Day four of our trip, Tuesday 10th November 2015, started off as a bit of a washout. We had only one planned activation for the day, and that was the Cape Nelson State Park just outside of Portland. But it was drizzling with rain in Portland, and did not look promising.
Portland was established in 1834 and is the oldest European settlement in Victoria. Its population is around 9,900 people. Portland has the only deep sea port between Adelaide and Melbourne.
After breakfast we did the Portland historic walk via our car. It was just too wet to walk around the town. Portland has some very impressive historical buildings, with the Portland CBD alone, featuring over 200 buildings from the 1800’s.
We then went for a ride on the Portland Cable Tram which makes its way along a 7.4 km route around Portland including the foreshore. The two grip cars used were built from scratch and are exact replicas to the trams that hark back to the Melbourne cable tram era of 1885-1940. This included a stop off at the Portland Cable Car Museum which houses a number of exhibits including a horse drawn carriage owned by one of Portland’s first European settlers, Edward HENTY.
Despite the fact that it was a less than perfect morning, Marija and I then took a stroll through the Portland Botanical Gardens which features over 300 varieties of roses and 130 varieties of dahlias. It was during the walk through the park, that Marija suggested we try activating the Discovery Bay Coastal Park again, to see if I could pick up some more contacts to reach the 44 QSO threshold. I didn’t ask twice!
We then stopped off at the Portland Visitor Information Centre, which other than having a heap of tourist information, also contains the Portland Maritime Discovery Centre. The centre contains a number of displays depicting Portland’s rich maritime history including whaling, ship wrecks, navigation, and the local fishing industry. It is well worth a visit.
As the weather had cleared a little, we headed out along the Bridgewater Road and found a small car parking area on the southern side of the road amongst the scrub in the Discovery Bay Coastal Park, VKFF-0746.
The carpark was a nice quiet little spot and away from the hordes of tourists.
Above:- Our operating spot in the park, on the way to Cape Bridgewater. Image courtesy of http://www.here.com
After setting up the gear I headed for 7.144 and found Stef VK5HSX calling CQ from the Telowie Gorge Conservation Park in the Mid North of South Australia. After working Stef I went up the band to 7.150 and started calling CQ and this was answered by John VK5BJE in the Adelaide Hills, followed by Adrian VK5FANA on the Yorke Peninsula, and then Peter VK3KAI (VK3PF). Unfortunately signal strengths were well down. But there was no man made noise on the band at all from within the park, so all stations were Q 5. It was also noticeable that there was a large amount of QSB on the band.
I worked a total of 22 stations on 40m, with my last contact there being with Col VK5HCF in Mount Gambier. I then headed to 14.310 on 20m and worked just 3 stations there, Brett VK2VW, Adam VK2YK, and Cliff VK2NP.
After an hour in the park I had a total of 25 contacts in the log. This combined with the 26 contacts from the park the day prior, meant that I had qualified the park for WWFF. Many thanks to my ever patient and understanding wife, Marija.
The following stations were worked on 40m SSB:-
- VK5HSX/p (Telowie Gorge Conservation Park)
The following stations were worked on 20m SSB:-