Second park this year. I decided to head out to one of the Worimi ones. There are three of these along teh beach north of Stockton. VKFF-1399 looked to be the simplest to get to.
I remembered to turn on APRS (well about 10km along the M1 I did), so above you can see the full path I took. It took a little over an hour.
Once I crossed the Hunter River at Hexam I made my way east along Cabbage Tree Road towards Williamtown, going through the roundabout onto Lavis Lane.
Now, Google maps doesn’t show this road into to the park but Google Earth does. Drove down past the Quad Bikes centre (this looks like a bit of fun) into the parking area and found a small shelter up on a rise that I decided to set up in.
Above is pretty much were I set up. Definitely inside the park boundaries.
As I noted above, you can see the road into the park on Google Earth.
A larger view of the area showing some of the closer parks. Interestingly, Worimi National Park appears to be a very small stretch right along the edge of the beach against the State Conservation Area.
There are quite a few parks around this area. So there are certainly some other activation possibilities.
Entry to the park just before the car park area.
It was a really slow start. Ten calls in two and a half hours. Over this time I am pretty sure I had more fighter aircraft go overhead from the Williamtown RAAF base than I had contacts. I must say that the low right bank they made heading back to the base was both loud and impressive to watch.
Most of my contacts were on 40m and 80m. The other bands today were awful. Tried 10m, 15m, 20m, 30m as well.
Setup for the day. I did get quite a few CW contacts. Note also the presence of my antenna analyser. I did make some use of it today, which I’ll note against a later picture.
While I had a nice lean on the pole, I got frequent gusts taking it through vertical and I had more than a few collapses; usually when I was calling someone else. The pole ended up with gaffa tape on four segments to keep it up.
This small shelter looks like it was being built to house an information sign but was a god-send for keeping out of the sun.
View from the other side of the car park later in the afternoon.
I didn’t get to run the antenna in the direction that I wanted, and it certainly did not help things. I like to run it NW-SE. Here I had little choice but to run NE-SW. This is from the NE end.
This is from the SW end right next to a gate and sign marked “Tyre Deflation Point”. This track heads off to the beach and it looks like only 4WD vehicles (with permits) are supposed to go further.
I mentioned about my antenna analyser. What you see above is about 40cm of extra wire that I attached to the 40m dipole to give me better resonance on 15m. I got it down to about 1.6:1 on 21.244. Having the analyser with me is useful for stuff like this.
As I said before, contacts today were difficult. It was a tough slog. Things started to pick up as we headed towards evening and I started to think that I might just get to 44 for the day.
Very glad that I’ve started using CW, I managed to get a few folks on both SSB and CW which certainly helped.
As the day wore on we also started getting a lot of static on 80m which made that band also a bit difficult.
At 08:00 UTC (7pm AEDT) I’d got to 44 contacts but had one duplicate in there, so I still needed one more. About fifteen minutes later John VK4TJ came up and suggested that we could add three more using AM. Given how strong he was (5-9) we did this and got over the line.
I finished pack-up just as the sun set and headed home.
Modes AM: 3 CW: 12 SSB: 32 Parks VKFF-1493: 2 VKFF-0619: 2 4 park contacts - 2 unique Bands 40M: 29 20M: 1 80M: 17 46 unique contacts (1 duplicate)
As a result of today’s activation I got to 30 VKFF activations.