Sunday 8 October 2017

Gaelic WSPRs

I was fortunate to spend a week on the banks of Loch na Deasport on the Isle of Lewis and (as previously advertised) I decided to throw out some WSPR signals.

The cottage in which I was staying had a convenient 'fence-post' to support the telescopic pole I use to hold up the centre of my 'holiday dipole',

so I was soon in action on 20 and 40 metres.

It was nice to see the 'xpd' lines on the WSPR map diverging from somewhere other than Manchester, for a change...

and my new /a location allowed me to reach places I'm not ordinarily able to cover from the home QTH (at normal WSPR power levels, at least), including some novel parts of Canada, the mid-west and Japan (the latter seen here)...

I did try a few CQ calls on CW, but wasn't heard, despite being spotted by the Reverse Beacon Network. This being an 'ordinary' holiday, I wasn't able to spend much time at the key trying for a contact - which was precisely why I left it with the WSPR mode.

Another important mission whilst on Lewis and Harris was to indulge in the delicious Stornoway Black Pudding, to which I was introduced when reading Alastair McIntosh's equally delicious book Poacher's Pilgrimage and which I've been eating (whenever I can find it) ever since. Being on Lewis gave me the perfect opportunity to visit the lodestone, so the xyl and I found three Stornoway butchers - each claiming to have 'original recipes' - and sampled their wares.

After careful tasting sessions, we found we preferred the offering from Charles MacLeod, whose shop (below left) is near the Co-Op on the outskirts of town. We purchased enough pudding to sink the CalMac ferry, which we have today sliced (the pudding, not the ferry) and put into the freezer in breakfast-sized portions, some of which you see below right...

Charles MacLeod is known locally as 'Charley Barley' - usual disclaimer. The other butchers and their puddings were good too.

You go into wild places like the Outer Hebrides to get away from it all - so you'll imagine my surprise when I was walking down a backstreet of Stornoway and heard a cry of 'Paul'! It was a fellow radio amateur, well known on the RSGB / G-QRP circuit, who I'd seen only a matter of weeks before at the Telford event and who had also taken exactly the same week 'away from it all' with his xyl.

Small world indeed.

...-.- de m0xpd