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Adrian Condon

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About Adrian Condon

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    Watford M25 area

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  1. Hi Gav, Lesley will decide the best place to park you. There is hardstanding by reception but it is not necessarily the best place to do astronomy from. Mike has the first static van, so he might be agreeable share the space there which has a fence around and would help shelter you from the strong Northwest wind that is currently blowing. Next, there are stars about at present.... Venus is showing well. Orion is there, Sirius, Aldebaran, Pleiades, Capella, Castor and Pollux are among some of the early risers. The Pole star is not visible as there is some dark cloud to the north of the site. It is very breezy at present with the wind coming mainly from the northwest. I am off to tea and to watch the match on BBC TV. It is too windy to have a telescope up at present. Cheers Adrian
  2. Hi Mike, Hard at this moment in time to decide on what to bring astro wise... If you are camping then a solid tent with heavy duty pegs would be the order of the day. It is very windy at present, hoping the wind may drop. The sun is shining and it is not raining, it is very similar to last Monday here, except the wind was a lot stronger last Monday afternoon. Astro wise, a smaller scope would be better than a 22" dob because of the wind. Any scope will need to be well anchored. Warm clothes to protect you from the breeze. There is a small microwave here, which has been extremely useful, because the wind makes cooking outside entertaining.... I also used the Harbour Inn in Garlieston for 3 of my 7 evening meals so far. I will be visiting them twice more in the next few nights. Be careful on the roads. Cheers Adrian
  3. Hi Damian, When you are coming, can you leave the wind behind in South Yorkshire..... we have enough here to sink a battleship. This morning, it is cloudy, drizzle type rain, with the sun trying to break through the clouds and the wind. I have walked back from Wigton with Lesley and Bud. We came the scenic way across the old aerodrome, it was fairly windy there. One of the weather forecasts had the wind speed at 16mph. One of the lunchtimes this week they are predicting 40mph.... with speeds of 19mph either side of it. (surely, that's a mistake). It was windy last night. Julian went shopping in Newton Stewart this morning and says there was a light breeze there, but when he got back to Wigton the breeze was a lot stronger. The guide lines are holding well, with us only having to reset 3 or 4 of them. Julian said he saw the Moon and stars at 06:00am this morning. And, the Sun has just broken through 12:06pm ...... Hurrah.... Cheers Adrian PS there are thousands of geese around........ so pack some binos for the views.
  4. Hi Andy, Thanks for the offer......... I will be moving on Friday!!!! Thanks Adrian
  5. Hi Mike, I think the drizzle is not drizzle... good ... but the strong wind actually lifting the dew or earlier drizzle off the ground, because when you shine the torch there is no moisture visible above knee height. Have a good night's rest and see you later tomorrow. Cheers Adrian
  6. Hi Mike, If you have some red transparency film that would be great, if not do't worry. I nearly forget the caviar... it would go lovely with a ribeye steak......... Gee, that whiskey seems to be making me delusional !!!! Plus... clear skies. Drive safely. Cheers Adrian
  7. Hi Mike, Its been a strange sort of day.... There was a sunrise with clear patches, blue sky was a good 35% of the sky at 10:15am when walking Bud in the woods. Then it got a bit peculiar, with the sun shining in the south and a mist appeared over the little rise from the south west being very moist. After lunch the wind was light... as the afternoon wore on, we started to get drizzle still with light winds. I watched Father Ted on TV in the games room. Still damp and now 22:50 the winds are strengthening, Julian and myself have battoned down for the night, have just checked all the guide ropes and the wind has changed direction and coming more from the west. It has definitely strengthened over the last hour or so. Wind not anything like it was on Monday afternoon last. To sort things out I am having a whiskey and about to check outside again, it is not raining but there is moisture in the air. Lesley has to take her car to the garage in Wigton by 08:30am tomorrow morning for a service, so we are planning to walk back with Bud across the fields. Should be back before you arrive..... Take care in driving here.... have a safe trip. Cheers Adrian
  8. Hi Mike, The present situation at Drumroanin...... 22:10 Saturday evening. The good news is that it stopped raining about 13:20 this afternoon. There is a medium breeze, which knowing the site, it will be dry by morning. There were stars visible around 19:30, but the seeing was not great.... they disappeared about 20:00. Then at 22:00 the Plough is visible but again the seeing is not good. Cannot see Polaris and the breeze is still a problem, it would be great if the wind blew the clouds away and then subsided for the next 8 or 9 days. At least, things are on the up.... I tried following the geese in the binos earlier about 17:00 as the Sun was sinking up couldn't hold them steady in the breeze. There were numerous patches of blue sky at the time and the Galloway Hills were lit in nice kink sunshine. At the same time there were hundreds if not thousands of crows congregating above the old aerodrome in Kirkinner, very impressive. I am tucking in for an early night and trust tomorrow will be better than today. Cheers Adrian
  9. Hi Mike, News from Drumroanin..... The group Wet, Wet Wet are playing here..... It started raining solidly yesterday afternoon and is still raining. The grass is wet, with one or two little puddles. I got soaked walking Bud with Lesley this morning. My shorts have dried out. I have been to Wigton to the butchers and Co-Op. So have enough food till Monday. The road to Wigton has a large number of pools of water. It was very windy with driving rain overnight. I got up at 05:21am to check the guide ropes.... everything was fine so went back to bed. Julian has just arrived and we will be putting his tent up soon. Still a grey day. The wind has dropped to a light breeze now. This should dry the grass fairly quickly. The temperature is currently 9º C. and the rain is easing off, so we could be in for a dry spell..... Hope things are ok. Cheers Adrian PS the local butcher says that the weather is going to improve in the coming days....
  10. Hi Andy, An interesting question..... if you opened the door and tied the door up then it should be a one person task on a calm night. It would nigh impossible if the door was shut! I wouldn't be able to lift it over the scope........ On a windy night it would be a two person task because it has a tendency to fly, it is difficult to hold the tent and hammer the pegs in at the same time. On Tuesday afternoon, it took me an hour to assemble and tie the tent down in a stiff breeze, it wanted to fly across the beautiful green grass to the other side of the camp site. Suspect in a back garden there would not be an expanse of ground for the wind to build up speed, but of lots of eddies instead. It is a nice tent all the same and am glad I bought it, I intend to use mine at home to house and control the imaging from it, so I will need to be able to move it around. The rain is now heavy and I am about to go down to the Harbour Inn in Garlieston for dinner. You can practice moving it if it is windy next week. Mike, Had not thought of using it as a kite....... Cheers Adrian
  11. Hi Daz, This was the first Astrofest I attended... 2 days of interesting talks as a first-timer, even though it was difficult to hear the first talk on Friday morning at the back of the hall. The exhibition..... smaller than the vast majority of local model railway shows, even though it is an European Event according to the adverts. It must be difficult to get a 16" dob into an overhead locker on an aircraft!!!! I had interesting and pleasant discussions with a number of the exhibitors, Starlight Xpress, Ian King Imaging, Hitech and Cambridge Press. I have known David and Adam Hinds from Celestron for many years as I used to visit them in Tring on Saturdays on my way birdwatching. One exhibitor selling a mount I could not afford was happy to explain it to me great detail, shame some of the others did not attend the customer care course he must have been on. Another, who had he had the manners to talk to me and not turn his back on me, lost a possible sale. In business I believe first impressions are 90% of the way to making a sale. If a salesman doesn't care about you before the sale, they sure as hell won't after..... On meeting friends, well I met up with members of WAS (Wycombe Astromical Society). Catering facilities... we went to Nero's for coffee and McDonalds for lunch. Nando's for evening meal and stayed at the Copthorne Tara just down the road. Apart from not meeting up with you, it was an interesting two days and had many good laughs and jokes. Would I go again..... yes. Hope to meet up with you some time. Cheers Adrian
  12. Hi Andy, Measurements for the Kampa Utility tent are as follows...(approx erring slightly on the low side because of blowing in the breeze) 1.0 metre high 160 x 160 cm 1.8 metres high 130 x 130 cm Centre height to ground 220 cm There was a heavy dew overnight and it is very misty this morning. The forecasted gusts never happened, unless I just slept through them! Hope it all clears up today, there was no breeze at 08:00am while cooking breakfast, it is starting to get up now, it might blow the mist away. See you next week. Cheers Adrian
  13. Hi Mike, FoooooooooooooooooooD......... Can you send your clear skies over here. Thanks Adrian
  14. Hi Andy, I don't have a measuring tape handy, so I will sort that out tomorrow in the daylight. It is a Kampa Utility Tent, it quite roomy and the side walls are nearly vertical. I struggled for nearly an hour yesterday putting it up for the first time, the black corner brackets at the top have two hole sizes, one for the cross beams and another size for the vertical poles. Once that was rectified, you are left with a big parachute that loves to fly in a very strong breeze. I don't fancy moving it around on a windy night too often!!! It appears to be better quality than some of the smaller toilet tents, I have done some cooking in it with the door fully hooked up and seems reasonably safe. The weather here has on the whole been very changeable, the worst bit is the wind, it just rips through you. We had a shower about 14:30pm and continuous rain from 15:30, the wind is increasing again, with forecasted gusts tonight of 20mph up to midnight, then drops to 4mph. I use the Scope Nights App on my iPad for the weather as I can set the parameters that affect astronomy, like cloud, rain, and wind speed with gusts as well. It is colour coded and is currently showing all red. I have the mount up but not the scope because the gusts are very strong at times. Monday night was crystal clear, but the winds were over 30mph easily, some times even standing in the gusts was difficult. As for Mike, he needs competition from the Harbour Inn! You can have a good look at the Kampa tent next week if it survives these winds. Cheers Adrian
  15. Hi Mike, I only went to the pub, because you wanted to know how good the food is...... I had Haddock, chips, peas and side salad for £9.95, the gammon is £9.50 and incidentally, I couldn't find that moan, moan, moan, you are talking about on the menu!!!! The customers would have no reason to moan. Now back to the weather..... well last night was very windy with showers. Definitely, over 25mph.. This morning, there were patches of blue sky, a Moon in the SW and the Sun shining.... 07:30am. Boiled eggs for breakfast and at 08:40am it is raining, hopefully just another shower. The good news is: The hills across Wigton Bay are visible for the 1st time since Monday afternoon; Glorious sunshine over the Lake District; Flocks of geese overhead; Going for another walk with Lesley and Bud, hope the rain stops, it is still windy but only about 10mph. Trust you will take all the rubbish out of your car and pack in the clear skies instead....... Take care. Adrian