les sept iles
French Island group off Normandy coast
We arrived in France at Roscoff, to a fine day. 30k up the road the rain started as did the thunder and lightning. A foretaste of what was to come!
On arriving at the diving club, we found the boat operator still in bed! An hour later, we finally set sail for the isle. The boat was a 5 metre Gemini. The trip over took about 45 minutes, a slight swell,enough to wet us, but not dampen our spirits. It took about an hour to move all the equipment from the jetty to the top of the isle by the lighthouse.
As planned,we all went ahead doing our own tasks,at least we did till the time came to put the cover on the tent! By now the wind was up to about a force 4, the tent cover took all of us to hold it down. It finally took around 1hr 15 mins just to get the cover on and peg it down.
I estimated we could be on air by 1200Z. We actually managed to have the first contact with DL2DXA at 1020Z on 20m
During the following days weather worsened, we ended up tying .5 inch ropes over the tent to keep it on the ground. Wind speeds were up to force 6/7 rain was continuous, all clothing was wet, at base there was no way of drying clothes, so it was a case of having a hot shower(At least that worked), then drying off with a damp towel.
Unfortunately the weather worsened and after a quick conflab we decided that we would have to pull up stakes a day early. We finished operating around 1100Z on Tuesday.
On the return trip to the mainland we had waves of around 7-8 metres. Not much fun !
At no time did we ever expect to reach the sort of targets that the large DXpeditions do. I thought that around 1500 after band duplicates would be OK. The final figure we reached was 1508. Considering that we lost a day and half,that there was no night operating, I am pleased with the final results.
The trip home was uneventful, arriving back in Grantham around 0100Z.
Thanks go to all who made this trip possible, to all who called especially to the European stations ,who when asked to stand by so that we could work the VK and ZL stations actually did so !!
Not once but every time !
Thanks to you all. ALan G0RCI
Les Sept Iles Team.
Left to Right
Bob G8GVG, Doug G8PY, Brian G7SJX, Kevin G6SSN,
Pete 2E1ALF, Harry G7DEH, Alan G0RCI