2009-05-28 -37 144
-37.91092°, 144.796661°. Right on the coast of the Cheetham Wetlands Park, east of Point Cook, south of Altona in Melbourne's west.
Felix Dance and Stevage
Stevage and I were at having pizza and beer in Saint Kilda, with the location of the hashpoint in the back of our minds. It was a good one - right on the beach in a wetlands park on the other side of town.
At about 10:30pm, after everyone else had left to go home to bed, Stevage and I decided to make a go for the geohash point. Quickly packing my bike in Stevage's car (to minimise transport after the hash) and grabbing the GPS and camera from his flat around the corner, we headed off across the Westgate Bridge and towards Point Cook.
Upon arrival at the end of the road past Point Cook at the Cheetham Wetlands park, with 1.5kms to walk through the wetlands, Stevage managed to puncture my front bike tyre as he was getting the gear for the journey.
No matter, we headed off into the night, with nothing but a bike light and GPS bearing to guide our way over fences, through mud, around small bushes and over creeks, the light from the city and nearby oil refineries illuminating our way.
With only a few hundred metres left to go, and only 20 minutes or so until midnight (at which point the geohash would become invalidated), we found ourselves in a tense situation: a series of interlocking wetland lakes lay sprawled between us and our destination on the coast. Luckily, it turned out that these lakes were largely just pools of congealed mud at the places we wanted to walk, and so we soon made it to the beach. With only a few minutes until midnight we counted down the metres until the geohash point had been attained. It was 25 metres from the water, just off the sand on a mat of wetland bushes.
Here we took a few photos of ourselves and the GPS (see below) and then moved onto some experimental photography with Stevage's camera of 15 second exposures of us and the city (it was quite hard to stay still for that amount of time). We drank a bottle of James Squire Porter (a local beer) while we watched the lights of the city across the bay and congratulated ourselves on what could have been the perfect geohash location.
After about 45 minutes or so we slowly set ourselves towards getting home, stopping only to climb up a viewing tower to see the full extent of the wetlands as illuminated by the ever-present oil refinery. On the drive back we passed my freeway construction site where my workmate was working nightshift and I taunted her with teasing messages. The joke was on me, though, as I had to be at work that day at 7am, and I was from that night developing a cold that would plague me for the next few days.
Still totally worth it.
| Felix Dance and Stevage earned the Midnight Geohash achievement