Mt Cowley – VK3/VC-022 / VKFF-405 – 22 JUN 2014

by vk3arr

As a family, we decided that we’d take the kids for a nice walk around Lake Elizabeth in the Great Otway National Park. This is a good walk for kids – about 4km in total, and 15 minutes or so out of Forrest township. Lake Elizabeth was formed in 1952 after a landslide blocked part of the Barwon river near the West Barwon reservoir. It is now an easy 30 minute or less walk to the edge of the lake from the car park, and about a 90 minute walk around the entire lake. The kids loved it, but afterwards asked to go into Lorne to play on a playground there, and I’d asked and received a tentative yes to activating Mt Cowley (VK3/VC-022), the highest point in the Otways. My wife grabbed a newspaper and looked after the kids, and I grabbed the radio and headed out to Mt Cowley.

I followed the instructions left by Peter VK3PF on the SOTAWatch website, driving past Erskine Falls and then out onto the Mt Sabine – Benwerrin Road. This is a nice dirt road, and somewhat slippery from the rain that had been around earlier in the day. Despite the temptation to hoon around, it was probably a little too slippery for my liking, and I made it to Mt Cowley without being too silly. A walk out and back into the activation zone, and I set up with the squid pole attached to a Telstra pole, and tied off the ends of the dipole to a tree and to a fence near the communications tower.

I started off with a S2S with Marshall VK3MRG on Bill Head VK3/VN-004 for 8 points, and then worked 6 more contacts (including 2 Andrew-to-Andrews) before Ian VK1DI/2 gave me another 8 points from Mt Cowangerong VK2/ST-001. Another 8 QSOs followed before the rain became a bit too much to bear, and I packed up, for a total of 16 QSOs in about 15 minutes.

The kids were still enjoying themselves on the monkey bars when I got back, and the wife still had half the paper to read, so I wasn’t too late either! No photos unfortunately, as I felt I was rushed, and then the rain started.