Each year our club participates in several public service to hone our emergency communication skills. In the month of September that usually means the New River Tail Triathlon. The event entails participants who bike, kayak, and run the New River Trail. This year I decided to be maritime mobile and give a heads up to the dock of boats arriving.
Participants begin the day by cycling from the Foster Falls area of the trial down to Fries then make their way back. Then they will depart via kayak up to the Allisonia Boat Ramp. Finally they will run back to the finish line at Foster Falls.
Last year my job was to report the incoming kayaks before they reached the boat ramp at Allisonia. Doing so from the shore line was a challenge as the number on the boats were hardly visible. This year, I decided to operate maritime mobile so I could see the numbers up close.
My father has a boat and we tried out fishing while we waited on the participants to arrive. The day was calm and partly cloudy, a perfect day for the event.
I setup with my copper J-Pole antenna and lashed it to the trolling motor mount with some gear ties. This was the best attempt to get into our repeater network. Unfortunately I couldn't reach any repeater from the water. This didn't matter so much since only the station setup at the boat ramp were really interested in my radio traffic and they could relay to net control through the repeater.
This was the first outing with my Anytone AT-5888UV. It fits nicely into the bag with my battery. The radio worked really well. The dual VFO made it easy to listen to the repeater as well as talk directly with the boat ramp.
In the end we didn't catch any fish, but the event went without any issues and everyone had fun. Our group got good practice and I learned a bit about operating radio on the water. I'm looking forward to doing it all again next year.