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 😀