The Cheviot G/SB-001 in a sun spot....

Saturday 11 May 2023

I drove up the previous evening and dossed in the car. (No one wants a 73 yr old coughing and spluttering in their B & B. I had a bad cold! ) anyway its a lot of money for 8 pts… I arrived in Wooler over 3 hrs later due to a long unexpected detour off the A!. In Wooler I found an isolated spot in the in the village car park, facing a large wall. I posted a quick alert for the morning followed by a quick brandy and bed Only a slight creaking noise disturbed my sleep.

I awoke early to discover the creaking noise was caused by the car slowly rolling back into the middle of the car park. Luckily there were no other cars around. Then I picked up the news that they’d been a massive showing of the Northern Lights during the night - I’d been too tired to look!! Wooler had had a spectacular display.

Breakfast and a drink was obtained from the village supermarket which opened whilst I waited at 6:30am Setting off from Langleeford some time later my hacking cough got worse and I could see a couple of other early leavers looking in my direction and probably wondering if i’d make it to the top… I arrived on the top without a rest or being overtaken 1:50 minutes later.

The summit was relatively dry and I moved off to find somewhere a little more sheltered amongst the banks of peat.

I got set up and posted my alert for 7mhz - cw. A couple of CQs later and nothing. It was 15 minutes later I got my 1st chaser - 2W0ILQ. @ 1047 local time followed by more silence. A quick check on the band and there was nothing to be heard across the band.
A quick change to 10mhz quickly got me ON7GO followed by DL3NM/P & DL2DXA/P who were both activiting GMA summits. Then silence.

I changed to to 14mhz and could only hear a few QSO|s.
I quickly worked S57S but had to wait another 15 minutes to get my next chaser in the log – HG9AFI/P, who was on HB/FR-043
I did hear a couple of callsigns but I couldn’t be sure they were actually responding to me or another caller elsewhere and out of my range.

I could hear a couple of other sota operators calling CQ but it sounded like they weren’t getting much response either.

I curious buzzing noise filled my earphones and I realised I was being observed by a drone which soon flew off in the direction of the summit trig point. No doubt the owner was curious about the loud hacking cough… Another 20’ minutes calling with my spare radio got me DJ5AV and PA5KM. It had taken me 1hr 20 minutes to get my 8 QSOs. It was time to cough and splutter my way for the long drive back home to Robin Hood’s Bay.

This is the lowest number of chasers I’ve ever had on an activation for quite a few years…

Spotted on the way up - an old tractor engine.

Spotted next to the trig point.

The office

Radio Kit
Venus SW1B + straight key
Sotabeams triband linked dipole
You kits HB1B plus sotabeams linked dipole

2 x Lipo 2.amp batteries
Spare key - a palm paddle. Log book & clip board, bungee cord, Life’s a Breeze 4m pole.
Earphones plus spare (ear buds)
swiss army knife, bothy bag, lightweight goretex jacket & overtrousers and thin belay jacket. half pint of water, half a sandwich, a small orange,

Total weight including rucksack, = 5.2KG (I haven’t included the umbrella :slightly_smiling_face:)

I descended via a line of new(?) shooting butts which lead to Langleeford Hope Lodge and a pleasant walk along the river valley.

Spotted or heard - Buzzard, Merlin (on the top), Herons, singing black caps, garden warbler,s chiff chaffs, One wheatear. Plenty of grouse of course.