Rocky Cape National Park 10th February 2014, VKFF – 432

Rocky Cape National Park is half-way between Burnie and Stanley. We found a day visit area on the Western side and could clearly see the Nut at Stanley.

Operating from Rocky Cape National Park. The Nut at Stanley is visible as a blue dot on the horizon!

Operating from Rocky Cape National Park. The Nut at Stanley is visible as a blue dot on the horizon!

The official name given to the municipality is Circular Head.  I set up before UTC rollover and gave a call or two on 14.140. There were no takers. The new UTC day dawned and at 00:09 I called and was immediately answered by VK5EE, Tom, from Mount Gambier. He gave me 5 and 9 and I reciprocated. Then followed John, VK5DJ, from Millicent, also 5 and 9 and l received a 5 and 9 report. The South East Radio Group members in SA are great supporters of wandering amateurs and using their linked repeater system with a few messages (wake up calls!) their members soon know there is someone about.

Then came Mike, VK6MB: he was 5 and 1 and he gave me 4 and 1. I was truly delighted to get his call in my log. The I had a qso with VK4TE, Alex, south of Brisbane. Signals were 5 and 9 from me and my signal received a 5 and 7 from him. We had a great 11 minute contact. Then 20 metres dried up. I called a US station at 5 and 9 but was beaten by another US amateur. After a few more calls I re-joined the links in the dipole and checked 7095. Peter, VK3PF, answered and said he was at home waiting for me. We were getting along well until the wind decided to test its strength, when down came my squid pole. Peter said I went into a deep fade. We re-established the qso and I confirmed 5 and 9 (50) watts and 5 and 8 for QRP. It was a great contact but Peter had to go back to work. I was glad to give Peter a new park.

I then worked VK4OP, Dick, VK4FUQ, Felix on 14.158 and last of all was Bruce from Mackay, 5 and 1 both ways on 14.140.

VK4OP, Dick's 5 and 9 signal.

VK4OP, Dick’s 5 and 9 signal.

I finally packed up at 0149. Eight contacts in nearly two hours, not a great mornings work, but I did have lunch while monitoring the bands. Thanks to all who gave me a call. It was time to move on to the Arthur River on the West Coast of Tasmania.

The driftwood tripod: one end of the linked dipole was attached: constructed by JCD

The driftwood tripod: one end of the linked dipole was attached: constructed by JCD

The Edge of the World: on the West Coast of Tasmania

The Edge of the World:
on the West Coast of Tasmania

Picnic area Arthur River

Picnic area Arthur River

Spotted-tail Quoll - Arthur River

Spotted-tail Quoll – Arthur River

Spotted-tail Quoll - What a cute face!

Spotted-tail Quoll – What a cute face!

Narawntapu National Park 6th and 7th February 2014, VKFF – 005

A barbecue facility made an excellent shack!

A barbecue facility made an excellent shack!

I visited Narawntapu National Park on 7th February and enjoyed nine contacts before UTC rollover and two in the new day. This park is located on the central north coast of Tasmania, east of Devonport and has many diverse features, bush, long beaches and access to the Rubicon River estuary. Narawntapu National Park was the first in Tasmania to revert to its Aboriginal name and I found it a challenging word to articulate clearly while having contacts.  All contacts were with VK3 and VK5 amateurs.

Narawntapu National Park

Narawntapu National Park: Springlawn my operating position

On 7.095 I had the following contacts: VK3TJC, Tim; VK3FJAE, Doug; VK5PAS, Paul; VK5MBD, Bill; VK5KC, David and on 14.140, VK5HCF, Col; VK5LY, Larry; VK5PAS, Paul; VK5FRCP, Rex and after UTC rollover VK5LY, Larry and VK5EE, Tom. Signals on 40m were generally lower in strength than on 20m and VK5EE, Tom from Mt Gambier was 5 and 9 and I got the same.

A Pacific Gull: Rubicon River and Park in the background.

A Pacific Gull: Rubicon River and Park in the background.

I had to pack up in a hurry. We had to travel to Launceston for lunch: we were only half an hour late!

A special thank you to Paul, VK5PAS, who alerted the chasers and ensured a successful activation.