Coorong National Park, VKFF-115

On Sunday, 23rd November, 2014, with my wife Marija, I headed down to the Coorong National Park, VKFF-115.  It was a beautiful warm day, and we had just bought ourselves a new Toyota Hi Lux, so it was a a couple of great reasons to go for a drive.

Screenshot 2014-12-04 18.18.23

Map courtesy of mapcarta.com

I have activated the Coorong National Park a number of times previously.  This is a spectacular part of South Australia which stretched for more than 130 km and protects a string of salt water lagoons which are sheltered from the Southern Ocean by the sweeping sand dunes of the Younghusband Peninsula.  The Coorong is a wetland of international signficance. For more information on the Coorong National Park, please have a look at…..

http://www.environment.sa.gov.au/parks/Find_a_Park/Browse_by_region/Limestone_Coast/Coorong_National_Park

Rather than travelling along the South Eastern Freeway and the Dukes Highway, we headed out along the Wellington Road from home, and down through the beautiful wine growing region of Langhorne Creek, and then on to the little town of Wellington on the River Murray.  There, we put the 4WD onto the ferry and travelled over the Murray and then on to Meningie on the banks of Lake Albert.  From Meningie we continued south east along the Princes Highway.

Initially, we drove along 400 Mile Road and down to the Coorong.  However, as it was a warm day and there was no immediate shade at that location, we decided to turn around and head for Parnka Point, where I have operated from a number of times before.  I knew that there were shelters at Parnka Point, where I could set up out of the sun.

Screenshot 2014-12-04 18.18.55

Map courtesy of mapcarta.com

My first contact was with Rod VK5VRB at Meadows in the Adelaide Hills with a very strong 5/9 signal.  This was followed by SOTA guru (and recently converted parks hunter) Andrew VK1NAM, Hans VK5YX running 5 watts from his home brew MFJ transceiver, and Ian VK3AXH.  I went on to work a number of stations in VK3 & VK5.

After working a total of 15 stations on 40m, I ventured over to 20m, where I put out a number of CQ calls on the nominated World Wide Flora Fauna (WWFF) frequency of 14.244, but had no takers.  It was still only 3.00 p.m. and a little too early for the 20m band to be open long path to Europe.  A quick tune around the 20m band confirmed this, with very little activity heard.  I did hear Anatoly RZ3ZM calling CQ on 14.228 and gave him a call and received a 5/5 signal report from Russia with my 40 watts.

I then went up to 14.310 and asked if the frequency was in use, and was advised by  Adam VK2YK that Bob VK5FO was on the frequency on a SOTA summit.  I could not hear a peep out of Bob, despite the fact that he was just 150 km away.  So I went down to 14.305 and was soon called by Adam VK2YK with a very strong 5/9 signal.  This was followed by VK7EB/p.  I started calling CQ again, but sadly some stations came up on 14.303 speaking German, and that was the end of that.  I was forced to QSY due to the bleedover.  So I tuned across the band and found John EA7BA in QSO with some of my mates including Brian ZL2ASH.  I gave John a call in Almeria in Spain and he gave me a 5/9 signal report.  Brian ZL2ASH in Wellington gave me a 5/6 signal report and Tony F5VBY gave me a 5/8 signal report from France.

I then tuned across the band and found 14.252 clear so I called CQ and this was responded to my Allan VK6APP.  Allan was struggling with me and I was certainly struggling with Allan.  Sadly his modulation was very distorted, and it was a difficult QSO.  A number of subsequent CQ calls went unanswered.

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I then worked a special event call YO555BU.  I then went to 14.252 and called CQ again, and this time I had a steady flow of callers from Europe.  My first contact was with Max IK1GPG, followed by Zenek SP5INQ, and then UA9LT.  I went on to work a total of 15 stations from Europe, but the Yaesu FT-450 kept cutting out as the 44 amp hour power pack was getting low.  I am sorry to the European stations that were still calling when I went QRT.

After a total time of 2 hours in the park, I had 38 contacts in the log.  We packed up the gear and headed for us.  This time taking the Princes Highway to Tailem Bend and then back along the South Eastern Freeway.

The following stations were worked on 40m SSB:-

  1. Rod VK5VRB
  2. Andrew VK1NAM
  3. Hans VK5YX
  4. Ian VK3AXH
  5. David VK5NQP
  6. Tony VK3CAT
  7. Nigel VK5NIG
  8. Brian VK5FMID
  9. Peter  VK3ZPF
  10. Bill VK5MBD
  11. Ian VK5CZ
  12. David VK5KC
  13. Ian VK3VIN
  14. Tom VK5EE
  15. Keith VK5ND

The following stations were worked on 20m SSB:-

  1. Anatoly RZ3ZM
  2. Adam VK2YK
  3. K7EB/p
  4. John EA7BA
  5. Brian ZL2ASH
  6. Tony F5VBY
  7. Allan VK6APP
  8. YO5SBU
  9. Max IK1GPG
  10. SP5INQ
  11. UA9LT
  12. Luciano I5FLN
  13. Marnix OP7M
  14. DF1YQ
  15. I5JFG
  16. G0KIK
  17. RA3PCI
  18. HA6OB
  19. IZ2IHO
  20. DL1EKO
  21. UR7ET
  22. UT5PI

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