Field Report: Jim Kayaks to Janes Island

Many thanks to Jim (WU3K) who shares the following guest post:

Jim Kayaks to Janes Island

by Jim (WU3K)

On Sunday, April 28th, 2024 I set out for Janes Island State Park (US-1580) near Crisfield, MD to activate my first POTA. I have always enjoyed chasing POTA stations, but decided it was time to activate a park myself.

I had been eyeing Janes Island for a while as it is known for its kayak paddle trails and backcountry island campsites.  Aside from amateur radio, I also enjoy backpacking, kayaking, camping, bikepacking, and Tenkara Fly Fishing.  It’s always a bonus when you can combine two or more activities you enjoy; in this case kayaking, camping, and amateur radio.

The two-and-a-half-hour drive, which included a trip over the Chesapeake Bay Bridge, went by fast. Upon arrival, I checked in at the camp store with the Ranger and obtained my backcountry permit.  I chose the Long Point backcountry site which involved a four-mile paddle out to the southern tip of the island.

I parked at the marina area, unloaded my kayak and packed up for my adventure.  All of my gear was packed safely in Sea-to-Summit Lightweight Dry bags.

Paddling out from the marina I entered Daugherty Creek Canal, a mile-long channel that separates the island from the mainland.  I then entered the Little Annemessex River, which runs between the island and the town of Crisfield, Md.  On the way out, I saw blue herons along the island shoreline and ospreys perched atop the channel markers.

My Route (Long Point backcountry campsite circled)

Sun protection, a good SPF, and safety equipment are critical

Heading up the Daugherty Creek Canal

Crisfield, Maryland from the water

Bank Crab Traps

My destination: Long Point

Arrival (Kayak with Backcountry Permit Attached)

Once I arrived at Long Point, I unloaded and set up camp.  Long Point is actually a small island in of itself and contains four well constructed platforms for tent set up.  There are no restroom facilities, electrical hookups or water at the site. Leave-no-Trace principles apply.

My Campsite

After getting set up, it was time to play radio.  For this activation I brought along my trusty Elecraft KX2, KXPD2 precision paddle, a PackTenna Mini Random Wire Antenna (9:1 UNUN) with 17’ counterpoise, and a PackTenna 29’ Carbon Mast / Tripod / Mast Guying set. For comfort, I sat on my Helinox Chair Zero and utilized a Tufteln Knee-board. The set up took less than 5 minutes.

On the Air

I tuned up and began calling CQ on 20m at 5W. After about 15 minutes with no responses, I was surprised by a strong 599 signal blasting in from Sweden. It was Thomas, SM3NRY. Thomas replied with a 599 signal report.  The contacts then started rolling in and within 45 minutes I had my ten. My log included contacts with stations from Sweden (1), MO (1), TX (1), FL (2), Italy (1), MS (1), WI (1), LA (1), and MI (1).

The remainder of my trip was spent listening to the bands, testing out my newly constructed K6ARK mini microphone, reading, watching an amazing sunset, and doing a bit of self reflection.

I woke up early the next morning, made my coffee, and headed out for my paddle back to the park marina.


Coffee (of course)

Now to plan my next POTA adventure!

Final Note: Janes Island State Park was honestly one of the most clean, well run parks I have ever been to. The main park area primarily caters to RV campers. Adirondack chairs line Daugherty Creek Canal providing ample opportunities for bird watching and nighttime sky gazing. I will definitely be returning in the future!


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4 thoughts on “Field Report: Jim Kayaks to Janes Island”

  1. Hi Jim,

    That was a brilliant first POTA activation! And having your first contact come in from Sweden at 599 is a great bonus. Thanks for sharing your report, I’ll be looking forward to the next in your series. In case nobody has warned you yet, activating is highly addictive!

    Best 73 de Brian – K3ES

  2. FB field report. Kayak looks like quite an adventurous way to reach some remote activation sites.

    I hope you will do more activations and share the adventures.

  3. Jim, this was an awesome first POTA activation. Well done !

    I am glad to see that you were well prepared with the YakAttack VISIpole and wearing a PFD . I am a long-time sea-kayaker and I am always pleased to see people taking proper precautions when paddling coastal waterways. “Fate always favors the prepared paddler”.

    I look forward to reading about your future POTA adventures.

    72 de VE3WMB

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