March 10 and 11 marked the 5th anniversary of the VK5 Parks Awards.
Riverland Radio Club HAMS VK5HS Ivan, VK5PE Peter, VK5LA Andy, and VK5DW Danny, me, all braved the mighty Murray River and headed out to activate 3 never before activated island parks.
With the use of Ivan’s boat Peter and Andy were dropped off at Kapunda Island, VKFF-1040 (5CP-098), in QF05GN where they set up a portable station and proceeded to work their magic. Ivan and I proceeded upstream about 4kms to Media Island, VKFF-1058 (5CP-132), in QF05HN where the major challenge was just getting on the thing, it was so thickly overgrown with reeds it wasn’t looking good for a while till Ivan and I headed down the back of the island and found a couple different openings. After a couple attempts, running aground mostly, we managed to get kinda close to the bank where I made the leap of faith and ultimately got my feet wet! And my boots were meant to be waterproof!?!
Within what seemed to be not a lot of time, about an hour or so, we had our contact quota for the activation and Ivan headed back to Kapunda Island to pick up Andy and Peter, returning them to Media Island a short while later. In the mean time I had gone on and made a few extra contacts while waiting for the three Amegos.
Now with we four misfits on the same turf, Peter and Andy proceeded to activate Media Island, and who should come up making a fair noise… VK5PAS Paul and VK5FMAZ Maria, they were activating Little Dip park and needless to say with our collective immaturity a bit of fun was shared. The six of us all had a little on air party for a bit before Paul and Maria headed off to another frequency for their park activation. Thanks to Paul and Maria for the contacts and mostly the fun.
I gotta say I’m not sure Ivan’s XYL Cheryl wanted Ivan to return home, the snacks and nibbles (roast chicken, metwurst, cheeses, crackers, lamingtons…) she prepared for us was crazy, I was waiting for the wine to come out… we were well catered for there is no doubt. I felt bad all I took along was a couple boxes of ‘Shapes’. Thanks Cheryl.
With Media Island activated it was time to continue our escapades to Rilli Island, about 7kms further upstream. No big challenges here, just getting Ivan’s tiny up on plain with 4 blokes on board that lets just say have been in good paddocks, some for longer than others. A bit of patience and load distribution/manipulation (no we didn’t throw anyone or anything overboard) we got up on plain and off we went… Rilli Island here we come!
OK we made it. Rilli Island, VKFF-1087 (5CP-198), in QF05GO is located about 11kms upstream of Loxton main boat ramp between Loxton and Berri in the Loxton irrigation area. A fairly easy island to get onto we found a nice little spot and set up out station. Andy was the first to grab his contacts followed by Peter then myself. Ivan didn’t activate this one just being so happy with the great time we were all having he wasn’t fussed at all.
After a stint on Rilli it was time to head for Loxton boat ramp. We had grand ideas of activating Katarapko Island as well, which is part of the Murray River National Park but we thought better of it. We had a great time thus far after all and perhaps we can do that one another day.
Back at the ramp now all unloaded and before we break up I a little shop I knew that did a great espresso thick shake. We sat, chewed the fat about our day declaring we must do it again, and soon!
Anyway, that was our outing. Check the blog pages for the pic’s.
Cheers and 73’s,
16/3/18: VK5PE came across this little YouTube video. Keep an ear out for our callsigns!