My certificate for working 132 references came today. I am pleased to reach this milestone.
I was pleased to be awarded the OCCFF certificate for working seven DXCC entities, in my case all VK call areas. Thanks to all concerned for a most attractive certificate.
I have previously activated this Park just over two years ago on the 28th July 2013. I succeeded in making 13 contacts and I thought I did really well. It is a tribute to the chasers that 44 + contacts are now achievable at a single sitting. Here is a link to that activation.
On this occasion I began my activation just after UTC rollover at 00:03 and finished at 04:39 (my last contact was with Rick, VK4RF, and we spent 26 minutes in our qso on 20 metres). Signals were 5 and 9 each way and I was using 10 watts.
Here are my contacts: on 7.095, VK3XCO/P2, Peter at West Wyalong; VK3DQ, John; VK3FPBI, Allan; VK6ADF/P6, Allan on SOTA summit VK6/SG-011; VK3DBP, Paul; VK3PRF/M, Peter at Bairnsdale; VK2IO, Gerard; VK3XCO/M2, Peter informing me of his progress in travelling to Victoria; VK5FAJS/P2, Allan at Bournda National Park; VK3AW, Laurie; VK3PMG, Mick; VK2PDW, Wayne; VK2XXM, Robert; VK5ZGY/M, Greg; VK3PF, Peter; VK3HP, Grant; VK4AAC/P5, Rob; VK5GJ/QRP, Greg in the Adelaide Hills; VK5NFB, Don; VK3YFL, Brian; VK3DPG, Dennis; VK5GI, Norm; VK3RV, Peter; VK3DBP, Paul; VK5KBJ, Barry; VK5IS, Ian; VK5FANA, Adrian; VK2MTC, Greg; VK5YX, Hans; VK3BGE, Ian; VK5KKT, Ian; VK5FAJS, Allan at Bournda National Park; VK5ZRJ, Bob; VK5YX, Hans; VK2XXM, Rob at 02:31; VK2XXM, Rob at 02:42 on 14,305; 7.095 VK5PL, David; VK5WG, Nev; VK3MRO, Tibor at Shepparton; VK5NAQ, Peter; VK2HEW, ‘Hewie’; VK3ZPF, Peter; VK2YW, John; VK5KLV, Les; VK3ALB, Lou; VK3FBNG, Bruce; VK7FMPR, Mark; VK3XCO/M3, Peter now in VK3; VK5NM, Rick; VK3AMX, Alex at 03:46. I then moved again to 20 metres and on 14.300 worked VK4GFS, George at Toowoomba; on 14.310, VK4RF and VK4HA, Rick with sign off at 04:39. I succeeded in making 44+ contacts and as per usual, thank all of the operators who gave me a call. Such calls are always greatly appreciated.
We drove from Renmark to Waikerie on Monday 14th September. On the way we stopped at the Overland Corner Hotel for lunch. This historic hotel is owned by the National Trust and is under lease. I phoned from Renmark and booked and we were given a table outside with some shade. It was a great place for lunch and it was just as well we booked as the place was popular with a tourist coach and other visitors enjoying the beautiful weather.
After lunch we visited Lock 2 near Taylorville. Here are some photos from our visit. The first photo is of the weir. The second photo is a portion of the first showing Darters (also known as snake birds) fishing in the disturbed water just below the weir. The third photo shows a pelican just outside the really disturbed water waiting for his/her turn at fishing for the ones who get through the gauntlet of the Darters!
We stayed on a private property near Taylorville. Our accommodation was a log cottage built into the side of a hill above the flood plain. It was a great place for bird watching. The Noisy Myna is not our favourite bird. They are bullies and displace less aggressive species. However, we were impressed with these birds as parents: they were diligent and worked with apparently little time off collecting food for their young. Their nest was in a small tree just outside our accommodation. Here is a photo of one of the parents hanging up side down feeding hatchlings.
I made a return visit to the Murray River National Park today. I have previously activated this Park for the South Australian National and Conservation Park Award and VKFF: here is a link to that activation
However, on this occasion I set out to achieve 44 contacts to qualify the Park for the WWFF award. I was not successful but I got very close, not withstanding the poor band conditions! I need another 12 contacts. So poor were the conditions on 40 metres that I only contacted two VK5s: both Riverland stations! Contacts over longer distances were more successful and I enjoyed qsos with VK4, VK3, VK2, VK1 and VK7 stations and Chris, VK4FR/P5 who was activating Kati Thanda-Lake Eyre National Park, VKFF-276 . This was a first activation of this park for SANPCPA and for WWFF. Well done Chris.
My wife Jenny is attending a Land Care conference in Waikerie on Tuesday and we decided to come a bit earlier for rest and relaxation. I have been struggling with a head cold and the warm days in the Riverland, 26 degrees today and 31 tomorrow are great for the body and soul!
I commenced operating at 00:18 on 12th September on 7.095 and here are my contacts:
VK2GJC, Greg; VK7WH, Warren; VK2LX, Grant; VK2EJW, Jock; VK3ANL, Nick; VK2BGL, Steve; VK3PF, Peter; VK5AW, Adrian; VK6LCK, Daniel 400 k east of Perth; VK1NAM, Andrew; VK5FLEX, Peter; VK3HRA, Allan; VK2IO, Gerard; VK3RV, Peter; VK3AW, Laurie; VK2PKT, Keith at Parkes; VK3WQ, Jenny; VK3SQ, Geoff; VK3ZPF/SM, Peter helping out the Scouts; VK2JDS/SM, Dave; VK2GKA, Karl; VK3CAT/P3, Tony on 7.090, at VK3/VC-003; VK7CW, Steve on 7.095; VK3JK, Craig; VK3YFC/M5, Brian at Streaky Bay; VK4FFAB/P4, Rob on 7.090 at VKFF-391; VK3KLB, Albert at Bittern; VK3VTH/P3, Tony on 7.090 at VKFF-982; VK3TKK, Peter on 7.095; VK5FLEX, Peter at Renmark and finally VK4FR/P5, Chris at VKFF-276, Kati Thanda-Lake Eyre National Park the first activation for WWFF. At this point I invited Chris to take over 7.095 and posted an entry for him on Parksnpeaks. I was delighted to meet Peter, VK5FLEX, who while speaking with me said he would like to visit. I told him that I was in camp-ground 12 and sure enough he soon arrived. I was winding up at this stage and we had a good time together discussing portable operations, radio gear, up-grading his licence level and living in the Riverland.
I totalled 32 contacts with two duplicates. My photo shows my operating set up including phone and Ipad. I was able to check activity on 40 metres (and elsewhere: there wasn’t anything on the higher frequency bands!) and chase three desirable contacts. I decided that I would return in the morning and try and increase my score to 44 plus (if possible). It was great to be in a Park with reasonable internet access! Propagation was generally poor and no VK5s made it into my log. However, signals into VK2 and VK3 were reasonable.
Sunday 13th September 2015
I made my way back to the same location in the Lyrup Flats section of the Murray River National Park and set up and was on the air at 23:13. My first contact was with Rob, on 7.148, VK4FFAB/P4 at VKFF-334. While Rob was in a different park to the earlier contacts it is probably still a duplicate. Rob kindly agreed to a further contact after UTC roll-over.
I checked 7.095 and the frequency appeared clear. I began calling CQ and at 23:16 was answered by Peter, VK3KAI; Mike, VK6MB 52s and 31r (still we made it!); John , VK3FCAN; Rick, VK4RF; VK4HA, Rick; VK3WE, Rhett who kindly postponed his lawn-cutting task to give me a contact; VK5FLEX, Peter; VK3MOD, Jim; and at 00:00 on 7.090, Rob, VK4FFAB/P4 in VKFF-334; Fred on 7.095, VK3DAC; VK7CW, Steve; Marshall, VK3MRG; Phil, VK2PHP/P at Baradine; VK5NM/M Rick at Loxton and finally, VK3YB, Brenton at Upper Beaconsfield. It was hard work. Propagation was the same as it has been for the last few days. The VK5’s in my log were just a few kilometers away and propagation would have been largely by ground-wave. However, I wish to express my thanks to all of the callers, amongst them some new call-signs for me, making it possible to successfully activate this park (adding a few contacts from an earlier activation).
We stayed at the Renmark Caravan Park on the River. It is a great spot.