For my first activation, using the new call-sign, I chose the newest GFF reference… the Basingstoke Canal, GFF-292, in WAB square SU85.
Unfortunately, I gave the wrong reference over the air – so some chasers will have logged GFF-282. My apologies for the confusion!
The Basingstoke Canal
The Basingstoke Canal, together with associated ‘flashes’ and heathland, is nationally important for aquatic plants and invertebrates. The transition from calcareous spring water to slightly acidic conditions produces an extremely diverse flora, containing approximately half (87) of Britain’s native aquatic higher plant species, including 5 nationally scarce species. The Basingstoke Canal is botanically the most species-rich aquatic system in England. Twenty-four species of dragonfly occur on the Canal and other insects, including two nationally rare (Red Data Book) species, are well
The relative lack of pollution in the Canal and the variation in water chemistry throughout its length have given rise to a diversity of plant species and communities that has no parallel elsewhere in Britain. This, together with a rich and varied invertebrate fauna, makes the Basingstoke Canal a waterway of exceptional value to nature conservation.
Start on 40m
With only an hour (or so) to play with, I started on 40m (7.140MHz) and self-spotted on the cluster. Over the next fifteen minutes, I logged nine contacts (including two inter-G for useful WAB squares) before a Russian station came up on my frequency.
I was advised that 7.144MHz was free, so QSYed there, to meet GW0IRW asking if the frequency was in use… we had a quick chat, an explained what WWFF was all about. He left me the frequency, and I added a further six stations over twenty minutes, before another Russian station made things impossible.
Quick check on the WAB Net
Before changing bands, I called into the WAB Net (7.160MHz) to “give away” the reference to the WAB chasers, which included working MM3PDM/M for two all-time new WAB squares.
I was now 45 minutes into my hour… but I still hadn’t met my quorum and 20m had to be given a chance.
Searching for a frequency was a problem… 14.244MHz was occupied, but I settled on 14.266MHz (adjacent to the WAB frequency of 14.265MHz), and was met immediately by WAB chaser Sergei RV9DC and a steady flow of chasers.
Over the next 15 minutes, 32 chasers went into the log, before the pile-up disappeared… and it was time to go back to work anyway!
In total, 56 QSOs were made, from 20 DXCCs. Thanks to all hunters!
My log has been uploaded to:
I am not planning a special QSL card, but (obviously) a new card for the new call-sign will be created. QSL via the bureau is preferred.