My radio day had a second beginning on Wednesday, (the first was at 08:00 local with the 7073 net) when I received a message on my phone from VK5PAS/p, Paul. The message arrived at 10:43 am local time and indicated that Paul was activating Black Hill Conservation Park. I raced into the shack and was able to work him on 7100. This inspired me into action! I was about to leave the house anyway because of the fire danger rating in the Adelaide Hills. I thought I should also activate a park. I chose Port Gawler Conservation Park because it is on the Adelaide Plains, about 32 kilometres North West of Adelaide, near the coast and away from the hills. In the rush I forgot my camera! So I took the coordinates of my operating position: S 04 39 155 and E 108 26 786. I chose this spot away from the end of Port Gawler road to avoid parking in the turning circle. Port Gawler can be accessed from Highway One.
Port Gawler conserves coastal mangroves which in turn provide breeding habitat for local fish species so prized in South Australia. As I drove into the park down Port Gawler Road I kept seeing signs suggesting the park is patrolled frequently. As I was researching this park prior to my activation I came across a report of vandalism and use of the park for non-approved purposes http://www.plainsproducer.com.au/?p=513 Nevertheless all was quiet during my visit. A few cars were heard on Port Gawler Road but I was off on the northern side three or four hundred metres away.
I used a fence post to secure my squid pole and it was a pretty good spot: except for the flies. I had the following contacts beginning at 03:08: VK5PAS, Paul now back at his home; VK5YX, Hans; VK3BWZ/p, Bob at Merino; VK5AV, Tim; VK5KBJ, Barry; VK5MCB, Mike from Port Pirie who I had met at the SOTA lunch at Gawler; VK5FCLK, Chubba; VK5EE, Tom; VK5FMID, Brian; VK3BWZ/p, Bob for a second contact; VK5PAS, Paul; VK5DJ, John and VK5ATQ, Trevor. Thirteen contacts in what I thought were pretty reasonable conditions on 40m, given the propagation upheavals of recent days.
You had a really good signal coming out of Pt Gawler CP. I can only image the flies must have been really bad that day (35 deg C). The band conditions as you mentioned seemed to be pretty good, but sadly there was just no-one around.
Pleased to have a new park in the log. And well done on supporting the VK5 parks program.