Hello all from a very hot caravan site near Axminster. To be exact Monkton Wylde in Dorset by about 100m.
So to begin———-
THURSDAY 17 JULY.
Left London at 1045A. Fast journey on motorways, 60mph cruise control on M25-M3- M27. Good driving on A31-A35. Arrived at 1450. Started out at 28°C and arrived at 30°C. Thank Toyota for air conditioning, wouldn’t want to do the journey without it.
Caravan very hot sitting on pitch closed up, didn’t take long to aerate, fit up services and put the kettle on. Local pub for meal and good pint of OTTER in the evening.
FRIDAY 18 JULY.
Up at 0700 mainly because it was too hot. Camp site reasonably full but nice and quiet so far. Had to go shopping in Axminster Tesco and top up the fridge with salad stuff, cold meats etc. Didn’t do much else.
SATURDAY 19 JULY
Determined to go /p today. Travelled to a spot on the local hills, called Cooneys Castle. Set up aerials and started on 40m.
Band conditions not good but managed to work about a dozen stations. Best one was when I was called by a PE1/mm. He was 200miles SW of Ireland on a cargo vessel that had left a port in Texas on 9 Jul and was due in Immingham on Monday morning. Very strong signals, 59 both ways. Worked lots of waterways stations, (BiWota – more info here) as well as special event stations.
Overall operating from 1145 to 1500 but conditions on all bands poor. Still a very pleasant afternoon spent on the hills.
SUNDAY 21 JULY
Attended the amateur radio in the country rally at Long Sutton. Hot day but beer,tea and cold drinks available. Met an acquaintance, Brook G0VEB who relocated from N21 to Teignmouth couple of years ago. Also met up with Tom Taylor G0PSE from the RNARS London (HMS Belfast) Group, he lives in Taunton. Nice little local rally with a feel like the old rallies used to be. Stalls and exhibits manned by the local clubs, RSARS, RSGB, BYLARA and G-QRP club. Rally used for the locals to meet and chat and old gear demonstrated on air. Has a laid-back feel to it.
Big storm late evening into early hours, lots of thunder and lightning, torrential rain. Reduced the pollen count but still warm and humid.
MONDAY 22 JULY
Woke as usual at 0530 and catnapped until 0730, had to get up as getting too hot. Quite a humid day but at least there is a breeze.
Shopping in Axminster and getting ready for the move to the Yorkshire Dales on Tuesday. Temperature suddenly dropped about 1800 and thick mist rolled in. Now quite chilly, from 26°C down to about 19°C. Good thunder and lightning again with heavy rain for about an hour.
TUESDAY 23 JULY
Packed up and left the site for Yorkshire. Good journey, M5-M6 good. 60mph cruise control most of the way. Left at 0945 arrived 1630 with three stops. 324 miles to the Dales.
Off to the local for pint and meal. Details of the site later (more here)