On Tuesday morning (24th May 2016) Marija and I had a cooked breakfast at the Paradise Hotel and then went on a bus tour around Norfolk Island. The tour took in the historic Kingston area, Cascade Pier, and morning tea at Puppies Point.
At the end of the tour, Marija and I headed in to town and caught up with Heath VK3TWO and his wife Monique VK6FMON, and Peter VK3PF. We enjoyed a nice lunch together at one of the many cafes in the main street.
Marija and I then decided as it was such a nice day, that we would head back out to Puppies Point for some amateur radio action. On the way we stopped in to the Norfolk Island Botanical Gardens which is a beautiful collection of plants endemic to Norfolk Island. There is also an intepretive centre here which features displays and information relating to Norfolk Islands flora and fauna.
We continued on to the Captain Cook lookout within the Norfolk Island National Park. It was here that Captain Cook landed on the island way back in 1774.
The weather had turned less than ideal with quite a bit of shower activity, although it was still quite humid. We then headed to Puppies Point, but not before coming across a banana plantation (see below photograph). You can buy a banana on the island for only 10 cents.
We then came across these characters, as you do all over the island. Believe it or not, cows have the right of way on Norfolk Island roads!
Another regular site on Norfolk Island as you travel around are the numerous feral chickens and roosters.
We then reached Puppies Point and fortunately the weather had cleared, so I was able to set up using a wooden bench and table. Puppies Point is a beautiful location. It has some fantastic views out along the coastline, with a lawned area containing benches and tables and a well cared for picnic area.
I ran the Yaesu FT-857d, 40 watts, and the 40m/20m linked dipole at 6 metres for this activation. The 6 metre telescopic squid pole was strapped to the wooden bench with some octopus straps. I powered the radio with the spare car battery, kindly supplied by the car hire company, Aloha Rent A Car.
Above:- Map showing the location of Puppies Point on the western side of Norfolk Island.
I headed to 7.090 and commenced calling CQ and this was answered by John VK2YW in Wagga Wagga, followed by Ian VK5IS from the Mid North of South Australia, Neil VK4HNS, and then George VK4GSF. My signal report ranged from 5/1 in South Australia to 5/5 in Queensland. The local time on the island was nearly 3.00 p.m. and band conditions on 40m back into the Australian mainland appeared to be quite good. It wasn’t long before a mini pile up commenced, with callers from the eastern seaboard of the Australian mainland, and New Zealand. Fred VK9DAC on Norfolk Island also called in….another Norfolk Island station to add towards the special Norfolk Island Award offered by the WIA.
I worked a total of 29 stations on 40m before heading off to 20m. I called CQ on 14.310 and this was answered by Paul VK2HV, followed by Rick VK4RF/VK4HA, John VK5BJE, and Ivan VK5HS. I was very pleased to get Ivan in the log, as I had worked Ivan a few years ago whilst he was on holiday in Norfolk Island.
The 20m band was wide open to the Australian mainland, and also USA and Japan. I worked 7 stations in the USA (Illinois, Oregon, California, Washington, New York, & Texas), one in Alaska, and one station in Japan.
Some of the memorable contacts to VK were with Dave VK2BDR who was running just 1 watt (5/6 sent and 5/7 received), and Greg VK5GJ running 4 watts (5/1 sent and 5/9 received). I also had a Park to Park contact with Bob VK6POP who was portable in the John Forrest National Park VKFF-0250, all the way over in Western Australia (5/3 sent and 5/5 received).
I worked a total of 50 stations before things started to slow down a little, so I headed down the band and booked in to the ANZA DX Net.
It was around this time that some of the VK9NT crew arrived to say g’day: Alan VK2CA, Chris VK3QB and Lee VK3GK.
I then headed back to 40m to 7.144 and called CQ again. This was answered by Jim VK1AT, followed by David VK5KC, Greg VK5GJ and then Steve VK3YW mobile. I worked a further 28 stations in Australia (VK2, VK3, VK4, VK5 & VK7), New Zealand, before deciding it was time to go QRT. The sun was just starting to set and the sunset was truly quite spectacular.
The following stations were worked on 40m SSB:-
- VK9DAC (Norfolk Island VKFF-0392)
- VK3GP mobile
- VK4AS mobile
- VK3YW mobile
- VK2MOR mobile
- ZL3OY mobile
The following stations were worked on 20m SSB:-
- VK5MTM mobile
- VK3TKK mobile
- VK6POP/p (John Forrest National Park VKFF-0250)
Here is a short video put together by Theo VK5MTM mobile, of our QSO
After returning back into town, we had a quick meal at the Paradise Hotel followed by a Light and Sound Show at historic Kingston.