Turf Blog 03-11-22

Gosford Bay, East Lothian, my destination for the day. I’m here to bag the small handful of uniques that have been lying there for some time, all doing their best to annoy me into taking them. Just looks untidy having a few isolated red dots in a sea of white dots. I’m walking along the beach towards Kilspindie and I’m pondering one of the mysteries of the universe. And no, not if Elvis is still alive, not if UFOs exist or not. Actually, I’m thinking about the sea, or rather water in particular. Water is largely comprised of two elements, oxygen and hydrogen, both gases, with two hydrogen atoms to every one oxygen atom, i.e., H2O. How can two gases, when combined together, make a liquid? It’s just amazing, really.

My turfing session started at the west entrance to Gosford House estate, an imposing sandstone arched gateway and lodge. My plan was to follow the path through Fernyness Wood, taking my first unique zone, Gosfordwoods, then continue to the so-called tradesman’s entrance on the coast road. From there head out to the point at Kilspindie, taking a few unique zones along the way. By then it would be lunchtime and what better place for a picnic lunch with views across the Firth of Forth. Finally, back along the shore towards Longniddry Bents and a final few uniques.

Anyway, I enjoyed a pleasant walk through the woods and not having been here before, I wasn’t actually sure where the paths led but keeping to the left was good enough for me to emerge at the coast entrance. Note, there’s a sharp metal spike in the middle of the path that runs along the edge of the field, a remnant of an older metal fence, so watch out. It is very definitely a hidden trip hazard and catching it with a bike pedal would mean a certain tumble over the handlebars. I tried stamping it down but to no avail. Note, there are loads of signs on the Gosford Estate stating no cycling allowed in the grounds and policies. And you are supposed to purchase a permit to walk in the grounds. Yes, well!

My next two unique zones were JMWRipples and GosfordGate, both on the shore path but can also be taken if walking along the beach. My walk then took me out to the point at Kilspindie where I enjoyed a very pleasant lunch with a fine view across the Firth of Forth. It was interesting to watch the tide recede, slowly leaving a sand spit free of water leading to Greencraig, the small island. I was thinking this would be a good place for a zone. There’s also another island called Eyebroughy, further towards North Berwick, which would also be good for a zone. Then there’s Daisy Island as well, to the east of North Berwick. All are tidal, requiring some planning with regards the tides for access. Must try and remember to submit them once we are allowed further zones. However, just in case anyone might create them anyway:

My final uniques were TheBents and NeedsPlanning. The latter was not a problem but TheBents was still under water and had to be left for another day. Not an issue really, as my to-do list includes a visit to Holy zone Wemyss in the grounds of Gosford House, this for a combined Ghost Minute and Holy Grail medal, a couple of my own unofficial Turf medals. Fun for another day, or rather another midnight, visit. Probably on my kick scooter. Will need a cunning plan to avoid getting lost this time!

Another aim for today was to create a turf video for the blog. However, it was not until back home later that evening while editing the footage that I realised I’ve messed things up. The first two thirds of the footage was fine but the remainder did not have any audio. I’d switched off the wireless during lunch and hadn’t switched the receiver on properly afterwards. I’m so annoyed with myself and should have checked more carefully.

What I think I did was not check the receiver was actually switched on. The transmitter should have two blue LED’s showing, one indicating that the transmitter was on and another that it was connected to the receiver. As it was clipped to my rucksack strap and not easy to see, I failed to see that only one LED was showing and there was no connection to the receiver. So basically, I was unable to finish of the video. A lesson learned for next time. Check the audio is working!

And the big news at the moment in the turfing world is the amazing achievement this round of turfer Fearglas, now having exceeded 2,500,000 points and still climbing. A record I believe for the highest number of points taken in a 35-day round. Though I must say I don’t know where to confirm that. So, just how do you achieve that?

Well, when you look at the stats for the 2,500,000 plus points collected by Fearglas, you would need to take an rough average of 200 zones a day, which means long hours on the bike. Another very interesting stat is the PPH, or Points Per Hour. This amounts to a whopping 1,500,000 points! That’s approx. 60% of the total points. I also looked at the turfer with the second highest number of points this round in Scotland, Drylaw13. His total is around 1,117,000 points with a PPH of around 450,000, equating to 40% of the total points. So, it pays to seek out zones you can hold on to early in the round. Bye for now.

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