The YXA - YXLIX - Expedition 2006

My 4th trip to Aves...

 
   

At the radio-club: Preparing the equipment for the transport to La Guaira. (Photo AD6TF)

 
After weeks of preparation, finally we started in the night from April 18 to 19 2006 from the port La Gaira.

The frigate "ALMIRANTE BRION" (F-22) of the Venezuelan Navy brought us to our destiny, the small island in the north eastern Caribbean Sea.

The members of this year's expedition were:
YV5EED, YV2IF, YV5AMH, YV5ANT, YV5HHV, YV5IVB, YV5LIX, YV5MHX, YV5NCZ, YV5OHW, YV5SSB, YV5ZV, YY5SAK, AD6TF, OHXX and myself DL2GG/YV5 (now YV5EU).

During the trip we operated on CW and SSB as YXA/MM from the ship.

We arrived at the island as planned, just before sunrise on April 20.

 
   
 
We had tons of luggage to be transported from the ship to the island.

In the early morning the temperature was still quite comfortable. With the very appreciated help of the navy-personnel we moved al stuff the the back of the ship.
Part of the equipment and ourselves were transported by a helicopter from the ship to the roof of the pile dwelling on the island.

The heavy and large pieces were transported by boats to the island. The boat and the helicopter during several hours made DOZENS of trips between the ship and the island.

 
   

The chopper is landing on the heliport on top of the pile dwelling.

 
The first operator group which flew to the island carried a radio-equipment to the island and installed a station to "tell" the world, we arrived at Aves Island.

The rest of us, assisted by muscular navy people, was involved loading the boat and the chopper.

After a few hours all the goods were was on the island, but during this hours the temperature climbed to very high levels.

(about 40 C) Everybody was quite exhausted, but now the time had come to build the antennas. The world was waiting for us :-)

We decided to operate on SSB from the pile-dwelling and CW from a tent on the island. On all YV operations I have participated we did it this way.

For me it was the first time to see the COMPLETELY NEW pile dwelling. The previous unit was removed and replaced, because it was hit during the years several times by strong hurricanes and got quite injured. The new one is much larger and much more comfortable for the crew stationed on the island.

 
 

 
 
Our first day on the island ended tragically. Shortly before midnight, one of our crew-members, our digital-mode-operator Jos (YV5LIX) died suddenly because of a a severe heart attack.

The ship, already hours back on its way to the continent, returned. We de-installed some of our antennas, so that the helicopter could land safely in the darkness. The body of Jos, accompanied by our group's leader Ramn YV5EED was carried by the frigate to La Guaira.

 

  We stopped all our activities but decided later to continue the operation, changing our call-sign to YXLIX in honor of Jos YV5LIX.

The call-sign-change was authorized immediately by one of our colleagues, who is official of the Venezuelan Telecommunication Authorities.

There were a lot of speculations of our sudden disappearance and later the new call-sign. But rapidly the sad news spread all over the world.

After 12 hours of silence we re-activated our operations, now with the call YXLIX ....
We received many condolences during the rest of our activities.

My last photo of YV5LIX (l) with YV5ANT (r)

   
 

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