Tag Archives: Barnegat Light State Park (K-1609)

Alan’s Long Beach Island Radioactive Vacation!

Many thanks to Alan (W2AEW) who shares the following guest post:

Radioactive vacation on LBI (Long Beach Island)

by Alan (W2AEW)

We look forward every August to our much needed 2 week vacation “down the shore” as we say here in New Jersey.  Our vacation spot of choice is Long Beach Island, one of the barrier islands on the Jersey coast. This is an 18 mile long island that hugs the Atlantic coast of southern NJ, just north of Atlantic City.  The part of the island we love to stay in is called Surf City.  The Surf City area has been continually populated since 1690, although the town of Surf City was officially established in the late 1800s.

The XYL and I are both pretty fair skinned, so laying out on the beautiful LBI beaches everyday isn’t really our thing.

So, the house we rent is actually on the bay side, facing west, overlooking the Manahawkin Bay.  We enjoy sitting back and watching (and occasionally participating in) the wide variety of activities on the bay – the fishing & crabbing, the power boats, personal watercraft, paddle boarding, sailing, etc. Our favorite though, and the thing that keeps us coming back every year, are the awesome sunsets over the bay.

Of course, we always need to find a house that is pet friendly. Sophie loves LBI also, especially the long walks around town with the sea breeze.  Here she is waiting at the top of the stairs – hoping to hear the magical word….  “walk”…

LBI is certainly a family and pet friendly place.  Even the local Dunkin Donuts has a wall dedicated to the local pets:

I certainly planned to do a fair amount of QRP operating while on vacation – both from the rental house as well as POTA from the nearby parks (more about this soon).  But lest you think this was purely a radioactive vacation, let me reassure you that we did a lot of “normal” vacation activities too.

Like most, a lot of vacation is about relaxing, eating, other stress relieving activities, eating, shopping, and of course, eating…  Breakfasts were typically some homebaked muffins, or even some fresh biscuits from the oven with some great Black Bear Jam – a gift from a good friend in NC.  Yummy!

The main meals were a mix of good ‘ole home cooking and some great local cuisine, including great Jersey pizza from Panzone’s,  fresh local seafood from Mud City Crab House and   Pinky Shrimp’s Seafood Company.  Of course, no trip to LBI is complete without getting some of the best burgers in the state from Woodies Drive In in Ship Bottom, right next to Flamingo Mini-Golf – one of *many* mini-golf places on the island.  I’ve personally seen Ray Romano golfing at Flamingo with his family.

I did manage to do some other “normal” vacation activities besides radio…  A couple of relaxing afternoons on the beach, completed a 1000 pc jigsaw puzzle, read two James Patterson novels, lounging on the decks overlooking the bay and lots of strolls with the XYL and the dog.

But who’s kidding who, this is a QRP blog right!  Let’s get radioactive!

One of the first tasks after unpacking was setting up the antenna at the rental house.  The location was great, right next to the bay!  I strapped my slip-fit military fiberglass poles to the corner post of the 2nd floor deck, which made a great support for the 40m EFHW wire.  This is the same UNUN & antenna that I featured in a “build” video a few years ago. Continue reading Alan’s Long Beach Island Radioactive Vacation!

Guest Post: Alan’s Jersey Shore Vacation POTA-Fest

Many thanks to Alan (W2AEW) who shares the following guest post:

Jersey Shore Vacation POTA-Fest

by Alan (W2AEW)

One of our favorite vacation spots is Long Beach Island (LBI), NJ.  It’s not hard to imagine since my XYL and I are both born & raised in NJ near the shore.  Our late-spring / early-summer vacation was an extended family affair with a few celebrations and long-distance relatives coming to visit the beach rental house on this 18 mile barrier island off the southern coast of New Jersey.

The vacation rental house we stayed in is in the town of Surf City.  It is situated on the bay side of the island, overlooking Manahawkin Bay.

In addition to setting up my Penntek TR-45L and a 40m EFHW at the beach house, I also brought along my POTA kit – complete with the Elecraft KX2 and a small variety of antennas.  The entire island and surrounding area are part of the NJ Coastal Heritage Trail (K-6544).   Two other nearby parks are the Edwin Forsythe Wildlife Management Area (K-0453) and Barnegat Light State Park (K-1609). These latter two parks also fall within the boundaries of the NJ Pinelands Preserve National Conservation Area (K-6609).

My first POTA activation was a simple walk across the street to one of the public benches along the bay shore.  This qualifies as public area within the Trail (K-6544).

The antenna is the SuperAntenna MP1 equipped with a 10’ stainless telescoping whip on top from MFJ.  I used a deep-reach locking clamp to fasten the antenna to the aluminum bulkhead.  The salt-water made a nice counterpoise.  The rest of the setup was resting on the park bench with me.  I only had a limited time to operate, but conditions were pretty favorable and I logged 11 QSOs in 20 minutes on 20m CW running 5W.

The next day, I had another short window to play POTA and planned a short trip to the Edwin Forsythe WMA.  Just as I was heading out of the door, I received a phone call from my nephew that was out running.  He had come across a mother duck and some ducklings that were hanging out near a storm drain.  It turns out that some of the ducklings had fallen through the grate. We tried to lift the grate ourselves and couldn’t.  We called the local police and they arrived a few minutes later.  They called the water department.  Together, we were able to lift the grate, and with 30-40 minutes of coaxing, were able to rescue the trapped duckings from the storm drain and reunite them with the mother.  Needless to say, I didn’t get to the park for the activation.

I was able to finally head out to Cedar Bonnet Island, which is a small island that sits between LBI and the mainland.  This island is part of the Edwin Forsythe WMA, and also lies within the boundaries of the NJ Pinelands Preserve and the NJ Coastal Trail – making it a 3-fer! Continue reading Guest Post: Alan’s Jersey Shore Vacation POTA-Fest