Radio Club Venezolano Dxpedition Aves Island 2004, YVŘD
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Tuesday, July 27, as planned, the foreign guests Martti Laine OH2BH, Olli Rissanen OH0XX, Robert Allphin K4UEE and Michael Staal K6MYC arrived in Venezuela to join the local group, formed by Paolo Stradiotto YV1DIG, Reinaldo Méndez YV4BOU, Reinaldo Leandro YV5AMH, Pablo Alonso YV5IVB, Juan Manuel Hernández YV5JBI, Gabriel Medinas YV5KXE, Antonio Goncalves YV5OIE, Lino De Nobrega YY5FRD, and José Pinto YV6BTF for the expedition to Isla de Aves. Three of the originally 15 participants had to cancel at the last moment for several reasons (K4UEE among them). The Navy changed the original departure date, set for the following day to Thursday, August 29 at noon. However, the departure did not take place until midnight. After sailing for 43 hours, we arrived at the island at sunset. Due to security measures, disembarkation was impossible until Sunday.
Sunday morning we were told that we would disembark through the gangway in the ship's bow. This forced us to move all the material from the upper to the lower deck. Unfortunately, the sea was too agitated for the Zodiac boats to be moved safely to the hatch, which is why the captain of the ship ordered it to be closed and the disembarkation to take place from the upper deck, which forced us to move the material again.
Due to the weight and volume of the pieces and the boats that were being used, this process took eight hours. The material also had to be moved from the pier to the island, then taken up a 10 meter flight of steps, then moved 65 meters and taken down a similar flight of steps. Once we had disembarked the material, we began to set up the antennas and the tents. Operations did not begin until 20:45 HLV (00:45 UTC).
In the Port of La Guaira, while we awaited the departure, already on board, during the trip and during our stay at the island, we received contradictory information regarding the date of return, the services we would be given, and the access to the recently built Service Module. This situation produced a constant feeling of uncertainty [among the group], which affected our moods and efficiency.
The morning of August 3, the colleague FJ5DX Phil, informed us that a tropical storm was approaching the island from the East. From that moment on, both the Navy and many radio amateurs kept us informed on the evolution of the storm. To be prepared for a possible hasty return, we decided to board back on the ship all the material that was dispensable. At nightfall that day, we would obviously have to abandon the island in the following hours. On the morning of Wednesday the 4th, at 2:30 a.m., we received the order to do so. Operations ceased at 6:45 a.m. and the boarding of the material and expedition crew ended at 11:45 a.m. Then a very strong wind was blowing with at least one-meter-high waves. The ship immediately departed heading north to avoid being struck directly by the storm. Later the ship headed South right behind the storm.
In the short timed devoted to operations, we transported 4 metric tons of material including electric plants, fuel, food supplies, radios, antennas, and personal effects. We installed 4 tents, 10 stations, and 14 antennas, including antennas for moonbounce in 6 and 2 meters, (carried all the way from California by K6MYC) as well as satellite and digital modes.
QSOs by Bands
QSOs by mode - YV0D
QSOs by Continents - YV0D
The combination of 200 watts Yaesu equipments with the Force12 Vertical dipoles and ź wave antennas was successful. We appreciate very much Tom Schiller N6BT president of Force 12 the loan of his lightweight and easy to assemble antennas. We used a MaFet amp on 20 meters and occasionally on 17 that greatly help manage the pile-ups .We received reports of excellent signal from different parts of the world. In 20 meters, we managed to operate 3 stations simultaneously most of the time without interference.
The support on land provided by a great deal of radio amateurs was essential for the morale of the expedition group, but we would like to mention the special and particular attention that Haroldo Rodríguez, YV5BD, Héctor Carbonell YV5POP, and Vicent Bracho YV7QP gave us.
We are also thankful for the valuable work of the pilot stations ZL2AL, OH2RF, K6GNX and YV7QP.
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