02-Jun-2006 -- 44N – 129E Heilongjiang (黑龙江), China
Line Hunting Date: June 2, 2006
A bonus point on a famous lake
After spending a day at Sui Fen He (绥芬河 ), the major cross point between China and Fareast Russia, we headed to the regional center, Mu Dan Jiang (牡丹江）city, for a visit. Our local host insisted that we stay overnight by a scenic lake about an hour drive south of the city. This lake called Jin Bo Hu (镜泊湖）which means calm as a mirror, suppose to be the most famous lake in Heilongjiang, and many senior leaders of China have visited the lake in the past.
A quick check of the map to see if there is a confluence point near the route to this famous lake, we were pleasantly surprised to note that a Confluence Point located very near the narrowest part of this long lake. Suddenly, the idea of staying overnight at the Jing Bo Lake became most appealing. This unplanned point was a real bonus.
A hunting boat was arranged without even asking
We arrived at the lake late in the day, and our host able to arrange for us to stay in the guest house which hosted several of the senior political leaders. During dinner – six courses of fish from the lake, we learned that there will be two activities planned for next morning. One is a visit to a water fall related to volcanic formation, and another is a boat ride on the lake. The boat ride would be our ticket to reach the confluence point provided that the boat can anchor near the shore such we can go ashore to go after the point. A request for a boat able to land in shallow water was made.
Shooting a fly with a cannon
On the morning of the hunt, we visited the water fall first. We were told a boat will come to the hotel to pick us up for the lake tour. At 10 am, a much larger than expected boat showed up at the back of our hotel to pick us up. This was a boat can fit over a hundred people with room to spare and there were only eight of us. This boat belongs to the Marine Affair Bureau and our local host must has a good working relationship with them.
Shooting a moving target
From the hotel, it was 6.8 km GPS distance to this Confluence Point. It took less than 20 minutes to reach within 500 meters range of our objective. At first glance, we thought the point would be located on land, about 100 meters from inland. As we approached the shore very slowly with this battleship, suddenly we realized that this is actually a water-based Confluence point, about 70-80 meters from the shore. With the help of the able Capitan, we were able to maneuver the ship within 20 meters of the all zeros point. It was a bit a frenzy moment to try to capture all the required photos – GPS, 4 views, and hunters – on a moving ship. By far, this was the largest vessel we have used for over a dozen water-based confluence hunts. One person we can learn on how best to catch the all zeros using much larger ship would be Captain Peter who has done most of his hunt with ships at least 10 times the tonnage of our seemingly very large ship.
Line hunting is nearly effortless
Everybody was relieved that we did not need to do an amphibious assault of the shore. Also, the trees on land seemed very dense, even a hundred meters would be hard work. This tuned out to be a leisure boat ride on a nice lake. For the six first-time line hunters, they all thought that this is a fun and easy game. Little do they know, this was the easiest of all hunts.
Rating of this hunt:
Degree of Challenge:
1 – an easy and pleasant boat ride, almost effortless (1= very easy - drive to the point; to 5= a death march – glad it is over)
3– Very pleasant lake and resort area and wish we could stayed longer (Scale: 1= not interesting at all; 5= take your breath away)
1 – An established resort area in the southern part of Heilongjiang (Scale: 1=dull; 5= most stimulating)