Story from 26DX/N039 activity.
Ashton iWi activations.
I hadn’t been active for a long time and I thought a few small iWi’s would get me back into it. On arrival in the area, the weather was glorious, sunshine, blue skies and 25 deg. The day before my triple activation, I went to Ashton to reccy the islands, although I had been there for a look a couple of years ago, I wanted to check nothing had changed and that access was still there.
The access point at Ashton Mill Island was very overgrown and difficult to wade through, but because the other Islands were part of the Canal/lock system, they were well looked after.
The day of activation was a little cloudy but seemed ok; the forecast was for cloud and 20c. When I had unpacked my car and put the gear on my trolley, i started the trek through Ahston Mill Island. I had decided earlier to activate three islands and locate myself at a point where the three were closest to each other. This made moving equipment so much easier.
No sooner had I arrived at the first setup point, the heavens opened. Not heavy rain, but enough to make me think “what am I doing here”? I had my big umbrella and covered the gear while building the antenna. The setting up took a while because of the weather conditions. Once I was ready to go, the band seemed promising. First couple of calls went unanswered but then I got some action. I spent 2 hours at the first Island and then moved my gear to “The Step”. The island was small enough to jump across, but an Island all the same. Conditions with wx and dx were going downhill fast. The odd burst, but nothing to cheer me up. Two hours later and I was on the move again to Ashton Long. I had decided that on this one, an hour would be my limit. It was a good decision in hindsight because the band closed completely.
An interesting day, thin logbook, wet clothes and flat batteries, the usual stuff. But happy that I had gotten back into it. See you on the next one. 73