I’m back home today after a weekend of M/C & SOTA.
The journey up on Friday was mixed weatherwise slightly spoiled by a diesel spill that seemed to go the entire length of the Laggan road from Dalwhinnie to Spean Bridge. Saturday dawned bright and clear for the trip out to Raasay to activate Dun Caan GM/SI-092. Glassy calm on the Ferry trip out. The well marked path made for a pleasant walk out, the hidden loch was looking very picturesque. Spectacular views from the top and some radio experiments too. Gordon GM4OAS in Morar was keen to try not only 70cm but ssb 70cm which worked remarkably well despite me using only 2w and the rubber duck on the FT818. A few more locals called in on 70cm and 2m then a short run of qso’s on 40m and an s2s to EA1FOV on EA1/BU-062 on 15m. At this point the light breeze died and the midges appeared, time to head back to the ferry.
Sunday dawned as wet and a bit breezy, the cloud level was low so a change of plan from GM/WS-117 to GM/WS-319, Auctertyre hill. This was a walk up a timber extraction route from Balmacara which was quiet on a Sunday followed by a steep climb up a very wet hill. The weather wasn’t too bad on the ascent but then a blast of wind and rain assailed me at the summit. I found a sheltered spot and tried to do a quick 2m only activation with the rubber duck antenna. Sadly no takers from shelter, the rain eased and I stood back up at the trig point and got Gordon GM4OAS from Morar again. He had some others listening out for me as well but they couldn’t hear me. The rain stopped at this point so I got the pole out, attached the 2m flowerpot antenna and bungeed it to the trig point with a guy line to windward for strain relief. With the external battery upping the power to 5w I reached 2M0TNM on South Uist and MM6OEC on Lewis, MM7ETU joined in from Mallaig, MM7EPQ called in for a quick chat from Lochcarron and then it was time to go. I was too cold and wet to do HF or stay any longer. I packed up quickly while the weather was in abeyance and squelched back down the hill. The wee cafe in the square at Balmacara was about to close but they did me a nice hot chocolate and bit of tray bake that hit the spot.
A very wet and windy run home today but happy to have had the adventure. (The diesel had been washed away for the return trip and the Laggan road was dry…)