SKCC 5123T----- FISTS 14979----- Flying Pigs 2331----- NAQCC 3610-----QRP ARCI 14176-----Polar Bear 257

Sunday, August 14, 2016

The Second Saturday Sprint and NPOTA Activation on Okaloosa Island

It was a worthwhile trip to Okaloosa Island near Destin, Florida on Saturday. Several events came together including:

  1. National Parks on the Air. The site is part of Gulf Islands National Seashore SS08. The contacts count toward a NPOTA activation.
  2. SO-50 Satellite Pass. A contact via the satellite counts toward Five Star Activator Recognition on the NPOTA Activator Award
  3. Second Saturday Sprint. The QRP Field Operators Google+ community sponsors the SSS which is 2 to 4 local time on the second Saturday of May through October.
Elecraft KX2
My setup was under a scraggly pine in the picnic area. I ran 100 feet of coax to be closer to the bay on the North shore of the island. Prior to the sprint, I worked W4RYZ, K4LIX and N4VSP back in Panama City, Florida.  At 2 PM on 40 CW I worked Kelly K4UPG #105 in Tennessee, followed by W4RYZ again and Tom WD0HBR in Dothan, Alabama.

On 20 CW I worked K0RGI #101 and founder of the Second Saturday Sprint in Wisconsin. Next I worked Pat N0SHU #102 in Missouri. A few minutes later I worked Kelly K4UPG #105 again on a second band. Previous Sprints were hit and miss for the members but working Kelly, Pat and Jim on the same afternoon was lots of fun.

The N6BT Bravo 7K vertical

A bird Hi Hi.

I got a NPOTA run going on 20 SSB it started with Jim K0RGI. The run lasted for 24 contacts. Then the sprinkle of rain got heavy and Suzy and I packed up quick. That was about 20 minutes before 4 PM.

A thundershower shut us down
The SO-50 Satellite pass was successful got at least one contact. I am still working on a level of comfort to get the calls in my head, adjust the antenna, and the rig all at the same time.

All in all quite a day at the park and on on the radio. Suzy and I enjoyed the sunshine while it lasted.