Monday, 27 April 2015

EA6/MA-053 Puig de Son Segui SOTA Activation

As the Alsatian dog came towards us I started to realise that I had chosen a hopeless route to the summit of Puig de Son Segui MA-053....

After leaving MA-060 we drove to a parking place near a path that I thought would lead us to the summit of Puig de Son Segui. It didn't - and we wasted well over an hour in the process. What made my error more ironical was that Juerg HB9BIN had sent me a route used by Martin DF3MC which I had failed to load on to my GPS. The start of that route however, was still in my memory and we were able to have a fresh start later on a much easier route to the top.  Here is a map of the two routes taken. The red route is the one to take...

Access to EA6/MA-053 (on foot only - strictly no vehicles allowed) is via the red track
The story is not that straight forward though... Our first attempt in finding the summit led us to a large house with a metal gate, we could hear a dog barking and bravely went through the gate to see if we could get permission from the owner to cross his land to reach the summit. It was at this point that the Alsation came into view and so we beat a hasty retreat getting on the right side of the gate just in time...

We retreated from the gate and attempted to find a way past the house and garden without success...
The owner of the house did not appear and we spent 40 minutes then trying to find an alternative way to reach the summit through the woodland surrounding the property. This was not possible as it was heavily wooded, fenced and walled so we used the access road which went to the house to return to our car. 

After a rethink we drove a mile or so to the start point of the alternative route which was provided by DF3MC, which can be seen on the map in red. Here we parked, and I attempted to communicate with one of the locals in English with a modicum of success, and parking was allowed, as was access to the Puig de Son Segui - providing we went on foot up the gated track. 

Correct parking place for MA-053  - local man with dog (left) and Dave G3TQQ to the right
It took less than 30 minutes to reach the activation zone, and then we walked on past various fenced and gated water installations (probably underground reservoirs) to a high watchtower where Nick and Dave set up their station.

Watchtower and enormous trig point (left of picture) on MA-053
I walked back for around 400m and set up adjacent to a compound. Conditions were not so good, and I made just 27 contacts on 10, 14 and 18 MHz. K4DY in CW was the best DX on the 18 MHz band and KI4SVM was worked on 14 MHz SSB. 

EA6/G4OBK operating position on MA-053 Puig de Son Segui
Back to the car then and a search for food and drink... fortunately we found a cafe in the first village we passed through.... this was after deciding that we ought to change our plan due to a shortage of time, and make for the most easterly summit on Mallorca MA-065 which was a "drive on".

Dave and Nick having lunch in the village cafe of Santa Eugenia

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