When finally I saw myself attain
That stage of life when everybody ought to
Lower his sails and take the rigging in,…
Inferno XXVII, line 79, Dante Alighieri translated by JG Nichols, p.126, Alma Classics 2013
What a great way of saying I am retired and, therefore, can enjoy my leisure pursuits. I know I run the risk of being accused of quoting these lines out of context, so I will point out that in Dante’s poem they were said by a fraudster, a cheat; a man who retires after a lifetime of fighting and deceit. I will let you decide whether or not to read the poem – but it is extremely funny at this point.
We arrived home on Thursday 8th January. We left to travel to Sydney on Saturday 20th December. We were away from home one day short of three weeks. Of course, the purpose of the trip was to see our family, including our Grand-children, but we have always made a point of travelling different ways on our trip, especially the homeward leg. For the last two years this has provided us with an opportunity to pursue our passions of amateur radio, especially portable and QRP work, and bird-watching. Here is a table of the activations.
20/12/2014 Little Desert National Park, VKFF-291, 31 contacts
21/12/2014 Mt Moliagul, VK3/VN-024, 16 contacts
21/12/2014 Greater Bendigo National Park, VKFF-623, 17 contacts
27/12/2014 Scheyville National Park, VKFF-444, 2 contacts
27/12/2014 Cattai National Park, VKFF-092, 11 contacts
30/12/2014 Livingstone National Park, VKFF-292, 12 contacts
31/12/2014 Brisbane Ranges National Park, VKFF-055, 29 contacts (two activations)
1/1/2015 Mt Warrenheip, VK3/VC-019, 22 contacts
2/1/2015 Port Campbell National Park, VKFF-420, 12 contacts
3/1/2015 Great Otway National Park, VKFF-405, 14 contacts (two activations)
5/1/2015 Canunda National Park, VKFF-075, 20 contacts (two activations)
6/1/2015 Lake Frome Conservation Park, 6 contacts
7/1/2015 Coorong National Park, VKFF-115, 13 contacts (two activations).
Additionally, there were a few other contacts along the way, but 204 parks and peaks contacts was a reasonable score, only made possible by those who gave me a call. I was pleased to be able to activate Port Campbell and Great Otway National Parks (these two parks remain for me to complete the 45 needed for the KRMNPA Worked All Parks Award). It is always great fun to hear the core of familiar voices and call signs of those who like this activity as well as welcoming newcomers to this facet of amateur radio. Highlights were contacts with VK3FOWL/P , Julie and VK3YSP/P, Joe from a number of parks, but especially Burrowa-Mt Pine NP and Alfred NP and a contact while mobile in Bendigo with WIAW/KH6 on 20 metres.
I have always made a point of uploading all my contacts to Log Book of the World (LOTW). I will admit my proportion of confirmed contacts has declined since I started uploading my portable contacts. I think LOTW is great and it is a shame that more Australian amateurs don’t sign up! It is free and you don’t have to join the ARRL! More recently I have begun to use the HRDLOG (HRDLOG.net). This on-line log enables operators to check their logs against the other station’s log. But this is not enough and I have been encouraged over the last little while to upload my Parks contacts to WWFF Logsearch (WWFF Logsearch.co/). I tried up-loading ADI files from Ham Radio Deluxe. The results were always unsatisfactory with the logs showing a whole lot of parameters I had previously added to HRD, especially in the Station set up page. I was told others have success using HRD. I have not been able to work out why I have been unsuccessful. VK5PAS, Paul, told be about Fast Log Entry and I have been using this and have now provided most of my Parks files for up-loading to WWFF Logsearch. Any suggestions about how to get Ham Radio Deluxe to work in this matter will be greatly appreciated.
So I registered for WWFF Logsearch and imagine my surprise, as the logs started to appear, that I was offered awards. I must say I am pleased to have obtained the Hunter Certificate for 44 references. The next challenge will be to try and increase my scores from some of the local national parks to at least 44 contacts.
While in Mt Gambier we visited Dingley Dell Conservation Park. This small park is the location of Adam Lindsay Gordon’s summer cottage near Port MacDonnell. We were taken on a tour of the home by the Manager and I thoroughly recommend it – but you will have to put up with the Manager reciting great chunks of Lindsay’s verse (which he does very well)! While there I checked out future activations spots.
We also visited Beachport Conservation Park, about 50k south of Robe. This is a magnificent park. Again I checked out the activation spots and there are plenty: depending on the weather. The Park was declared a National Park in 1959 and later proclaimed as a Conservation Park in 1982 to preserve a representative sample of a coastal area in the South East of the State. It is 875 hectares and the birdlife is stunning. We thought the swan population was over 1000: these are just the organisers below!