Story NORDIC TOUR 2012


by 161DX018 Slawek and 161DX037 Greg

Hi IOTA Hunters,
As usually, beginning of June is the highest time to prepare our radio equipment to join in so fantastic event like Islands Festival. New rules from this year and our much earlier decision to visit Aland islands this year was very good. During festival is possible to transmit from 4 different islands.

By the way being 800kms far from our home, we have decided to activate much more new islands from EU-002. In total we have planned to visit 15 islands as official DX RC activations and if will be enough time and propagation of course some portable activation also possible.

Our journey started May,30th early morning. Ferry from Poland to Sweden started at 9:00am. Not so many passengers and after 10 hours Karlskrona was reached. Plan for today- 21DX/EU0138/S Senoren island, located 30 minutes from Karlskrona harbor. It was little late ( around 18:00GMT) for activation, but after few minutes 1st local station ( 21AC101 ) was logged. Propagation not so good, only 17 stations within 2,5 hrs. from 4 countries logged.

Time to start 300kms trip to stay overnight at Slawek’s family in Sweden to be ready next day start trip to achieve Aland islands.

Next day we have started before noon to activate min.2 islands as was agreed with our HQ. Our 1st destination is 21DX/EU-084/L Lidingo, islands located in Stockholm-capital city of Sweden. We have started around 13:00pm and after 3 hours only 30 stations logged- not so good on the beginning.

Next ferry from Kapellskar to Mariehamn at 18:00GMT and by the way occasion to see another potential for activation islands: Stor-Klyppingen, Svartno and Furusund, but due the reason of very heavy rain we have stayed only one hour at portable activation from 21/161DX037 Solo island. Only single stations logged- time to go to reach next ferry.

Next ferry started according to schedule and after 2,5hrs Mariehamn located on main Aland islands was reached. Next ferry from Hummelvik located on Vardo island. Next ferry scheduled for next day at 3:00am, it means enough time to visit another new islands. Starting just after arriving to Mariehamn we have visited following islands: Styrso, Nato, Bergo, Grano and Jarso. After few hours, around 23:30pm GMT we have reached Hummelvik harbor and spent next few hours waiting for 4th ferry ( 3rd was cable ferry between Prasto and Tofto islands ). Ferry started as was scheduled at 3:00am GMT and after 2,5 hours Lilla HUmmelvik islands-close to Torsholma was reached.

Plan for today ( Friday 1st of June ) only one official activation from Brando island – 212DX/EU-002/BR and some numbers of portable activations.

Brando activation started at 7:00GMT and after 2,5 hrs. 127 stations logged- not bad on the beginning of our Nordic Tour. By the way to our summer house located on Ava island we have visited few other islands to do portable activation, like: Torsholma, Lilla Hummelholm, Killingholm, Oggholm, Ramsholm, baggholma and few more.

Ava cottage, beautiful location close to the Baltic Sea. Very good equipped with microwave oven, sauna, kitchen and place for 5 people. Of course as always we have started with antenna installation- Skypper from Jarek 161AT080 is since few years with us, and additionally small antenna for other bands was installed.

Immediately we started to operate on radio ( 212/161DX018 /EU002 and 212/161DX037/EU002 ) to be sure that all equipment is in good condition with us. Amazing propagation, over 200 Polish stations in our log within 2 hours! – we are crossing fingers to have the same propagation tomorrow when festival will start.

Time goes very fast but we have decided to operate whole night on radio. Previous night we have spent waiting for ferry at the harbor and we are very tired. I continue transmission up to 24:00pm on Friday waiting for Festival inauguration. Few minutes before start of Island Festival Darran 047 called in, we had a QSO and on midnight he was logged as first station from Ava island in islfest.

I was able to operate only up to 0:30am GMT ( 3:30 loc.time ) and when I was really tired Greg replaced me by microphone. Greg is fighting with not so good propagation and when I start rolling little over 100 stations logged- not bad result. I replace Greg by microphone to give him short break for coffee and show must go on. We are transmitting from Ava up to 10am and time to go to visit another new island – Bolmo ( 212DX/EU-002/BO ).

10:30GMT-we are ready on Bolmo island. Fortunately not bad propagation, 1st in our log is 20DX101. The weather not so good, heavy rain and strong wind but it doesn’t matter, festival is top priority. After 8 hours over 260 stations logged. It is late and we decide to go back to continue operation from base station on Ava island. Another few stations logged and propagation goes down.

Next day we starting very early to be prepare for trip to Bjornholma island- lack of propagation, but around 6:00am we decide to start trip and wait on island for propagation going up. We transmit 6 hours and only 50 stations logged, 1st in our log is our good friend 14DX181 Marc, the last one Jaro 161AT080. Time to change location and go to Soderholmen island ( 212DX/EU-002/SO ).

We start immediately after arriving, 1st in log is 14DA049-our good friend, the last one after 7 hours is Waldi 161DX012. Propagation goes down, doesn’t make sense to fighting with so low propagation, we are decided to turn off radio and amplifier and festival is over.

Now is time to de-assemble antenna equipment to be ready from early morning for back trip and by the way to activate another new ones.

4th of June, 5:00GMT and we are on 212DX/EU-002/RA Ramso island. Not bad propagation for so early time, we are staying 3 hours logging during this time over 34 stations- time to go further. Next ones as portable operation are: Lilla Hummelholm, Torsholma, Kumlinge, Snacko ( waiting at the harbor for ferry ), Lumparland and on the final Lemland ( from Mariehamn ).

Time to go to Sweden to continue our Nordic Tour.
Back ferry to Sweden started according to schedule, thanks to this we have reached Furusund island – 21DX/EU-084/F earlier when was planned. Immediately few pictures and Greg started activation. Not bad result, within little over 2,5 hrs. 60 stations logged.

During back trip to our location in Sweden we have worked as portable from: Svartno and Humlo islands. It was short activation, half an hour on each island and due the reason of 300kms. Waiting for us we have decided to finish activity in Kapellskar area on EU-084 islands. We have reached small city close to Linkoeping around 1:00am loc. Time. Next day without any activation- free time to take a rest and to do city tour.

Next day, 5th of June and plan to activate 21DX/GI ( EU-N/V )– Grono island and 21DX/HI ( EU-N/V) – Handelop island. We have reached first island early afternoon, but after 2 hours with zero propagation we have decided to move location with hope that on Handelop will be better. Unfortunately the same story-it means both activations are cancelled.

Not so happy went hope with hope that on tomorrow planned iwi will be some propagation.

6th of June- plan for today 21DX/TI – Tannefors island iwi located in city Linkoeping. Almost 6 hrs and only single logged stations. In the meantime we have discovered that there are 2 additional small IWI’s- we have called Tannefors 2 and 3. We have made only local QSO’s using handheld Dragon SS201.

Happy time goes very fast, 7th of June and time to start back trip to Poland. We are starting early morning, visiting by the way and working as portable from Oland island ( EU-037), Justnabben ( EU-N/V) and Svino ( EU-N/V). Staying around 1 hour on each island small number of islands logged. Time to go further to Karlskrona to activate next new ones. Karslskrona achieved, 1st ilskand it is 21DX/LI- Lango ( EU-N/V). Two hrs only due the reason of bad propagation, single stations logged, time to change location. Originally was scheduled 21DX/VAI Varno island ( EU-N/V), but due the reason of problem with GPS we have reached different island and immediately started transmission. To get confirmation where we were we are contacted Darran with GPS infos, Darran immediately with John DX101 and we are surprise activating wrong island. After conversation with Darran we have decided to add this island – it was Alleskar island to our list of official activations. Time goes very fast and ferry to Poland will not wait for us we are starting short trip to the harbor where at 21:00 loc. We are starting back trip, reaching Poland next day early morning.

Summary, during 9 days in Scandinavia we have planned to officially activate 15 islands, unfortunately 2 activations were cancelled and thanks to mistake done in Karlskrona 14th island was activated. In total we have visited around 50 islands- unbelievable but it was possible.

On the final, I would like to say thank you very much Greg for time with me, thank you very much my mother in-law Sofia for her hospitality and time ( serving breakfasts, lunches and dinners ) on Aland islands- tack sa mycket!.

Thank you very much as always Darran and John for your assistance and help.

Thank you to all operators for their patience during our trip, we are not perfect, it was impossible to login all of you.

On behalf of team,


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