02-Feb-2002 -- As our first Confluence visit, we decided to pay a visit to the nearest Confluence, which is less than 7 km (4.4 miles) from Colin's home in Bryanston. Although previously visited, we wondered whether it had been further developed since the first visit by Willem Fourie and Danie Vorster in July 2000, and wanted to use it as a simple trial before attempting some more serious visits. As it turned out, it had changed substantially, and some good lessons were also learned.
It was easy to find the site, using local street maps of the area. The location is in an area of new suburban development, in the town of Sandton, now part of Greater Johannesburg. As in the previous visit, the Confluence was inside a walled development, very typical of new developments in Johannesburg. However, building is in progress, and about half the plots within the development are now occupied by houses, some not yet complete. Before entering the area we drove around the perimeter of the block, shown on the track log. It was easy to gain access to the area, by simply signing in with the guard at the gate!
The Confluence is now inside the garage of one of the new houses in the development. We found that when we entered the garage, some screening of the GPS from the satellites occurred, and accuracy decreased. As far as we were able to make out, the exact confluence point was inside the garage, near the back wall. The GPS used was a Garmin III, using an external antenna.
We learnt a few lessons from this visit: You need to have a simple check list, to ensure that you don't miss an important point or feature - In future it may not be quite so easy to go back to a point, just because you forgot to take a particular picture, or forgot to write down the details. In our case we neglected to find out the house number, which did not appear on the incomplete house. We could also have taken photos from the upstairs floor, showing the (new) surroundings. And we neglected to take a photo of the GPS showing the actual Lat and Long, but this is made up for by showing the track log once we had returned home.