At 8 00pm on Wednesday 15th of March of this year saw me standing on the platform at Wellington Railway Station waiting to board the overnight train to Auckland, with my overnight bag, sleeping bag and one other bag containing tape recorder, antenna wire and other bits and pieces one needs on a DXpedition.
At 8.10pm the train pulls out of the platform right on time and once again I am off to join Auckland branch members on one their DXpeditions to Waipu Cove. I awoke next morning as the train is approaching Pukekohe to a dark overcast morning, but the weather starts to clear as the train arrives on time into a dark Auckland station.
Thursday is spent catching up with friends and attending a Adcom meeting at Barry William’s place that night. Next morning it is off again to the station to catch the train to Avondale to meet up with Malcolm Holmes and John West. From Avondale station it is off to Com—Centre to meet Richard Roundtree and to look over the display of receivers, scanners and other equipment he has for sale. Richard kindly lent me the new AOR 3030 receiver for the weekend to do a review for the magazine.
Then it is off to Waipu Cove stopping to buy supplies at the Supermarket at Albury and stopping at Warkworth to check out the secondhand bookshop and then have some lunch and arriving in Waipu Cove about mid afternoon. During the trip up we encountered two very heavy hail storms.
After greeting those all ready present it was into the business of erecting aerials. Some members set up poles attached to the balcony rail for their active antenna and other like myself set off over the back fence running out 300 metres of wire up the hill in a south westerly direction.
Then it was to the dials, but unfortunately the storms that had hit us on our way to Waipu were still around and conditions during Friday night were very noisy both on Mediumwave and Shortwave. The only logging I made on Friday night was the Hawaii station on 870 kHz. Saturday morning saw conditions a little better on the tropical bands and I was able to log Radio Tanzania on 5050 kHzin English at 1800 hours. Saturday was beautiful day and before lunch saw two groups head off to Whangarei, one group to the opening of the clubrooms of the Whangarei branch of the NZART, the other group went into Whangarei for a look around then stopped of at Marsden Point on the way home. Saturday night saw listening conditions what I call very flat and very few loggings were made.
The weekend was very disappointing from the DXing side of things but from the social side it was very good to catch up with old friends, meet new members to the hobby and discuss subjects to do with radio.
Once again we had the usual big cook up on Sunday morning with Chief cooks Jim Pope and John Watson running the kitchen (it’s their airforce training). After breakfast it was time to tidy up set to work and take the miles of wire that had been erected. Then it was the task of getting everyone together with their receivers for the photo in front of the house after which it was time to pack up and say farewell and head back to Auckland.
Memories of the weekend, hail storms, the gentleman who with one 20 cent coin won $100, the DXer who headed back to Auckland leaving his Kenwood R5000 and a handheld scanner behind (what I want to know is when did he miss them), all those airforce stories. We won’t mention the person who left his camera in someone’s car.
Thanks to Graeme Dixon for compiling the list of logging done over this weekend (that wasn’t to hard). My thanks to Malcolm for taking me to Waipu Cove and also to John West for his company on the trip up and back. Also my thanks to Evan and the members of the Auckland Branch for inviting me to join them on their DX weekend to Waipu Cove. Lastly my thanks to Richard Roundtree of Com—Centre for the loan of the AOR—3030 for the weekend. The review for this receiver will be included in next issue. Again my thanks to Evan, Malcolm and the Auckland Branch for a very enjoyable weekend.
Arthur de Maine.