Saturday 24th March 2018 - Bishop Wilton Wold G/TW-004
OK, hands up, I did it. It wasn’t an accident, it was deliberate. It was in fact premeditated. I plead guilty.
I had a dep gig at the Merchant Taylors Hall in York. This was with a wedding band, none of whom I knew before, but who had booked me on the strength of a third party recommendation. Basically, it was appropriate to turn up on time!
During the morning, I was writing out an arrangement/orchestration ahead of a recording session with a different band on the Sunday, and took a little longer than anticipated to complete that work. So I was a little late setting out for my Yorkshire gig. Well, early if I was going directly there, but late if i wanted to bag an activation en route!
To get to G/TW-004, I had to drive past York and onto the A166 Bridlington road. I kept an eye on my satnav ETA. On arrival at the roadside summit, I figured that I had, essentially, twenty minutes to walk to the operating point, set up, activate, pack away and get back to the car. The “walk” being a 50 yard slog over horizontal ground certainly helped, but nonetheless, the time window was tight!
I did briefly check the handheld for any local VHF activity. There wasn’t any, so I got straight on with erecting my newly built 20m groundplane antenna. My alert was posted on SOTAwatch, so all I had to do was find a clear QRG and call CQ SOTA. Keeping one eye on my smartphone, I could see that I had been received with a strong signal in Canada, so I carried on calling and waited for the chasers to respond.
In the space of three minutes, I worked three US stations, and one in Bulgaria. I allowed myself one last QRZ? call - which was not answered - and I immediately went QRT and packed up. Four-and-run? You bet!
I got to my gig on time!