FLSPOTA 2019 Recap

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Egmont Key is one of my favorite places.

On April 6, I traveled to the island with Pat AA0O, Amanda KN4TPF, Anson WU2F and Anson’s YL. We set up two HF stations and a satellite station, and got right to making contacts. (I’m not kidding: the ferry landed at 10:35 and the first satellite pass was at 10:41, and we had a 1,500-foot walk on soft sand to reach the site and start setting up… no pressure!)

We made 50 HF contacts on Saturday plus 7 contacts on AO-92 and AO-91 passes. Sunday was a scaled-down solo operation, just me in a chair on the beach. I made 26 contacts using my loop antenna. Conditions were better Saturday, but neither day was particularly good. That’s to be expected given where we are in the solar cycle.

Radio aside, I would recommend this island to anyone in central Florida. Getting to explore the ruins of the fort at your own pace is just too cool. However, I think next year I (or we) may opt to activate a park on the mainland; taking a commercial ferry to an island presents more logistical challenges than I’d like to deal with year after year. Maybe next year we’ll even have AC power, or a fan!

Day 1 Photos

Battery Mellon, overlooking the Gulf of Mexico
“The Shack”
Inside the shack
AA0O operating as W4E on 20m
Assembling the satellite station
N1COR working AO-92 from atop Battery Mellon

Day 2 Photos

The Egmont Key Lighthouse, which we pass between the ferry drop-off and the Battery
Sunday’s setup was more minimalist. There’s no better shack than an island beach!
Loved this view!

Our location in EL87