3GØY - Easter Island

Zone 12 - IOTA SA-001
Chilean-German DXpedition - March 04 to 19, 2001

 

3GØY DXpedition diary - by DL9NEI
Monday, Feb 26, 2001
The German part of the crew meets at London Gatwick airport. Manfred, DK1BT, arrives from Bremen, Norbert, DL9NEI, from Nuernberg and the rest (team leader Falk, DK7YY, Juergen, DL7UFN, Dietmar, DL3DXX and Tom, DL2OAP) from Berlin. The flight to Santiago de Chile departs at midnight.

Tuesday, Feb 27, 2001
After more than 13 hours "in the air", the crew finally reaches Chile. Nice weather compared to Germany where it around 0C with some snow. First contacts to LAN Chile, the Chilean airline cargo department. A lot of the equipment was sent ahead. Meeting with Danilo, XQ3ZW and Alfredo, "no problem"-CE3WDD, who have perfectly done their part of the local planning.

Wednesday, Feb 28, 2001
Sightseeing in Santiago. Nice city. Checking some shops for electrical appliances and cables. Searching for a shop which rents generators and we even found one. All electrical power in the DXpedition QTH has to be provided by generators. And again, contacts with LAN Cargo. A meeting with Dieter, CE3TK, who moved here from Germany a long time ago. Thank you for your support, Dieter! Visit at Sergio's (CE3WDH) shop. Unfortunately he couldn't join the team for the DXpedition. He, Danilo and Alfredo were members of the CEØAA expedition two years ago. First sunburns.

Thursday, Mar 1, 2001
One part of the team celebrates a "railway" day and visits Santiago's railway station and the local railway museum park (14 steam locomotives). The other part checks the cargo again. A big barbecue meal with dance at night.

Friday, Mar 2, 2001
Again, the team separates into two parts. Juergen, DL7UFN, and Norbert, DL9NEI, do some sightseeing (Plaza de Armas, Palais of the President), the other Germans have a ride into the Andes mountains. Dinner: "Lomo a lo pobre" for the poor, french fries, fried onions and boiled eggs. The others had problems to cope with Dietmar's (DL3DXX) way of driving on the way down from 3000m to 500m and had no hunger anymore (guess why).

Saturday, Mar 3, 2001
Flight to Easter Island (Isla de Pascua). After 4 hours of flight, we arrive at the airport of the main village Honga Roa. All equipment arrived here, too. Our QTH is just some foot steps away from the Anakena beach which is famous for its stone sculptures (moai). The distance between the beach and Honga Roa is about 12km. Controlled by Falk, DK7YY, the tents are erected, the shacks are furnished and the antenna work is done. "El ingenero" Norbert, DL9NEI, did his job and provided sufficent electrical energy. Two nice Chilean girls (Zahira and Jaqueline) take care of the kitchen for us.

Sunday, Mar 4, 2001
3GØY is on the air! First spots on 30m. Still building up the stations and working CW pileups on all 9 bands between 160m and 10m.

Monday, Mar 5, 2001
After an oil exchange, the big generator works better and provides 10 volts more. We don't understand that but we are happy. So, the "big one" works for 10 hours, the "small one" works for 4 hours during the big one's "recreation time".

Tuesday, Mar 6, 2001
10,000 QSOs are in the log. Four stations are running - three of them have amplifiers, one runs barefoot. At night, the big generator gets damaged. Not a very nice night for the generator maintenance team. First RTTY QSOs are done by Juergen, DL7UFN.

Wednesday, Mar 7, 2001
The broken generator is repaired. Everybody is happy again and in good shape. The 6m antenna is mounted. Hard work for the low band freaks Dietmar, DL3DXX, and Tom, DL2OAP. We now have 3 verticals, one 3ele yagi, a 5 ele for 6m and a log periodic plus a beverage for the low bands. Fish barbecue at 2AM. A forest fire came very close to the camp and antennas. Therefore, the camp is empty now except for the crazy hams. One of the camp toilets burned down.

Thursday, Mar 8, 2001
18,000 QSOs. Some traffic on 6m. Norbert, DL9NEI, tried some SSB but no response. Full moon party on Anakena beach by a part of the crew and with the Chilean girls.

Friday, Mar 9, 2001
Full moon party. RTTY on 10m. Grilled fish for lunch. Rain. No warm dinner because nobody took care of a new gas bottle in the kitchen. 6m QSOs with KH6. The QSO total has reached 16,000+ QSOs after four days of operation. This includes 560 QSO's on 160m, 970 QSO's on 80m, 644 QSO's on RTTY and 38 9-band QSOs. 3GØY is partially QRV with 4 stations simultaneously. The weather has been very fine so far with hot temperatures in the 30C range. The camp station consists of a couple of party tents. It's quite dusty there but the equipment is doing well. Only the generators cause minor problems occasionally.

Saturday, Mar 10, 2001
First 3GØY pictures put on the web site! Click here to view them. The QSO count is at 22,000 QSOs and some 1,100 RTTY QSOs now. 6m activity has begun and QSOs were made into Central America, South America, KH6, EA8, CT3 and into the Caribbean. A few people asked why 3GØY hears so well on 160. KT5X and W5YA worked them on 160m using QRP 5 watts! The team is using beverages to North America and Europe but the locations is very quiet as well.

Sunday, Mar 11, 2001
Seafood dinner at 5AM when ranger and fisherman Raffaelo came back from the sea. The green generator suddenly switches off during greyline (what DL3DXX didn't like). After 3h of repair by DL3DXX, DL7UFN and DL9NEI it runs again. Grilled fish for lunch. Big SSB-traffic. At night, the ranger's shelter is changed into a techno disco by the two Chilean girls. QSO count 28,000

Monday, Mar 12, 2001
No breakfast and no lunch. The kitchen crew had forgotten to buy food and no taxi came by. Falk, DK7YY and Norbert, DL9NEI decided to have a walk along the Northern shore (with an empty stomach). They visited the famous world's belly button (Ahu Te Pito) and a big Moai sculpture (Ahu Heki) lying on its nose. In Hanga Ona, they met a Rapa Nui couple. The husband once was in Germany for some years. After 2 1/2h falk and Norbert were sun-burned and went home. Meanwhile the rest of the crew fought a lonely fight against the ants in the shack. Funnily, the trash-dumpsters have taken away all our tools to make oil change of the generators. 4,200 QSOs in SSB, total score 33,400 QSOs.

Tuesday, Mar 13, 2001
Norbert washed his clothes and... it rained during the night of course. We repaired the rope starter of the red generator using parts of the hammock. Dietmar, DL3DXX made some 10m FM QSOs with JA until the PA started to smell. A lot of 6m QSOs. Juergen, DL7UFN joins the "walking group". They walked to "Ahu Papa Tekana", west of our QTH, for 2 hours. And guess what: one generator broke again. Now it's the spring in the starter unit (yippeeh!). As it already was dark, we decided to work on it in the morning. This meant: using the red generator for three hours followed by a 30min break, then again three hours until morning. Octopus barbecue in the night. The high number of 6m beacons which could be heard, made Manfred, DK1BT smile.

Wednesday, Mar 14, 2001
The planned sightseeing is cancelled and shifted to Friday. Falk, DK7YY and Norbert, DL9NEI walked 6 miles to the Ahu Tongariki, consisting of 15 sculptures in a row and a single one. Definitely extraordinary! They found a stone plate with animal signs (turtles, birds, octopus) and ate guavas from the trees. After 5 hours they were home with burning feet. In the meantime, the green generator broke finally and could not be repaired. The list of damaged equipment becomes longer and longer: two laptops had to be added to the list as well. Again 3h and 30min shifts thru the night. Strange interference of the 80m station through our 160m signal. Reason unknown. Tom, DL2OAP tried to fix it. Heavy QRN on 80m. So we were unable to copy EU stations despite that the conditions seemed to be well. QSOs count 41.500, (more and more SSB now) and 1,600 RTTY QSOs.

Thursday, Mar 15, 2001
Maintenance of the antenna tuning units (antennas included) and amplifiers (cleaning the dirt). DL9NEI installed a solar panel for Stephanie who lives in Anakena. She came from Cologne, Germany some years ago and lives here together with a Rapa Nui man. Check her books about the Rapa Nui culture! The two solar panels and a battery charger made communication of the Conaf possible again. Somebody said that LAN Chile flights are cancelled because of the MIR station. It is supposed to fall down into the Pacific around that time.

Friday, Mar 16, 2001
Sightseeing with Stephanie. Wonderful trip round the island. What we have seen:
  • Ahu Te Peki (the world's "belly button").
  • Ahu Heki (next to it, a Moai lying on its nose)
  • Ahu Tongariki (15 Moai, petroglyphes and the rest of a Maori house).
  • Volcano Ranu Raraku with an amazing number of Moais, a sweet-water lake and the working yard of the Rapa Nui.
  • Volcano Rano kau with a sweet-water lake.
  • Orongo - a ceremonial village close to it, for the rite of the "Bird-man" Make-make with petroglyphes and the three islands Motu kao kao, Motu nui and Muti iti.
  • Three ahus close to the city Honga Roa: Ahu kot te riko (the only Moai with eyes), Ahu Vai uri and Ahu Tahai.
  • Shopping in Honga Roa (DL9NEI cutting the steaks for the butcher).
  • Visit of the shop of Epu, our driver.

Danilo, XQ3ZW stayed in Anakena as he was on the island two years ago. And guess what we did when we were finally home? We repaired the red generator. New highscore: 11 min! As our Chilean "lady-cooks" left us, Norbert pepared beef ragout for the crew. Seemed that some members of the crew had nothing to eat for two weeks, hi.

Saturday, Mar 17, 2001
...nothing special beside DL9NEI's risotto frutti di mare for dinner. All equipment is set up in "party" tents ("QSO party tents") and everything gets dirty in the local dryness and at wind. We will have significantly higher costs due to all repairs that crop up. We have no sponsors for our DXpedition and would appreciate any kind of donation to cover our extra expenses for the repairs. Thank you very much! The operation becomes more and more difficult - one of the two generators cannot be operated anymore. The second generator runs for a maximum of four hours, it has to stand-by then for half an hour until it can be refilled and restarted.

Sunday, Mar 18, 2001
We start taking down the stations - step by step - on one hand to make as many QSOs as possible yet and on the other hand to empty the generators. The QSO count has reached some 50k QSOs, we have worked all continents on all bands from 160m through 6m. Dinner in Hanga Roa (meat plate with spareribs, poultry, sausages and fruit, fruit, fruit). Juergen, DL7UFN and Danilo, XQ3ZW checked meanwhile the quality of Pisco in the shelter.

Monday, Mar 19, 2001
Leaving for the airport. Buying souvenirs. Saying good-bye to the friends from Conaf: special thanks to Felipe (Peewee) and Raffaelo from the camp. Surprisingly, Manfred, DK1BT and Norbert, DL9NEI get a seat in the 1st class. So they enjoyed the menu and the wine....
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