A few days away in Poole for a short family break.
I was up at 5am this morning and headed out for an early activation. Autumn is coming - I was somewhat surprised to be setting off in darkness!
It was about a 50 minute drive up to Win Green G/SC-008. A group of about 15 bullocks were sleeping right next to the parking area. They began to wake as I set off so I avoided the path across which they were spread, and took a wider approach around the grassy gentle slopes. (The car park is already in the AZ here).
As I was reaching the trig point near the small wood on the summit, I saw that the bullocks were also on their way! I decided therefore to go around to the opposite side of the wood where there is a wooden bench. I opted for the 20m groundplane figuring that it would be an easier repair than the Excalibur EFHW should any cattle damage occur!
While setting up, I saw that the bullocks had walked away from the trig point and down the hill on the opposite side of the wood to me. I relaxed!
The Excalibur would have been better as the 20m band was taking its time to wake up. Things started slowly with no takers on SSB or CW, but I did eventually make 2 on FT8 and 12 on FT4. This included two VKs and an EA9.
I then tried again on SSB and CW and again drew a blank! Then I looked up and discovered that the bullocks had all rejoined me - and were advancing! I couldn’t encourage them to retreat so I hurriedly packed all the radio kit and mast away. I got three pegs out of the ground but couldn’t access the end of the fourth radial due to the bullocks! And still they wanted to advance!
I took my rucksack, laptop and pole and placed them atop the topograph on the other side of the wood. I would have to wait to retrieve the antenna - and hope for the best.
With me out of the way, the bullocks made their way into the wood, all walking over where my GP antenna was laying on the ground. I hoped that no hoof would tread upon the centrepiece and feedpoint, but my heart sank when I saw one of the bullocks lift one of the radials in his mouth between munching on the grass!
Soon they were all in the wood, so I left my rucksack etc on the topograph (hoping they wouldn’t proceed and take an interest in that) while going to retrieve the antenna. Luckily, it was completely unscathed.
Now back at the accommodation, and looking forward to a day celebrating the G Association Manager’s birthday! Happy 31st birthday to Jimmy M0HGY (even though he was too lazy to join me this morning!)