How it all started - Written by Anthony David MW0JZE.
Unfortunately Chris G1VDP had to pull out with only 6 weeks left before the trip, we made the decision not to replace him confident that we could still manage with 3 ops. We changed the TS 590 to the TS 570, still a great radio.
Thursday 11th Oct
A 5pm start was needed as the MS Oldenburg sails from Ilfracombe North Devon which is approx. 2.5 hour drive from John M5JON QTH and we also had to pick Pete M0ILT up from Taunton en route. We arrived with 1.5 hours to spare so we found a nice little café were a very welcomed breakfast and coffee awaited us.
As all the baggage is taken to the accommodation we took advantage of a lift in a Landover as the walk up to the small village is quite steep and we wanted to save our energy for setting up the 3 stations. Due to the workload that the staff had at that particular time we had to wait almost 2.5 hours for it to be delivered, this was cutting it a bit fine to get the 2 hexbeams up before it started to get dark. As the kit arrived we were quickly unpacking all the antennas, none of us had ever worked together as a team before ,
I was the first to call MX0LDG at 20:33 GMT on 40m and was soon running quite a pile-up into EU, IC8AJU was first in the log. 117 stations were logged during the first hour. I was surprised by this as I along with John and Pete thought that Lundy had been done many many times in the past. Station was closed at 22:45 as the power goes off at 23:00 GMT or midnight local time with 182 in the log.
Band conditions were not fantastic but Lundy seemed to be quite wanted by many EU ops on the HF bands. On investigation it seems that many other expeditions to Lundy have been light weight in comparison to what we carried out or mainly on VHF. On times the pile-ups were quite intense logging over 150 per hour at times, this was short lived as the QSB was massive, 59 to 43 in a few seconds which slowed the rate down.
On the Saturday and Sunday there was a Scandinavian contest which made 40, 20, 15 and 10m quite congested so we concentrated on the WARC bands. 17m was very busy but 12m did not come alive until later in the afternoon. 12m attracted quite a few American stations with K5DXX in NM being the best. Total of 16 states being logged along with quite a few South Africans stations around the same time off the side of the beam, not to mention lots of EU.
As the days went past we also tried to take a few breaks for some exploring, we found the Pub and the shop HI. The Pub or Tavern seems to be the centre of the islands activities and is the venue for flight briefings, ships departure updates and any other important information. While most of the cooking was to be done in our cottage it was decided we would spend an evening or two at the Tavern, the food here is great with plenty of choice from Gammon Egg and Chips (Or was that Ham Pete) to some more rarer menu items such as Goat, I can recommend the Goat personally. John and Pete said I was behaving like a Kid after HI. The shop is where you can stock up on food, drink (beer) and Lundy merchandize ranging from stamps to clothing.
We were due to depart the island on the Tuesday afternoon so both Hexbeams, spare station and one main station were packed away. The 40m vertical and one main station were kept up for some last evening’s activity on 40m. With all the gear packed away we returned to the Tavern for the last meal of our stay only to be told that the ship would not be running the next day due to high 60mph winds and high sea swell.
Wednesday morning soon came around and we were ready to go by 9:30, off to the tavern for a flight briefing. There was a small flight supplement of £27 to pay for the helicopter, this is a cheap opportunity to fly in a helicopter and a first for me! By 18:00 we had dropped Pete off at home and had arrived back in Bristol awaiting my XYL Laura MW6INK to pick me up for my last leg trip home to Llanelli. One small point, Lundy is ONLY 41 miles from my home, it took me 7.5 hours traveling!!! May be I will charter a boat directly next time!
Final stats for MX0LDG are as follows: