Maccamob interview transcript

Day1976  0:00  

Hi, my name is Day from Day1976 and today we’re talking to maccamob from Victoria. Maccamob started geolocation in April 2002 and has since found nearly 40,000 geocaches and hidden over 150. With the exception of the lockdowns in Victoria over the last couple of years, they have geocached consistently now for 20 years. Hi, David and Mary, how are you today?

Mary  0:24  

Hello, day.

David  0:25  

Very well.

Day1976  0:26  

That’s good. So I’m just going to jump straight into it. First question. Do you remember your first geocache find?

David  0:35  

Oh, very definitely. Yes, it was called the You Yangs Library stash and it’s still going. That’s a funny story though. Our daughter geojo actually started cachjng a few days before we did. And she in turn had found out about it from our eldest daughter and her husband, who were in South Australia at the time. Anyway, I went down to visit her just before we started caching, because she needed some odd jobs done. And I happen to spot a handbook for GPS on her desk. And I said What’s this and see the hidden there the GPS, why? Because she didn’t want me to know about it. But anyway, she had to confess when I found the the instruction book, and we went out together and found a cache under a bridge in Geelong. And then I went home and told Mary  all about it, and she sounded a bit interested in so my birthday was coming up, I bought a GPS and so even though I’d found one with Joanna the You Yang Libraries stash was our first cache and the first one we have logged

Mary  1:48  

and Joanna was with us then too.

Day1976  1:51  

Okay. It was a one of Geoff’s Caches?

David  1:55  

it was, yes, it was quite an adventure. Now you get to drive up into the into the You Yangs and then Park I think it was a couple 100 meters from where the cache was 

Mary  2:06  

and rushing through spider webs and cobwebs and all sorts of things. Wet undergrowth. And there it was, initially, the girls had thought, oh mum won’t like this. She could go shopping, or sit in the car and read. But I was hooked from that absolute first one.

Day1976  2:29  

That was good. So do you remember how you worked out way you had to park or how, how you got close to it or?

David  2:37  

Yeah, the first GPS we bought was pretty much state of the art at the time, it was a Magellan Meridian platinum. Now Joanna’s GPS, you could sort of see where you’re going while you’re moving. But the platinum was the first one that had a built in electronic compass. So you could, you could sort of stand on a spot and swing it around and see which way which way you had to go. And it also had maps built in. So we could look on that and see where the cache was and see where the nearest road was, and make our way there. There were no such thing as Google Maps in those days, of course. So you used a combination of the GPS, and the old Melways to get wherever you needed to go. Caching with Melways, yes. Mary used to have fun turning it around, was always pointing the right way.

Mary  3:36  

But then I’d look at a church or some interesting building, and I’d lose my place and be in big trouble.

Day1976  3:43  

Do you remember what the website was like when you joined up?

David  3:46  

Very basic. There. Of course, there were weren’t as many cache types, then there were no such thing as favorite points or souvenirs. Very basic.

Mary  3:57  

Was there a DT?

David  4:00  

Oh, yes. You had the difficulty in terrain ratings. Were there from day one. But yeah, the main thing was there was nowhere near as much supporting information as you get these days

Day1976  4:10  

now with attributes and

David  4:13  

attributes. Now, I don’t think they were, as I said, No, no, you know, no such thing as lab caches or, or wherigos, Oh, I still had locationless caches Of course, they didn’t disappear until sometime later.

Mary  4:30  

And of course we printed the page out is

David  4:35  

we have a collection of pages. Going back about 10 years, I think in our study.

Day1976  4:44  

So do you remember what the geocaching community was like? When you started

David  4:48  

very, very small. So small, in fact that we sometimes would have to wait for three weeks or something like that, for somebody to hide a cache so we can rush off and find it

Mary  4:59  

and then they would wait until we’ve done sort of the three or four local ones. And then we would go and hide some caches

David  5:07  

and then there would be a rush for those.

Mary  5:10  

We once went all the way to the South Australian Border almost almost, and couldn’t find it. So we came home again, kids couldn’t believe that.

David  5:21  

But the funny thing was, we we then got a  hint from the owner. Because this was a very well camouflaged, small, tiny cachee. And we went back must have been a week or a couple of weeks later, and got first to find,

Day1976  5:37  

FTF’s then lasted a long time. Yes. So were you in regular contact with like other geocachers? 

David 5:47  

So we picked up some fairly good friends early on. And when the only way you could keep in touch then was was either by email or landline? If so say this is still in the days before mobile phones.

Mary  6:05  

And there were events

David  6:08  

I should say before mobile before smartphones, were clunky, mobile phones were of no use for caching. 

Day1976  6:18  

So you mentioned you had some some friends, some friends from the early days, you had some long lasting friends from cahcing

Mary  6:24  

very dear. Oh, absolutely.

David  6:27  

Biggles bear. Muzza. AlanSee. Crackers, crackers, ppress. Lots of Yeah. Still very, very good friends.

Day1976  6:38  

Yes. Yes. So you mentioned before your trip to South Australia. Do you remember your first big geocaching trip? Well,

David  6:44  

that was it. And our daughter and her husband were based in South Australia at the time. So we, we used to go there time time. Anyway, this just gave us another excuse. I think we found our very first magnetic cache on that trip. And that was a real eye opener for us. Ah, never seen such a thing before. Now, it was a good trip. And after that, of course, you know, you do remember some of these long trips. Our daughter eventually got posted or her husband eventually got posted to the US. And we went and visited them there several times. And those overseas trips are very, very memorable.

Mary  7:28  

I think we were the first team to cachee in all the US states. Quite a few have done that since

Day1976  7:35  

the first time. Anyone or the first team for first team in Australia. 

Mary  7:41  

The first team in Australia, quite amazing. And to get the ape cache and headquarters, and

David  7:51  

that was on a first US trip is the first time we went there. You could only get in by invitation. And of course Emme was our first Victorian reviewer. And we got in touch with him and said can you wangle some invitations? So he contacted one of the people over there that he knew and lo and behold, an invitation was forthcoming and we went to visit and it was great. Early 2000s Yeah, not long after we started. I think I think 2004 was our first US trip. Yes. That’s what only been going a couple years at that stage. Wow.

Mary  8:41  

But we have had to compromise with lockdowns and I have to confess I have a weekly Zoom meeting with alcohol with Mrs. Crackers Mrs. Prass and Mrs. Honeysucker

Day1976  8:58  

I bet they are  not recorded are they. 

Mary  9:04  

Hell No! 

Day1976  9:04  

In 20 years what would you say is your most memorable geocaching experience

David  9:11  

there’s no single one.

Mary  9:15  

I can’t imagine a life without caching cachers and events. And I think for me as a an old XRN it gives me a chance to care and share and look after people. I’m certainly a tech dinosaur, I lead leave all that up to David but I can do my butterfly flitting around socializing and he can get on with his stuff.

David  9:44  

But for me, some of the more memorable experiences have been group outings, may be chasing a series of difficult caches with a with a group of other people. Those the overseas ones, of course I mentioned before. But yeah, well, they’ve been some some great group trips, DJ casher was in Shepparton. And at the time, these days now down at the Lakes Entrance, organized several trips over a few years up into the high country. And they were, because of the difficulties with convoys of four wheel drives in that sort of area, they were limited numbers, generally sort of by invitation, which wouldn’t be allowed these days for events, you’re not allowed to restrict attendance. But though those trips were very, very memorable, I remember one of them was up, there was still a lot of there was still snow around, and it covered at Anzac Day, and one of the guys had bought along a flag. And we had our own little Anzac day ceremony in the middle of nowhere. That was, that was great.

Day1976  10:58  

So in those early days, you talked about teaming up with crackers and pprass and all those BigglesBear there. Any

David  10:58  

of those people we met. Some of them we were there most and we met at events. But you know, what’s gone on from there…

Day1976  11:14  

Uh, how do you think the game has changed over the years

David  11:19  

So many ways, apart from just the sheer growth of numbers of people? You know, obviously, we talked, we mentioned smartphones before, I think that’s made a big impact on the varied and some of the very specialized, clever little app, she can get around on your phone, although I still prefer to use a GPS. So that’s been a big change. So the number of case types that have been introduced now the the arrival of programs like GSAK that to help you out with your planning, oh, changed in a big way?

Mary  11:56  

Who would have thought kayaks and ladders, fishing poles, tools of the trade? Now, we’re never going to do rope cases. But David’s got an E bike. And he keeps thinking, or it’s not good enough. It’s not big enough. It’s not red enough. But you can always see things that other people have. And when you think oh my…

Day1976  12:23  

A little bit of cache envy..Oh Yes. So you took that technology and smartphones and they’ve seen it change the game? Do you think that’s for better or worse direction? 

Mary  12:39  

I would say better.

David  12:41  

Yeah. Yeah, it’s, it’s, I think a lot with the advent of smartphones. We see a lot of people try out geocaching, and then move on. So a lot of the numbers that are there today might not be there tomorrow. But I think overall, it’s still growing. And people are interested in hanging around for a long time.

Day1976  13:08  

So after 20 years of geocaching, what keeps you coming back to the game?

David  13:13  

Oh, I think we always used to like travel. But this gives us some reason to, to go to particular areas or so it gives us another dimension to that travel. So that’s part of it. I think, the friends we’ve made as another part of it. And seeing new ideas and new ways of doing things. It just contributes to the ongoing interest.

Mary  13:44  

I just hope we’re around for the next 20 years

Day1976  13:53  

In the next 20 years, what do you see the future vacation could be like? What can you imagine like? Hmm,

David  14:00  

I guess I guess, looking on looking back and then using that project forward, I suppose there might be even more case types in the future. More Apps will do the Yeah, I think that there’ll be more apps or perhaps some more comprehensive ones or ones that do the same job even better. I think there’s been a small improvement in GPS accuracy over the years. Well, I think the downside of that is a lot of the more inexperienced finders have unrealistic expectations about accuracy. And if it’s not there, you know, when they’re standing on what they think is ground zero and they can’t see the cache there’s something wrong. So I still need archived I still go by the you know, I think anything under 10 metres is pretty good. But that’s colored by the early experiences.

Day1976  15:00  

Thanks for the interview today guys it’s a great insight into the early days of geolocation it’s something as you know has interested me for quite a long time

David  15:08  

yes

Mary  15:09  

it’s been a pleasure and an honour and please stay stay positive and test negative