Story from 19DX/EU038 activity.
Having done some island activities the issue often was “transportation”. So about last year May I gave myself present for a possible solution…a sea-kayak….realising you can’t take much along with you, but it should be able to get me “anywhere” and it should be good enough to bring a vertical and a normal radio, sufficient..for a small activation.
Starting to learn how to “peddle” it seemed a lot easier then it is, but I enjoyed it ! And that’s when you learn fast.. I learned how to “roll” the kayak on my own and found out there are quite some useful tutorials on youtube. I started investigating how the sea current works and what the tide actually us…never thought of it before. During my “try period” I came across an old experienced sea-kayak man who taught me what I now know. The hours I have spend in my kayak last year …don’t know…so many…going on open sea with a kayak isn’t something you do in a week, but I can recommend it to everyone ! Learning how to and actually doing it is so immense rewarding, I cant express the feeling. Anyway at the end of Last year I ended in October with achieving my goal for that year…finishing “the Veluwe rally” a non-stop 100 Km trip, and I had done some open sea trips…I was ready to go !
Obvious in winter time was long and having done so much effort I was eager to “activate” an Island…this is what I was after !
At the 18th of March the sea was calm, the sun was shining, the tide was right, the sea current was oke.. all well …but one major issue...the aurora activity the day before was massive. That normally means: no propagation…but never the less….the goal was set…I needed to go !
At 0600 UTC the materials were packed and I was on route towards the harbour of Lauwersoog. A final check on maps/gps and a quick look at the sea…yes…finally..set to go !
Because of the tide and current you can not travel in a straight line, the trip was about 12 Km towards “Engelsmanplaat”. Being the first trip of the year, It hit me… it was “physical more” then I expected…I was actually asking a lot from myself…from time to time watching cluster on the App and taking a picture on the way. Not that easy doing that when you have water coming in, the hands are wet and that ”grr”touchscreen isn’t working along with it.
But the sight…just amazing..still a little bit foggy , wasn’t fully open… looking around ….noting but water…amazing…and a bit scaring too. No sound but the sound you make with your peddle in the water and a lost bird.
Around 09.45 I UTC I “landed” on the island. Hm..i did forget one thing…extra clothes, its windy out there. And I was tired, so first something to drink and eat before I we begin.
The “station” was set-up within a couple of minutes, everything was pre-arranged …no worries there…and I could actually hear stations coming in on 555, happy ! that means the band isn’t completely dead as I was afraid for.
Two hours later 37 stations were logged and 3 continents, not too bad with bad prop, and a sea-kayak battery supplied station hihi. There were actually those who managed a 9plus signal 3DA012 Roger it was…it scared me as most were not that strong. Another “strange” thing was my signal towards Scandinavia seemed weak though “they” were strong. The opposite happened towards France, most of the 14 div were so weak I had a hard time believing they could hear me, hm…don’t know…could be imagining things hihi.
On route back my wrist was killing me…asking to much to begin with…what was I thinking hihi. And my nose…red…from the sun and its not even spring yet ! At certain points the two different tides collapsed making it sometimes a challenge.
Around 16.45 local time I was back at home…tired…but such a great feeling !
It all worked….the navigation at sea…the flow of the current the tide, the station: The old IC706 which I bought second hand 10 years ago especially for activating 234div has seen a lot by now…from desert to sea… everyting was oke !
All the effort had paid off, for sure were going back…but then hopefully without any aurora whipe-out….and with the Sproadic E season coming up…I cant wait !
Last but not least…thank you all for call and listing…. !