In September 2017, 6 members of CUWS: DK2AB, G3ZAY, G7VJR, M0BLF, M0WUT, M0ZXA plus DH5FS operated from Ile aux Marins off the island of St Pierre. This was a short 6 day operation but in this time, over 10k QSOs were made, in particular over 1000 on 160m.
Day 1 (17/9/2017)
Most of the team before departing Gatwick: (l-r) M0WUT, M0ZXA, DK2AB, G7VJR, DH5FS, G3ZAY Photo: M0BLF
The team set off from Gatwick airport on the Sunday morning and after an uneventful flight arrived at St John’s where we had lunch with Rick, VO1SA.
We then caught a second flight to St Pierre where we spent the evening in Hotel Robert and met FP5CJ for dinner.
Day 2 (18/9/2017)
We shopped for provisions and then caught the ferry for roughly 200m to get us to Ile aux Marins.
We then began setting up and started on 20m CW and quickly got a large pile-up but managed to work several fellow Camb-Hams including M0VFC, M1BXF and G3PJT within the first 100 QSOs.
We then kept building stations and started working people as each station was complete. At full strength, we had 5 stations, 4 K3s running barefoot and 1 KX3 running into a Juma PA1000. Operation was mainly CW but there was a substantial number of SSB QSOs and several hundred on the new FT8 data mode. Antennas were all vertical with the exception of an inverted-L on 160m. Due to the house having WiFi, all QSOs were uploaded to both Clublog and LotW within 5 minutes thanks to M0VFC and M0BLF. The pile-ups were good particularly considering the state of the sunspot cycle currently, with some fairly notable DX including working the 5T5OK DXpedition on several bands including 160m
QTH for the week
Day 3 (19/9/2017)
We were visited by FP5AC who visited our QTH and kindly brought us some gifts.
FP5AC with M0BLF.
Dom M0BLF also did a shack tour which can be found on Youtube here.
Day 4 (20/9/2017)
On the Thursday we attempted the first SOTA activation in the newly formed FP SOTA list. M0BLF and M0WUT climbed Le Trépied and activated it, only just making the requisite 4 QSOs due to the antenna showing very high SWR and Thursday lunchtime being a poor time to work local stations. However we did manage to work RU3GF so there was some DX there.
View of Ile aux Marins on the descent and the cairn at the summit.
Day 5 (21/9/2017)
Today, we were interviewed for TV St Pierre which was also repeated on French national television. Michael G7VJR and Dom M0BLF were interviewed.
Day 6 (22/9/2017)
As this was the last day, the main thought was dismantling the stations, as the lower bands closed these stations were taken down with 20m being run until the last minute. Final QSO count was over 10,500. We packed the equipment, had lunch at the excellent Maison Jezequel on Ile aux Marins and most of the operators caught flights home that evening.
QSL is up to personal operators preference, listed on qrz.com but mainly we will use Clublog OQRS, as discussed above, all QSOS that we have made have been uploaded to Clublog and LotW.