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Tuesday 9 October 2012

8th October eventful day

Well it started off pretty interesting. It is an ill wind that blows no good.

Unusually high winds succeeded in snapping both antennas so was qrt at 4:30am local time and collected everything in.

The Parks meeting had been put off until today... arrive to find it is Columbus day and the Parks office is closed... feels like a Monty Python sketch or a game of snakes and ladders... so not to be put off I'll try and hire a car and drive anyway. The fact there are only two flights a week seems to mean all hire cars are out until the next flight so have to wait until pm :-) Finally manage to secure one through Dollar and it is a 4x4.

By time car arrived it is almost 4pm local time and sun set is within couple hours... so grabbed all the kit and drove up to the North East of the island... was not going to try an all nighters this time just wanted to see what the locations were. By the time I get to Aua which is where the road goes over the mountain ridge down the centre of American Samoa, it is dark... ho hum continued onto Sa'ilele and right at the end of the beach (compass out) it is pointing due north. So first find land owner and ask for permission to operate (this is ESSENTIAL HERE!) granted, so setup KX3, no PA and 15m vertical dipole using repaired pole. I ran the KX3 off the car battery (I carry a set of car battery croc clips, miniature versions).... one cq and instant pile up JA and couple Russian stations... lasted as long as the car battery did! Bit of a surprise then I read that the car was literally brand new and the battery was probably the one from the factory as it was driven off the boat so no surprise it went flat. I had just worked several dozen JA and thought try EU and cq'd... two attempts and SV9COL comes through seriously 599+20dB. Roger Western 100% correct location location location made all the difference. Anyway... qrt so pack everything away, I had remembered Petzl head torch so put that on.... now how to get the car going...  fortunately one of the locals walked over and asked if I was having a problem 5 minutes later brother arrived with his truck and gives me a jump start. Funds for a beer donation my way of saying thanks. On way back took a wrong turn and ended up at Masefau.... stopped and met by a local prince and his wife, they own the hills behind the village... yes not a problem operating.... the beach location, better than Sa'ilele and the direction due north nothing until get to Russia.... ideal. I think they said they will provide mains power (I have to provide lead) for PSu and PA otherwise will be qrp again.

Back at hotel now (no internet at locations above).

Goiung to be QRV runrise tomorrow and every night all night until come home. 15/17/20m and will look at 40m IF it looks like an option.

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