We’re in Ballygally on the Antrim coast for a few days, visiting Marianne’s dad - Captain Jimmy, after whom @M0HGY was named! Ironically, Jimmy M0HGY is working this week and so is at home, and not away with Marianne, Liam and me.
Usual routine - try to get SOTA activating done while people are in bed, so as not to impinge on family time! After the overnight ferry from Birkenhead to Belfast, (and a fabulous large Ulster Fry at the Harbour Cafe near Belfast port) Maz and Liam were tired and opted to go straight to bed upon arrival at the accommodation in Ballygally. Hence that was my first opportunity.
Agnew’s Hill GI/AH-005
This was the most local SOTA summit, and therefore usually the first target when I’m over. It’s a short boggy slog of about 20 minutes to the summit cairn.
I used the Alexloop and qualified the activation with 5 QSOs on 40m CW, 3 on 30m CW and 3 on 40m SSB. No takers on 2m FM. All stations were recognised chasers.
This morning I had a deadline to be back at the accommodation by 10am so I got up at 5am and got on the road back to Belfast.
The barrier was locked at the start of the access road, so it wasn’t possible to shorten the walk by parking at the National Trust coffee shop. I parked and started my walk from the main NT car park on Divis Road.
I followed the Summit Trail which culminates with a pleasant engineered path onto the summit and trig point.
The M.O.D. base has long since disappeared but another compound contains a transmitter mast, and I used the tall fences to provide shelter.
Again I used the Alexloop and started on 40m, but it was a bit early even for this band.
I managed two QSOs on 40m CW with well-known chasers. One more was added on 2m FM with the HT, then I was rather scrabbling around for the fourth.
@SA4BLM came through with a big signal on 30m CW, and then it was nice to catch Robert MI0GDO on 2m FM for a fifth. An amusing moment came when Robert asked me if my dad also needed the QSO!
Tomorrow … not sure … but it will definitely be early again.