#21  
Old 30-01-2006, 06:42 AM
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iceman (Mike)
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I had a great time at Lostock!

The event was (in my opinion) a huge success, with many more people coming than I'd originally hoped/planned for, everyone was friendly, and we had 3 crystal clear nights. We had almost 100 people for a first year event!

The first 2 nights were quite dewey, but the 3rd night was fantastic.. a light breeze kept the dew away. The skies were really dark, darker than SPSP at Ilford from all reports and it was a beautiful setting. The facilities were excellent, with plenty of toilets and showers, cold and hot water, loads of space for camping, bunkbeds, observing on grass, great cooking facilities, and the swimming hole was just fantastic especially on those hot days.

Many thanks to h0ughy who helped me with the organisation - he went above and beyond and it would've been much much more difficult for me, if it wasn't for him. Also thanks to the other helpers and organisers who contributed time behind the scenes.

Many thanks to the local Gresford RFB for the catering.. they did a top job feeding the troops with a 2-course meal.

Many thanks to the sponsors for providing the prizes for the lucky door prize draw. Congratulations to those lucky sods who walked away with a prize.

Many thanks to Mike Boggan (and Erik) for making the sausages! They were soooo nice.. I don't think I can ever buy a sausage again.. it just won't be the same... back to gristle? No way!

It was great to meet everyone, I made some new friends as well as strengthening some old ones.

I didn't do heaps of observing, I made sure I got some sleep each night and I spent a lot more time socialising and looking through other people's telescopes! I didn't do any imaging, the dew made it too difficult on the first two nights, and on the third night the seeing wasn't as good.

We'll definitely have an IceInSpace AstroCamp 2007, and there's no reason it won't be at Lostock again. I hope to see you all again next time.

For those that attended, in the next few days I'll be distributing a feedback form to get some feedback on the camp, things you liked, things you didn't like, and things we can do better for next time.
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  #22  
Old 30-01-2006, 09:47 AM
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Well what can I say, the Astrocamp went extremely well!
I'm sure everyone enjoyed themselves.

When we arrived at the camp it was overcast and drizzling but it soon cleared up and we didn't see the rain or clouds for the whole time we were there.
Like most people have mentioned the swimming hole was great and it seemed like a meeting place at times.

I can't thank Mike enough, and Houghy did a superb job of lugging all that gear up for the event. Thank you to the committee members involved.
The catering was first class and I enjoyed going back for seconds! Well done.

A thank you to the sponsors and the people doing the talks (very informative) I sometimes wished I could be in two places at once because there was so many things to do.
I had a big surprise when I saw Ron Knight walking up and introducing himself he was coming back from Perth going back home to Queensland. Good on ya Ron for making the effort and to all the people that had to travel hours to get there!

I made some friends the past few days and I am sure to make many more in the coming years, thanks to IceInSpace!
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  #23  
Old 30-01-2006, 10:10 AM
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iceman (Mike)
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A few people I forgot to thank!

Alan Meehan for the GREAT looking t-shirts! The remaining shirts will go on sale in the next few days.

Lesa Moore, Itchy and Tornado33, Anthony Wesley and Gary Kopff for doing their respective talks. All talks were very informative and a lot of people got a lot out of them.
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  #24  
Old 30-01-2006, 11:19 AM
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h0ughy (David)
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I had an absolute ball, going to bed the first night only due to fog and dew at 3am, then 3.30 the next night and I think 2.30 or so the last night.

I would like to thank the weatherman for the near perfect skies, cloud free!!
Mike did a great job getting the detail drawn together, Ed and Brendan helped immensely getting the keys and unlocking the houses and organising the crew from the gresford RFS for catering, they went way beyond with their friendly service and help with the garbage and food!

Alan Meehan did a wonderful job on the t-Shirts, they will no doubt be the envy of other star parties for quality and attention to detail, they just looked great! the speakers, as Mike said, were great, although I must confess I slept through the talks due to being bu99ered.

Many thanks goes to Gary K for the inspirational baptisms (river swims) and his enthusiasm and inspirational pep talks throughout the camp. You have a lot crammed up there mate, lots of wonderful and helpful knowledge!

Andrew and "Hector" for his "all" night talks kept the punters awake!

Eddie (orion) for his 18" wizzbin, allowing me to use a few naglers on it, very ordinary views mate!!

Thanks too for Striker and especially [1ponders] for getting me drift aligned and the great offer from Atlas!!

Mike Boggan, what a legend! Those are now famous sausages Mike!! You do deserve a huge pat on the back for that one not only making but cooking for over 80 people at a time!!

The beers that were shared at the Taj were great, as with the company in Lostock Heights, the heat made then really nice!

I had a ball, the friendly crowd from Qld, those from south coast, sydney and Canberra, Newcastle (and I must say a good representation from The NAS) just to name a few of the people who helped make the event what it became. I think the relaxed and cooperative atmosphere made this event, so congratulations to all attendees

Here are some examples of what i looked at, Lostock Dam, orion, beehive (M44) and Saturn, pleiades, orion and running man, and George flaked out in my doorway after a big night
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  #25  
Old 30-01-2006, 12:00 PM
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Striker (Tony)
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I had a great time...put me down for next year as well.

It was great to meet the Guys and Girls and family.

I think by having a relationship with members online by the way of the forum made it a great group event instead of having Astro clubs sticking together and not participation with the entire group...in that respect it put this camp ahead of most others as far as I am concerned.

The trip back was difficult....another 10 hour drive when both of us needing more sleep really took it ouf of us on the return home trip...we got home at 6:00pm safely.

Thanks for a great meet Mike and David and everyone who was responsible for making this camp work.....well done.....I will post some pics later.
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  #26  
Old 30-01-2006, 12:11 PM
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h0ughy (David)
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some more pictures:

Eddie,

Eddie and Cow???

my scope setup day 1

scope setup day 2 & 3

the TAJ

captivated by the inaugural talk
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  #27  
Old 30-01-2006, 12:20 PM
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The bull was getting to close for comfort. I was ready to throw that empty beer bottle at the dam thing... and then run for my life! It started shaping up to me when I tryed to shoo it away!
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  #28  
Old 30-01-2006, 12:26 PM
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h0ughy (David)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Orion
The bull was getting to close for comfort. I was ready to throw that empty beer bottle at the dam thing... and then run for my life! It started shaping up to me when I tryed to shoo it away!
Big brave Sir Eddie, I think they sang about you in Monty pythons holy grail!!! DId George and the cedar seeds get home Ok

in actual fact the image shows you about to place the beer bottle in the recycling 18" WIZZBIN
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  #29  
Old 30-01-2006, 12:31 PM
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I felt a bit silly stoping at the side of the road for these little seeds but what magnificent trees they were.
George got back safely nurturing his seeds.
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  #30  
Old 30-01-2006, 12:35 PM
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h0ughy (David)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Orion
I felt a bit silly stoping at the side of the road for these little seeds but what magnificent trees they were.
George got back safely nurturing his seeds.

Just for everyones information these are RED cedar seeds! if george gets them growing now in 40 years time you can have a red cedar 48 inch scope!!
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  #31  
Old 30-01-2006, 12:46 PM
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ving (David)
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great pick david, that bull looks very friendly
is that 48" scope free tho?
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  #32  
Old 30-01-2006, 02:08 PM
Thiink
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I want to say thank you to absoltely everyone at the camp, especially Mike and all the organisers who had a hand in making it possible, you did a great job! Everyone at the camp was extremely friendly and approachable which made for a great day/night . I had a great time, and would have liked to have been there for all three nights with my dob, but oh well.. maybe next year (hint hint Mike ). Lostock was a great site, I should have taken some photos (the camera never made it out of the car!) but forgot my tripod which made it hard. The drive up there from Muswellbrook was great as well as I had never been out that way. The drive from Gresford to Lostock was very scenic, it was a shame the roads werent wider or I would have stopped frequently to take some shots. I may even visit the area again soon and do some camping.

I enjoyed having the chance to speak to people about everything astronomy, listen to some of the talks, and check out everyone elses equipment. I tell you what, between the big dobs, Bird's newt (and Marcus' mini-beast) and everyone elses equipment it was hard to keep my tongue in my mouth. Also a special thank you to Astroron, Orion and Houghy, Bird and Marcus (sorry I dont know your forum name), Striker and Mr Ponders, Sheeny and Lyn and anyone I have forgotten for putting up with me and my barage of questions on Saturday night, and for letting me look through your scopes. It was muchly appreciated.

ps. Rocketboy: you owe me an Argo (ie. damn you AND your D75 raffle ticket!).
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  #33  
Old 30-01-2006, 02:44 PM
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RB (Andrew)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thiink
ps. Rocketboy: you owe me an Argo (ie. damn you AND your D75 raffle ticket!).
Blame Louie, it's his fault for not being there for the draw.
t'was the longest 2 minutes of my life.
Thanks Louie........

It's funny but another interpretation of the Greek word "argo" means "Late" !!!
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  #34  
Old 30-01-2006, 02:45 PM
gary
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thiink
The drive from Gresford to Lostock was very scenic, it was a shame the roads werent wider or I would have stopped frequently to take some shots.
Hi Thiink,

Also, did you like the road signs that were still in miles?!
e.g. Winding Road 11M.

Back around 1972 when the country went metric, I remember just about
every road sign in the country was changed within about a week.
A remarkable achievement.

Somehow Lostock missed out (judging by the road surface, I don't
think it has been worked on since 1972 either. )

The good news, I somehow can't imagine Lostock becoming over-developed
and hence light polluted any time soon! Astronomical heaven!

Best Regards

Gary
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  #35  
Old 30-01-2006, 03:16 PM
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RB (Andrew)
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Some images of Anthony's (Bird's) pocket travel scope.
When my wife saw these she commented that it looks like it's on life support.
Yes it's on a G11 mount.
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  #36  
Old 30-01-2006, 03:21 PM
Thiink
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Actually you know what, I didnt directly notice that they were in miles, but I remember driving past a sign that had "Winding roads - xx" going to the camp and in my head I knew something about the sign wasnt right, I didnt remember seeing a 'k' or 'km' after the distance! I didnt see any on the way back though.

Well there you go, I wasnt going insane! Anyone have a picture of the sign by chance?

ps. Ive started my Argo saving fund Gary. Expect to hear from me in a few months time ().. Seeing the Argo do its thing on Ed's scope was awesome.. the Servocat sure helped as well of course!
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  #37  
Old 30-01-2006, 03:24 PM
Thiink
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rocket Boy
Blame Louie, it's his fault for not being there for the draw.
t'was the longest 2 minutes of my life.
Thanks Louie........

It's funny but another interpretation of the Greek word "argo" means "Late" !!!
Poor Louie, although he didnt seem too upset. It wasnt long after John said "I wonder if that was Louie's ticket" that he turned up and confirmed it. Oh well, cant win them all (or get there in time to claim them anyway).
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  #38  
Old 30-01-2006, 03:42 PM
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merlin8r
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I would like to thank Graeme Auld for the use of his spare power supply. Would have been an ordinary weekend without it. Note to self..... get a deep cycle marine battery. Or better yet, a traction battery.

The cattle was certainly friendly. I found that a laser pointer aimed at their bum sent them running the other way. Go figure.

And I'm pleased as punch with my Sombrero pic. First time I got something decent.
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  #39  
Old 30-01-2006, 03:48 PM
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Dave47tuc (David)
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Great to see everyone had a super time

Thanks for all the photos and write ups.
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  #40  
Old 30-01-2006, 03:48 PM
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ving (David)
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thats a great pic shane!!!
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