Cruising Ducks

Cruising Ducks

(Editor’s Note: for our first example, please see here.)

Sometimes, you hear something so strange (and possibly insane), you wonder why you didn’t think of it yourself. This is one of those occasions.

First, an aside – After all the time I’ve spent with GPS units, you really think I would have become more serious about Geocaching

Geocaching is a sport / avocation / hobby where people hide caches and then leave the GPS coordinates and hints on a website, so others can go out and find them. When you find a geocache, you sign the log book if it’s available and then log your cache on the website. There are also trackables – small items that look like dogtags with serial numbers, so their position can be tracked by serial number. You can watch trackables move around the world, as geocachers take them along on trips and leave them in new and exciting places. 

Someone either didn’t know about trackables, or someone did, and thought, “Serial numbers. Tracking databases. Logging. That seems like a lot of work.”

It’s also impossible to do on a cruise ship, since the GPS coordinates change frequently, and even if you just use the coordinates at the pier, it’s not like the security team is going to let somebody onboard to “look for a geocache since you’re here”. 

Why is life so complicated? Why not just hide something on a cruise ship, have people find it, tell you about it on Facebook, and then hide it again, either on the ship or on another ship on their next cruise? 

Hence, Cruising Ducks.

My wife discovered this Facebook group and immediately ordered rubber ducks (plastic, actually, I think), some custom labels, adhesive labels to print the Info to put on the custom labels, and began chatting incessantly about how fun this would be. 

So, the first secret to getting her involved in anything (she has zero interest in geocaching) is to require her to go shopping. If it’s shopping for something cute, so much the better. 

She is not spoiled by geocaching so she thinks hiding ducks is brilliant. I’m thinking “How do you track the duck from ship to ship? There’s no serial number. There’s no name (well, I named all of her ducks.) There’s no space on the label to write where it has been, just where it started.” 

Apparently, I’m sucking all the fun out of this. 

So, there are a multitude of people (I joined the Facebook group) who go around hiding rubber ducks on cruise ships. Most of them are hidden in plain sight, but most of the passengers are slightly inebriated, so it cancels out. When you find a duck, you follow the instructions on his name tag (hopefully – as in, hopefully, you follow them and hopefully, the owner put them there) and post a photo to the group and then either keep the duck or hide it somewhere else. 

Apparently, the crews all tolerate this. This may be why the daily service charge keeps going up. Duck maintenance. 

The bad part is that there are twenty ducks labeled and ready to go in my house, ten for this cruise and ten for our next one (the second ten are actually Duck Pirates.) I’m wondering what of mine will be left home to make way for ducklings. 

The good part is that someone else posted in the group this week that she had hidden 50 ducks on a five-day cruise and my wife said, “50? Fifty?!!? That’s CRAZY.” 

We’ll see how long she thinks fifty ducks on a cruise is crazy. I give it two cruises. 

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