A Holiday in the Isle Of Man
“Twas brillig, and the slithy toves Did gyre and gimble in the wabe; All mimsy were the borogoves, And the mome raths outgrabe.”
And so Saturday 3rd October 2009 saw the Slithy Toves Gyreing and Gimbleing in a gale force 9, south westerly, heading for Mann on the “Ben my Chree” to do a bit of SOTA, a bit of Geocashing, some Hill walking and downing some “Okells” The IOM is a wonderful Jewel perched in the middle of the Irish Sea and it never fails to amaze me whenever I make the trip over there and I have been on many, many occasions. The only interest to the Group would possibly be the SOTA activations that we achieved and two of these would not have been possible without the help of G6CRV, G0YLM and G0VGS, thanks ever so much to you Guys. There are 5 SOTA summits on Mann and we managed 4 of them, unfortunately the weather was not good enough to do Slieau Freoaghana, don’t ask me to pronounce that one and so it will have to wait a little longer, a good excuse for a return trip to the Island. We only took 2 metre equipment with us, a Puxing 5 watt handheld, a 7 metre GRP fishing pole and a 5 element SOTA Beam and homemade J pole. The 5 element beam was by far the better antenna and worked very well once I had pointed it in the correct direction. The first summit we activated was Snaefell at 2036 ft the summit is not a pretty site having various telecomm towers and a Mountain Railway Station, fortunately the railway was not working and we had the summit to ourselves only seeing 2 other people on the way down. Next day we attacked Bradda Hill only 766 ft but with the best views on the Island, a magnificent cliff top walk from Port Erin and a really enjoyable day out, a must do if you are on the Island, it definitely has the WOW!!! Factor. South Barrule was the next one to go and a definite hill with wonderful views of the Island, here again we had it to ourselves, just as I like it. By far the easiest is Mull Hill only 556 ft and only just scraping in to attain SOTA status but with wonderful views of Calf Sound and a stunning Stone Circle just down from the Summit. Calf sound is my favourite place on the Island and I had sailed my Yacht “Pisces” through it many years previously, my memories being of seeing Basking Sharks, Seals and catching both Herring and Mackerel, putting them straight into the Frying Pan and eating them whilst completing the passage to Port St Mary. Needless to say we visited the place many times on this holiday but we were too late in the year for Basking Sharks but saw loads of Seals. Being a definite ANORAK, I thoroughly enjoy “Geocashing” we found lots of them and were beaten on only two occasions, it goes hand in glove with activating SOTA summits and takes you to some wonderful places, I recommend it to the Group. If anyone has a few days to spare I can also highly recommend a trip over to the Island, the Ferry operates from Heysham, just down the road and it only takes 3½ hours. If you find it too expensive to take a car over, get on yer Bike like I did in 2003, it’s a great place for cycling and a very cheap way of having a holiday, I can’t wait to return. Hope you enjoy the Photos!!!!
73s Baz g1jyb