This just in from James......
Just about 30K QSO's after 4 days. Here's the plan for the next few days:
1. 40M CW: We have a healthy number of EU in the log now, so we will be listening non-exclusively - which means we will now also answer US and JA. We are always QRV on 40 CW from 0630 to 0945 UTC daily. BTW - this is an amazing time for this band as JA, EU and NA are ALL equally loud.
2. 30M CW: Same as above. We will answer everyone. This band has been a pipeline into Europe! Almost 2000 so far.
3. 15M: We will dedicate one SSB and one CW station for to listen exclusively for Europe from 0630 - 0945 UTC.
4. 160M: TX freq is now 1826.5 We will alternate listening between 1831.5 and 1905 (JA).
5. 80M CW: Our TX freq is now 3524.
6. Due to restricted hours of darkness here, we ae holding back on 80 SSB and 40 SSB until things cool down on CW. The rates are much better on CW, and more people have a chance to make it in the log on this mode.
7. The 6m station is having a big day today into VK. When not in use - the station os always on beacon mode from 1530z to 1000z. There is always someone in earshot in-case someone calls.
If we happen to clash with any existing DXpeditions (i.e. the T2 guys) we will try to QSY 1 or 2 below their TX freq, and QSX above their pileup.
We are pushing the twilight hours as much as we can usually with 4 CW stations and 2 SSB. We've all been having a great time - especially on CW. I've been holding up the 40CW end of things for the past few days, and its been fantastic. 17CW was also outstanding today - I had about 4 solid hours into the USA with decent signals.
For topbanders, keep watch around 0945Z - 0955Z on 7007 - if the pileup keeps going *after* this time, it means that the weather turned bad, and we are staying the night on the island. It also means we will have 80m running all night too.
Aside of some annoying inter-station interference, everything seems to be working just fine. We are slowly learning to co-exist with the Sea-Lions, and basically they are keeping their distance. We still keep a close eye when we go outside to turn antennas - just in-case they are lurking behind a bush or something.
Now a personal side of the operation......
As part of our effort to give you a more interesting picture of our Dxpedition, every so often well bring you a little rundown of some of the more colorful characters we have encountered on our adventure down south.
The proud owner of the vessel that made this all possible is a man by the name of Nigel Jolly. Known affectionately amongst the team and his crew as Captain Ahab, this rough and tough Kiwi seaman could best be described as the ocean going version of Crocodile Dundee. With a raspy foghorn voice that sounds like sandpaper and a face that matches, this large, hefty man seems to have no sense of temperature, and is comfortable in shorts and a t-shirt even in our subantarctic climate. His language is enough to make even the toughest of our team members blush -- even our fearless leader ZL2HU -- and evening meals are an experience even for seasoned sailors. As Nigel says every day as we return to the ship, "!@##@$#@% the @Q#$!@%!@^ing pileups - get on board you lazy !@!@#ers."
The DoC Guy
Our official chaperone from the New Zealand Department of Conwservation is one Jason Christensen, ZL2URN. Though a licensed ham, Jason is more at home above 50 mhz than below (but we hope to change that soon enough). Friend to seals and the nemesis of topbanders, Jason is the guy who makes sure we adhere to our permit and get our butts off the island by 1000UTC every day. But official duties aside, this softspoken and likeable fellow is more keen on nature walks than pileups, and still views us all with a perplexed eye when we come cheering home to the ship with another 10,000 QSOs in the log. Keep your ears out, and give him a break the next time you hear him on the band, because Jason is one guy who we need on our side.
Stay tuned - more personalities next time!
ZL9CI East Coast Pilot, Webmaster
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Last updated 11 January 1999