North Geelong silo VK-NRG3

After leaving Kaniva (27th October 2022), Marija and I continued east on the Western Highway with our next stop being the little town of Beaufort. We stopped to get a coffee and fill up the vehicle with fuel.

Beaufort is about 160 km west of Melbourne. The origin of the name is unclear. Some suggest it was named after the Rear Admiral Francis Beaufort who invented the Beaufort scale for measuring wind velocity, while other believe it may take its name from Beaufort in Wales.

There are a number of historical buildings in Beaufort including the Band rotunda built in 1908, the Beaufort Fire Brigade built in 1911, and the old Beaufort courthouse built in 1864.

We continued on to Geelong and as we were a little early for the ferry we decided to activate the North Geelong silos VK-NRG3 which are located adjacent to the Spirit of Tasmania ferry terminal.

This activation would be for the Silos On The Air (SiOTA) program.

Above:- Map showing the location of the silos. Map c/o SiOTA.

In 1939 the Victorian State Government constructed the Geelong port elevator. Two horizontal grain sheds were constructed in 1950. They had a storage capacity of 500,000 tonnes were constructed. Since 1998 these sheds have been used to store wood chips prior to export and to store 150,000 tonnes of fertiliser. In 1976 an additional grain storage shed was constructed. The Geelong elevator has the ability to handle the export of wheat, barley, oilseeds and pulses with a capacity of 820,000 tonnes.

We operated from the 4WD for this activation, running the Icom IC7000, 100 watts, and the Codan 9350 antenna.

Marija made the following contacts on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK3PF
  2. VK2MET
  3. VK1AO

I made the following contacts on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK3PF
  2. VK2MET
  3. VK1AO
  4. VK2IO
  5. VK3CAT
  6. VK3WTX

We then boarded the Spirit of Tasmania in our 4WD. The ship measures about 212 metres with the ability to carry 1,800 passengers.

We had booked a cabin. The photos below show the cabin and the view of the port of Geelong from the cabin window.

The Spirit of Tasmania has a total of 301 cabins, featuring 12 deluxe cabins, 2 family suites, 120 porthole cabins, and 159 inside cabins.

After dropping off our bags we explored the Spirit of Tasmania and enjoyed some pizza and a few cold beverages at one of the bars.

We still had some daylight as we sailed out of Geelong so we took advantage and enjoyed some views of Port Phillip and then out into Bass Strait.

References.

  1. Spirit of Tasmania, 2022, <https://www.spiritoftasmania.com.au/new-ships>, viewed 2nd December 2022
  2. The Silo Trail, 2022, <https://silotrail.com.au/silo/geelong-victoria/>, viewed 2nd December 2022.