Monday, November 12, we started our three week vacation DXpedition. Andy, 9Y4W, told me that we may have to leave all our equipment at the customs if we can’t show them any license. We arrived in Tobago late in the afternoon. Our luggage was scanned and laid on the desk behind the scanner. We didn’t move any finger because we expected a thorough inspection of our electronic stuff. We were totally surprised when the custom officer indicated that we should take our luggage and leave the airport.
The next morning - another shock. When I got up to look for a place for my HF9VX vertical I realized that the steep hill right beside our hotel covered all important directions to EU, W and JA. The only way to avoid vacations without radio was to erect the antenna up on the hill. But I only had 80m RG-58 coax, not enough.
The ferryboat brought us to Tobago late at night. The next morning Alibaba’s friend Joey cut with his machete a way straight through the bush from the hilltop down to the hotel. My now 120m RG58 coax reached almost the top of the hill. But I doubted that there would be much power at the antenna.
The pileups were tremendous, I didn’t expect such a run on a 9Y4 station. But it was joy too.
After a while I realized that I had to pay tribute to the age :o)). I simply needed a little bit more sleep. But I limited it to about 4 hours per day. Usually I finished the pileups with Europe between 00:00 and 01:00 local time, went to bed and got up at 05:00 to look for Japanese stations. They are – compared to other parts of the world – a bit handicapped, because the openings to Japan are very limited.
I have to apologize to the guys who waited for 160m. The problem was that I had only one cable and the way to the antenna was so hard, that I had a pulse of about 180 when I arrived at the hilltop. I would have to change the cable to the 160m antenna in the early evening hours. The “chance” that I couldn’t do anything on the other bands if condx on 160m were poor was too big. It was impossible to get to the antennas in the dark. I would have been enforced to inactivity until daylight. So I decided to ignore 160m.
The weekend of the CQWW CW had its ups and downs. The first day was not bad with 2348 QSOs but then condx changed so the second day ended with only 1337 QSOs. All in all 3685 QSOs – not the result I was looking for but I wasn’t dissatisfied at all.
The best band was again 40m – like in the years before from other islands. I made one single QSO on 6m with ZD8W. A few SSB QSOs are also in my log – rather unusual. A few friends asked me if I was ill :o))