Freycinet National Park – VKFF-188 – 14 April 2016
A Tasmanian family holiday presented an interesting opportunity to grab SOTA summits, and perhaps some parks. We started in the north of the state, where I saw quite a few SOTA summits, but most were reasonable climbs or requiring too much time, so I settled for a bit of 2m repeater action, using my handheld to get into the Mt Barrow repeater, about 100km away to the east of where we were staying. I spoke with VK7CR (Huonville, via linked repeater) and VK7VDX on Flinders Island – an ex-Geelong person.
After the north, we headed to the east coast, and stayed a few nights in Coles Bay. There are also SOTA summits here – the accessible one, Mt Amos, calling for a 5 hr return walk graded extremely difficult. I opted out although I doubt I would have been allowed to anyway as I was the only driver and injury meant having to cancel the planned trip.
In the morning, we climbed up to Wineglass Bay Lookout, explored Cape Tourville lighthouse, and then had lunch by Honeymoon Bay. Eventually, the kids were tired and wanted to stay at the accommodation for a bit, so my wife agreed to let me take the radio and set up in Freycinet NP for VKFF. I chose Cape Tourville to set up at, as it seemed the easiest spot, and I had seen some good areas to tie a dipole off to.
I set up out of the way, and discovered that the BNC connector on the balun was loose, and the lack of a screwdriver prevented me from reaching it to fix it. I settled for jiggling the cable to get what I needed. This was after trying for 30 minutes to make a decent contact.
Once the problem was troubleshooted (troubleshot?) I managed to work 20-odd contacts on 40m, including a park-to-park, before eventually I had to descend. At that point, I realised the rock I had been sitting on had blocked blood flow to my left leg, and this had made it numb. Having no feeling and trying to walk around packing up is a difficult thing, and after the pins and needles subsided, I completed the tear down and walked back to the car. Freycinet is a beautiful part of the world, and I shall have to return in order to get the remaining contacts for 44.