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MONTEREY LIFE

Dive into Scubacaching

Mon, Feb 20, 2012 at 12:00AM

You've probably heard about geocaching, an ongoing scavenger hunt-type activity where a GPS is used to place and find hidden containers of small treasures that can then be traded with other participants, anywhere on land, around the globe. A logbook is also kept with each cache to record its visitors. Geocaching recently celebrated its 12th anniversary, and today there are more than 1,645,000 active geocaches, with more than 5 million geocachers searching for them worldwide.



So it's no surprise really, that the game has now expanded to an underwater treasure hunt called scubacaching.



Scubacaching is the latest underwater challenge for experienced boaters and divers. It's a great way to test and improve your navigation skills and make your next dive a real adventure! Check out sites such as www.alertdiver.com/scuba_caching, which planted some caches in locations across the U.S. last year for beginning scubacachers to find. You can form teams of scubacachers and outline some rules or goals of your own home game that lasts a day, a weekend, a vacation, or the entire summer.



Scubacaching closely follows the rules of terrestrial geocaching, with several exceptions. Underwater caches can be placed anywhere -- from lakes to reefs to deep down in the ocean, but they must always be within recreational diving limits. Obviously the cache needs to be waterproof, able to withstand water pressure and corrosion, and should not be buoyant. It has to stay underwater, and anchored really well. Any underwater cache that needs special equipment such as scuba gear to find, must be classified as a difficult category/Type 5 (T5).



In addition, GPS co-ordinates for underwater caches are taken from the spot where a boat anchors, so visual reference clues should be provided to help scubacachers locate the exact underwater home of their target.



Why not have some fun on your Monterey and take the scubacaching challenge with your fellow divers this year?

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