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Fantastic story of a Travel bug

Last autumn I set out to hunt for a little more challenging sport-themed unknown geocache (GC2XDWB). Not far from the company I work for there is a football stadium belonging to Bohemia 1905, a well-known football club to which the cache is dedicated. The riddle was not so easy for me to solve, but in the end I succeeded in obtaining the final coordinates and was finally able to go hunting for the actual cache. I seemed to underestimate the 3.5 terrain and got bruised, dirty and muddy all over. I am not used to giving up easily and so I returned the following day after work. This time I was lucky enough to meet another cacher, nicknamed d-n. Since many hands make light work, we reached the final cache with ease. There were several TBs in the cache and we had a few more in our pockets so we traded eagerly. I was left with a TB which looked quite ordinary at first sight. It turned out to be ‘The ACME Thunderer’ and that is how the story began.

Having arrived home, I immediately switched my computer on to log both the cache find and the TB. While the computer booted, I contemplated the TB with interest. ‘Such a nice whistle’ I thought and could not help blowing it. The whistle came with such force that I turned temporarily deaf. To add insult to injury I got told off by my wife, who got terribly frightened and scolded me for making such a racket at ten o’clock in the evening. I was definitely intrigued with this TB and started examining it more closely, since it was now obvious it was not just a common whistle. I learned from the description that the TB came from Canada and that it was a whistle for ice-hockey referees, and was more than fifty years old. The owner wanted the TB to be used for at least one more match. I studied the logs carefully and noticed that the mission had still not been achieved; everyone seemed to give the mission the deep six. Well, this was a proper challenge for me!!

Historical and current whistlesHistorical and current whistles

I thought about it for a moment and it crossed my mind that a friend of mine and a geocacher Sasik1 is a football referee! He referees ‘only’ the district league but that is not the point and I prefer these sportsmen to those ultra professionals who play only for their sponsors’ money. I gave him a ring at once and he was thrilled. We arranged for a meeting and handover of the TB. A few days later Sasa called me back to say he was going to referee a match. Unfortunately the date did not suit me and so I had to ask a relative of Sasa to take photographs of the match. After the match Sasa called me up again and told me he had the photos ready (you can see them posted below) and asked whether I wanted the TB back for further fun. I agreed to take it back as I was sure to come up with something.

Well, I ended up having the TB back on my desk at home again. I was just sitting there, drinking coffee and thinking about the TB. What should I do with it? The football match was not bad, but this is supposed to be a hockey whistle! At last I told myself that many things are lost for want of asking and put a hesitant question in my favourite geocaching facebook group. In no time at all a geocacher nicknamed Rajczatko responded, saying he knew a hockey official and that he might even be able to arrange for the whistle to be used at an Extra League match! It was almost too good to be true. The idea appealed to me even more because Brno is my birthplace and I still support their team even though I do not live there any more. In the end Rajczatko agreed to meet me when I came to Brno for Christmas. He took the TB then, and a few weeks passed with no news. I had not heard from him and started to worry. Would we succeed at all? Finally Rajczatko wrote a message. Yes!!! A referee agreed to use the whistle at an Extra League match today! I was a bit disappointed because I could not leave for Brno on such a short notice but there was nothing I could do. I asked Rajczatko to find somebody to photograph the match. He managed to do that as well, and I must say the pictures are really worth seeing.

I am so pleased with the results. And on the top of it ‘our’ team won the match 4:1. Now we can only wish for the World Championship. The match between the Czech Republic and Canada would be the best since the owner of the whistle-TB is a Canadian. But that would be too much to ask. ;o)

When I was going through the photographs, I came across a real gem. First imagine the atmosphere – Czech Extra League playoff, both the teams playing their very best players (NHL players and even world champions), a packed stadium in Brno humming with suppressed energy, the turning point of the whole match. The referee is blowing his whistle. Penalty shot! Wait… look at his hand… it is not just a common whistle… In fact the referee is blowing the TB!!!

Extra League, a penalty shot whistled Travel Bug! - Photo by Michal EgerExtra League, a penalty shot whistled Travel Bug! - Photo by Michal Eger

It took many weeks to organise this adventure and many people, both geocachers and muggles, took part in it. Many thanks to everyone that contributed, and of course to the willing referee – Mr. Rene Hradil.

Complete photo gallery: Michal Eger (geofriend Chryséis) a Ivo Dostál (geoprofil dark.metalswamp)

Short match record at Czech Television : Kometa Brno - PSG Zlín

Galerie k článku Fantastic story of a Travel bug

Historical and current whistles | fotografie
Historical and current whistles
Geocacher Sasik1 as referee | fotografie
Geocacher Sasik1 as referee
Match Myslič- Nespeky | fotografie
Match Myslič- Nespeky
End of the match | fotografie
End of the match
Extra League referee René Hradil before the... | fotografie
Extra League referee René Hradil before the...
Full stadium is a tradition in Brno - Photo:... | fotografie
Full stadium is a tradition in Brno - Photo:...
Comet Brno vs PSG Zlin - Photo by Ivo Dostal | fotografie
Comet Brno vs PSG Zlin - Photo by Ivo Dostal
The winning team - Photo by Ivo Dostal | fotografie
The winning team - Photo by Ivo Dostal
Extra League, a penalty shot whistled Travel... | fotografie
Extra League, a penalty shot whistled Travel...


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Erik88L-R
Hi Kapsa,
I enjoyed viewing your website. Very interesting. Keep up the good work of documenting interesting cache locations.
~erik~
Michal Kupsa
I’m very happy you enjoy the site! We’re planning another great geo-expedition soon (in April) – it will surely be very interesting too and there will be an extensive report from it.
polarbear dave
Dear friend Kapsa,
Thank you so much for your wonderful help to achieve the goal of the Travel Bug "Acme Thunderer". My father would be so impressed, He was a coach and referee of pee wee and mosquito hockey in the west Montreal suberb of Pointe Claire. The TB has spent alot of time in the Czech Republique and I have had a lot of interest there in the story. I am sure that it is one of the farthest traveled bugs out there, thank you so much for all that you have done for the "Acme Thunderer" The pictures are wonderful.
Best Regards.
Dave Wakely;-)
Michal Kupsa
Thank you too! We had a lot of fun thanks to your travel bug. It was a teamwork of several people, from various towns. We’ll think of you when the Czech Republic plays against Canada at the fast approaching ice-hockey championship. :-D
Michal Kupsa alias "Kapsa" - Webová prezentace - ! Všechny zde publikované fotografie jsou chráněny autorským zákonem !
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