My wife, Jenny, and I, have for the past ten years driven to Sydney to see our son and his family for Christmas. Our usual practice was to make a leisurely trip to reach our destination, staying over night at about three locations and activating some parks for the WWFF program. This year is different. We stayed in our own backyard. Victor Harbor was our base for three days over Christmas. And for the first time since July I was able to activate a park – Mount Billy Conservation Park. We decided we would not visit Sydney because of Covid 19 and the possibility of not getting back to South Australia or being ‘detained’ in Victoria.
So on Boxing Day we set out to activate Mount Billy Conservation Park. Mount Billy CP is just a short drive from Victor Highway taking the Adelaide Road and then a left hand turn off the highway to the Park The walking trail around the park is just 4.7 kilometres and has some steep sections and is graded moderate.
My location: just inside a gate. I left enough room for a park vehicle to access the park if necessary. JCD photo.
My activation commenced on Christmas day, a few minutes before UTC roll over and counts for the VKFF program as well as the SA Parks award as I was really portable. My station comprised a Yaesu 857D running at 10 watts to a linked dipole powered by a small lead acid battery. I used both the 40 and 20 metre bands and conditions were just average. The skip distance was so short on 40 metres that contacts were easily made into Adelaide and near environs. Gerard, VK2IO/P reported that he could not hear me on 40 metres near Sydney. We had a successful contact on the 20 metre band.
Mount Billy CP showing fire trail and walking track. JCD photo
00:01 26th December 2020
Thanks to all the operators who gave me a call – they are always appreciated.