“Working towards NZART Guiding Light award”
ZL2SEA Lighthouse Activities.
Cape Egmont Lighthouse ...
We went to Cape Egmont Lighthouse on Sunday and set up Nigel's new aluminium pole for the antenna. It has 15m of length in the full pole but we only set up 12m. The pole has sections that fit into each other as another section is added. Each section is about 1.5m and there are guy ropes set at certain heights to support the pole. Nigel wanted something like the plastic of the breadboard so we went looking for a new breadboard... I scored the new large one and gave him the old small one from the kitchen to carve up and drill holes he wanted for securing the ropes to the pole. It seemed to work ok.
11th January 2009
Putting the pole up in strong winds is like trying to support a cooked spaghetti from the bottom and getting it to stand straight on its own. I had the job of holding the spaghetti pole while Nigel ran around tightening ropes here, loosening them there, running out more ropes and anchoring them with tent pegs. The wind made my job quite hard and I had to keep changing my angle to support the spaghetti against the wind. The bow in the pole was so bad I expected it to completely bend over, snap and come down on me...
We eventually got it standing upright with the right tension on each side... then the halyard escaped! Ha!! I went after it and eventually pulled it out of a shrub's branch and brought it back telling Nigel... Sailing Lesson #1: NEVER let go the Halyard!!
It was tied to the pole so it could not escape again.
Just as Nigel was about to put the antenna up he discovered that he had the wrong roll of wire. He had to drive all the way home and come back again with the right roll... the one with all the bits of chopped PVC piping and wires... 20-30km each way!
He'd asked me to stay with the pole, so while he was away I took lots of photos of the lighthouse, the Mountain, the lighthouse and the mountain, the pole setup, the rocky surf beach, the lighthouse and mountain through the fence... oh, and did I mention the lighthouse??
Nigel eventually made it back and I took photos of him arriving in a cloud of dust and then photos of him raising the antenna and parked beneath the pole's supports, which from another angle I was able to get the mountain at the front of the vehicle and the lighthouse at the back, another angle the lighthouse on the bonnet of the 4WD, Nigel in the vehicle checking the radio frequency setting, chatting on the radio, more of the mast and antenna setup, more of the lighthouse, till the camera refused to work... CHANGE THE BATTERIES!! I had no spare batteries!!
Bummer! the setting sun made the snow cap on the mountain a deep pink and I missed it!!
I looked over to the mast and found an empty skyline and wandered back to Nigel to see if he'd used the "timber...!" method to lower the mast... but no, he was cleverer than that, he lowered it section by section all on his own! We worked together packing up the bits for the mast, wound the ropes back onto their holders and searched for any stray tent pegs that could work wonders on tyres.
Nigel was eager to see all the photos from the afternoon and downloaded a copy onto his computer so he could send some off to Dave who is the Web Master of their radio club.
Nigel told me the most interesting contact for the afternoon was a fellow who's dad was the lighthouse keeper at Cape Egmont when he was a kid. Nigel also made a few contacts with radio stations in Tasmania, Victoria and QLD as well as all over NZ..