Well that was bobbins.
Walking up Shining Tor G/SP-004 at 11pm on Sunday 11th August 2013, I suddenly remembered that I was absolutely shattered after my walks up Manod Mawr GW/NW-035 and Allt Fawr GW/NW-025 the previous day! “Why am I doing this?” was the question buzzing around in my head.
The bit between the path down to the Peak View Tea Rooms and the gate where you turn left and initially downhill for Shining Tor summit, seems a much longer section of walking in the dark!
As for meteors and fireballs, forget it. There were a few watery hazy stars occasionally visible through gaps in the cloud, but nothing else. Most of the sky was blanked out by cloud, the base of which was reflecting the orange glow from the lights of Macclesfield and Manchester. So skygazing for the Perseids was out.
I erected the 6m delta loop next to “Mickey’s Seat”, but despite lengthy calling, self-spotting, and use of all three modes - CW, SSB and FM - I made not a single 50MHz contact. Tuning around the band, I didn’t hear a single other station. I did hear a few beacons:
50.020MHz ED2YAH IN91sr
50.043MHz GB3MCB IO70oj
50.075MHz ED7YAD IM76qo
50.076MHz CS5BLA IM57px
*The transmission on 50.042MHz was strange, and appeared to be the following string repeated: TEAVSETETIAVAEETEVEEEETEENEET - This left me rather mystified!
Anyway, I wasn’t prepared to leave the summit empty handed, so I resorted to the VX7R handie to ensure that some activator QSOs took place. Three were made on 2m FM before midnight UTC.
And then after more nothingness on 50MHz, three more 2m FM QSOs were made after 0000 UTC on Monday 12th August 2013. A heavy shower could be seen approaching from the west, and I deployed the bothy bag just before it hit me. It did not last long, and I was able to pack away and descend in the dry. I kept me eyes open for meteors on the walk back to the car, but gaps in the clouds were infrequent and didn’t allow lengthy examination with the headtorch turned off anyway.
I have tried to catch the Perseids several times in the last ten years. But I have never seen anything like the spectacular display seen from the Strangers Home camspite in Essex back in 2002.