3 down 2 2 go

Wintertime so some nice dx-peditions going on. Not always easy to work because of the conditions on HF (declining sunspot-numbers with heavy aurora’s) and the huge pile-ups. If an entity has not been on the air for 20 years you can expect this.

K5D
First one was Palmyra. http://kp5.us/
This Island is nearly the opposite side from the Netherlands, right on the equator. They were not allowed to use beams because it the island is a bird sanctuary and beams could harm the birds (???). So I was happy with my 2 qso’s (only), although I was sure I made a SSB-qso on 40M. But it turned out to be PA3CWN not PA3C. The (deliberate) qrm on 40M SSB is huge so 2 letters lost and no qso.

K5D

K5D

 

Next was the big expedition to VP8-S and VP8-G (South Sandwhich Island and South Georgia Island http://www.intrepid-dx.com/vp8/). These Island belong to the Great Britain empire.

VP8STI
Conditions were reasonable but pile-ups not. They were incredible! I was waiting a few days hoping it was easier to get through but there was always the risk of an early leave because of an emergy condition. Storm, ice, whatever. Indeed they had to leave the island one day early, but were able to recover all the gear for the second part of the expedition.
3 modes, 6 bands.

VP8STI

VP8STI

VP8SGI
The storms destroyed antennas and tents but the team was able to rebuild them and kept going. Incredible job! After 2 qso’s in the first 24 hours I waited a few days and tried my luck again. But still nearly impossible to find the right split (sometimes 20+ up). I tried to find the split with my 2nd radio connected to the DRV-port of the TS-590SG and CW-skimmer, but was only able to see 3 kHz up. Not enough….
But day after day I managed a new band and/or mode and the last morning before te weekend (which was fully occupied with family affairs) I picked them up on 30M, 40M and 80M (no 160M vertical at the moment). Very happy with that.
The next day the expedition had to qrt early and flee to the ship because of a storm coming in.
Also in my area there ware a few storms and the recent one last night destroyed my 80M vertical partly.

VP8STI

VP8SGI

3 new DXCC’s (320 excl. deleted.)

And still 2 expeditions coming up.