Once upon a time* DrongO wanted to go to the JK in Yorkshire. But alas, a plague came and it was not to be. The DrongOs** had already parted with their gold for a bunkhouse in which to stay, and so it was that the booking was postponed. Twice upon a time*** Ben was nearly 30 and thought celebrating in Yorkshire would be fun. The MMM happened one week earlier, but alas the plague struck again. Do not fear, said the DrongOs**, the JK in Cornwall is cancelled. So the DrongOs** decided that next time**** they would have a weekend in Yorkshire instead. But alas, the plague still hadn't finished its last strike, and the DrongOs** thought they'd try again at a later date*****. But what to call it? Ben's 30th had passed long ago, and he was now nearer****** to 1 billion seconds old than 30 years. So it was that the Gigasecond weekend was born.
* 10-13 April, 2020
** Ben, on behalf of the DrongOs
*** 25-28 September, 2020
**** 2-5 April, 2021
***** 24-27 September, 2021
****** The actual Gigasecond is at 4:55am on 6 July 2022
Two cars travelled to the Hole of Horcum on Friday morning and went for a walk, which included some token bracken bashing, a ruined tower, and a view over the steam railway. We could also see a super secret military triangular prism, but we don't know what it is. We got to the bunkhouse at about 5pm and put up tents (because there were more people than would fit in the bunkhouse) and waited for the other three cars to come, one of which had the food in it. Luckily the food-containing car was first to arrive, with the final people finally making it sometime after midnight. Food was a zero-chopping veggie chilli with wraps, which involved throwing everything in a saucepan, waiting for it to get hot, then eating it in wraps. Helen O and Paul presented Ben with his Gigasecond present - 1000 millions carefully counted out. There are 986 of them left currently.
On Saturday morning it was day 1 of the October Oddysey on sand dunes near Redcar, with a view over an offshore windfarm in one direction, and a view of a steelworks in the other direction. DrongO had managed to roughly double the number of entries on the Brown course. The brown was "won" by Ben W, but later it was discovered that two M18s had run the JIRCs quicker (same course, but in the afternoon). Here are the full results. We also had two relatively new people to orienteering with us - Andie (Rory's partner), who somehow ended up with a map for the Yellow course, but control descriptions for the White course. She rigourously stuck to punching the correct codes as shown on the descriptions, and quite impressively completed the White course despite not having the map for it! Tom Weatherby also ambitiously entered the Brown, and completed it successfully, beating at least one person in the process!
Once everybody was finished we had a picnic by the dunes and then went for a walk on the beach. However, upon reaching the beach many people decided that it would be more fun to bury Jeremy in a vertical position, so some people went for a walk, and some buried Jeremy. It soon became apparent that building a pile of sand as tall as Jeremy would be very difficult, so once it was up to his waist he sat down and the Jeremy-encasing sand castle was completed. Meanwhile, Ben S went for a swim and came back reporting that he had almost been dragged out to sea by the current! A lucky miss, so after the sandcastle some people went wave jumping without getting too deep.
We then went back to the bunkhouse for some quick showers, before heading back out to a pub for dinner. Contrary to John's prediction that "nowhere is going to have space for 17 people on a Saturday night" this place did indeed have space for 17 people on a Saturday night, thus proving John incorrect. It was an enjoyable meal, culminating with dessert (as meals usually do). Jeremy and Rowan shared the "sharing sundae" - which Rowan ate his share but Jeremy needed help, deepening his reputation for being too full.
On the way back home two cars stopped off at Goathland station (which was Hogsmeade station in Harry Potter) - as part of the "steam Gala" which was happening that weekend, there was a beer festival. You could choose from around 30 beers and drink them on the platform, and a couple of steam trains came through with their fires giving an impressive red glow in the darkness.
On Sunday it was day 2 of the October Oddysey, but starts weren't until about 1pm, so some people stayed around the bunkhouse and played board games in the morning, and some people went for some short walks on the moors. Ben W, John and Jeremy walked up and jogged down a nearby hill, stopping at a nice-looking pond on the way down for a quick swim. Unfortunately the pool turned out to be not so nice, and actually just a good mechanism for swapping a sweaty body for a muddy one.
Everyone met up at the race, which was on the same sand dunes as yesterday but a bit further south, and was middle distance. It included a couple of legs where you could choose to run along the beach, and some fun sand dune descents if you took the right route! As yesterday, this was followed by a sunny picnic at the assembly area, and then another trip to the beach. More people went wave-jumping today, and a scale drawn in the sand showed that the sea had moved up the beach by around 14m whilst we were in the water. We couldn't leave without doing a bit of sandcastle building, so some smaller castles were built a further 10 metres up the beach until the sea destroyed them. Miranda and Tom's car had left us at this point. The rest of us went back to the bunkhouse to cook some curry for dinner and spend the evening playing games.
On Monday morning it poured with rain for around two hours, so we got up slowly and played some more games whilst waiting for it to stop. It did indeed stop, and the sun even came out a little bit, so we packed up and drove a few minutes do another moor walk. The walk crossed the steam railway which led to much excitement at being able to walk on the railway tracks. After the walk we had a picnic lunch and then just had time to return to the tracks to see a steam train go past at close range.
Rory's car then headed off, while Richard's car and John's car went to York on the way back for some more tourism walking round the city walls. Thanks everyone for coming!