Yesterday afternoon, my partner Helen VK7FOLK and I returned to the Narawntapu National Park to complete our World Wide Flora and Fauna (WWFF) activation. We first visited the park earlier this month to participate in a WWFF team championship weekend when unfortunately the weather was poor, confining us to the car.
Yesterday couldn’t have been more different with absolutely perfect weather, with loads of sunshine and a temperature of around 15 celcius. We arrived at the park and returned to Bakers Point again where we operated for the team event. You can find out more about the national park and the team event by viewing my previous blog post.
We set up the linked dipole as an inverted vee using the 7 metre fishing pole and were up and running shortly before 3:00 pm local time (04:00 UTC). I had the Buddipole with me which I usually set up as a vertical dipole for bands such as 20 metres when close to the coast but decided not to set it up yesterday. This was mainly due to our timing and the recent geomagnetic disturbance which has been hampering bands such as 20 metres. These bands have been opening as late as 6:00 pm (07:00 UTC) and I expected to have gone QRT by then.
During the team championship both of us successfully activated the park for Australia (VK) but Helen still needed 19 contacts and I needed 6 to activate it for the international WWFF program. I usually aim for the weekend when more chasers are around so I wasn’t sure what to expect, particularly for Helen.
I got my needed 6 contacts in about 20 minutes and then handed the microphone to Helen. As expected, it took Helen a while to get over the line but she did. I think it was a shortage of chasers and not conditions that were the issue, not surprisingly on a Friday afternoon. Helen had her necessary contacts by 4:30 pm local time (05:30 UTC) and even got several more callers before handing the microphone to me.
I had a brief stint on 20 metres which I didn’t expect much from with just one caller Adam VK2YK. To my surprise LZ2MAM was booming in well over S9 and I gave him a call and was pleased to get an S9 back. I had a bit of a listen on 40 metres hoping to hear some Europe before going QRT at around 5:30 pm (06:30 UTC). I did hear a station from Hungary but was unable to work him.
All in all, an enjoyable afternoon in the fantastic weather. Looking back through the logs we made contacts with VK1, VK2, VK3, VK4, VK5 and VK7. Again I noticed how good propagation was to VK1 and I have also never heard Gerard VK2IO so strong before at well over S9! I was also pleased to work VK4 which we often do not get during activations and Rob VK4FFAB was coming through nicely here.
As you can see, we had some visits from the natives but sadly not a Tasmanian Devil in sight!