2018-08-18 Saratoga Island

I’d by lying if I said today was not a challenge.

My plan today was to head out to VKFF-2317, quickly knock over the 16 that I needed and then consider heading down to complete the 18 required in the park I did yesterday.

I ended up not being set up (but wait) until about 1pm (3:00UTC).

I found a good place a few metres to the south of where I put the pole last tie so I could get a good northern run.

I thought, OK, I’ll go and get a few photos before I start. Walked back to the second sign with the camera. “click”. Nothing. Huh?

No SD card. I took it out to post yesterdays photos and left it in the MacBook. Photos today courtesy of my phone.

Walked back to take a picture of the pole. Click. Pole collapses sufficiently that I have to detach it from the star picket to get the top segment back out.

It actually collapsed on me quite a bit over the next 30 minutes, generally whenever I was about to call another park operator.

Then on a collapse it managed to cut through the wire of one end of the dipole.

I’ve got some photos of that and the jury rigged repair that I did; which reminds me that I have to get the soldering iron and some heat shrink out this evening to fix it.

I ended up running the pole only around 4-6 metres up. This didn’t stop the collapses but it certainly reduced the frequency. I suspect the issue was that when it blew back through vertical it would move sufficiently enough to fall. I have found when there is a permanent lean on it, it’s pretty stable.

Anyway I finally got up and running.

Over the course of an hour and a half I managed to get the required 16 to complete the qualification, including five park to parks with four of them being unique. Unusually I managed to catch Gerard VK2IO on 40m as well as 80m today. We’ve been having a bit of bad luck catching each other on 40m due to proximity recently. Not quite close enough for ground wave. Too close for skip.

Finished up here at 2:55pm (4:55 UTC). Packed up and walked back.

Oh boy, I was glad that I brought the gum boots today!

While it was lowish tide when I came out. It had certainly come in while I was on teh island. I had to wade through some of the water to the north of the island to get back to the eastern end, and then I got about 12 inches deep wading across to the mainland.

It was about 3:30 when I got back to the car with everything (putting everything but the quid pole and star picked in to a backpack has definitely streamlined entry/exit). I had heard Gerard talking about the weather coming in so asked him about the current conditions i Sydney. Decided it was best to leave Lane Cove for another day, especially as it would be an hour and 12 minutes from where I was, so certainly hitting sunset along with the poor weather.

One last thing that I feel that I should add.

“Challenging” is in the eyes of the beholder and all about perspective.

My last contact of the day was VK3FOWL. As well as being in a park (VKFF-0973), Julie was on a SOTA summit – VK3/VN-016 (Mount Alexander). It was snowing.

This put my “challenges” in to perspective 😀

20180818_1306421
I really was there. Unfortunately there was no decent point to attach my dipole 20-30m either side of this sign or I’d have put the pole up on it.
20180818_130657
Didn’t forget the gum boots today.
20180818_130726
This was before the pole started collapsing taken from near the sign.
20180818_130748
Just before the first collapse. It came down seconds after I took this.
20180818_131222
Looking out to Woy Woy
20180818_131233
Looking towards West Gosford
20180818_131241
Back to where I was set up (you can just see the pole).
20180818_131846
This is where the pole coming down managed to slice one end of the dipole. Of course the phone wanted to focus on the trees in the background.
20180818_131921
The severed end. The phone decided tat the plants on the ground were more worthy of focus.
20180818_132109
The jury rigging to make it work temporarily
img_0939
Location within the park marked by the blue spot
img_0940
A larger view of where the park sits in relation to Saratoga.
aprs-1
I forgot to turn on APRS until I actually parked outside the sailing club, so this shows me moving around the island and then going home.
aprs-2
Moving around the island. In the future, I’ll try to remember to force a log point at each end point of the antenna.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s