Thanks for visiting! If we have had a QSO thanks for the contact. Have a look below for some details that we may not have had time to discuss and perhaps some new areas that we might talk about next time.
First licensed in 1962 as WN2MKA in Seaford N.Y. where I managed to cover most of my parents’ small house lot with a forest of very ugly wire antennas including a 15m two element bamboo quad popping out the top of a small maple tree. I love wire antennas. I hung a little fluorescent bulb on the antenna mast of that Quad and none of the neighbors could quite figure out why the tree would glow late at night. They thought me strange. Graduated a year later to a general license as WB2MKA and then added the advanced license some years later. Eventually finished up the Extra exam when my hair turned grey and finally changed my call sign to W1MKA after living in New England for only 25 years.
I have spent my whole career in electronics including an active tour of duty as a Signal Officer in the Artillery. Professionally, I’m a Physicist and have made most of my non military career in passive components and electronic materials where I continue to be professionally engaged helping companies improve their performance. (see www.brevisconsult.com)
The station is about a simple as you can get. My audio squeaks its way out through an antique Astatic 10DA microphone. The transceiver is a Yaesu FT 1000 Mark V which has done good service for me putting out 200w (or less if I’m in a playful mood) through a Palstar AT2K tuner to any one of an array of wire antennas strung up in the high pine trees surrounding the house. I haven’t outgrown my youthful tastes. (My current favorite antenna is a modified corner fed 80m Delta Loop installed on a 30 degree slant with a pronounced catenary in the two long legs. This geometry seems to provide some nice low angle radiation.) There is also a little used and unshown ALS-600 linear amplifier at the station. The operating position also has a computer which supports QRZ data display, digital modes and access to EchoLink. The whole mess is tied together electronically by the erstwhile free software from Ham Radio Deluxe for which I am very grateful to Simon Brown (HB9DRV) and his now retired team of excellent collaborators.
Mattapoisett is a small town located on Buzzards Bay around 100km SSE from Boston. It sits not too far from the actual site of the original Plymouth Colony established in 1620.
Plymouth Colony, as it happens, was home to one of my ancestors, Abram Brown. This site, now called Plimoth Plantation, is marked by an excellent historical recreation of the original settlement (photo above) complete with period actors and a native American village outside the settlement’s wood palisade walls. A fine recreation of the ship Mayflower itself sits afloat in the modern Plymouth harbor. The colony's Governor (also an actor) attends the ship and if asked about my ancestor will frown and point out that he wasn't’t of the same religious persuasion as the settlers and so was a "stranger" and a Scot but all in all “a good man none the less”.
Mattapoisett and its harbor are widely known for the Ship building industry which flourished here in the late 18th and 19th centuries. The last ship launched by the shipyard was a bark named the Wanderer shown in the leftmost photo above laying next to Long Wharf in the harbor. After parting her ground tackle in a blow, the Wanderer ran aground off Cuttyhunk Island in 1924 and was lost. The second photo shows her hard up on the rocks. The shipyard that built her is now gone but the wharf remains much as it was. The local joke is that the Mattapoisett Shipyards were famous for laying crooked keels and making boats that wouldn't’t easily hold a course and which if left to themselves in a blow would sail in circles. This industry supported the large whaling port of New Bedford which is a few kilometers away to the west. If you know Moby Dick, the very, very, very long novel by Herman Melville, Captain Ahab’s whaling ship, the Pequod, sets sail from New Bedford’s harbor to hunt the Great White Whale never to return. During the hunt, Ahab is carried away by the whale tangled in his own old harpoon rigging. Just as the whale sounds taking him to his death, Ahab's last words speak of the depths of his obsession with revenge for the loss of his leg to the white whale in an earlier hunt: "Towards thee I roll, thou all-destroying but unconquering whale; to the last I grapple with thee; from hell's heart I stab at thee; for hate's sake I spit my last breath at thee, thou damned whale!" Ahab's obsession with killing the Great White Whale comes with a cost to others. All hands are lost save one, the story teller Ishmael who stays afloat clinging to a coffin made for his dead native American harpooner friend, Queequeg .
Of course, there is no whaling nowadays, but all of that rich history is there for visitors to see in an excellent Whaling museum.(http://www.whalingmuseum.org )
In the New Bedford Harbor today you will find the largest fishing fleet on the US East Coast still crewed by stout hearted and hard working fisherman of mostly Portuguese descent. Fishing these waters is hard and dangerous work. New Bedford claims to be the largest Portuguese speaking city in the northern hemisphere outside of Lisbon. The port is shown below with the Light Ship New Bedford laying to the public pier.
Mattapoisett (shown below) and its sister harbor in Marion MA are well known sailing destinations both with excellent anchorages. The wind blows like stink here every afternoon (15kts+) and makes for great sailing. The islands of Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket are only a daysail away. Newport Rhode Island, once the long time home port of the America's Cup Race is 60 km to the WSW.
I’m also interested in German language and literature with a particular sweet spot for medieval lit and the older Germanic languages (OE, OHG, MHG, OS). If you like we can have our next QSO in broken German!
The Army taught me to fly and I’m still interested in Aviation and hold a private pilots license with an instrument rating.
I am an active sailor and enjoy spring through late fall sailing on my Alberg yawl, Lindisfarne.
I still enjoy making music, play the guitar and recorder and sing when allowed.
Finally, we have a furry family member who is a mix between a Labrador Retriever and a Poodle born long before this combination became so popular in the US, a great dog. Most mornings when I am in town, rain or shine, she and I greet the dawn in the Park where the old Shipyard once stood. Before getting busy with work we have a nice walk and then enjoy a few minutes sitting with a hot coffee right at the wharf where the bark Wanderer once docked.
Next time we talk I’d love to hear more about you or discuss anything you see above that we have in common. Looking forward to our next QSO.
PS: If you want to confirm our QSO please note that I only QSL via eQSL and LOTW
Last modified: 2014-02-02 17:55:48, 14351 bytes
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