Actual stations in California, Saskatchewan and Alberta successfully completed QSOs, so my reach was even farther than the skimmers would indicate.
Secondly, I was surprised by the local ambient noise level. I was sitting at approximately the middle of a sand spit jutting out into the Atlantic Ocean, and I still had an S5 noise level. I thought it would be way lower than that. There were a few weak stations that I know were trying their hardest to work me. I apologize for not being able to dig you out of the noise. Even though the Hook is commercially powered up for the Coast Guard station at the tip, most of the National Park Service buildings along the length of the Hook were still closed as the "season" hasn't started yet. The service buildings that were open were solar powered. I just expected less noise - certainly not S5 on 40 Meters. My ambient noise level at home is lower than that!
I came home with a sunburn. It was sunny and there was not a cloud in the sky and I completely forgot, or paid no mind to the fact that the UV rays from the sun would be bouncing off the water to all directions. I was only out for about 90 minutes or so, and I got red. No big deal, as it wasn't painful or anything like that, but something to keep in mind should I head back for a re-activation later this year. If I do go back, it will be in the Autumn, after tourist season is over so as to avoid paying for parking. What can I say? I'm as cheap as any other Ham!
Lastly, it came to my attention the other day that Cheesequake State Park is actually part of the National Park System's New Jersey Coastal Heritage Trail (AA17), so that's yet another NPOTA activation that will take place later this year. Perhaps as early as next month.
72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP - When you care to send the very least!