International Lighthouse & Lightship Weekend

22 – 23 August 2020

Quite an incredible year with major summer bush fires, then something out of China, named Corona in February. Now known as COVID 19, I think it caught most countries by surprise, with its rapid and sometimes deadly spread. Not since the Spanish Flu over 100 years ago, have we experienced a major global health risk, like this one.

In Melbourne we had our first stage 3 lockdown in March which enabled the slowing of the virus. We also started to isolate overseas travellers to quarantine in hotels for 14 days. But it would appear we couldn’t stop the virus from leaving the hotels.

So, Melbourne is at stage 4 lockdown with curfews, Victoria at stage 3, and International Lighthouse Weekend is on next weekend. The event, given its international is proceeding, currently it has 314 registered lighthouses participating. Including a number of Australian entries not impacted by lockdown or restrictions.

Prior to our lockdown, I did look at Cape Nelson, King Island, Cape Liptrap and Port Albert, having operated for many years there. Benefit being only 2 hours from Melbourne, an active museum with visitors. Plus an excellent coffee shop, just opposite. When restrictions appeared not to be easing, I then looked at lighthouses around Port Phillip Bay. Mc Crae lighthouse, Point Lonsdale, Seaworks Museum at Williamstown has the Point Gellibrand Pile Light on display. But all museums and Parks Victoria sites remain closed at this stage. Also considered West Channel Pile Light, Port Melbourne Channel Leading Lights, and St Kilda False Light. Interesting light that does not qualify as it was lighthouse constructed to light the carpark, but a very genuine looking lighthouse.

So with current lockdown, with travel limited to 5km from home QTH, for supermarket, medical, caring, education, 1 hour of exercise. There is sadly absolutely no chance of finding a lighthouse 5 km from home, aside for the reasons of travel. Maybe I should consider building a lighthouse at home, get some drawings from Goggle. I remember a few years back making contact with a VK8 in Alice Springs, at Henley on the Todd. Constructed a lighthouse with beer cans, innovative. Maybe I should check the fridge out first.

But we should not give up on this great radio event, we can still participate and try and work some of these lighthouses, some in rare locations. Support the event, support the hobby, and its something we can all do in lockdown. Details and entry lists can be found on web site. Propagation can be a little challenging at the moment, but it is still surprising what is around on 20m, in the afternoon. Some good contacts Pacific, ZL, Asia, USA, Canada, India, South Africa.

The other very important event this weekend is the RD Contest 15th-16th August. RD is Remembrance Day, this year will be the 75th anniversary of conclusion of hostilities in the Pacific WW2.

So two great events that you can get involved in and operate, without leaving home, under lockdown, and stage 4 restrictions.

Note…Covid 19 is a very serious health issue, we must do our part.

Regards Glenn VK3ILH/ VK3CAM