Part way through our holiday on Guernsey and before we moved to Jersey, we took the day boat from St Peter Port to Sark. The service, run by the Sark Shipping Company, leaves Guernsey at 10:15am and returns from Sark at 4.00pm. It was an interesting day out. There was time to walk to the summit for an activation, visit Le Signeurie House and Gardens and grab a late lunch before returning for the boat.
Leaving the small harbour on foot with the other tourists, you pass through a tunnel before ascending on a footpath in trees up Harbour Hill onto the very large activation zone:
This map of Sark shows the route to the summit in blue and the activation zone in black. As you can see, most of the island, including several self catering cottages, B&Bs, a pub and hotels are within the activation zone:
Most of the tourists arriving on the day-boat, travel on the tractor trailer transport that trundle along the (mostly) unmetalled roads around the island. We opted to walk to the summit of GU-001 (Le Moulin) which took us 50 minutes. Le Moulin translates in English to The Windmill, and the first thing I noticed when we saw it, was that there was an end fed wire terminating on the windmill itself! The QTH of Victoria Stamps, GU0BEZ, is right on the summit. If you look at Victoria’s QRZ page, there is a good picture of the windmill and the wire from her OCFD Windom terminating at the upper window on the mill.
Just to the side and behind the windmill, was an overgrown vineyard. The fence protecting the vines was used to support my 5m fishing pole and inverted vee.
Working an average of one QSO a minute on 20, 30 and 40 metres using CW/SSB, I worked 55 stations before my allotted time ran out. This was surprisingly, a “run of the mill” QSO rate for me - considering I was operating from a relatively rare DXCC Country, I would have expected to work more stations than I did. All contacts were with stations in Europe and included six S2S QSOs.
We made our way across the island to the gardens we wanted to see, passing the Sark Constable’s Office, where I noticed this sign detailing the cost of various licences available on Sark which proved interesting - for example Bicycle Licences - £14 a year!
After visiting the Seigneur’s gardens we finished off with some lunch outside, in the garden of a very nice cafe, before heading back down Harbour Hill with an ice cream in time for the boat back to Guernsey at 4.00pm, passing this small quarry on the way:
Our boat, the Sark Venture, arrived soon after we reached the harbour, the journey back to Guernsey taking around 50 minutes…
We both want to return to Sark and stay for longer next time. It truly is a unique place.