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REPORTS FROM PALAGRUŽA ISLAND, IOTA EU-090

9A8P IOTA EU-090 EXPEDITION BY 9A1AKL

Radio Club Split 9A1AKL (9A2A) has organised the second expedition to Palagruza Island (IOTA EU090) in order to take part in this years IOTA contest. This remote group is situated roughly 42 deg 5 min NORTH and 16 deg 5 min EAST , grid loc. JN82DJ. Members of the expedition were: 9A4NA,9A3NU,9A3LO and myself, 9A4SP. Just like two years ago,we have operated from the lighthouse 'Palagruz', built in 1875 , on the largest island of the group Vela Palagruza. This location is the highest peak of the island group , about 90 meters high , and the rest of the island as well as the other two islands (Mala Palagruza and Galijula) and all the rocks are clearly visible from there.

We have arrived to the island on 24jul98 in the afternoon , and have started to transport the equipment immediately in order to finish before the contest should start. Everything has to be brought in from Split, food, power generators, fuel, the lighthouse can only offer shelter , drinking water and a wonderfull hospitality of the two crew members, Jadran and Lucijan. Moreover , boats larger than 5 meters can not dock anywhere on the island , we must shuttle with Lucijans small boat , offload on the Southern Beach and carry everyting by hand about 1 km away and 90 m up to the lighthouse , hit the 'highway' folks! One meter wide goat track! When the going gets tough..... It gets dark arround 9 local time, we're in for a big suprise , mosquitoes! Amazing! Not a single one two years ago during our first expedition , but now! You don't want to know....Still, 9A4NA managed to catch 'Mercedes' - the only
means of transportation on the island - a donkey! That was the greatest success of the expedition, because he runs freely on the island, if the crew needs him to carry stuff they have to tie him at 4 o'clock in the morning when he comes to the lighthouse to drink water. Otherwise, he just takes a good look at you as you carry stuff, and starts laughing...have you ever heard a donkey laughing?

25jun98 , Saturday, the contest has started. We're still connecting cables. If we didn't get Mercedes, we would have never made it on time. Lost 7 initial minutes, now QRV.

26jun98 , Sunday, contest finished at 1200z , 1211 QSO's scored. Pileup still strong. We are very happy with propagations to DX, unlike 2 years ago, this time we can actually do some DX! Well, the contest pressure finished, let's pick up some DX... 1340z 21MHz SSB, 9A2AA calls: -Who else is on the island with You guys? -????? -There is an Italian on 14.266, QTH EU-090. 1341z 14.266MHz, 9A/IK8MRA calling 'from IOTA EU-090' , 3 by 3 copy! six to seven hundred meters air distance? No way!!! 9A3NU just left for a tour arround the island , if he had seen this guy he would have for sure called us on VHF... I announce on 14.266 that this callsign is definitely not on Palagruza, do a QSO with S52KM and 9A2AA and QSY back to 15 meters. 1345z back on 21MHz SSB. Buisness as usual. Can't get this guy out of my head. Cheeky character , isn't he , I think....If we haven't been on the island he might have gotten away with it..!?.. 1351z 21MHz SSB, 9A2AA calls again: -Pero, will you please check, this guy is back on the air on 14.266 and claims he's on the Southern Beach with the telescopic antenna?! - Okay Tom,will handle that... Now I'm really fed up with this man...I'll go there myself eventhough I know he is not there... 1352z 9A8P QRT, 9A4SP and 9A3LO 'QSY' to the beach for a swim.. Few minutes later we are on the Southern beach. I wonder if those seagulls are italians...maybe one of them is IK8MRA, but where is his radio, battery and telescopic antenna? Well he might have one of those wrist watches from James Bond movies with a kilowatt HF radio built in. You never know. If I scare him off , maybe he'll fly off to Kingman Reef and give me an oportunity to work a new country...

We meet Lucijan and 9A3NU on the beach. They just came back from sightseeing arround the island. They've even been to the smaller island Mala Palagruza. They haven't seen any HAMs anywhere. There are 3 boats in the bay. Two fishing boats from Vis and one 9 meter Italian yacht. Well , lets take a swim . I swim over to the closest fisherman and ask him if he saw any of the Italians going to the beach with some radios, or something like that..no, no, none of the italians have been off their yacht at all he says. Curious as one can be I swim arround the italian yacht just to hear if anyone yells 'CQ' from inside the yacht, I can only imagine their thoughts as they were looking at me invading their privacy and interrupting their fishing stories... Well at least I had a refreshment after a long working day in the shack. As the daylight fades away, 15 meters is still wide open. All through the night...Very good DX average. Europe during the day..some people just don't want to understand that we have to do some DX. Previous expedition was allmost 100 percent Europe, most of the contest this year as well. Now when we have propagation to DX some people just don't want to let us do any...

Evening 28jul98 brought us some wind, finally a refreshment, we thought. As the clouds accumulated over Vis island we started worrying. The night was scary indeed. Suddenly we heard thunders, and the wind went crazy. At 3 in the morning 9A3LO and me were so worried that we went outside to have a look, The top of the antenna (only about 5 meters above the ground) was moving 1 meter north, 1 meter south every few seconds. 'What can we do if it starts falling, Sem? We can only watch it fall.'100 meters into the abyss , and straight into the deep sea. Later in the morning when Jadran and Lucijan collected information from the weather instruments for their daily weather report, they told us the wind was sometimes faster than 100 kilometers per hour. Wouldn't have been a problem if it was steady, but this is the middle of the Adriatic, wind is constantly changing speed and direction, like if it had mind of its own, just like if it really wanted to sweep everything off the surface...we spend the rest of the morning collecting scattered things arround the lighthouse. The wind has calmed down a little bit. We heard that the storm has set a large number of forrest fires back on the mainland. We can still hear thunders in the distance, but no rain. QRN is heavy - 40 and 80 meters totally useless.We are running out of fuel, no, no, not the one for the generators, but the one for us..how can 5 men burn 20 liters of wine in six evenings?

30jul98 0945z arround 3.5K QSO's logged, our boat is in the Southern beach bay, a bit sooner than expected... 'Switch everything off' 9A3NU says, 'we must go!' We have to depart in less than 3 hours! Oh, my God, why do we allways have to be in a hurry? Why do the good things allways have to be short? OK, let's go , untill next time, maybe on Brijuni?

73 es GD DX de 9A8P QRT.

 

 

Izvještaj sa Palagruže na HRVATSKOM


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Izvještaj sa Palagruže na HRVATSKOM


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