10-Sep-2007 -- The confluence was visited on our way to the “Second Lithuanian Swiss Geodetic Science Week“. This seminar was carried out as part of the cooperation between the Institute of Geodesy and Photogrammetry at ETH Zurich and the Institute of Geodesy at Vilnius Gediminas Technical University (VGTU). On the way from Vilnius to the conference location at Nida, my Lithuanian colleague Domantas Bručas and I had a little excursion from the main route.
Finding the right exit from the highway at the confusing intersection in the north of Kaunas proved to be difficult. But after a couple U-turns, we managed to reach the right county road. The GPS receiver told us to travel 8 km further north-east, so we did – passing through the village Domeikava, turning onto a smaller county road, and passing through the village Viskoniai. On an unpaved road we reached an artificial lake – probably a former quarry now being filled with water.
At a distance of 670 m we parked our vehicle. Domantas figured that the confluence would be captured within the next 5 minutes – but it turned out that the point was located right at the other (northern) side of the lake and access to it was either by swimming or wading through the swamps. However, after half an hour we stood at the shore with a remaining distance of 23 m to go. All further approach required travel by boat. Unfortunately, we didn’t buy an inflatable boat as Domantas had suggested on our way through Kaunas.
I was not satisfied with the pictures taken from the shore, as they didn’t reflect the impression of the cardinal directions as seen from the exact confluence location. In order to find the exact location I swam to it, thereby risking to lose a GPS receiver. The water was deep and I could not reach the ground, but I managed to mark the location as a waypoint. I did not try to take a picture of the GPS display while swimming since I needed at least one hand that could keep me above water level. So I took the picture of the marked waypoint later (that is why it shows that the current location is 1375 km away). In order to take the cardinal directions from the confluence, I set out again for another swim, this time risking annihilating my digital camera. But camera and me, we both reached back the shore unharmed. With Domantas navigating me, I probably have been within 5 m to the right location.
The way back was – as always – much easier. We opted not to follow the shore line and reached the car easily while hiking over the hills nearby. Soon we were on the highway again and caught up with the others at the ferry terminal in Klaipeda.
CP visit details:
- Time at the CP: 11:13 am
- Deviation time: 2 hours (from highway)
- Hiking distance: 0.7 km (beeline), 0.5 hours
- Distance to a road: 1 km
- Distance to houses: 1.2 km
- Topography: hilly due to the quarry.
- Minimal distance according to GPS: 4 m
- Position accuracy at the CP: 5 m
- GPS height: 69 m
- Vegetation: reeds, grass, wasteland. Around the lake farmland.
- Weather: sunny, 20° C (felt temperature)
- Description of the CP: In the centre of Lithuania, north of the city of Kaunas. In agricultural area right at the northern edge of an artificial lake. 23 m from the nearest shore.
- Given Name: The GPS & Camera Swimming Confluence