Day nine, the VKFF Activation Weekend, and the Mornington Peninsula National Park VKFF-0333

Day nine (Saturday 24th November 2018) had rolled around very quickly, and it was now the first day of the 2018 VKFF Activation Weekend.  Our first intended activation for the day was the Mornington Peninsula National Park VKFF-0333.

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Above:- Map showing the location of the Mornington Peninsula National Park.  Map courtesy of Protected Planet. 

The Mornington Peninsula National Park is a large park, comprising 2,686-hectares (6,640-acres).  The park was declared on 1st December 1975.   The park follows the coastline from near Portsea to Cape Schank, and also an inland area known as Greens Bush, which is the largest remnant of bushland on the Mornington Peninsula.

The first European settlement on the Mornington Peninsula, was also the first settlement in Victoria.  This was at Sullivans Bay, now Sorenton, where a penal colony was established in 1803.  This was 30 years prior to the establishment of Melbourne.  At this time the majority of the peninsula was covered with she-oak forests, however these were quickly cleared and subsequently planted with fruit orchards.

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Above:- An aerial view of the Mornington Peninsula National Park.  Image courtesy of google maps.

Marija and I were not exactly sure where in the park we were going to activate from.  We first tried Sorrento Back Beach, but found that there wasn’t enough room here to stretch out the dipole, without encroaching on other park users.  So we decided to head to Fingal Picnic Area further along the coastline.  Along the way we detoured to Gunnamatta Beach to admire the views of the coast.

We travelled along Cape Schank Road and soon reached the Fingal Picnic Area, about 2 km north of Cape Schank.  This area was subdivided for housing but was re- purchased by the government from 1974 to 1977.

There was plenty of room here for us to set up without interfering with others in the park.  Our operating spot was amongst some pine trees.

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Above:- Map of the Mornington Peninsula National Park, showing our operating spot.  Map courtesy of Parks Victoria.

We were set up and read to go by about 10.30 a.m.  We ran the Yaesu FT-897 and the 20/40/80m linked dipole for this activation.  Marija placed a spot up for me on parksnpeaks and I started calling CQ.  The first station in the log for us for the 2018 VKFF Activation Weekend was Ray VK4NH, followed by Rob VK4SYD, Nev VK5WG, and then Murray VK1UU.  But it was very slow going, and it took me 24 minutes to get contact number 10 in the log, a QSO with Pete VK2FPAR.

I logged a total of 11 stations on 40m before the UTC rollover, and afurther 7 after the UTC rollover.  This included five Park to Park contacts:

  • Alan VK2MG/p in the Watagans National Park VKFF-0522
  • Johnno VK3FMPB/p who was also in the Mornington Peninsula National Park.
  • Liz VK2XSE/p in the Lachlan Valley National Park VKFF-0255
  • Mark VK4SMA/p in the Girraween National Park VKFF-0198
  • Gerard VK2IO/p in the Blue Mountains National Park VKFF-0041

Unfortunately Johnno had not advised he was going to be in the same park as us, and we experienced a lot of bleed over across the band during the morning, so I apologise to any of the weaker stations that may have been calling us.

DSC_4720

The UTC rollover had just passed, and Marija jumped on the mic.  Marija’s first contact after calling CQ, was a Park to Park with Liz VK2XSE/p in the Lachlan Valley National Park VKFF-0255.  This was followed by another Park to Park with Peter VK2KNV/p who was also in VKFF-0255 with Liz.  Marija had soon qualified the park for VKFF with 10 contacts.  Her 10th contact was with Ray VK4NH.  Marija logged 12 stations on 40m including further Park to Park contacts with Mark VK4SMA/p, and Gerard VK2IO/p.

I then took charge of the microphone again and continued to call CQ on 7.144.  I logged just 6 further contacts before callers dried up.  So Marija and I lowered the squid pole and inserted the 80m legs of the dipole, and headed off to 3.610 on the 80m band.  I there logged 5 stations including a Park to Park with Tony VK3XV/p who was in the Dereel Lagoon Wildlife Reserve VKFF-2306.  Marija also logged Tony, Park to Park.

I now had 24 contacts in the log, and had just 20 more to go to qualify the park for the global WWFF program.  I called CQ on 14.310 and this was answered by Scott VK4CZ.  Unfortunately he was my only contact on that band.

So I headed back to 40m and called CQ on 7.145 where I logged a total of 8 stations, including a Park to Park with Alan VK3ALN/p, also in the Mornington Peninsula National Park.  Callers dried up very quickly, so I took the opportunity of tuning across the band, hoping to hear some other park activators.  Marija and I logged Steve VK4FNOR/2 who was on 7.140 activating the Bald Rock National Park VKFF-0011.  But Steve was the only activator we heard.  So it was back to 7.145.

It didn’t take long and I had contact number 44 in the log, a QSO with Ron VK3AHR.  I logged a total of 19 stations on 7.145 including the following Park to Park contacts:-

  • Peter VK2KNV/p in the Lachlan Valley National Park VKFF-0255
  • Les VK5KLV/p in the Munyaroo Conservation Park VKFF-0920
  • Steve VK5MSD/p in the Munyaroo Conservation Park VKFF-0920
  • David VK5PL/p in the Adelaide Dolphin Sanctuary VKFF-1880
  • Alan VK3ALN/p in the Point Nepean National Park VKFF-0628
  • Neil VK4HNS/p in the Dthinnawan Nature Reserve VKFF-2590
  • Rob VK2QR/3 in the Lonsdale Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2132
  • John VK5FLEA/p in the Montacute Conservation Park VKFF-0910

DSC_4721.jpg

The time had raced away to nearly 1.00 p.m., so we packed up and headed off to have a look at the Cape Schank lighthouse.  Marija and I had both qualified the park for VKFF & the KRMNPA, and I had qualified the park for WWFF.  Between us we had 78 contacts in the log, including 29 Park to Park contacts.

Marija worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK2MG/p (Watagans National Park VKFF-0522)
  2. VK2XSE/p (Lachlan Valley National Park VKFF-0255)
  3. VK2KNV/p (Lachlan Valley National Park VKFF-0255)
  4. VK2LX
  5. VK5HS
  6. VK4SMA/p (Girraween National Park VKFF-0198)
  7. VK2IO/p (SOTA VK2/ CT-032 & Blue Mountains National Park VKFF-0041)
  8. VK7QP
  9. VK5KLV/m
  10. VK4NH
  11. VK4DXA
  12. ZL4TY/VK4
  13. VK4FNOR/2 (Bald Rock National Park VKFF-0011)
  14. VK5MSD/p (Munyaroo Conservation ParkVKFF-0920
  15. VK5KLV/p (Munyaroo Conservation Park VKFF-0920)
  16. VK5PL/p (Adelaide Dolphin Sanctuary VKFF-1880)
  17. VK4HNS/p (Dthinnawan Nature Reserve VKFF-2590)
  18. VK2QR/3 (Lonsdale Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2132)
  19. VK5FLEA/p (Montacute Conservation Park VKFF-0910)

Marija worked the following stations on 80m SSB:-

  1. VK3XV/p (Dereel Lagoon Wildlife Reserve VKFF-2306)

I worked the following stations on 40m SSB before the UTC rollover:-

  1. VK4NH
  2. VK4DXA
  3. ZL4TY/VK4
  4. VK4SYD
  5. VK5WG
  6. VK1UU
  7. VK2BAI
  8. VK5NJ
  9. VK2MG/p (Watagans National Park VKFF-0522)
  10. VK2FPAR
  11. VK3FMPB/p (Mornington Peninsula National Park VKFF-0333)

I worked the following stations on 40m SSB after the UTC rollover:-

  1. VK2MTC
  2. VK5KLV/m
  3. VK5HS
  4. VK2lX
  5. VK2XSE/p (Lachlan Valley National Park VKFF-0255)
  6. VK4SMA/p (Girraween National Park VKFF-0198)
  7. VK2IO/p (SOTA VK2/ CT-032 & Blue Mountains National Park VKFF-0041)
  8. VK4NH
  9. VK4DXA
  10. ZL4TY/VK4
  11. VK2RP/m
  12. VK2BDR/m
  13. VK7DW
  14. VK2YK
  15. VK5LA
  16. VK3ALN/p (Mornington Peninsula National Park VKFF-0333)
  17. VK5AYL
  18. VK2PEZ
  19. VK2ZEP
  20. VK5AYD
  21. VK5FNVT
  22. VK4FNOR/2 (Bald Rock National Park VKFF-0011)
  23. VK5FAKV
  24. VK5FANA
  25. VK5FMWW
  26. VK5MRE
  27. VK3AHR
  28. VK2KNV/p (Lachlan Valley National Park VKFF-0255)
  29. VK5FMLO
  30. VK5KLV/p (Munyaroo Conservation Park VKFF-0920)
  31. VK5MSD/p (Munyaroo Conservation ParkVKFF-0920
  32. VK5PL/p (Adelaide Dolphin Sanctuary VKFF-1880)
  33. VK5IS
  34. VK5NBQ
  35. VK3ALN/p (Point Nepean National Park VKFF-0628)
  36. VK7EE
  37. VK4HNS/p (Dthinnawan Nature Reserve VKFF-2590)
  38. VK2QR/3 (Lonsdale Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2132)
  39. VK5FLEA/p (Montacute Conservation Park VKFF-0910)
  40. VK2MNR
  41. VK7FMAC

I worked the following stations on 80m SSB:-

  1. VK3XV/p (Dereel Lagoon Wildlife Reserve VKFF-2306)
  2. VK3ZPF
  3. VK3TNL
  4. VK3ANL
  5. VK3OHM

I worked the following station on 20m SSB:-

  1. VK4CZ

After packing up, we drove the short distance down Cape Schank Road until we reached the Cape Schank lighthouse, which was built in 1859 as the second coastal lighthouse in Victoria.  The lighthouse is 21 metres in height and is constructed of limestone.  The lighthouse is still operational.

There are some nice walks within the lighthouse reserve, dependant on your level of fitness.  We took a short walk, admiring the spectacular coastline.

We then attended the lighthouse museum which is located in one of the old assistants quarters.

We then took a tour of the lighthouse itself.  We were the only ones on this particular tour, so we had the tour guide all to ourselves.

The views from the balcony of the surrounding countryside and coast were quite amazing, despite it being a gloomy day.

We then headed off to our next park, the Main Ridge Nature Conservation Reserve.

 

 

References.

Parks Victoria, 2018, <https://parkweb.vic.gov.au/explore/parks/mornington-peninsula-national-park>, viewed 17th December 2018

Wikipedia, 2018, <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cape_Schanck_Lighthouse>, viewed 17th December 2018

Wikipedia, 2018, <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mornington_Peninsula_National_Park>, viewed 17th December 2018

2 thoughts on “Day nine, the VKFF Activation Weekend, and the Mornington Peninsula National Park VKFF-0333

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