Bumblebees 2000

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Each year the Adventure Radio Society organises its Flight of the Bumblebees contest. The idea is that hams backpack, canoe or cycle to interesting locations and operate on the HF bands. This year's event was on July 30th. I decided to participate from the Snowdonia National Park in Wales. Of the 102 potential participants listed, only three were in Europe. The rest were in North America. My location was a hill called Penmaen Bach on the north coast of Wales. It is 242 metres high (about 750 feet) and drops steeply down to the sea in the direction of North America. I took my DSW-20 radio which runs 2 Watts. As an aerial was a half-wave dipole and set this up with my DK9SQ portable mast. It looked good.

The views were fantastic and although it was cool and rather windy, I found a good spot to set up the station. When the time came for the contest to start, I called CQ a few times and listened around a lot. While I made some QSOs within Europe and could hear a JA calling CQ, I was unable to hear even one other contestant. In a couple of hours I had made just a few European QSOs and eventually I gave up, took the station down while it was still light and came home. It was fun in a way but also rather disappointing. Perhaps there will be more activity from outside of North America next year!



Post Script - well the contest results are out and I came... LAST. I can't recall having come last in a contest before. There was one bright point though. I was the Adventure Radio Society's first entrant from Europe so perhaps I'm setting a trend!


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