We had returned from County Derry on Saturday 8th August 2015 to spend one more night at my father-in-law's house in Larne, ahead of our ferry on the Sunday morning. After a KFC tea, I decided I didn't want to watch Saturday night low budget TV rubbish, so said I would nip out and activate the fairly local Big Collin GI/AH-008. Rain was forecast, and was in fact already slightly starting. Unsurprisingly therefore, Jimmy declined the opportunity to join me.
It was the same A8 - A36 route out of Larne that would be used for Agnew's Hill GI/AH-005. However, the turning for that summit was ignored, and I stayed on the main Ballymena road over Shane's Hill and to the crossroads at Kerryhill. Now it was left onto the B94, and soon my target hill loomed up on the right hand side. I passed the picnic area, and parked in the wind farm track entrance at J239971. The walk from here is just a case of "uphill". The land is dull and featureless, but at least mostly good going underfoot.
The first thing I did upon reaching the summit was place down my walking poles in a way that pointed by direction of descent. It was still daylight and I could see my car. I knew that by descent time, it would be dark and most probably misty and raining too. I chose the end-fed with Z match antenna system, but it was easy to get answers from 6 stations on 10m CW. One of them - EA2LU - called me for a second time to advise that there were conditions on 6m. I QSYd there and worked him again, plus a Hungarian station, but that was all. I had a sked with Jimmy on 2m FM, but he couldn't hear my signal back in Larne. MI0BWK answered though so there was one VHF contact. 20m CW provided a bit of late fun with Tunisia and USA among the callers.
The rain had indeed arrived, so all my operating was inside the bothy bag. I did quite want to get back for Match of the Day though, so I got packed up. As anticipated, the headtorch illuminated only a few feet in front of me into a wall of fog, so I walked off the hill in a straight-line following the direction indicated by my carefully place trekking poles. I didn't quite get to the car, but did reach the windfarm service road around 100m south of it - not too bad. Sunday morning saw us drive to Belfast for the ferry back over the Irish Sea to Birkenhead - and it was another real drag of an eight-hour crossing. MUST convince Maz of the benefits of the overnight service... Absolutely terrific holiday nonetheless.