G/DC-007 Watch Croft - Christmas Eve activation

I stay in Zennor, Cornwall on a regular basis since marrying one of the daughters of one of the local farmers over 25 years ago. A free slot for activating Watch Croft presented itself on Christmas Eve morning. Storm Barbara was well to the north and the forecast, pleasant day materialised. I drove with daughter Sarah, 2E0DGM (my contribution to women in amateur radio!) to the parking spot at SW416362. This is a small lay-by on the left just before the path up to Watch Croft. There is more parking before or after if this space is taken (but more walking involved). The bridleway to Watch Croft is clearly signed by a National Trust sign. Follow the zig-zags onto the ridge, passing an old mine building on the right. On reaching the driveway to a house, take the path on the left which leads to the summit. The ascent is 20mins from the road.
It was windy on top and no one around so I erected the fishing pole against the trig point and operated inside the well-built summit shelter. At busier times, I operate from near the National Trust plaque and keep antennas etc. within the scrub/gorse area parallel to the path. I had planned to start on 60m as G8XYJ had spotted this on High Vinalls (G/WB-012) but then moved to The Burrow (WB-014) in the afternoon. We therefore began on 20m as M0PLA had spotted this on Corndon Hill (GW/MW-013) but i-phone then said that this had become 144MHz fm. Watch Croft was windy so I assume it was blowing a super-hooley on Corndon Hill so no criticism for choosing 2m (I’ve activated MW-013 several times!)
So, Sarah called CQ on 20m and made QSO with SA2CER/P, giving a 31 report. Then, absolutely nothing! The i-phone then showed EA2DCA/P on EA1/LR-044 on 40m so a quick connection of 2 crocs and QSY and we both made the S2S.
There was then a magic opening of 40m at about 1050 and a cacophony of chasers. Contacts were made with M0MAA, PA0SKP, ON5SWA and F4FHV. DL8WM called next; I sent a report of 55 but we never heard anything again for the remaining 10 minutes that we were on 40m!
It was a very strange day for HF and 20/40m in particular - one moment we had clear contacts and the next the band completely disappeared (running 20W on a Yaesu 857 into a linked dipole). Many thanks to all the chasers and sorry to those we couldn’t hear.
It is worth the journey to activate G/DC-007 - best done on a cooler, clear day so that you can see the great views over the Atlantic and see some of the filming locations for the recent BBC “Poldark” series.

Merry Christmas & 73’s
M0TYM (& 2E0DGM)