Despite my last couple of SW evening activations turning out to be a bit borderline, couldn’t resist trying to make the most of the light at night before we lose it when the clocks go sensible again, and decided to have a go at another evening activation after work. SC-002 was about the closest I’d not yet activated, and I wanted it as part of my master plan to take over the world. So mid-afternoon and anticipating my boss’s timely departure I with trepidation posted an alert for 1830 local.
As it happens he left spot on time, and I departed site at 1615 local spot on schedule. This was spookily good - surely the M5 would be a nightmare and I would get lost, resulting in my arriving at the parking spot with an agonising decision to make as to whether to risk trying the activation in increasing darkness or take the safe option and cancel…
Well, the motorway was fine and my inbuilt MapNav system worked perfectly, with the result that I was at the carpark a good half hour earlier than anticipated.
Things were going just too well, so I triple checked the kit sure that I must be missing a vital connector, but no - it was all there so I took a leisurely stroll to the summit and was set up ready to go by 1745 local. There was hardly a breeze, and the sun was approaching the horizon in a spectacular orange red sunset. The views were stunning with to the North the Severn Estuary and it’s islands, and beyond my recently-conquered SW’s clearly visible. To the misty East the land was suffused by a glowing pinky-purple counterpoint to the blazing West.
I settled down onto the luxury of my closed-cell foam kneeling pad certain that things were so perfect I’d be certain to fail to qualify the summit for want of chasers. And no XYL at home this evening to spot me! It was after all the graveyard - or at least teatime - slot.
Again my pessimism was confounded. That stalwart supporter of my evening activations Stuart G0LGS came back to my second call, and we QSY’d to 144.315 rather than my customary .310 to avoid a noisy channel at Stuart’s end. He was kind enough to spot me, and we enjoyed a chat while it took effect. Then in rapid succession I worked G0RQL, GW0DSP (Thanks for the spot Mike), M3PXW, G3CWI (an unexpected pleasure!) G8ADD and M0JDK. And it was only 1827 local - still ahead of my posted activation time!
I continued to call for a while in case anyone seeing my alert was not yet listening, and was rewarded with a contact with another familiar call, GW8JLY Lyn in Cardiff. By this time it was 1845 local, and the fire in the sky had nearly burnt itself out for the night so in increasing gloom I packed up and made my way down from the hill, arriving back at the car in near-darkness. I was so elated I only fleetingly considered the possibility of my tripping and breaking a leg, thereby being forced to spend a freezing night in the open. There followed a rapid and uneventful trip home, accompanied by an inner glow of satisfaction at having had a truly magical evening.
So good in fact I aim to tempt fate and try again for one last time this year - probably SC-004 next Wednesday. Watch the alerts!
73 de Paul G4MD