We’re finally flying!
After searching hard for alternatives, we were able to book flights for the entire Polish group
on the Berlin-Saint Barts route. The flights are not as convenient as they were before, but what’s most important is that we arrive on-site with all our many pieces of luggage, without any delays or any lost baggage.
We are departing on November 14, one day earlier than we originally had planned, flying through Paris and Guadeloupe, landing in St. Barts in the morning hours of November 15. Our whole trip duration door-to-door will be 53 hours. This is similar to our long return from VK9X several years ago. The critical point in our journey will be transferring from Roissy Charles de Gaulle Airport to Orly Airport in Paris, which is located on the opposite southern side of the city. We only have 3 hours for this airport transfer, including picking up our baggage.
Because our license is valid starting November 16 at 0000 UTC (8 PM local time), that gives us the whole day to comfortably install and tune our antennas. We’ll probably do station checkout on November 15 using our individual calls (FJ/home call).
We have already tested and packed all our antennas, radio gear and the computers which will be used during our DXpedition. The computers have all the logging software installed and the network configured.
We have reserved a hotel in Berlin for our first night’s stay and one in Pointe-à-Pitre in Guadeloupe for the second night. We’ve also made payment for our excess baggage (over 100 kg) on all the flights.
Our QSO’s will be uploaded daily into Club Log and they can also be tracked real-time from our Web page using QSO Director http://www.qsodirector.com/event/to2sp/ . QSO’s made in the CQWW CW DX Contest will not be uploaded nor tracked real-time during the contest in accordance with CQWW rules. We will also be on 6m using the FT8 digital mode. This gives us an opportunity to make QSO’s on this band which would otherwise be unlikely during this part of the year from the Caribbean. For this purpose we built a 3el VDA antena for 6m, which is very lightweight and our tests show surprisingly good results with it. We’ll be paying particular attention to 160m, since in our judgement the demand for FJ is greatest on this band. We’ll also be active during long-path and short-path propagation periods to JA and the Far East, since this is a difficult polar propagation path for them and FJ is very sought after there (37th place on the Club Log most wanted list for Asia).
See you in the pileups shortly!