previous call: NT1V
I have returned to Florida. Good to be back. I will be operating sometimes up at my daughter's place in Osprey, FL just below Sarasota so if you hear me sign /P, that is probably where I will be. Most of the time, I will be in Bokeelia, on Pine Island.
Bokeelia is quite a spot. Old Florida for sure.
Here is a shot of the Pine Island QTH. I love it here. Tropical paradise.
Here is my back yard. Notice the S9 Vertical (31') on the mooring post. Got some radials underwater. My canal runs out to Pine Island Sound.
Here is my old, beat up, leaky O'Day Mariner 2+2 (circa 1972). It is called Calico Jack, after Captain Jack Rapham who plied these waters in the 1700s and plundered shipping. He was a bit of a different pirate. Dressed in wild outifts (hence "Calico Jack" Rapham) and had women on board his ship which in pirate lore that is really bad luck. One urban legend says that he was the role model for Johnny Depp's character, Captain Jack Sparrow, in the Disney flicks "Pirates of the Carribean."
Here is my other boat. It is a Shaeffer V 2.39 (24') with a 250Hp Yamaha 4 stroke engine. It moves right along and is perfect for these waters.
Here is what it looks like heading out of my canal towards Pine Island Sound and Charlotte Harbor.
It takes me about 10 minutes to get out into open water from my dock out to Pine Island Sound on the Ben Gunn (power boat) and about 30 minutes in Calico Jack (sailboat). The water is pretty shallow around here so you have to stick to the channel and watch the tides carefully.
One of the most incredible things about living on a tropical island in Florida is the bird life. There is a constant traffic of egrets, ibis, herons, pelicans not to mention osprey and the occassional bald eagle. Here is a shot my brother took of an osprey that was on a tree behind my house. The osprey is an expert fisherman. This one is drying off his feathers after spending some time diving on fish.
I just purchased one of the best keys I have ever used in 55 years of trying to master CW. Tom Withers, G3HGE, a craftsman-scientist-inventor, who lives in Bury St. Edmunds, England, developed something called the eZKe. It is a single lever paddle that is entirely magnetic. It is the smoothest, easiest to use paddle I have ever laid my mitts on. Impeccable engineering and stunning craftsmanship are the hallmarks of what Tom does.
Here is what ten bucks bought me at the recent Fort Myers hamfest. It is called a "coffin bug." Back in the days of Allied Radio and Lafayette, you could buy thise Japanese imports pretty reasonably. This one is in terrific shape. With a bit of Windex, elbow grease, 4 new suction cups on the bottom, it is now good to go. I owned one of these back in the late fifties, and so I am now very pleased to own one again.
For contacts in NH or CO, QSL to P.O. Box 133, Goshen, NH 03752...FL QSO's can get a card to me here at the Bokeelia address above.
Please note: Bokeelia is on Pine Island which is IOTA NA-069.
Pine Island is in Lee Country in Florida.
Goshen is in Sullivan County in NH.
The Cayo Costa (a.k.a. Lacosta) Island QTH and the East Part Island QTH are also IOTA NA-069.
Member of A-1 Operator Club.
A few numbers for those interested: 10-10: 8274, QRP ARCI: 3788, FISTS: 6198, NE QRP: 41, FPQRP: 1042, NA-QRP: 481, SKCC: 1234, CW Ops: 182, FOC: 1734.
Rev: W4MQC - Saturday, May 17, 2010