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

Monday, August 29, 2016

US Islands QSO Party and NPOTA SS08 Activation

Saturday happened to be the W/VE Islands QSO Party sponsored by the US Islands Award Program. I decided to combine an expedition for the QSO Party with a NPOTA activation of the Okaloosa Island unit of the Gulf Islands National Seashore. A "twofer" you can say. This is a little over an hour from Panama City, just west of Destin, Florida. I am still having a problem with the Icom 7100 that started on Field Day. Therefore, I decided to take the Icom 7300 out instead. I operated 40 and 20 meters using the Bravo 7K vertical. I got some pretty good reports with the antenna about 50 feet from the saltwater bay. The rough contact count is about 45 contacts with most of them from NPOTA chasers. I did work an island in Georgia on 40 and one in Virginia on 20. I also sent an APRS message to Bob KK4DIV to satisfy one of the NPOTA Five Star Activator criteria. APRS messaging is very new to me but it worked using a Yaesu FTM-100DR rig. This is my fourth SS08 activation from this site. I did two other SS08 activations from Naval Live Oaks further west.  This National Parks On the Air is lots of fun and I hope to take advantage of it for the rest of 2016.  Checkout the videos including the one by Bob KK4KIV who received the APRS message. Thanks for the help Bob!