Lighthouse Weekend 2010 Activating Isolated Lighthouses MM5AHO / MM
<ul><li>To activate isolated lighthouses (not activated before) for ILLW. </li></ul><ul><li>To do some more serious maritime mobile operation than before. </li></ul><ul><li>Determine what improvements could be made for future operations </li></ul><ul><li>Have fun. </li></ul>Objectives:
The boat: “Contender” is a fibreglass yacht built in 1976 32 ft long, sleeps 5, Heavily built for Atlantic crossings. 30HP diesel auxiliary 2 x 12V 75Ah batteries
Earlier this summer heading west through the Crinan Canal.
Radio Systems: Marine VHF, 25W Masthead ¼ whip Linked to GPS Best DX? Liverpool Coastguard Amateur: Yaesu FT857 100W Yaesu FC30 auto ATU 2m 5/8 whip HF backstay of mast, (About 8m sloper) DX? VK, JA, 9M0
HF ant (backstay) Insulator GPS Rx 25 litres spare Diesel 5/8, 2m whip HF ant cable From ATU
How “politics” can interfere with a hobby… There are four lighthouse groups. Three claim to be descended from Ayr Club and GM4SUC There are four numbering systems for lighthouses. There is disagreement between these groups about numbering, and about validity of “activating” lighthouses, and even on what constitutes a Lighthouse.
Our first contacts were from Lismore Lighthouse A4107 SCO121 UK0120 IO76EL 22 contacts, testing the water…
<ul><li>Lismore </li></ul><ul><li>Actually On Eilean Musdile, an islet off Lismore Island. </li></ul><ul><li>10 acre island bought in 1830 for £500 </li></ul><ul><li>Lighthouse built for £4,260 in 1830 </li></ul><ul><li>First lit in October 1833 </li></ul><ul><li>Lismore was a Rock Station. 4 men worked 6 weeks on 2 off. </li></ul><ul><li>One of only two Scottish Lighthouses not converted to dioptric (lens) system but left as purely catoptric (mirror) system. </li></ul><ul><li>Converted to automatic in 1965 (£10,000 cost, 11 tonnes material) </li></ul>
From Lismore, to Tobermory for the night. Arndnamurchan Peninsula Mull
Balamory is a real place, and it really does have colourful buildings.
Next day, Tobermory to Canna Harbour. Tiree Coll Harris Rum Eigg Muck Skye Canna
Canna Harbour. Staging post for Hyskeir. We made only 4 contacts here, but two crew went ashore to explore.
Many young seal pups. Seals “sing” like a dog howling!
Canna has only 20 buildings, including 3 churches, a post office and this tearooms / restaurant. No mobile phone service, but good broadband internet available. Population 16. In 1995 there were 10,000 rats - successfully exterminated by 1999, but the people survive. A ferry comes here 6 days a week.
Hyskeir light was built in 1904 by David & Charles Stevenson. Standing 41m high, it’s on a rock outcrop and was manned until 1997. The keepers had a 1 hole golf course.
First view of Hyskeir approaching from Isle of Canna
The others had agreed to be back by 1400. At 1415 I started blowing our foghorn to get them to come back aboard. We had a long way to go to get to Tiree for the night. We could sail all night but I’d never been through Gunna sound in daylight, and didn’t want the first time to be at night.
Rigging a Butternut antenna on Tiree for Callum.
Verticals need groundplane radials… loads of them.
Decision decisions…. Forecast for Caledonia, covering Mull of Kintyre to Ardnamurchan. Winds Southwesterly Severe Gale 9 to Storm 10 (F 9 = 41-47 Knots, wave height 7-10m, wave crests begin to topple)
Rubha nan Gall Lighthouse. Built in 1857 by the grandfather of Robert Louis Stevenson. Automated in 1960. 127 contacts in a bit over 3 hours Operated mainly 20m, but some 40m 17m, 15m also. DX included JA3JDT K9VFU N8II UA9SGQ UA9JFR Only Scot was GM3IBU in Shetland on 40m
Lismore Light Second visit 233 contacts in 4 hours Only 2 Scottish Stations: MM0IOB/MM Andy on a trawler in the Minch GM4MTI in Oban (about 5 miles !) DX included PP9A, W1OW, AA2DR, AA1VX G3ZOX/MM was on a yacht somewhere… We operated mainly 40m for UK contacts, but 20m for about 30% the time.