We set off for Jimmy's treat - for excellent SATs results - on Monday 27th August 2007. I hadn't dared post any specific summit alert times on SOTAwatch, for I knew that my plans were rather ambitious, and publishing them might cause some peers to question my sanity! Jimmy and I were focussed though, and both arose at the agreed 0530 BST on the Monday. After the final item was packed - a litre flask of Luxury Broccoli, Stilton & Bacon soup - we were on the road at 6.05am. As another time-saver, we would not be pulling in for breakfast, making do with a couple of Nutri-Grain bars each in the car. The journey up the M6 was clear, with Jimmy, as usual, insisting on pointing out every Marilyn he could see en route.
The drive through Windermere and Grasmere on the A591 was also
clear, as we listened to BBC Radio Cumbria on the car radio. We pulled in at
Dunmail Raise lay-by, just north of Grasmere, at around 8.45am.
On the summit of Seat Sandal, the weather was lovely, warm with
great views. Before we activated, another pair of hikers arrived - we had
watched them descending Fairfield G/LD-007 - and complemented us on our shirts.
We were both wearing Macclesfield Town replica shirts. I asked them where they
were from, to which one replied "Beech Lane". A couple of photos of the
Macclesfield Invasion of Seat Sandal were in order before the other guys
departed and we activated.
I must admit, it was very much a pre-meditated form of selfish
activating. Simply because we were trying to get as many Uniques that Jimmy
needed (that I had already done) ticked off, we were getting away with handhelds
with rubber duck where we could. They were tethered to the SLAB though to allow
the full 5 watts of power. The SOTA Beam was carried, but only to be deployed as
and when necessary. This was all to maximise the chances of activating lots of
summits in the four days. On LD-022, we each worked G4BLH, GW0DSP, 2E0EDX and
G6CRV. An 'amusing' moment came when Mike DSP was struggling to read the report
Jimmy was giving him, and a third party chipped in to relay it. This of course
actually delayed things, for Jimmy then had to change his report and send it
again to preserve the integrity of the contact.