Planning for the annual Independence Camp started early o’clock with location and duties assigned. This year we are marking the 37th year of independence for our Island State: Saint Lucia. It is the fourth time we are camping and working a special call to commemorate the event.
We were very lucky last year that everybody was fully available for camp. Full time this time around were J66SJ Cyril and J69DS Frans while J66CD Ian spent one evening with us. J69Z Ernest joined on the Sunday. Also, we had the honour of J68SL Steve (WF2S) gracing us on the Saturday till close to sunset.
Saturday morning we departed from our homes at 4 am to go setup camp! Arriving on campsite we were quite a crew. Cyril and his XYL Yasmin with the YOTA ladies Annique and Journeii and their Grandparents, along with Frans and XYL Filita were all present. Setup started promptly so by ten-ish mostly all tents and antennae had been setup and by then we had Steve on site. J69DS started on ten meters with the special call J64SLI (J64 Saint Lucia Independence). We worked some Europe stations and Sate side of course was there. After a bit, we let Steve run the radio on ten and he had some good fun running the special call indeed. This allowed for us to complete the antennae setup for 20 and 15 meters. Also permitting Cyril to get all the fires in the “kitchen“ going for the chefs. This year the food was excellent thanks to Yasmin and Filita with the help of Yasmin’s mom whom spent the day with us! We ate way too well and way too much!
Early evening we saw Steve off; he was heading back to Anse Chastanet, so a long drive. We worked some 15 meters also and in the evening we worked 40. Rather J66CD Ian did the honours and ran a huge pile up on 40 for many hours. Cyril took over from him afterwards, whilst Frans kinda chilled and caught an hour of zz’s. We remained on 40 mostly all night and well into the morning.
Ernest joined us on the Sunday and he ran the pile up on 15 and 20 for most of the afternoon. All during the week we ran the j64SLI call on phone and rtty allowing the digital ops to also have a shot at it (something we did not manage last year).
So all in all, camp was fun as always and hopefully next year we can have the full crew on hand again, and even more. We extended the invitation to all local hams also and will do so again next year….
Last year we had a blast operating from the beach and we are looking forward to doing the same and making it even better
this year. The group will camp out on the beach at Pigeon Point that weekend using Buddipole Antennae, Coax and bits and pieces supplied by a number of organizations and individual hams. We will be on the air all three days full time and the remaining 7 days from our shack as time permits.
Qsl route for J64SLi will be via WB5Q john, our website: http://j6portable.dageekz.com
So Budd and Chris and a whole crew were back at Chateau Devaux this December again from the 6th to the 14th! I went up on the Monday to assist with antenna erection. Met up with the crew, of course Budd J68FF (W3FF) was back, and with him: W2LNX Dave, K4ZGB Tom, N8WD Bryan, J68HF Chris, WB9OTX Jack, J68RL Rick (AA4W), W7DGP Larry . Once we started with antennae Budd realized he need a tripod or two more. Smart me forgot to put it all in the trunk, so I called Cyril J66SJ who obliged and passed at my home picked my buddipole stuff and brought it all the way up to the chateau. He met with all the guys also that afternoon brought Ernest J69Z around also. The only J6 Portable member who did not get a chance to meet up with the Buddipole crew was Ian j66cd due to work times.
December is also YOTA month ( http://ham-yota.com ) and we have two lovely young ladies who are learning about amateur radio and are active for this month with the call J62YOTA under supervision. They worked a few of the buddies and of course Budd has them in the log!
We had the buddies crew up to J69DS’ home for dinner on wednesday with the j6 Portable group. We had a load of fun. Dave managed to send a message using fldigi and msgwrap via olivia showing that messages can be send over great distances with 100% accurancy using digital modes. Dinner was prepared by Yasmin (j66sj xyl) and Filita (j69ds xyl) with drinks by the rest of the group.
It was a great pleasure to have J68RL Rick back on island, great guy and great operator.
All throughout the week everybody would pass by and say hello and spend some time with the buddipole group.
On Saturday they were invited by the amateur radio club for a dinner.
Sunday afternoon was the traditional day at chateau devaux and dinner with the guys. Monday was truly pack up and get ready to fly out. By midday “big” their taxi back to the airport was there for them to head out again, it was bye bye and the end of a great time and new friends made!
73 de j69ds Frans