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Twelve of us went to Lundy for a holiday which just happened to cover the IOTA contest. It was inevitable, therefore that we would take part in the contest.

Our party consisted:

Colin G4GBP and his wife Judy

Brian G0UKB and Liz M0ACL

Tony G4LDL and Glenys G8KWD

Rhodri M0RHO and Mo M6MQD

Quintin M1ENU and his wife Sonya

Andy G4JNT

Raymond 2E0DHG

We arranged that we would all be staying in Bideford the night before our departure and met at ‘The Rose Salterne’, a Wetherspoon’s pub for introductions and a meal with a few drinks. Not too many drinks because we had an early start. The MS Oldenberg sails from Bideford Quay at 0900 and we all had to be there at least an hour beforehand to check-in and load our baggage into the special wooden crates.

Whilst our leaving the River Torridge was reasonably calm, once we got out into open waters the sea became very rough. It is probably not an exaggeration to say that most of the passengers on the MS Oldenberg suffered ‘mal de mer’! Some more so than others. To many, the two hour crossing was two hours too long, for me personally I enjoyed it.

Lundy gradually came in sight, then we were in the lee of Lundy Island as we docked and disembarked. As per usual, the ‘mad keen’ were well on their way up the hill before the rest of us had stepped ashore!

Our party, duly gathered, made our way up the hill to assemble outside the Marisco Tavern. Our accommodation properties were not ready for us to occupy as the cleaning team were still doing their stuff. We ate lunch and explored the tavern and the shop.

Once it was signalled that our properties were ready, we made our way to see what they were like.

We were taking over Bramble Villas East & West and ‘The Quarters’.

Hover your mouse in the picture to see the caption…

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MS Oldenberg and her passengers after a pretty rough crossing.

We saw many seals during our stay on Lundy, these were the first…

Judy & I, along with Brian & Liz took Bramble Villa East (to the right in the photo) whilst Tony & Glenys and Rhodri & Mo had Bramble Villa West.

Bramble Villa is down in a hollow on the eastern side of the island so we had views of the mainland - Woolacombe Bay, but more importantly it was much more sheltered than ‘The Quarters’ which was right on the top of the island. Quintin & Sonya, Raymond and Andy were in ‘The Quarters’ pictured below.

We arrived on Lundy on the Thursday, two days before the IOTA Contest. This gave us time to play with various aerials to cobble something together to get us on air. We operated from ‘The Quarters’ as this had an enclosed back garden and a scrubby field net to it. This allowed us to erect our aerials safe in the knowledge that others would not be passing by on one of the many footpaths that criss-cross Lundy.

Brian brought his neatly packed iPro-Traveller and Raymond brought his Sigma Euro HF X-80 vertical. These were fairly quickly erected and tested.

I brought my 12m Spiderpole, this was erected and held up a 40m (and 15m) dipole. We then went on to make a 20m vertical, using Rhodri’s mast and some lengths of wire and co-ax. Tony used his SARK-110 to help tuning the aerials to length. This had a couple of tuned radials. The Spiderpole and the 20m vertical can be seen in the picture to the right.

Then the weather closed in!

View from the front window of ‘The Quarters’. Andy G4JNT

We used the ‘foul-weather’ time to get all the radios set up and tested. The laptop was connected to the K3S and it worked straight away without any problems. N1MM+ was as happy as we were.

Raymond brought his FT-991 and this was connected to his own mini-computer system with N1MM+ already up-and-running. I took my own FT-897 with its 300Hz crystal just in case we were going to do any CW work. (I like rocks for CW!).

For the purposes of signal isolation we used Dunestar filters in the aerial leads. This was definitely a great help and allowed us to use two stations throughout without break-through.

With all of us new to the K3S we all had a play to familiarise ourselves. We were about as ready as we could be.

The Spiderpole with the 40m dipole and in the background, the 20m vertical in the back garden at ‘The Quarters’.

The Contest operation was fairly straightforward. I had registered us on the IOTA web-site as G0IVR/P - the Itchen Valley Radio Club call-sign as the greater number of us were members.

My ears would not settle into SSB so I operated only CW. The others were happy to work SSB.

The K3S worked SSB on the 40 m and 15 m bands as and when each band was profitable.

The FT-991 worked SSB on the other bands throughout.

The K3S station setup was shared with the FT-897 for CW (as the laptop N1MM+ was happy with the 897)

Some statistics:

A total of 415 QSOs with 352 uniques

A total of 162 IOTA stations on 54 different islands.

QSOs by band

 40m - 140

 20m - 225

 15m - 030

 10m - 020

 SSB - 234

 CW - 181

Conditions were not good. We actually operated for about 15½ hours of the 24. Lundy generates its own electrical power and this is normally turned off between midnight and 0600.

We had no problems at all with the N1MM+ or the computers.

Interestingly, whilst ‘running’ the QSO rate went up (as expected) but the IOTA Island count was reduced to just about zero.

We worked most of Europe plus US, Canada, Cuba, UA9, PY & LU.

On the Sunday afternoon, after the contest we continued to work, to give others the chance to work Lundy Island. We made contact with one or two of our Itchen Valley Club members. We attempted to contact the Waterside Club but they were out enjoying their ‘HF Picnic’ and we could not find them. We had a pile-up! For the couple of hours that the SSB team worked, they made 63 contacts.

Taking the equipment down and packing away took very little time.

Throughout the whole time we were working in ‘The Quarters’ we were looked after by the ladies of the group and I would like to pay particular thanks to Sonya who really looked after us by supplying endless teas and coffees. I am pleased to say that the dynamics of the group worked very well. Everyone played a part and (to my knowledge) everyone thoroughly enjoyed themselves. We all loved Lundy and were all particularly impressed with the standard of accommodation that was supplied by The Landmark Trust.

Thanks go to all of you for being such a wonderful team!

I did hear mutterings of ‘Where are we going next time?’

Monday was (pretty much) a day without radio. This left us with time to walk around the island. Judy & I walked to the very northern tip of the island and had a look at the northern lighthouse where we saw more seals, where we met Rhodri & Mo. Andy walked just about every footpath on the island. We met Quintin & Sonya coming back from a walk - Sonya wouldn’t go any further because of the ‘horny cattle’. These certainly looked frightening but were very tame Highlanders.

On the Monday evening we all went as a group to the Marisco Tavern where we took over the mezzanine floor. Clockwise from the bottom left: Mo, Rhodri, Andy, Raymond, Quintin, Sonya, Brian, Liz, Tony, Glenys, myself and Judy.

On the Tuesday we had to vacate our rooms and put our cargo items ready for loading onto the MS Oldenberg.

Luckily the crossing to Ilfracombe was a lot better than the outward passage and nobody suffered any form of sea-sickness.

Rhodri M0RHO and his Green Radio

Rhodri loves green radios. He brought along a complete Clansman setup, radio, battery, mast with antenna and ground radials and all the necessary accessories. He made many contacts into the farther reaches of Eastern Europe on 20 m SSB with his 30 watts on battery. We were all very impressed with the capabilities of the Clansman radio. He even found that having the aerial laid along the top of a dry stone wall worked much better than anyone would have thought. Well done Rhodri! We all enjoyed seeing your radio and sharing your QSO success.