R1MVA/R1MVZ - MALYJ VYSOTSKIJ ISLAND 1999

Tapani Nisula, OH5BM

 

History

Malyj Vysotskij Island (Ravansaari ) is situated 28 .5 deg e and 60.6 deg N in  Russian waters North-Eastern corner of Gulf of Finland about  12 km from Wyborg.
The island is about 1.5 km long and 500m wide lush but desolate and uninhabited with thick vegetation and ruins of houses destroyed during  WW II.
It was 1962 when Finnish Saimaa canal authorities did lease that island at the same time when the whole canal zone from Russian side were leased to Finland. Malyj Vysotskij island thought to be used as it was used through the centuries -as a storage for goods while they were transferred for smaller ships which are short enough for the locks in Saimaa canal. It happened that canal logs were long enough to allow those ships coming from the sea to continue directly into the Finnish lake district and vice versa .

Of course the Finnish amateurs found that specialty - the leased island in Russian waters and  Finnish Radio Amateur League sent an application for DXCC-authorities and the answer came in 1970 with one condition: DXCC-status will be granted in connection to the first DX-pedition to the island! We had  to wait 18 years when the political atmosphere was suitable to make the first DX-pedition to the island.
In 1988 after numerous negotiations and paperwork and permissions and visas Martti OH2BH led the first DX-pedition to the Malyj Vysotskij Island (Ravansaari in Finnish) After that  8 succesful DX-peditions have made there in joint venture with Russians and some Americans and even with one Mexican. Landing permissions - granted by Finnish canal authorities and radio-license granted by russian PTT and visas, and possible boat-cruising permissions takes usually it’s time . So the summer pedition preparations are usually started just at this time middle of the winter.

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