We're enjoying some wonderful weather here in the Lake District at the moment. Unfortunately I haven't been able to get out on the hills for some radio activation. I've been plagued with back pain ever since I returned from Blackpool. But not only that, sometimes I have to go somewhere that is of interest to Olga.
Today we decided to take a drive down to visit Holehird Gardens, home of the Lakeland Horticultural Society. For Olga, who is if anything even more obsessed with gardening than I am with radio, this is like visiting a really big ham radio show would be for me. I have zero interest in gardening, but I do enjoy looking at a nice garden, and I enjoyed the day out as much as she did. In fact, we agreed we should visit Holehird more often.
I took along the little Jin Ma Tong JT-228 VHF radio because it is small, light and easily slips in a shirt pocket. The antenna was a short stubby helical. No sooner had we arrived than I heard Phil M0AYB/P calling CQ Wainwrights On The Air from the summit of Great Gable. Phil was rattling off the contacts, and soon heard my call. I was pleased to make a contact using 3W to such a small antenna especially as Phil was also using a stock rubber duck, though according to a panorama engraved on the slate behind me in the picture Great Gable was line of sight from where I was standing so it shouldn't have been too difficult.
More was to come, as just after Olga had taken my picture I heard Derek 2E0MIX/P calling CQ WOTA from the summit of Hindscarth. I got in a quick call and Derek heard me first, so we had a quick chat. Hindscarth was not line of sight, I think, but Derek was using his SOTA Beam which made a big difference. I was well pleased to make two WOTA contacts using the tiny hand-held radio. I popped it back in my shirt pocket and carried it around for the rest of the afternoon but didn't hear anyone else although several Wainwright summits were activated.
However I was too busy enjoying the wonderful warm weather and beautiful Holehird Gardens to worry too much about the contacts I missed.
What this proved to me is that you don't need to be up on the fells to enjoy some WOTA fun. Come to the Lake District and bring a hand-held with you and you'll be sure to make some contacts!