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An Opportunity?

Now we’re back in C6 land after the Christmas break my thoughts have been turning to more radio-oriented matters. My XYL will be going back for a couple of weeks at the end of March and it occurred to me that this would be a great time for a mini-DXpedition to the Berry Islands (NA-054) which are only about 30% ‘worked’ and maybe the Bimini Islands (NA-048) which are slightly more ‘worked’ according to the IOTA site.

20140105-064916.jpgI have space for one, or two keen DXpeditioners who might want to come. Theres a double cabin and a single cabin available on our 42ft cruising catamaran ‘Amazing Grace’. We are totally self-sufficient make our own power (mainly solar – aided by generator) and water and have a fridge and freezer for food. We carry the most modern safety and location equipment as well as marine SSB and VHF.

Ideally we would leave from Nassau about 28th March and return by April 9th or so. Clearly the schedule will be driven by weather conditions. Operations will be ‘beachside’ on mainly uninhibited cays in the Berry islands and operating periods will be limited by the available battery power. The islands lie in the trade wind belt and consequently antennas should be able to be guyed to withstand 20kt winds.

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You would need to bring all of your own equipment for your chosen bands and modes. My working conditions are TS-480 HX and a mono band vertical on a 12m spiderpole. This allows me to set up quickly and easily on my own and make the most of the time available. If necessary, if can source batteries at cost if you are unable to transport them due to preference or airline regulations.

Costs would be limited to a contribution towards food and fuel in addition to your personal transport arrangements and any sundry expenditure ashore.

Living on a boat requires a healthy spirit of cooperation and mucking in. There is no personal space apart from your cabin. Essentially, we live outdoors, enjoying what nature has to offer. Sun, sea, beaches for walking, deep sea fishing when underway, spear fishing and snorkelling where conditions permit. By necessity, diet choices are limited although we (and our guests) consider we eat very well. You will be happiest on this trip if are happy on a boat at sea, if you are comfortable knowing that you are at least 24 hours from medical facilities, you are happy being out of sight of land and on-your-own on an uninhibited island, you won’t be upset when things don’t go to plan – you’ll improvise and take satisfaction from achieving the best outcome possible. I guess I’m saying that you’ll be an adventurer rather than a holidaymaker.

To conclude, I will be activating the Berry Islands (and maybe Bimini) on my own. If you would like to come along, please send me a note so we can be in touch and make arrangements. Please bear in mind there may be several people want to come and space is limited so in your note, send sufficient details of yourself and what you plan that I will be able to make the best choice overall for a successful Team. To get in touch, please follow me on Twitter (@kk4oyj) and leave a message. I will respond with my email address. (Sorry for this convoluted method but there’s too much spam around to publish my email here).

You will need a Bahamas radio license and therefore you should ensure that you qualify before making any arrangements. The process can take up to a month so I would ask that you contact me as soon as possible and in any event by January 20th.

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