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KC2SWB Martin and Jackie were here!

Quote by Martin KC2SWB:
We had a great time in St. Lucia. Probably best days of almost 52 years of living. Highly recommend Sandals Halycon.
Before we went away, I checked my logbook.  My only contact was a J69DS…Frans.  I emailed Frans and asked for “local knowledge”.  He told me the places that we should not miss.
Early in my trip, I spoke with J66CD, Ian…who helped me setup a day and time to meet J69DS at Sandals Halycon’s lobby.  At that meeting, along with Frans’s family…I also got to meet J69Z. (See attached picture 057.jpg) Left to right…
Frans Jr, J69Z,KC2SWB,Jackie, Filita xyl of J69DS and J69DS.
Frans invited us to his home on Saturday night for dinner and drinks. Ernest picked us up at 5 pm to drive us to Frans’s home.  As we began the drive, Ernest pointed up to the top of a mountain…he said… “That’s where Frans lives.”
Well…in the end…we were up at 1,115 feet above sea level.
Frans’s deck, on which we ate, overlooks the island of Martinique…and much of the NW corner of Saint Lucia. ( Including Rodney Bay and Pigeon Island. ) 
Filita cooked up a delious meal, all with local taste and flavor.  The local beer, Piton…was cold and went down easy. Ian, J66CD and his wife Ophilicia, also joined us for dinner and drinks. 
That night was beautiful.  We laughed alot.  We seemed to be in the most beautiful place on earth.  Warm…seemed like we could reach out and touch a star.  Lights of town glowing below us…with lights of Martinique off in the distance. Jackie made a comment about “not understanding HAM radio.”  Ernest made a statement, that if it was not for HAM radio…Jackie nor myself would not have been blessed with this night.  People that come on cruises…or just go to Sandals…do not get to do what we did that night.  We had a great time.  We made friendships that will last forever. Jackie finally understands HAM radio.  It’s not just radio’s and antennas…it’s the people we touch at the other end of our signal…that matters. I hope I can reciprocate, the hospitably of the “J6 group.”
The guys on St. Lucia, like portable operations.  “J6 Portable” …main players J69DS, J69Z and J66CD.  They try to get on the air each Sunday. 10 meters thru 40 meters.  Look for them when you are on the radio.  Great group!
And if you want to see Saint Lucia through their eyes visit their Flickr album

J64SLI 2015 Independence

J64SLI callsign is a special callsign the holder is J69DS and it is only valid from 21 to 27 February 2015!

The 2015 Independence event was planned well ahead of time and we were all ready and excited to use a special call! Not just a special call but a new wpx!! The first ever assigned J64 prefix!

Ian on 40m: first station on air

Ian on 40m: first station on air

We planned to be on the camp site for 4:30 am, the camp site being just north of Pigeon Point Beach right on the waterfront. With our vehicles loaded and ready we left at 4 am and got there well before our planned time. We started putting up the 40 meter vertical up first, I had it pre-cut but un-tuned so we used analyzer and got it all tuned up with one radial. Added the remaining radials and 40 was ready. We put up a table added Ernest’s portable setup (radio and battery) hooked up and put j66cd Ian on the mic. He made two calls and worked K0QWB as the first contact with J64SLI! He worked a few and then had Japan (JA2BAY) coming in!
We left Ian on the mic and proceeded to put up buddipole verticals on 15, 20, 10 meters all the antennae spaced out as far as the location and coax would allow us. We then proceeded to put up a tarpaulin as a roof to get Ian (who was operating right through in the sun by now) out of the sun. then we setup up the ‘kitchen’ and the then the tents… by midmorning we had the

Ian on 40m no shelter yet!

Ian on 40m no shelter yet!

site up! I had to do the second trip to bring down Filita (my xyl) with all the food stuff. We all had breakfast on her arrival and then Ernest went to pick up his xyl Fay (J69EJ).
We switched Ian to 15 meters and Ernest went on 10M and myself onto 20M so we had three stations right through the day. By end of day Ophi (J66CD xyl) also joined us on site. We were also joined by my sons and daughter for the afternoon into evening, they did not overnight though.
In the evening we worked 20 and 40 meters after 10 and 15 closed down fairly early on us.
The first night we got serious rains in the wee hours of the morning. so we had to scramble with the extra tarps to keep all the equipment dry. We were really cold by then, and Filita got up and made some nice cacao tea for us to warm up again.
Ernest went to get and hour and half of shut eye, we were still on 40 meters going strong. When he got up Ian went horizontal for a short. I myself went around 5 am and got a few hours.
We watched the weather with a wary eye and decided if it did not improve (it was grey and light shower every so often) we would lift camp towards end of day. By midday it cleared up and we decided we would stay till Monday as planned.
We ran 10 15 20 all day, by early afternoon when propagation was poor we all took a short rest, when I realized no radio on air I decided to put a 12

12 m budipole

12 m budipole

meter vertical buddipole on a dolica up. I mounted it against the tent and the antenna was only five feet of the ground! The radial I tied to a big water bottle and I went on twelve : twelve was on fire. When Ian woke up I handed him the mic and told him have at it!
Ernest decided to go to the neighbouring beach mobile also on 12M and he had some fun there.
Evening time we were on 20 and 40 again with 40 throughout the night!
Early morning we stayed on 40 and the other bands did not pick up.
By 9 we had breakfast and we started breaking camp. By the way breaking down takes way more time than putting up, we got it all squared away, loaded the cars up and realized Ernest would have to do two trips. But like magic j66cf Francis showed up and he would do the extra trip! Nice timing Francis!

camp!

camp!

We all headed to our qth’s and I know we all crashed for the afternoon! by evening we were all back on the air from our qth’s 🙂
For the week days we were on as much as we could before after and in between work.
We ended the week by all meeting up at the qth of J69DS Frans had a few beers but only after Ian J66CD worked 12 meters and 15 meters with a huge pile up from Japan. He even worked Korea!!

We had some very nice dx stations check in with us, and we had a ball all around doing what J6 Portable does best: PORTABLE !

This was the second first by the group, the first one was the first j62 prefix with j62yota!

Next year we are planning bigger and better of course!

Here are the statstics of the qso Statistics

A special thanks to our sponsors:
Budd W3FF and the Buddipole Dxpeditions
John Carson WB5Q PR officer and QSL manager
Aeronautical Center ARC, Oklahoma City, OK
South Canadian ARC, Norman OK
Butch Weber WA4GIF

73 88 from the whole group: J66CD Ian, J69Z Ernest, J69DS Frans, J69EJ Fay (xyl J69Z), Filita (xyl J69DS), Faith, Ophi (xyl J66CD), and all the rest who supported us!

It was a super fun dxpedition!

73 de Frans

J64SLI camp a succes

J6 Portable group succesfully activated the j64sli callsign from saturday to monday from the camp site up north. The call will be active from various locations as working hours allow untill friday!

a full update a bit later today…

73

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