Isla Providencia is
the second biggest island in the San Andrés archipelago and located about 50 miles north of San Andrés Island.
We made a short trip during my second DXpedition to San Andrés in 2002 and were so surprised of its beauty
and tranquility that we decided to come back again.
And so we did with our Silver-Wedding-Tour in March/April 2004 and with my 60th-Birthday-Tour in November 2006.
Most important to me was to find a hotel at
the northeast coast with a free “shot” to Europe, the USA and Japan.
In 2002 and 2004 we stayed at the “Deep Blue”, a small hotel in Maracaibo opposite Cayo Cangrejo.
In 2006 the
“Deep Blue” was reconstructed after hurricane damages in 2005, so we stayed at “Betito’s” house, just a few yards from the “Deep Blue”.
We know “Betito” from our
former trips to Providencia. He’s a fisherman and skipper and we made a few boat trips with him.
His property is a much better place to erect aerials as the “Deep Blue” because the slope is free of wood -
but it is exposed to the winds what we had to realize during the next days.
It was almost dark, when we erected the HF9V on the slope in front of the house. The adjustment took a little more time because of the
interim solutions due to the missing parts of my antenna what I discovered on Isla Pirata. But all worked fine after a while - except 30m.
In the afternoon of our second day my XYL and I erected the 160m aerial, a 12m
long “fishing rod” pole, which held my ”Inverted L” with a wirewrapped bottle as extension coil at the feeding point (by DL7DF).
The weather was beautiful but within a few minutes it changed.
Storm came up and it rained cats and dogs. About 20 minutes later my new built Inverted L went down to the ground. I feared for my HF9V which bowed in the stronger and stronger getting storm.
The rain raged horizontally
onto the windows and water poured through so we were busy with cleaning the floors of every room. After 03:00 in the morning the rain got less strong and we sank into our bed.
I got up at 05:30 to work JA. When I
entered my shack I wasn’t able to believe my eyes and stood like paralysed. My laptop computer tried to swim away. It got a lot of water from the ceiling and didn’t work any more. So back to the roots with keyer and
paper log for the next few days. I was very glad that I didn’t leave my more than three pounds weighing Schurr keyer at home what I intended before we left Berlin.
I still don’t want to think about what I
would have done in the pileups with a ”banana-plug-keyer”.
After two days in front of the fan and some hours with the hair dryer the computer worked again.
But we were still not
able to get the 160m antenna up in the storm. As the wind calmed down a little the fourth day we erected it again and I did the first QSOs on 160m. It bowed and bent in the wind and came down again and again. And we reerected
it again and again during the next days.
I had nice pileups on 160m with the US guys. A few days later condx were pretty fair to Europe so some 150 EU stations made it into my log. Not too bad for my minimalistic rig. At
the end I had 1455 QSOs in my 160-m-log.
During the CQWW CW contest I managed 4268 QSOs.
The best result I ever had in any contest. But like always I found myself on the upper band edges - on the run from the big
I seldom had an empty frequency for more than a few minutes - but that’s the little-pistol-rig’s fate.
All in all I have more than 19.000 QSOs in my 2006’ logs.
My wife Erika and I had a wonderful time together on snorkeling tours, meeting good old and new friends or discovering the beauty of the island and the
delicacy of the native cuisine.
Even swinging in the hammock on our terrace overlooking Crab Cay in the seven-coloured sea was a breathtaking experience.
And - I almost “forgot” to mention -
sitting in front of my radio and working the pileups was again an outstanding thrill.