My next park activation for Monday 8th June 2015, was the Tantanoola Caves Conservation Park, VKFF-804. This was to be another unique park for me for the World Wide Flora Fauna program (WWFF). I have activated Tantanoola Caves previously as part of the VK5 National and Conservation Parks Award, but the park has recently been added to the WWFF program, so this was another park that I was hoping to get 44 contacts from.
Tantanoola Caves CP is about 430 km south east of Adelaide and is located just off the busy Riddoch Highway.
I last activated this park in June 2014 whilst I was in the area for the 2014 SERG Convention. I activated the park from a lawned area just below the carpark.For information on that activation and information on the park, please have a look at……
But this time around I wanted to find a new operating spot, so I drove in to the carpark and out again and up the Riddoch Highway, and then back into the carpark and out again. I had pulled up on the side of the Highway, just north of the park, when a car pulled up behind me. Not knowing what was really going on, I looked in the rear vision mirror and saw a gentleman approaching. Fortunately it was not a road rage incident….it was Alan VK5FAJS. He was aware through parksnpeaks that I had intended to activate the park and had come along with his wife Georgie for a look. So we decided to go back into the carpark and set up on the lawn just below the carpark.
There are a few wooden benches and tables here, so we used one of those as our ‘shack’ for this activation. We used my Yaesu FT-857d, 40 watts (when I was operating and lowered the power for Alan), and my 40m/20m linked dipole.
I started off first and called CQ on 7.095 and this was answered by Col VK5HCF in Mount Gambier, followed by Rob VK4AAC/5 on Kangaroo Island, and then Albert VK3KLB. I went on to work 21 stations, so almost half way to the 44, when we swapped drivers. Alan was a bit reluctant to take over the mic from me, but I was more than happy to see Alan have a go and qualify the park. It wasn’t long before Alan had racked up his required 10 contacts.
I then jumped back into the drivers seat again and called CQ and this was responded to by the ever reliable John VK5BJE, then Tom VK5FTRG, and then Paul VK3DBP (who has recently qualified for quite a few VK5 Park certificates). The 40m band was behaving and I had a steady flow of callers from VK2, VK3, and VK5. Amongst that lot was Gerard VK2IO who was portable on SOTA peak Mount Gibraltar VK2/ MN-024.
I pushed on and ended up with a total of 49 contacts on 40m. Unfortunately the weather was pretty horrible and we had regular showers, which meant I was not able to try 20m as we were getting wet. The shower were so heavy at times, that the water was seaping through the bothy bag.
The following stations were worked on 40m SSB:-
- VK1FIVE/p (Gooyeroo Nature Reserve VKFF-841)
- VK2IO/p (SOTA VK2/ MN-024)