|Au revoir douce France!
We went there with good memories of WWFF expeditions to LX and HB0 in the two preceding years. We were hoping to beat HB0 and reach LX levels in terms of QSOs (1700 in HB0, 2150 in LX) and include as many DX chasers in the fun as possible.
It was raining when we arrived and the forecast for the rest of the night was not good. We did however manage to put up the hexbeam in the first nature reserve for 1.5h. We were awarded a nice opening to NA.
|PD7YY inside the car because of the weather Friday evening
Saturday - strong start, unhappy endThe next day the weather was brilliant. Sunshine and 14C. We were visited by Nigel GJ7LJJ and Keith G8IXN on our first activity. Keith showed up at our second spot as well by coincidence (small island). Both activities were busy with regular pileups. 40m was not very good but 20m made up for that easily thanks to Sporadic E conditions. As we had been using N1MM in different configurations we were not sure about our progress but we estimated we were past 1000 QSOs already by the end of the afternoon - a good sign.
|Hexbeam in the wild on Saturday
We were looking forward to a nice long night activity from a high point on the NW corner of the island. When we had built up two stations and had just started making QSOs we were visited by local police that acted very unprofessionally cutting our activity short. Afterwards we learned this was "honorary police"...
We lost at least 200 potential QSOs this way and a time window to work NA and SA chasers.
Sunday - making up lost time in great weatherSunday started out with a little worry - how would the authorities react? Nigel was our support on FB messenger trying to reassure us that ham radio was not in fact outlawed on GJ. And he was right. After a call to the right person we were "free to go". Trying to catch up we revised our plan and went for four activities, revisiting the two parks that had had only marginal attention (both the evening sessions on Friday and Saturday). Skipping everything but a quick dinner we were on the air almost the whole day. Conditions on 20m were brilliant with a lot of Es. We even went up to 10 and 6 when Es allowed it. 40m was OK but just like on Saturday did not really fly. We ended our trip at the edge of the beach looking out over the sea.
|We arrived at our final destination at sunset
Overall impressionsWe greeted almost 1800 different radio amateurs on the air in 2700+ QSOs. In that enormous group we recognised a lot of familiar chasers but also a lot of new calls. We were happy to make a lot of DX contacts (65 DXCC in total). The skip to NA was especially good with 144 QSOs from 30 different states and 5 different VE provinces in the log. Odx was 11.5k km into CE.
Our experience with the honorary police of GJ was depressing but the reactions from the local radio community were very supportive (Nigel GJ7LJJ and the local RSGB representative he called upon).
We were blessed with great /P weather - sunshine and moderate temperatures and enjoyed beautiful nature reserves with ocean views in many cases. We stayed in a nice hotel that has a stunning view over the Atlantic.
|View from our hotel