Press release # 9 - Jan 8, 1999

What a blast! The ZL9CI hit the air in style with 10,724 QSOs in the first 23 hours, operating six stations on most bands to give everyone a good chance of working us. The CW operators were hot and accounted for more than half of the QSOs. We were given a taste of how bad the weather can become in an hour or so when a storm dropped the temperature and hit the antenna system with 60 knot gusts of wind. The only damage was that one of the 20M Yagis rotated a reflector to the vertical position. The bad weather resulted in dangerous conditions to transfer the team off the island to the Braveheart and we were forced to stay ashore for the night much to the joy of 160M and 80M amateurs around the world. Trey N5KO, Declan EI6FR and Andrew GI0NWG were very popular on CW with the low band crowd. The pileups have been mind boggling, with a solid wall of signals from EU, NA or JA depending on where the antennas are pointed. Additionally, the pileups have been extremely well behaved, with plenty of patience and good will flowing both ways.

The QSO rate of around 500 per hour produced plenty of tired grins and high fives when the logs were merged this morning. Each day, the logs will be compressed, sent by a PACTOR 2 link, (equipment for which is provided by SCS of Germany ) for access on the QSL log server.

The team is making every effort to make the contacts, calls and logs highly accurate. Mistakes can happen however. Please donít shoot the messenger. Work us again. Allow 48 hours for your logs to appear on the log server.

The Sea Lions are still terrorizing the team members outside the operations site. They lurk in the bushes and tussock and let out a roar that puts up the hairs on the back of your neck.. It is now a rule that two team members must travel together when changing antenna directions outside. We havenít decided which is worse - the Sea Lions or a pack of hungry amateurs looking for us on the low end of 20 meters.

Campbell Island, is cold, wet, windswept, wild and strikingly beautiful. DXpeditioning from one of the best locations in the world is a tough job, but hey - somebodyís got to do it!

73 the ZL9CI team

Lee ZL2AL - Logistics and Planning

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Last updated 09 January 1999