Monday morning (22nd August 2016) was spent packing up at the Cape Willoughby lighthouse after a very enjoyable three nights there, amongst great company, for another International Lighthouse and Lightship Weekend (ILLW) event. It was quite a chilly morning on Monday, but getting up was worth it, to view the amazing sunrise.
I was on the road from Cape Willoughby at around 10.00 a.m. and on my way to my first of three planned park activations for the day, the Simpson Conservation Park 5CP-213 and VKFF-1098.
Above:- Map showing the location of the Simpson Conservation Park at the eastern end of Kangaroo Island. Image courtesy of Location SA Map Viewer.
With a touch of sadness I left the lighthouse, travelling along the Cape Willoughby Road until I reached Wilson River Road and started to head west. I passed Lashmar Lagoon, stopping for a short photo opportunity with the various birdlife around the Lagoon. Birds observed included Australian Shelducks, Glossy Ibis, Black Swans, and galahs.
Unfortunately it didn’t take long for the reception on my mobile phone (with Optus) to drop out, so my directions to the park dropped out on the phone. Many thanks to a friendly local who pointed me in the right direction. I turned onto Mouth Flat Road near the Wilson River ruins, and headed south. At this time of the year (particularly after all the rain), I would suggest that this is not a track to take if you have a conventional vehicle. It was quite boggy in patches with the occasional water patch over the track. I continued along Mouth Flat Road for a short distance until I reached Black Point Road. It wasn’t long before the park came into view on my left.
I continued until I reached Simpson Track, and this is where I turned left. This part of the track is definitely 4WD only. There was a distinct lack of options on where to set up, as there were no cleared areas on either side of the track and nowhere to pull off the track. In the end, I pulled the Hi Lux as far off the track as possible, and set up in the scrub just off the track.
Above:- the Simpson Track in the park.
Above:- Map showing my operating spot in the Simpson Conservation Park. Image courtesy of Protected Planet.
Simpson Conservation Park is 977 hectares (2,410 acres) in size and is located on the Dudley Peninsula at the eastern end of Kangaroo Island. The park is around 13 kilometres south of Penneshaw. The park was proclaimed under the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1972 in August 2010 from Crown land previously protected as a conservation reserve. The park was initially created on 9th October 1986 as a reserve.
The park was named after Stamford Walles ‘Tiger’ Simpson, a WW1 veteran of aboriginal heritage. More information on ‘Tiger’ can be found at…..
Above:- ‘Tiger’ Simpson in uniform. Image courtesy of State Library of SA.
The park was alive with flowering shrubs during my visit.
For this activation I ran out the 20/40/80m linked dipole which I supported on the 7m heavy duty squid pole from Haverfords. Transceiver used was the Yaesu FT-857d set at 40 watts output. I was all set up and ready to go by just after 11.00 a.m. South Australian local time. I commenced calling CQ on 7.144 and a mini pile up immediately commenced. Number one in the log was Ron VK3MRH, followed by Les VK5KLV and then Brenton VK3CM. The 40m band was in pretty good shape with all signals being 5/7-5/9 in strength.
Callers from Victoria (VK3) were all 5/9 with the New South Welshman (VK2) being 5/7-9 in strength. The Queensland stations (VK4) including Jay VK4JK and Rick VK4RF were very strong 5/9’s. It was nice to get Mike VK5FVSV in the log. Mike was mobile from Cape Willoughby lighthouse on his way to Penneshaw. Only one QSO was logged and that was with Nick VK3FNCE who was running just 3 watts and was a solid 5/9 to me. I also logged Marc VK3OHM who was activating SOTA peak Mount Stromlo VK1/ AC-043.
I worked a total of 29 contacts on 40m, before lowering the squid pole and inserting the links so that I could operate on the 80m band. The weather was holding off beautifully and I was also fortunate in that I hadn’t experienced any traffic along Simpson Track. After re-erecting the squid pole I called on 3.610 and this was answered by Adrian VK5FANA on the Yorke Peninsula who was a good 5/9. Sadly Adrian was my only taker, despite Adrian putting a call out on the Lochiel repeater that I was on 80m.
I then moved over to 20m and worked a total of 5 stations from VK2, VK4, and VK6. This included Ian VK2/GW0VML who was portable at the Yamba lighthouse. The Over the Horizon Radar was certainly very strong and wide on the 20m band. It was strength 7 and ranged from around 14.185 all the way to 14.350 and beyond. I then moved back to 40m where I worked a further 19 stations from VK2, VK3, VK4, and VK5. This included Mark VK3FOTO who was mobile in NSW and about to the cross over in VK3 over the border. And also Colin VK3NCC/4 who was in ND4 for the VK Shires Award.
Time was marching along and it was now 12.30 p.m. SA local time, so it was time to pack up and head off to my next park, Dudley Conservation Park. I had a total of 54 stations in the log and a unique Conservation Park for me to add to my activator list.
The following stations were worked on 40m SSB:-
- VK3OHM (SOTA VK1/ AC-043)
The following stations were worked on 80m SSB:-
- Adrian VK5FANA
The following stations were worked on 20m SSB:-
- VK2/GWoVML/p (Yamba lighthouse)
State Library of South Australia, 2016, <http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/site/page.cfm?u=890&c=43855>, viewed 3rd September 2016
Wikipedia, 2016, <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simpson_Conservation_Park>, viewed 17th August 2016