Yes it's felt like a long haul so far this year.
The long haul has been up and down to the VHF Contesting location of course. The precise location is kept a trade secret to all but the select few such as G4RLQ (hardly as he lives about a mile away). It does lurk at about 273m ASL, and has a very good view to the south and east, where it appears most of the likely contacts are located.
Taking part in the RSGB's UK Activity Contest I'm only able to take part in the 6m (using antenna and mast at the Brimham Contest Group site) and 2m and 70cm from Brimham Rocks using the portable kit. The criteria is that I do need to fit the kit in the car, and be able to set up and dismantle in the dark. That rules out having to assemble items with the potential to lose bits into muddy puddles in the dark.
Portable lighting is part of the kit, and 12V 5W LED spotlights so I can see what I'm doing. It also provides a nice floodlight to put the antenna on the mast.
That's all the boring stuff said, but with the last sessions coming along I'm hoping the weather stays bad enough for me not to miss any sessions. Too good and those camper vans like to enjoy the view and occupy "my spot", and of course the gale force winds put paid to putting any antenna in the air.
We have recently had our numbers boosted. Roger G8BNE has always thrown his hand in for the club, joined by a resurgent M0VGA, and newcomers to this M0KOV and M6OXP. More operators and logs entered mean more points. All good in getting contacts and experience in operating.
Sometimes I do feel like I'm only giving everyone else the points for IO94 square, but generally I'll be noted to some as being their only contact in that square. December is the last lot for this year, and although I missed some earlier in the year, it's not been a bad run. One big last push.
The big question is of course - do I enjoy it? Well it feels like hard work sometimes, but given the waiting for the results and seeing that I've not done as bad as I've thought. Then the realisation is that we've crept the club up a bit in the ratings, which I don't think is a bad thing. We get noticed, RADARS is shown as getting involved in getting on the air, and you never know we might attract a few more to the club. Of course I'd like them to be keen VHF operators of course.
So the last push is coming up, hopefully not accompanied by snow showers, and we'll be waiting until the New Year to get the overall results.