An afternoon in Baranduda Regional Park

Monday 11 November 2019

The day started quietly, with chauffeur duties to transport Mum to the Remembrance Day service in Wodonga. After dropping off Mum, I headed to the nearest park area and managed to work Paul VK5PAS/3 and Marija VK5FMAZ/3 in VKFF-2502. I did a short shopping exercise before returning to attend the Remembrance Day service. Just before 1100 EADT, the phone sounded the kookaburra sound – just as well that I was located toward the back of those attending. After quickly checking ParksnPeaks, I waited patiently until the key events close to 1100 were completed. I quickly dashed back to the car and managed to catch Paul and Marija, this time in VKFF-2466. I returned to the final few minutes of the service.

I then drove Mum to the local RSL for some camaraderie, a coffee and some nibbles. Next it was off to do some shopping and we returned to base early in the afternoon.

I decided to head out to a local summit in a Park.

Mount Baranduda VK3/VE-189 775 m 4 points
Baranduda Regional Park VKFF-0959

I accessed the Park via Burgess Lane, finding the gates open. Just inside the Park, I pulled over to try to hear Liz VK2XSE/p in VKFF-1942. Liz was weak on 80 m on the mobile whip and inaudible on 40 m. I continued my drive to the summit, travelling via Darmodys Track, Cobs Track and Baranduda Range Track. The track is steep in places and has spoon drains, rocks and rough patches to negotiate.

Once inside the AZ, I set up the ZS6BKW and the rest of the station. I spotted myself at 0356 UTC and had Andrei ZL1TM in the log by 0400 on 40 m CW. A string of VK stations followed: VK3CAT, VK2IO, VK3ARH, VK3HRA, VK5CZ, VK2ICJ and VK4TJ with his other calls. I had the Park qualified for VKFF on 40 m CW in about 20 minutes. I also heard Wynne ZL2ATH call, but he did not respond to my replies. I then spent about 20 minutes calling on 40 m SSB but only worked Lee VK2LEE. 20 m and 80 m CW yielded no responses. The last station worked on the summit was Geoff VK3SQ on 80 m SSB.

Geoff had just claimed his Shack Sloth certificate and trophy after I assisted him in starting the task of compiling a Chaser log by searching for his callsign in downloaded Activator logs. Well done Geoff!

I packed up and started the drive out of the Park. I took a different route out, exiting via Bantik Track. This led to a closed but not locked gate and out onto Beechworth – Wodonga Road C315 just east of Leneva. I stopped and turned off the car to open the gate and thought to check ParksnPeaks, seeing a spot for Paul and Marija in VKFF-2331. I soon had them both in the log. I heard Linda VK7QP calling Marija and tried to get Linda to move up 5 kHz, but heard nothing when I called Linda. I gave up and moved through the gate, closing it behind me.

I returned to Wodonga. A little later, I saw another spot from Paul and dashed out to the car and started up, intending to drive to the local park. As I turned around to drive out, Paul’s signal rose in strength, so I simply stopped and waited for my chance to call. Paul was soon in the log.

Overall, a profitable afternoon of VKFF and SOTA despite the formal activities in the morning.

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