Eric Bonython Conservation Park 5CP-062 and VKFF-0877

Our final activation for the 4th year anniversary weekend for the VK5 National & Conservation Parks Award was the Eric Bonython Conservation Park 5CP-062 & VKFF-0877.  The park is located about 100 km south of Adelaide on the Fleurieu Peninsula.

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It was just a short drive from Waitpinga, and we soon reached the park.  Eric Bonython is a small narrow park, comprising 6 hectares of native scrub.  It follows Rymill Road and sits on the top of a ridge line about 280 metres above sea level.

The park was named after Eric Glenie Bonython (1910-1971) who was an author, explorer, and conservationist.  Bonython’s chief occupation was in landholding and grazing, however he had a very wide interest in history, geography and anthropology.  He became a well known explorer of the Lake Eyre Basin, at that time one of the most mysterious geological areas on earth.

Where-the-seasons-come-and-go

The park is surrounded by cleared land used for farming purposes, particularly dairy.

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There are some nice views from the park out across the Southern Ocean, to The Pages (2 small islands) and Kangaroo Island.

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We set up in the south western corner of the park in a clearing amongst the scrub.  We extended the awning on the Toyota Hi Lux and set up the deck chairs and fold up table.  For this activation we ran the Yaesu FT-857D, and the 80/40/20m linked dipole on the 7 metre telescopic squid pole.  On 40m we ran 10 watts PEP (complying with Marija’s Foundation licence conditions), and on 20m I cranked up the power to 30 watts output.

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Above:- Aerial shot of the park showing our operating spot.  Image courtesy of Protected Planet.

There was quite a stiff breeze blowing, so the VK5 Parks Award flag was flying proudly on the top of the squid pole.

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I started off proceedings at Eric Bonython, calling CQ on 7.144 on 40m, which was answered by Helen VK7FOLK and Jonathan VK7JOPN who were activating the Rocky Cape National Park VKFF-0432 in Tasmania.  Their signals were incredibly strong.  Marija and I swapped the mic to log both Helen and Jonathan Park to Park.  We did the same for three other park activations:

  • Andrew VK5MR in the Lake Torrens National Park 5NP-013 & VKFF-0278;
  • Greg VK5GJ in the Stipiturus Conservation Park 5CP-220 & VKFF-0936; and
  • Brett VK3FLCS in the Lerderderg State Park VKFF-0763.

After logging 16 stations from VK2, VK3, VK5, VK6, and VK7, Marija jumped into the operators seat and called CQ.  This was answered by Dennis VK2HHA, followed by Peter VK3FOGY and then Steve VK3FSPG/VK3MPR.  It wasn’t long and Marija had a little pileup going.  Marija logged a total of 24 stations from VK2, VK3, VK5, VK7, VK8.  This included a contact with Greg VK8GM in Alice Springs in the Northern Territory.

After a bit of a wander through the park, I went back onto the mic, calling CQ on 7.139, which was promptly answered by Ivan VK5HS in the Riverland, followed by Alan VK3LSD in the Wimmera region of Victoria.  Things had slowed down a little, and I logged 10 stations from VK1, VK3, VK5, and VK7.

Marija and I then took the opportunity of tuning across the 40m band and logging a few park activators:

  • Rob VK4AAC/p, Tewantin National Park VKFF-1318
  • Chris VK5FR, Morgan Conservation Park 5CP-141 & VKFF-0911
  • Bill VK4FW/p, Mount Walsh National Park VKFF-0363

The weather was starting to move in, with the occasional shower, so we were forced to put up a side wall on the awning.  It also sheltered us a bit from the bitterly cold wind coming in off the Southern Ocean.  It was cold!  After all, the next land mass, was the Antarctic.

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I then called CQ on 7.105, where I worked a total of 19 stations including:

  • Peter VK3PF/p, Green Lake State Park VKFF-0967
  • Adrian VK5FANA/p, Eastern Spencer Gulf Marine Park VKFF-1706

It was nice to also log Marco VK3FTRI, and be his 1st ever contact on HF.

I then QSY’d to 14.310 on 20m and called CQ, competing with the Over the Horizon Radar which was extremely strong (S9 plus when it intermittently came on).  My first station logged on 20m was Ozren 9A7W in Croatia, followed by John VK6NU, and then Swa ON65SWA in Belgium.  I worked a total of 13 stations on 20m, but it was incredibly difficult with the radar.  Despite that it was nice to log a little bit of DX, long path to Europe: Croatia, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, France and Italy.

It was now 5.45 p.m. local time and the sun was setting and it was certainly not getting any warmer.  So I headed down to 3.610 on the 80m band and started calling CQ.  Adrian VK5FANA mobile, on his way home from his park, was the first in the log.  Marija was sitting on 30 contacts, with just 14 more to go to qualify the park for the global WWFF program, and she had a ‘second wind’ of enthusiasm and took control of the mic.

Marija logged 10 stations on 80m including Bill ZL2AYZ in New Zealand (Marija’s first ever ZL contact on 80m), and Gerard VK2IO who was portable in the Columbey State Conservation Area VKFF-1303.  Marija was now on 38 contacts and needed just 6 more contacts, but QSOs soon dried up on 80m, so we lowered the squid pole and removed the 80m links and headed back to 40m.  Marija commenced calling CQ on 7.130 and soon racked up her required number of contacts, with QSO number 44 being with Steve VK3SN/p in the Alpine National Park VKFF-0619.  A nice way for Marija to get her 44, with a Park to Park contact.

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Marija ended up with a total of 47 contacts in the log, which included 10 Park to Park QSOs.  I had a total of 69 QSOs in the log, including 11 Park to Park QSOs.

Marija worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK7FOLK/p (Rocky Cape National Park VKFF-0432)
  2. VK7JON/p (Rocky Cape National Park VKFF-0432)
  3. VK5MR/p (Lake Torrens National Park 5NP-013 & VKFF-0278)
  4. VK5GJ/p (Stipiturus Conservation Park 5CP-220 & VKFF-0936)
  5.  VK3FLCS/p (Lerderderg State Park VKFF-0763)
  6. VK2HHA
  7. VK3FOGY
  8. VK3FSPG
  9. VK3MPR
  10. VK7KW
  11. VK3BL
  12. VK5PET
  13. VK3CJD
  14. VK3FLJD
  15. VK3TKK/m
  16. VK2QK
  17. VK3LSD
  18. VK3MRH
  19. VK2HOT
  20. VK3MNZ
  21. VK8GM
  22. VK3FRAB
  23. VK4HNS/p
  24. VK5HS
  25. VK4AAC/p (Tewantin National Park VKFF-1318)
  26. VK5FR/p (Morgan Conservation Park 5CP-141 & VKFF-0911)
  27. VK4FW/p (Mount Walsh National Park VKFF-0363)
  28. VK3PF/p (Green Lake State Park VKFF-0967)
  29. VK3FSLG
  30. VK4FDWS
  31. VK4AAT
  32. VK4LX
  33. VK3ZPF
  34. VK3SN/p (Alpine National Park VKFF-0619)
  35. VK1DI
  36. VK2GKA
  37. VK3FEVT

Marija worked the following stations on 80m SSB:-

  1. VK2IO/p (Columbey State Conservation Area VKFF-1303)
  2. ZL2AYZ/p
  3. VK3ARH
  4. VK3HRA
  5. VK5MRT
  6. VK5FANA
  7. VK3GGG
  8. VK3PMG
  9. VK2UH
  10. VK3MCK

I worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK7FOLK/p (Rocky Cape National Park VKFF-0432)
  2. VK7JON/p (Rocky Cape National Park VKFF-0432)
  3. VK3SQ
  4. VK5MR/p (Lake Torrens National Park 5NP-013 &VKFF-0278)
  5. VK5GJ/p (Stipiturus Conservation Park 5CP-220 & VKFF-0936)
  6. VK3FLCS/p (Lerderderg State Park VKFF-0763)
  7. VK3ELH
  8. VK3FOGY
  9. VK3LBW
  10. VK3FSPG
  11. VK3MPR
  12. VK3TL
  13. VK3EY
  14. VK6ZFG
  15. VK2NP
  16. VK2HHA
  17. VK3HS
  18. VK3LSD
  19. VK3BSG
  20. VK3GGG
  21. VK3PMG
  22. VK3FRAB
  23. VK3MRH
  24. VK3VIN
  25. VK1DI
  26. VK7DW
  27. VK4AAC/p (Tewantin National Park VKFF-1318)
  28. VK5FR/p (Morgan Conservation Park 5CP-141 & VKFF-0911)
  29. VK4FW/p (Mount Walsh National Park VKFF-0363)
  30. VK3CIB
  31. VK2SVN
  32. VK7EV/m
  33. VK3IL/m
  34. VK3NBL
  35. VK5FAKV
  36. VK3PF/p (Green Lake State Park VKFF-0967)
  37. VK3VEF
  38. VK4QQ
  39. VK6BD/7
  40. VK3VEK
  41. VK3FSLG
  42. VK3FORD/m
  43. VK4HNS/p
  44. VK5FANA/p (Eastern Spencer Gulf Marine Park VKFF-1706)
  45. VK3MIJ
  46. VK3FTRI
  47. VK5KLV
  48. VK2GPT

I worked the following stations on 20m SSB:-

  1. 9A7W
  2. VK6NU
  3. ON5SWA
  4. 9A3NM
  5. OZ5HP
  6. VK4QQ
  7. ON4VT
  8. DL1SPE
  9. VK4NH
  10. F4GTD
  11. IZ2QDC
  12. OO2T
  13. VK4MWG

I worked the following stations on 80m SSB:-

  1. VK5FANA/m
  2. VK3GGG
  3. VK3PMG
  4. VK3SQ
  5. VK2UH
  6. VK2IO/p (Columbey State Conservation Area VKFF-1303)
  7. ZL2AYZ/p
  8. VK3ARH

At the end of the activation we headed off to the Yankalilla Hotel for tea.  It was a nice end to another fun anniversary weekend for the VK5 Parks Award.

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References.

Illawong Texel Lamb, 2017, <http://www.illawongtexel.com.au/pages/where-the-seasons-come-and-go.php&gt;, viewed 11th April 2017

2 thoughts on “Eric Bonython Conservation Park 5CP-062 and VKFF-0877

  1. Absolutely amazing to see the difference in operating conditions across VK5 from Morgan CP to you guys!! Warm and comfortable on the Murray and hiding in the shade!

    Great to work you.

    Chris
    VK4FR/VK5FR

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