- Every Spring since 1993, hardy BCRA/FRARC hams brave the elements and
spend the weekend at the Gay Head Cliffs on Martha's Vineyard Island.
Running on generator power from a trailer, and small tents, the
Fall River area Hams give out Islands On The Air (IOTA NA-046)
contacts to other Hams world-wide, which is why we flock to this
beautiful location. Coincidentally, the event is held on the same
weekend as the New England QSO Party, and in previous years, the
same weekend as the former Massachusetts QSO Party.
The participants stay busy giving out the rare Dukes County to
fellow contesters. The W1ACT crew has placed first in the
Multi-Operator category for the Massachusetts QSO party several
years in a row. This year promises to be just as much fun provided
the wind and rain live up to previous years' furor. The Gay Head
lighthouse is just a few yards from our operating position and offers
spectacular views of the Clay Cliffs of Aquinnah.
We are quite open to the elements, and whatever the Atlantic
Ocean can throw at us for weather. Our operating position is
located 180 feet above sea level and is basically surrounded by
water on 3 sides. In the last several years we have experienced
every type of weather imaginable: driving rain, sustained 80-MPH
winds, thick fog, and our favorite, beautiful sunshine. It has been
challenging trying to set up portable towers, tents, and the trailer,
in high winds and driving cold rain, but we always manage.
- Just beyond the lighthouse, you will find the scenic
Gay Head cliffs. The Gay Head cliffs are sacred grounds for the
Wamponoag Indian Tribe and attract many sightseers.
Here is an aerial view of our site at the Aquinnah Circle.
Near the center you can see our camper & tents. KA1LH took this photo
while N1JOY was piloting the plane.
The Clay Cliffs of Aquinnah are a spectacular site.
- This is our view out of the camper door;
The Gay Head Lighthouse.
Close-up of our setup from 500 ft. AGL.
Antenna configurations vary slightly from year to year, but whatever
we end up using requires our own support structures as there are no trees
more than a few feet tall on this part of the island. 2007 was the most extensive setup yet!
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