POTA – I got it all wrong!

In my previous park activations I was content to be a “ten and done” activator. That is, I made the required minimum ten contacts to achieve a successful activation then quit. To be completely honest, I usually hung in to make at least one or two additional “insurance” contacts – just in case a dupe had slipped in somehow, or I had copied a callsign incorrectly.

Then a beam of light descended from the heavens and gave me a fresh insight into the whole POTA game play. Several new parks had recently been added in my local area. I was a little slow off the mark, but when I realized I had lots of new űber local parks to go play in I leapt into the fray.

I chose a quiet park about ten minutes from home The Grey Sauble Conservation Area and Arboretum (VE-5662). It was a good day, nice and sunny – maybe a bit too warm for comfort – but I found a shady area beneath a tree and set up.

The propagation gods were in a good mood and the log started filling up quickly. I know when I should quit – my keying starts to deteriorate. It’s almost as if the devil takes control of the paddle and makes my right hand send gibberish. That happened to me after 30 contacts were in the log.

I was in uncharted territory. I usually quit long before 30 QSOs, but the hunters just kept coming. Three of the contacts were DX (Portugal, Spain and Puerto Rico). When I transferred my paper log into electronic format (I use the excellent HAMRS app) 3 dupes knocked my score back to 27 contacts.

But still, 27 QSOs was enough to earn me the status of “Park Leader”. That was the key that unlocked a whole new way of looking at Parks On The Air activations. It isn’t just about getting the activation complete any more. It’s a contest to get in that Park Leader position. I’m gonna pick my parks and defend them against all comers! Grrrr!

There are two ways to become Park Leader; most activations and most QSOs. QSO count is cumulative across multiple activations. Just like my Viking ancestors I will launch my boats as often as it takes to hold onto my conquests!

“Cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war!”

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