My first activation for Sunday 29th December, 2013, was the Spring Mount Conservation Park, which is situated about 24 km north west of Victor Harbor, and about 71 km south of Adelaide.
Marija and I headed out relatively early again after breakfast in the motel room. This was our departure day and back to ‘reality’. We had both really enjoyed our stay down at Victor Harbor, and the Comfort Inn is recommended. Marija and I headed north out of Victor Harbor and then turned left onto the Hindmarsh Tiers Road, through the beautiful dairy country of the Hindmarsh Valley. We then turned left into Spring Mount Road which offered spectacular views out to the ocean.
On the western side of Springmount Road there is a cleared area between the fence line and the scrub. It was the ideal spot to set up the station. We set up the foldable table & deck chair and erected the 40m/20m dipole with use of the 7m squid pole.
My first contact of the morning was with Parks stalwart, Larry VK5LY, followed by Col VK5HCF running QRP 5 watts, Brian VK5FMID, and Nev VK5WG who was also running QRP. This was followed by a steady flow of callers from VK1, VK2, VK3 & VK5.
The band seemed to be in very good shape. One of my QRP to QRP contacts was with Richard VK5ZRY who was operating with just 1/2 watt from Port Vincent on the Yorke Peninsula of South Australia.
Greg VK2FGJW/1 called in to say hi. He was portable on Black Mountain in the ACT, using QRP 5 watts from his Elecraft KX3, and a dipole. After some discussion with Greg about the Summits on the Air program, it was confirmed that Greg had indeed qualified for SOTA from his portable location. I believe this was Greg’s first ever SOTA activation.
My last contacts of the day were with Joe VK3YSP and Julie VK3FOWL who were on the Christmas trip and were portable in the Little Desert National Park in western Victoria.
Whilst I was operating, I had some regular visitors. But not humans ! They were little Superb Blue Wrens. The male of the species has a really striking bright blue plumage on its head, neck, and tail. They are an active and gregarious little bird.
Conditions on 40m SSB were really good, but I was already behind schedule, so we packed and headed off to the final park, the Mount Billy Conservation Park.
I worked the following stations:-
Larry VK5LY; Col VK5HCF; Brian VK5FMID; Nev VK5WG; Graham VK5KC/p; Tom VK5EE; Tim VK5AV; Graham VK5KGP; Chuck VK2SS/p; John VK5NJ; Len VK3FB; Rick VK5FIVE; Tom VK5FTRG; Ian VK5IS; Shaun VK5FAKV; Allen VK3HRA; Richard VK5ZRY; Tony VK3CTM; Ian VK5CZ/p; Greg VK2FGJW/1; Joe VK3YSP/p; and Julie VK3FOWL/p.
Department for Environment and Heritage, 2011, Parks of the Fleurieu Peninsula
Mapcarta, 2013, viewed 30th December, 2013, <http://mapcarta.com>