Thursday, 25 June 2015

SOTA - Beacon Batch - G/SC-003

Beacon Batch - 325m, 1 point
Association: England Region: South Central
Latitude: 51 18 41 N, Longitude: 2 44 30 W
Grid Reference: ST 484572, QTH Locator: IO81PH

An early morning run to drop off my daughter at Bristol Airport meant only one thing. An activation of Beacon Batch!
I left the house at 0200L, dropped off my passenger and I was ascending Beacon Batch, in the dark, at 0430L.
I parked in the car park just below Elick Farm and started the ascent.

The sky was lightening in the East with the promise of a fine day. Low cloud and mist rolled along the valleys below as I climbed above it.

Approaching dawn
I reached the trig point and found my usual spot to setup under a small bush.

I set up my camera on the trig point and took a selfie!

Selfie at dawn
I then started to setup the rig and prepare for the activation. It was about 10 minutes later, as I was bent over the rig that I was startled by someone saying "have you lost some money!"
The last thing I expected was to see anyone else in the darkness, but a mountain biker had joined me on my dawn patrol. He'd found the 3 £1 coins I'd used to prop the camera up with on the top of the trig point. Thanks for being honest and returning them!

I started off calling on a completely dead 20 metres. Absolutely zilch. Not a squeak and not even picked up by RBN. Moving to 40m I called for about 25 minutes before Mariusz, SP9AMH, thankfully answered my call. It really was a silly hour of the morning to be operating when there's no opening to any DX. It took me a further 26 minutes from the my call being answered by Mariusz to get my 4th qualifying QSO with IS0LYN and over an hour since I started out calling! Certainly my longest ever qualifying period.

Mist clearing

I stuck it out for an hour operating 40, 30 and 20 metres, ending up with 17 contacts for the day.
Certainly hard work in the very flat summer conditions.

A pleasant descent back to the car, the mist still hanging in the valleys.
Then it was off to the day's second summit - Dundry Down

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