Apart from the appalling conditions (I don’t like activating in the wind even though it did not rain) the day out was quite enjoyable and eventful.
A early start had us arriving at the parking spot for the first planned summit of Win Green (G/SC-008). The wind was howling and the rapidly moving clouds threatened rain as equipment was prepared for the short walk to the summit. The small copse of trees on the top provided some shelter but the antenna support was still bending well looking as if there was a large fish being played.
Helen (M0YHB) and I shared the radio with me starting on 60m qualifying the summit with 10 contacts, including one S2S. Helen then used 80m to also qualify finishing with a S2S with ON4UP. After my S2S with ON9CBQ I had a good run of stations on 40m.
Then off to collect a new toy in Southampton (you may hear me soon on 23cm :o) ), with a few detours to geocache.
Due to the weather we had a very loose plan for which summits would be attempted the next on the list was Butser Hill (G/SE-004).
I had already read that permission is required for this hill so called in at the visitors centre. The manager was not in but a call was made by one of the receptionists and I was handed the phone. He asked quite a few questions such as why I wanted to use radio equipment there, was I a member of a club and did I have insurance. I did point out that I was an individual with all equipment portable and of no hazard.
Permission was granted (but he would have preferred contact beforehand via e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org), I did say it was unplanned and would be not more than an hour and a half.
The wind was worse than the morning but still dry. There was no shelter whatsoever at the summit and I didn‘t want to be close to the radio masts or the trig point where there were plenty of walkers despite the conditions so we tucked down behind some gorse just from the top. Helen and I decided to do just the one band , 60m, and do a quick-ish activation. Between us we made 19 contacts (some a struggle because of the s7/8 noise on a closing band) including LA1ENA. We packed up in the dark and it was pitch black when we got back to the camper.
The final summit of the day was supposed to be Walbury Hill (G/SE-001) which was on the way back home. We reached the parking spot and for a few minutes sat wondering whether to venture out as the vehicle was being violently buffeted by the wind!
We decided to come back another time to activate (the dark wasn’t the problem as I was hoping to use 160m as we planned the late start, sorry Mark, the wind was just too strong for the 10m pole) but the lure of a cache and a trig point was too much for Helen so off we went :o)
On returning to the van we were greeted by a couple of police vehicles (one a big 4x4 SUV) with the occupants getting things ready for a trip in the SUV. After a quick cordial chat about what we had been doing and where we had been (we obviously looked like walkers) they said there had been quite a problem with drug dealers using the green lane that traverses the ridge. They set off before we left for home.
All in all a eventful day.