My trip to FK starts in Milan … here the adventure starts that will take me to 17,000km from home.
The first flight is to Dubai with a mighty A-380 .. I board the baggage, I greet everyone and the adventure begins.
In checked baggage: antennas, cables, power supplies, tools and very few clothes; in the backpack: PC, camera and IC-7300.
From Milan to Dubai, then Sidney and finally, after 37 hours of travel, the last A-320 AerCalin brings me to Tontouta Airport.
I am there but I have not arrived yet .. I need 1 hour shuttle then taxi and, with the darkness of the first day, I got home.
A small outbuilding near the bay of Plum, not far from the military base (after all I do not want to lose my habits, ZC4 is only 20km from my home in Cyprus).
The evening immediately start to assemble the first vertical and the following day everything is ready for the first CQ.
Absence of QRM on almost all bands apart when it rains hard and the water wets the power line cables but rarely happens.
I decide to operate “good” a few bands (10/15/17/20/30), unfortunately in 40m there is no way to bring down the ROS and so momentarily abandon the idea of being active on this band.
During the closing periods silence reigns supreme, only some slight signal in FT8 from JA, they come here almost always.
VK, ZL are the neighbors and their signals often break the silence; among them, a little weaker but workable in low-power all the pacific calls (KH2, 5W, YJ0, etc).
In 30m JAs populate the frequencies in FT8-CW-RTTY … we must always be listening .. the signals arrive and disappear with incredible simplicity .. a bit ‘like the 6m in the EU but here we speak about 15,20,30m !!
The vertical half-wave of 20m goes really well and so I decide to participate in the WPX SSB Contest not in 15m as expected but in 20m QRP and see what you can do with 5W from here … remember that the minimum QRB to get in VK4 is about 2000km and that within a radius of 4000km there is a concentration of operators on a par with those of a small nation or a single region of a medium-sized nation.
In recent days I can make a QSO with some friends from Italy in 20m SSB and RTTY; the chatt instead keep me in touch with everyone without limits of distance, in a country where the Italian and Cypriot mobile phone operators do not have roaming.
The first morning of the contest, from nothing a signal to 9 + 20 … YJ0 … I stop, I think and I realize that it is a neighbor .. less than 500km, then follow H44 and E51 with signals really ” important. ”
As I write to you I’m in a dead time of the contest, the DVK calls automatically at 14.155kHz and occasionally interrupt to respond to some JA or VK.
After the contest I decide spend some time around the 40m antenna, without this band from the pacific just cannot stay, “open if so can be defined” from 18 local time to the following morning.
A brief stop at the “hardware store” to buy a piece of ‘electric wire and in the afternoon even the 40m are arranged with a good curve over the whole band.
Next saturday the 10m band offer me a wonderful short opening… allow me to put on my log 101 JA on 10cw in less than 40 minutes.
Traveling around the world, especially when coming so far from home, in a place where the language is not mine and becomes a barrier, I realize how special our hobby is … sometimes, often, seen as strange and incomprehensible by external.
Traveling, carrying my strange and incomprehensible hobby always with me, I understand how, in every part of the world I can go, I will always find someone willing to devote part of his time, today, where time is the most important thing we have.
People sometimes heard on the radio, sometimes not even, but that once face to face seems to have already met them before.
People who open their home, their family, their traditions, their station and make you go home with a piece more of the world in you.
A hobby that, even on the other side of the world, allows you to hear the voice of friends at home or even just that “ta-ti” of a telegraphic key manipulated to 17000 km from who you know.
After all of this you can even go home .. happy !
FK/5B4ALX –.- .-. –
Note: My special thanks are for FK4RD Yves, FK4QX Philippe and FK8DD Sam … Wonderful people that I will always keep in my thoughts and for which there will always be time in my life.
I hope to see you again soon and thanks again for everything!