Location

Former TRINITY LIGHT VESSEL 55, the 'John Sebastian', is moored in Bathurst Basin in the centre of Bristol and has her own postal address, namely: 'The John Sebastian, Bathurst Basin, Bristol BS1 4RL'. However, there are some specific details that will be of interest to radio hams:

  • Lat/Long: 51.446579°,-2.595022°
  • IARU: IO81qk
  • IOTA: EU005 (UK Mainland)
  • WAB: ST57 – England

Google Map of Bathurst Basin

Introduction

This years International Lighthouses and Lightships on the Air weekend took place over the 20/21 August. Once again we were fortunate to be guests of the Cabot Cruising Club on the John Sebastian (Former Light Vessel 55) in Bathurst Basin, part of Bristols historic City Docks.

Typically we plan to operate from about 10:00 – 16:00 and the plan on Saturday was to get to site about 09:30 to give time to set up the rig and antenna. The usual thing happened and at 09:30 Andy G7KNA was just leaving home. Putting out a call on GB3ZB one of our local 70cm analogue repeaters to try to contact Mark M0SKV to inform him that it would be closer to 10:00 before he arrived on site.

Mark M0SKV wasn't contactable at first but Martin M0JEA popped up, he too was in the process of getting to site but being equipped with a 2m capability was able to try to reach Mark M0SKV via GB3WR where Mark M0SKV was known to operate. Mark M0SKV also joined the conversation shortly afterwards, he too was late leaving home.

Despite this Andy G7KNA was first on site which was useful as both Mark M0SKV and Martin M0JEA required talk-in in the final few hundred yards of their approach to the site.

Mark M0SKV as Special Events Manager had planned to operate an 80m doublet, his intention had been to hang the feedpoint from just below the lantern using one of the existing lanyards and then to secure the ends in an inverted vee configuration to the bow and stern of the lightship. Prior to the event he had asked Andy G7KNA to calculate what height the feedpoint had to raised to to allow such a configuration to be implemented.

Data on the height of the lantern and its position relative to the bow and stern was difficult to obtain, however Andy G7KNA calculated that the antenna was too long for this installation and would have about 1500mm to long at the stern.

The John Sebastian with scaffold tower around lanternThe John Sebastian with scaffold tower around lantern

When we arrived on site the lantern was in the process of being refurbished and a scaffold tower had been erected around the lantern and its mast. Hanging the feedpoint of the doublet level with the base of the lantern resulted in the end of the antenna being some 450mm – 500mm longer than the stern of the ship. Given the lack of hard data about the dimensions of the ship and the lantern it was felt that this was a good estimate.

The scaffold tower, however, gave us the option to get the feedpoint higher than would have otherwise been possible. By getting the feedpoint to the top of the tower the antenna could be rigged as originally intended. This was connected to our new FT991 via a manual tuner which was required as we had no balun.

View of the doublet feedpointView of the stern from the feedpoint

Our station was set up on the stern of the 'John Sebastian' under the overhang of the upper deck. Although this appeared to offer little cover it was more than adequate for the weekend even with the occasional showers that we experienced.

Mark M0SKV operating with Steve M6LWRMark M0SKV operating with Steve M6LWR and Martin M0JEA on the stern of the John Sebastian

The day went well once we were set-up as the log shows we made 75 contacts with the best DX being K9PPY in Illanois. 40m wasn't really open for inter-G in the morning but we made 59 of our contacts on this band in the first day. We found that the 40m contacts were good for a bit of a chat about the respective stations. By contrast the 20m contacts were very prescriptive 59, 73 QRZ with many operators not even bothering to give their name in the 1 over QSO. We also managed a contact on 80m just to prove that we could to one of our members who had been scathing of our intention to operate an 80m antenna.

We were joined on the day by Martin M0JEA, Eddie M0LJT and former member Steve M6LWR and thanks to them for their help on the day.

Martin M0JEA operatingView from the feedpoint over the bow

Sunday was to prove more challenging. We had left the antenna up overnight with the plan that we would then be able to simply plug back in the following day and pick up where we had left off. Sadly this didn't work out that way. We plugged everything back in but couldn't get a decent SWR match. Thinking that water might have affected the feedpoint we tried to operate on 40m but once again couldn't match the antenna.

We took the decision to replace the antenna, erecting a 20m/40m fan dipole in its place. After trying a couple of different feeders we once again had an operational antenna and got back on air at about quarter to twelve. Although this antenna was good it was clearly outperformed by yesterdays doublet. Local members who had worked us and listened to us on both days reported that our signal strength was down on Sunday compared to Saturday.

Bathurst BasinBathurst Basin

During the day we were joined by Gary 2E0HCC, John 2E0VTT and Nigel currently undertaking a Foundation Course with the Club.

By the end of the operation on Sunday we had made 109 contacts over the weekend including 24 registered lighthouse/lightship stations, our sister club North Bristol ARC and the RSGB National Radio Centre at Bletchley Park.

We are indebted to our hosts, the Cabot Cruising Club who once again went out of their way to make us welcome and accommodate us in their Clubhouse. All things being equal we look forward to returning to their Lightship for this event next year.

GB0CCC Log

Date Time (UTC) Station Worked Band or Freq'cy Mode RST Name QTH Notes
Sent Rec'd
20/08/16 10:19 GB0NL 40m LSB 57 57 Aharod Newhaven UK0190 – Newhaven Lighthouse
20/08/16 10:26 G4WWH 40m LSB     Phil Portland  
20/08/16 10:29 G0FEX 40m LSB 59 59 Ken Leicester  
20/08/16 10:31 M0LJT 40m LSB 59 59 Eddie Bristol  
20/08/16 10:33 G4DSD 40m LSB 59 59 Ron Newcastle  
20/08/16 10:34 OK1DOL 40m LSB 59 59 Libror Kozolupy  
20/08/16 10:36 G6ZBV/M 40m LSB 59 59 Adrian West Yorkshire  
20/08/16 10:37 MW0ATI 40m LSB 59 59 Geoff Wrexham  
20/08/16 10:39 G7CDK 40m LSB 59 59 Alan March Cambridgeshire  
20/08/16 10:40 G4VMX 40m LSB 59 59 Tony Newport Pagnell  
20/08/16 10:44 2E0KDB 40m LSB 59 59 Dave Kidsgrove Stoke on Trent  
20/08/16 10:47 F5IDJ 40m LSB 59 59 Val North France  
20/08/16 10:49 GB3RS 40m LSB 59 59 Henry Bletchley Park National Radio Centre Bletchley Park
20/08/16 10:51 G4EDR 40m LSB 59 59 David Filey North Yorkshire Coast  
20/08/16 10:55 F/G7HFS/M 40m LSB 59 59 Ian Port of Calais France Home QTH Eastborne
20/08/16 10:57 G0LHD 40m LSB 59 59 Bob Nailsea QRP
20/08/16 10:59 EI5HIB 40m LSB 59 59 Noel Ballyfin Co. Laois Ireland  
20/08/16 11:02 M0JCE 40m LSB 57 59 Julian Weston super Mare  
20/08/16 11:07 GB2LBL 40m LSB 59 59 Bob Liverpool UK0192 – LV23 Planet
20/08/16 11:09 G4AYO 40m LSB 59 59 Mike Sheffield  
20/08/16 11:11 G1DFN 40m LSB 59 59 Fred Darlington  
20/08/16 11:12 G0BFJ 40m LSB 59 59 Brian Huddersfield  
20/08/16 11:14 GW6STK 40m LSB 59 59 Robert Colwyn Bay  
20/08/16 11:15 M0XLT 40m LSB 59 59 Kevin Skipton  
20/08/16 11:19 GB8SL 40m LSB 59 59 Alan Shoreham-by-Sea UK0023 – Shoreham Lighthouse
20/08/16 11:22 GB5FLM 40m LSB 59 59 Derek Fraserburgh UK0094 – Kinnairdr Head Castle Lighthouse
20/08/16 11:24 G0BOR 40m LSB 59 59 David Manchester  
20/08/16 11:25 GM4TOE 40m LSB 59 57 Barry Banff  
20/08/16 11:27 M0BUI 40m LSB 59 59 Les Bude  
20/08/16 11:30 MW0JWP 40m LSB 59 59 John Bangor  
20/08/16 11:31 M0RBM 40m LSB 59 59 Rodney Bude  
20/08/16 11:36 G0JPS 40m LSB 56 59 Chris Bristol  
20/08/16 11:40 M6LWR 40m LSB 59 59 Steve Brstol  
20/08/16 11:44 M5AOI 40m LSB 56 59 Neville West Kirby Wirrel  
20/08/16 11:45 M0KED 40m LSB 59 59 Andy Lincoln  
20/08/16 11:58 G1RLT 40m LSB 59 59 Peter Alston  
20/08/16 12:03 G8GRO 40m LSB 59 59 Roy Penzance  
20/08/16 12:09 M1FCV 40m LSB 59 59 Clive Stroud  
20/08/16 12:12 G8WPL 40m LSB 59 59 John Manchester  
20/08/16 12:13 EI6IZ 40m LSB 59 59 Brendan Castlebar Co. Mayo  
20/08/16 12:15 MD0XAL/P 40m LSB 59 59 Alan Douglas  
20/08/16 12:19 G0DRM 40m LSB 54 59 David Leicester  
20/08/16 12:22 DL8HGZ 40m LSB 59 59 Paul Hamburg  
20/08/16 12:28 DL1JKK 40m LSB 59 59 Karl Mylau  
20/08/16 12:38 GM0GOV 40m LSB 52 45 Fred Dunlop Ayrshire  
20/08/16 12:39 G4BSW 40m LSB 59 59 Nigel Margate  
20/08/16 12:44 GB4FL 40m LSB 59 59 Robin Flamborough UK0006 – Flamborough Lighthouse
20/08/16 12:45 GB4FCL 40m LSB 59 59 Robin Flamborough UK0005 – Flamborough Chalk Lighthouse
20/08/16 12:49 GB2TCL 40m LSB 59 59 Patrick Hull UK0149/UK0150 – Thorngumbald Clough High/Low
20/08/16 12:53 F5VLO 40m LSB 59 59 Garry 30 miles inland of St. Marlo Brittany  
20/08/16 12:55 M0XOC 40m LSB 57 59 Mike Wigan Lancashire  
20/08/16 12:57 G1NLQ 40m LSB 59 59 Dave Margate  
20/08/16 13:10 GB2LCL 40m LSB 42 59   Little Cumbrae Scotland UK0172 – Little Cumbrae Lighthouse
20/08/16 13:11 GB2BHL 40m LSB 59 59 Graham Wirrel UK0180 – Bidston Hill Lighthouse
20/08/16 13:17 GB2KAA 40m LSB 59 59   Kent Kent Air Ambulance Special Event Station
20/08/16 13:18 M0GAE 40m LSB 59 59 Graham Whitley Bay  
20/08/16 13:21 G0EGW 40m LSB 55 59 Vernon Saxmundham  
20/08/16 13:25 F4VPL 40m LSB 59 59 Dave Brittany  
20/08/16 13:42 EI1K 20m USB 59 59 Declan Cromwell Point IE001 – Cromwell Point LH
20/08/16 13:59 GW0AGZ 80m LSB 59 56 John Powys  
20/08/16 14:08 IK2WRV 20m USB 59 59      
20/08/16 14:10 HB9CCL 20m USB 54 59      
20/08/16 14:11 LZ4GL 20m USB 52 57      
20/08/16 14:12 ES5QD 20m USB 59 59      
20/08/16 14:13 IZ4AIF 20m USB 59 59      
20/08/16 14:13 LY5O 20m USB 59 59      
20/08/16 14:15 K9PPY 20m USB 44 55      
20/08/16 14:17 OE4MDA 20m USB 56 59      
20/08/16 14:18 IZ7YDL 20m USB 59 59 Luigi    
20/08/16 14:20 EA3AYK 20m USB 56 58      
20/08/16 14:22 IN3NJB 20m USB 59 59 Roberto    
20/08/16 14:25 LA6K 20m USB 59 59   West coast of Norway N0014 – Stavenest Lighthouse
20/08/16 14:25 9A5O 20m USB 59 59 Sado    
20/08/16 14:28 MX0NBC 20m USB 44 59 Tony Portishead Battery Point North Bristol Club
20/08/16 15:06 EJ0L 40m LSB 57 56 Jim Arranmore IE0017 – Arranmore Lighthouse
21/08/16 10:47 PA6FUN 40m LSB 59 59 Ray Amsterdam NL0051 – Trinity Lightvessel 12
21/08/16 11:07 DG6YY 40m LSB 55 58      
21/08/16 11:11 GM7ESM 40m LSB 59 59 Harold    
21/08/16 11:21 PA3ATZ 40m LSB 59 59 Mim    
21/08/16 11:22 DF0MF 40m LSB 57 57     DE0059 – Lightship Amrumbank
21/08/16 11:23 DL0AVH 40m LSB 59 59 Tom    
21/08/16 11:23 DL5FBB 40m LSB 57 57      
21/08/16 11:24 DJ6NI 40m LSB 59 59 Gunter    
21/08/16 11:25 DF9OO 40m LSB 59 59 Helm    
21/08/16 11:25 2E0HPI 40m LSB 59 59 Carl   UK0021 – St Marys Tyneside
21/08/16 11:26 DK6VCO 40m LSB 57 57      
21/08/16 11:27 DL1LSH 40m LSB 53 57      
21/08/16 11:29 GM3TKV/P 40m LSB 59 59 Bill Lossimouth UK0204 – Coversea Skerries
21/08/16 11:31 GB0NHL 40m LSB 59 59 Harry   UK0039 – Noss Head Lighthouse
21/08/16 11:34 DB8BG 40m LSB 59 57 Horst    
21/08/16 11:36 MM1FAS 40m LSB 55 59 Richard    
21/08/16 11:37 G1NFT 40m LSB 55 59 Dave Newcastle  
21/08/16 11:41 DL3ZBD 40m LSB 59 59 Dieter Vellmar near Kastle  
21/08/16 11:44 MI6PGI 40m LSB 57 59 Peter    
21/08/16 11:55 DJ2RO 40m LSB 57 58 Reinhard    
21/08/16 12:06 MI6BKD 40m LSB 42 59      
21/08/16 12:31 EM25M 20m USB 59 59      
21/08/16 12:36 GB2LBN 20m USB 59 59 Robin Dunbar UK0034 – Barnes Ness Lighthouse
21/08/16 13:04 GB2GNL 40m LSB 59 59 Alan   UK0037 – Girdnleness Lighthouse
21/08/16 13:18 MI1AIB/P 40m LSB 59 59     UK0056 – Rathlin East
21/08/16 13:27 DF9LW/P 40m LSB 59 59     DE0077 – Tinsdal Oberfeur
21/08/16 13:38 OP16A 40m LSB 59 59      
21/08/16 13:57 EI9FN 40m LSB 59 59 Percy Co Galway  
21/08/16 14:14 DL0LNW 40m LSB 59 59 Dieter   DE0016 – Neuwerk
21/08/16 14:23 DK0RA 40m LSB 59 59 Ansgar   DE0050 – Altenbruch Unterfeuer (Old)
21/08/16 14:41 DJ1BWH 40m LSB 59 59 Bridget Vemer South East of Dortmund
21/08/16 14:43 DH8KW 40m LSB 53 58 Werner    
21/08/16 14:45 PA3BOE 40m LSB 57 58 Reni Central Netherlands  
21/08/16 14:48 F4TPV 40m LSB 55 59 Cristian South of France