The LD SOTA weekend starts here! On a Wednesday in Cheshire…
Wednesday 15th May 2019 - Gun G/SP-013 & The Cloud G/SP-015
Gig: Liam Read
Venue: Swan With Two Necks, Macclesfield
I’d already told Paul HB9DST that I wouldn’t be able to meet him during his trip due to my work schedule. However, I arrived at a school in the morning to be greeted by the news that they’d changed their mind and only wanted me for half a day. Normally I’d be furious, but I immediately realised I could now meet Paul!
I’d seen on the spots Paul had activated Shining Tor G/SP-004 but wasn’t yet spotted on Gun G/SP-013, so after my lunchtime finish, I headed for the Staffordshire Moorlands.
There was Paul operating on 40 and 30. It was great to meet and chat, and Paul - a SOTA veteran of 72 activated associations - made his first ever 2m S2S QSO - with Dave GW0NZN/P on Moel Gyw GW/NW-053. I just operated on my HT collecting four contacts.
We then drove in convoy over to The Cloud G/SP-015 where I was amazed to find plenty of available space for us both to park. I didn’t expect that on such a glorious afternoon. The summit was unusually quiet too, with the NT path workers outnumbering the walkers!
I was actually intercepted by a NT ranger up there who mentioned something about taking care not to block paths with guylines. I said I thought I’d done that but I’d take the antenna down if he wanted me too. He took another look and said “No actually you’ve done a pretty good job there considering four paths all meet here”! That was a pleasing outcome to that situation!
HF conditions were awful and I made just two contacts on each of 20m FT8 and 20m CW. I added three on 2m FM after packing away. Paul struggled to six QSOs on 40m with his KX2, but then took advantage of the VHF opportunities in this part of the world, and worked a good number on his handheld.
We walked down together and said goodbye. I wished Paul a safe drive up to Cumbria and a great few days in G/LD. He presented me with a kind gift of some delicious Swiss chocolate to take home, which was gratefully accepted (and very much enjoyed by my XYL Marianne)! A most enjoyable afternoon, followed by a good evening performing a few tunes with Liam at our local open mic night.