For about a year now, I’ve been calling our fellow blogger, Neil… ‘Funny Hat Man’ as he has a collection of, in my opinion, wacky ‘hats’ or Buffs as they are called ( I’m reliably informed). Little did I know that plans were taking place down South Ayrshire way to convert yer man to wearing them, I had once again referred to Neil as ‘Funny Hat Man’ in an email and soon after I received a picture message from Cat asking me which one did I prefer.
There was a choice of three, the centre one of ‘love hearts’ on a dark background was definitely out as even I couldn’t carry that off. I made a choice and within a day, the said article arrived via the post. Thanks to you both ( esp Cat)
The look of disbelief on my kids faces had to be seen, ‘What age are you ?, ‘Surely not ?’ were amongst the advice and giggles offered. I felt I had a duty to give it a go…..you can see in the photo.
Now to the radio side of things…
The ‘Alerts’ page on the Sunday morning was alive with GM activations all on high summits, email communications flew back and forth so I decided it was to be a trip to my 1000 ft mast.
I was taken to the Greenock end of the track into Corlic from just south of the Whinhill golf course, I stuck on my ‘funny hat’ and got Katie to take this photo as proof ( she forgot to tell me to tuck my chins in ). The weather was warm with a steady light breeze from the south west as I headed along the track which is tarred until the MOD mast when it turns to a rough farm track, I reached the base of the hill and headed over the stile and 5 mins later stood at the summit. It is a rise of approx 150 ft, looking back I could see other walkers heading towards the hill.
I switched on my 2m handie and immediately heard Jack COX who was talking to Graeme 2MØGIL, I quickly set up the 2m beam and pegged the mast and made contact with Graeme who was on Beinn Dubhnchraig, Graeme had intended to also ‘activate’ Ben Oss later in mid afternoon but as we spoke, Neil 2MØNCM was heading to the summit of Ben Oss. Neil had as usual, sent me his position on the hill so I could keep track of his progress.
I next caught Alan EYO who is up in Scotland on a four day ‘activation’ holiday, he was on Schiehallion, a quick chat and he was off to find the other lads who were already on the tops. I had a ‘scran’ break and had a few words with some walkers who had arrived at the summit, one told his wee lass that the man is ‘broadcasting’….Radio Bawb anyone? experience ? I DJ’ed in the early/mid 70s in the heyday of Disco…
The handie was switched back on and I heard Robin PKT calling from Geal-charn, I called back and we moved to another frequency, signal reports back and forth were pretty weak but all words were understood and contact made, more points in the bag. I then got called by a couple of stations in the Lanarkshire area, WNR/P and VYU and whilst working them, Jack COX called in to give me the chasing points for Meall Corranaich before he took off for another hill, another eight points bagged !
I caught up with Neil 2MØNCM and made the contact to Ben Oss and whilst talking to Neil, Alan XXP called in as he was nearing the summit of Ben Lui and said he would be on about 20 mins. I spoke to Neil then left him to chase the other activators for his STS’s (summit to summit).
Alan XXP soon appeared so I got to work him on 2m FM with the usual sked arranged to work him on 4m FM, Neil also had his 4m handie and dipole so we had a four way QSO once Graeme 2MØGIL arrived on the summit of Oss, superb.
I decided it was time to head back to the hacienda and I broke down everything so it was off to descend my usual trip through occasional knee deep heather and bog, I had a quick look at the old burn controls as I neared the road between Greenock and Kilmacolm and headed north along the roadside until I cut through a gap in a fence and headed past the Harelaw and Knocknair reservoirs and traisped over the fields to the golf course where I headed down home, five mins away.
A cracking day out with a good walk in, a fine days ‘chasing’ and an excellent walk home in almost perfect weather plus a few hours spent talking to those who ascended much higher hills than mine…
One of the activators arrived home just after midnight….who says radio isn’t fun ?
The ‘cairn’ in the photo ‘Remnant of the Second World War’ is possibly related to the Whitelees Decoy station or the MOD building which is now a telecommunications station ( I think). A lot of activity took place on the this area above Greenock during the Second World War.
Once I claim all the points, I have 98 left to achieve my goal of Slothdom...onwards and upwards plus what is next ? A bottle of Fizz awaits.
Whilst ‘Googling’, I found this. It is part of a poem by Daniel King..
No more by the river, lake, or deep fountain, No more over Corlic, high hill, or mountain, In deep musing mood will he wander alone ;