Vista as handhelds and 2 Garmin Automotive (long story) that are useful for driving to caches.

  29. What methods do you use to avoid muggle detection?
  30. Just the standard: camera, cel phone, shoe lace, clip board survey stuff - actually we are always amazed at how little interest we attract - eg walking through the zoo carrying decoys, saws, pipes etc.

  31. What is the meaning of your username?
  32. We thought of lots of names: Blue bottle and Eccles from the Goon show, for example, but since flotsom and jetsom kind of implies washed up, floating free, go with the tide kind of stuff - we thought it described our more laissez (lazy) faire attitude since retirement.

  33. What was the most memorable travel bug that you have found?
  34. A geotag which someone placed in honour of his mother who loved to travel but died of cancer before she had many opportunities. The cacher felt his mum would enjoy "watching down" on the geotag's journeys. This got us thinking about our own loved ones and we placed "hospice" cache in their memory and as a place to put the geotag on it's first stop in Winnipeg.

  35. Which geocachers do you respect or standout to you the most?
  36. We owe a real tip of the hat to a number of cachers. Really enjoy the "lake" caches placed by Xplorer and Ramblin' Rose - we have a cottage in the Whiteshell and they keep us busy with lots of interesting walks. They have also placed a number of caches highlighting spots of historic interest in Manitoba and N. Dakota (and possibly Elsewhere). Some of their caches have been very challenging as well. We also always enjoy caches placed by the Bergmannfamily - they are thoughtfully placed to bring you to an interesting spot or have an interesting connection. They have lead us around the mulberry bush a few times too. OHMIC's caches are quirky and fun - and again get us walking to some beautiful spots. We are very grateful for the work done by all the MBGA "pioneers" to lay an array of interesting caches and welcome the "new" challenges as well. It's amazing what people come up with.

  37. With whom do you normally go geocaching?
  38. Mostly we cache together but occasionally with the youth group at church or our son.

  39. If you could cache anywhere in the world, where would you like to go?
  40. Back to some of the places we've been prior to geocaching - France, Japan, Hawaii, Poland, Yellowstone, Utah, Wyoming, Cape Breton - if we'd only known….

  41. Is there a challenging local cache you have in your sights right now? Which one?
  42. SOMEDAY maybe we'll find the King's park and Headingly caches by 1Queenand4Jokers and Bergman family which continue to elude us.

  43. Of your placed caches, which is your favorite? Why?
  44. Hardrock Caché (Whiteshell) The name and the "trick". We have enjoyed setting up the zoo series on an annual basis. Scott Gray, education director at the park, is very supportive and encouraging and has been great to work with. It's a challenge to think up the caches within the constraints of the zoo, and really a pleasure for us to read the logs as people have enjoyed the zoo and the caching with their families.

  45. What kind of books do you prefer to read? What was the last book you read?
  46. Historical and "travel" mysteries. CJ Sansom mystery series.

  47. Can you play a musical instrument?
  48. Flotsom - piano, Jetsom - guitar

  49. How far from your house is the nearest unfound cache?
  50. About 2 blocks to International Mobility Portal - we don't often do puzzle caches but - who knows.

  51. Besides your GPSr, what other tools (electronic or otherwise), or software do you make use of?
  52. We use MacCaching, Garmin Base Camp, Garmin POI Loader, and Magellan Vantagepoint (very disappointed that Magellan does not support Mac software for Triton series)

  53. Do you use your GPSr for other reasons other than Geocaching?
  54. We often use the automotive GPSr when travelling to find destinations and we also have been using our portable GPSr's when hiking to keep track of our trails.

  55. What is in your iPod/CD player right now?
  56. My (Jetsom's) ipod has about 9000 items ranging from pop, through C&W, folk, bluegrass, gospel, classical and jazz. The last music we had listened to was Jacob Hagg's Nordic Symphony and before that some Swing Music.

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