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I had been eyeing this small park on the map for a few months now. Ralph had done a solo activation way back in November 2021, but I had never been able to organize myself in getting there. Closer parks always seemed to take precedence. Well, most of the closer parks are now done and I will need to travel abroad to get to the next group. Though the Britannia Shipyard park isn’t really that distant the area always seems so far away to me. Perhaps it is the slow drive along Steveston Highway that bugs me. Regardless of that, the longer drives will now be required.
The weather forecast for the day showed a dry period between noon and 3pm and as the rest of the week was very wet I thought I better take the chance and get out there as it may be the only time I do get out this week. So come noon I ate a quick lunch and set out for the park. The drive went smoothly and was only 35 minutes I length, not much different that going into north Surrey. I arrived at the small parking lot to find a car blocking my way as it was just leaving, before I could back up that driver backed out of my way and I was able to enter the lot. I pulled into the closest stall and then the other car drove off. It was right next to the large grassy area in the park so it was the ideal location.
I grabbed my camera and set out on foot to explore the park and plan my location for the antenna and radio. After walking around some of the buildings I came back to the grass area, I decided the grass was best. I loaded my gear at the car and returned to the small field. It had a line of tall timbers along the east side which I thought would make a good seat. I set up the table next to the line of timbers and my antenna out on the grass. Today, as there was some wind, I anchored the tripod with an extra stake to ensure it didn’t topple.
Now set up, I checked the band status and saw that the 20m band would be best for today so I dialed it in and scanned across the band for the various park activations. Though I could barely hear a few, I wasn’t able to work any. Fortunately, I did hear a number of hunters who were quite strong. The park being next to an apartment block made the noise level on the band higher than some places so I wouldn’t hear the weaker stations but I felt it should be good enough for the day.
I found an open frequency and started calling but then I heard another just up the band from me so I moved down to another spot where I had no interference. Soon I had a hunter from Ontario call back followed by one in California, then another Ontario followed by the -chap in Poland who had found me the previous two times I was operating. So, the antenna and radio were working well despite the noise from the nearby residences. Signal reports were decent but not the highest I have had, but it got the job done and after a half hour of operating I had 19 stations logged.
After a half hour the wind had come up a bit stronger and the clouds were getting darker so I decided to pack up before any rain might start. It had been a good session and the location quite pleasant. Once the gear was loaded back into the car I decided to walk around the site as a tourist and gather some photos. Not longer after I started sight-seeing the first drops of rain came. I packed up just in time to avoid getting wet.
The site is interesting with the old buildings and ships and all. I didn’t go inside any buildings but the outside was interesting already and the signs provided a lot of history about the location. There was a continual flow of people coming to see the area. The drive home went quickly. There was a bit of a back up getting through the tunnel but as I was getting into the line at the very end off of Steveston Highway, I didn’t have a long delay getting through. Steveston Highway itself wasn’t too congested yet. The park is done and next will likely be in Poco or Vancouver.