For the last 3 years my XYL and I have attended the Isle of Man Walking Festival and activated all the excellent summits in the Isle of Man. As this year is probably going to be the last visit for a while it was decided that a full HF QRO effort was needed and so off we went. The festival starts with a welcome reception on the Sunday night, followed by five days of walking of various grades, social events, tours and three ghost walks.
I recommend the festival to anyone who is sociable and into walking, and the island is very good for SOTA.
Saturday 16th May GD/GD-005 Mull Hill
With sunshine, wind and heavy showers forecast we left the guest house in Douglas to make for the south of the island around Port Erin. Judy had brought a book and had decided to remain in the car during my activation of GD-005. After waiting for the rain to stop I made my way from my vehicle the few hundred yards to the WW II pillbox on the top of the hill:
No sooner had I started to unpack when the heavens opened, and I took shelter inside the pillbox to set up the station in the dry. It soon stopped raining and I was able to continue to set up the link dipole outside. MIND YOUR HEAD! Bang…that was me hitting the lintel on my way to go outside. You live and learn. It was pretty dark inside there, and quite clean unlike a few of these structures I have been in previously.
A quick call to dial a spot (Roy G4SSH - thanks) and I was away on 3532 KHz with Roy first in the log and then another Scarborough station Kevin G0NUP next. The problem I had was I couldn’t see…by now it was bright outside and the light from the small square windows was blinding me. So I could see the radio controls and digital readout on the FT-857 I pressed the F key to turn the display on for a few seconds at a time when it was necessary. I got by and after 36 minutes of operation and 45 QSOs on 80/60/40m with 10 DXCCs I called it a day in the interests of domestic harmony… and the chance of doing GD-004 together later on.
We retired to the railway station cafe in Port Erin for sandwich, cake and tea ready to face GD/GD-004 Bradda Hill later in the day.
TO BE CONTINUED…