POTA Activation #38: A 2-fer on the Commute to Work in Captain John Smith Chesapeake NHT and Star-Spangled Banner NHT (DC) (1/5/2023)

I set the alarm a bit earlier than usual this morning to get a jump start on the day. In the back of my mind last night when I set the alarm I was having daydreams of a quick before-work POTA activation. Of course, this always depends on me actually getting up and on the road on-time, and also on the traffic conditions. Thankfully the stars aligned and I rolled across the 14th Street Bridge with plenty of time to spare on my commute into the office. So I pulled off into East Potomac Park from Interstate 395 and went to see if the gates to Hains Point were open for the day. Thankfully they were, so I started my slow roll down the scenic peninsula.

I knew that if there was a spot to be had by the point itself, I would have a very nice 2-fer with Captain John Smith Chesapeake NHT (on the Potomac) and the Star-Spangled Banner NHT (on the Anacostia as it meets the Potomac). Oddly enough, even though the park itself (East Potomac Park) is a federal (NPS) park, with a name and everything, it isn't part of the parks in the POTA system, so no 3-fer for me on this one. I got a spot by the water (and promptly forgot to take pictures of the beautiful view of the Potomac river, Anacostia river, and National Airport across the Potomac -- sorry about that). I had been listening to some activity on the 40m band on the way into work, so I new that the band was doing pretty well, so I decided to make my calls there. I found a clear bit of spectrum on the CW portion of the band, spotted myself on the POTA spotting page, and started calling CQ.

It did not take long to hear back from my first caller in Pennsylvania. Next I heard a prolific hunter in Maryland give me a call, followed by a station in Charlottesville, Virginia. Next up was another station just up I-81 in New Market, followed by Ohio, Ontario (Canada), Indiana, another prolific hunter and activator in Massachusetts, another prolific hunter and activator in New York, Florida, New York, Pennsylvania ,another prolific hunter and activator in North Carolina, Pennsylvania, New York, North Carolina, yet another prolific hunter and activator from Tennessee, New York, New Jersey, Virginia, and finally Tennessee.

All-in-all I got 21 contacts on the 40m band in just 28 minutes, and all on my way to work. I really am enjoying having the mobile station so I can get in more of these impromptu activations. Thanks to all the hunters out there who made it so much fun this morning. The only way it could have been better is if I had gotten up even earlier to activate longer!

Activation QSO Map: Green Pins = CW / Green Lines = 40m

Gear used in this activation
  • Yaesu FT-891
  • Yaesu ATAS 120A Antenna
  • CW Morse SP4 POTA/SOTA Mini Morse Code Magnetic Paddle (N0SA Designed)
  • 2006 Honda Accord EX V6
  • Samsung Galaxy S10+
  • HAMRS Logging App