insua1.jpg (34732 bytes)

"Ilha da Insua EU-150" stands in the northern tip of Portugal, in the border line to Spain and 200 m. from the coast of Caminha. Added to the IOTA directory in 1991 was activated for the first time in August 1991 by CT1UE/p, CT1UD/p, CT1ZW/p and CT1BY/p for a 2800+ QSO's run.

insua3.jpg (24872 bytes)Getting to Insua requires some work, permit has to be obtained from the District Governor to use the Fortress facilities, then the Navy has to authorize the landing under strict conditions of no interference with navigation and the lighthouse. Then the danger of the smugllers that like to use the Island for their illicit activities.

Anyway, after doing the first edition of the IOTA Contest (1993) from home in Murtosa as CR8A I began thinking about giving out a Multiplier instead of staying at home working them, some friends from the Aveiro University ARC were also interested to go along and a Team named by Miguel CT1ENQ as theinsua4.jpg (36856 bytes) "Northern Portugal DX Group" got to Insua Island in July 1994 for a 4 days operation not only to entry the IOTA Contest but also to give EU-150 to those who still needed it, CQ2I got in-the-air for a 4000 QSOs run.

I guess it's Miguel's CT1ENQ fault for naming us NPDXG in Insua, since then this group of friends has been charged for not only organizing IOTA operations but also for sponsoring several other DX operations like Kure, Midway, Heard Isl, Willis Isl., Kingman Reef, East-Timor... and so on ! (Thanks Miguel for the excellent idea).

Photos show the TH-3 tribander in the Top of the Insua Fortress and Josť CT1EEB working the 1994 IOTA Contest as CQ2I.

insua2.jpg (34816 bytes)But reality is that Insua is the closest qualifying Island for IOTA to us, less than 2 hours driving, and the favorite spot by excellence for Contesting or just for a couple of days operation. The IOTA Contest was to be repeated in 1996, 1997 and 2001 with diferent Teams but always looking for a Top Score.

That was to be achieved in 2001 in the Low-Power DX'pedition category winning the "Roger Balister" Contest Trophy.

Photo shows Josť CT1EEB, Santos CT1DVV, Miguel CT1ENQ and Jo„o CT1BQH trying to figure out what was wrong with the TH-3 antenna.

Field day operations were also carried in 1999 and 2000 to teach newcomers to the hobbie on how a DX'pedition is made , it seems everytime we return there something is always diferent, I'm sure trainees will never forget the huge number of hungry rats that wanted to eat whatever they found in their way, the strange noises in the night or just the plain bad luck when everything turns to go wrong, I guess we never told them that the Island of Insua used to be a place of sacrifices for the Celtic, a monastery and a Military Fort (old 15th Century Cannons are still there), kind of spooky stories are told, Hi ! insua6.jpg (29831 bytes)

Anyway all those bedtime stories didn't stop Ghis ON5NT of joining us for the 1997 operation and as usual placing the Belgium Flag in the pole, I guess Ghis really wants Belgium to have an IOTA !

Photo in the right shows how the Fortress looks from the inside and also the CQ2I base camp.

Probably every IOTA enthusiast got EU-150 by now so we don't forseen a return there in the near future.