After a pleasant, early and light Sunday lunch (made by Jimmy), Marianne kicked us out. This was somewhat out of the blue; there wasn’t even enough time to make some soup.
In my mind, I was on my way to The Cloud. Liam was being stubborn, but appeased to some extent by being presented with a balloon helicopter, thus requiring some open space to play in with it. Jimmy delivered the killer line “We’re not going up The Cloud are we?”. I replied “Don’t you want to try and work some more DX in the contest?”. He had been enjoying the chase in the WAE contest from the shack this weekend. “OK” he said, “Let’s go up Gun then”.
As we drove across town, I had a brainwave. I dropped in on Sean M0GIA and family to try and solicit some extra company. After a welcome mug of tea, Sean, and daughter Tash were accompanying us for the afternoon out.
The walk up to Gun summit was very soggy underfoot, but the summit area was OK. I set up 40m and 80m dipoles on my fishing pole, while Sean attached a piece of vertical wire, connected to an ATU on his. He worked into Ukraine with his first contact, but found things quiet for a while after that.
I kicked off on 40m CW, with a short but swift run of six QSOs. We then relocated over to Sean’s set up and each took our turns working AA3B and LZ1YG on 20m SSB. The former was our first trip stateside on a SOTA activation.
Jimmy then bedded down on 80m SSB working five G stations, the last of which I also worked myself. I then switched over to 80m CW for a run of six. In the meantime, Sean had worked a few more stations, including some Italians on 20m SSB.
Sean told us that he had finished for the day, and invited me to connect my 817 (with the CW filter) to his antenna to try 20m CW. I did, and called for an eternity before getting the exotic DX of a G3 station! A second QSO was with I4THX/9 which was more satisfying, but that was the lot.
Switching to 20m SSB, the US stations were very strong in the contest. Jimmy threw his call in for K1DG, and was answered first call with 59 reports both ways. I tail-ended him, then we both worked K1ZM. Unfortunately, both stations got in a pickle with our callsigns, responding with comments like “already in the log”, and confirming the previous serial number rather than issuing a new one! I explained the father-and-son distinct callsigns situation, and all was resolved. Jimmy then suggested that we don’t work the same station as each other - or at least that he would go first, leaving me to deliver the explanations!
Sean then tuned the aerial for 17m, but it was a little late in the day as it turned out. One contact was made, but this band was clearly finished for the day.
I returned for a final bash on 7.032MHz CW, but worked just SM6CMU. Noise levels seemed to be considerably higher by now. Furthermore, it was past 6.30pm local, and my mobile was ringing, the XYL wanting to know where we were!
Our original plan was to have now included the Lazy Trout in Meerbrook or the Rushton Inn in Rushton Spencer, but we had become intoxicated by radio druing the afternoon and time had beaten us. Liam and Tash had enjoyed their afternoon of flying the balloon helicopter, or so Tash’s constant belly-laughter would indicate anyway! We packed up, undertook the muddy descent, and drove the 20 minutes back to Macclesfield.
40m CW, 20m SSB, 20m CW, 80m SSB, 80m CW, 17m SSB
38 contacts in 11 DXCCs:
DL, F, G, HB9, K, LZ, GW, ON, LA, I, SM
I hope to be back in the groove with a dawn raid on SP-015 in the morning.
73, Tom M1EYP