This is the first mega DXpedition that I worked that was co-led by my neighbors Carlos, NP4IW / CE3AQI and Bob, KK6EK. Its astonishing that it only cost $30K – and that included having the gear delivered by helicopter onto the island! Those days are gone forever.
The DXpedition is on the Cordell Expeditions web site: http://www.cordell.org/SFX/SFX_pages/SFX_Main.html
The Back Story
Getting permission to land on San Felix requires permission from the Chilean Navy and then you need to find transportation. Carlos had the Chilean contacts – primarily with the Navy through relatives, but he had some trouble finding suitable transportation. He asked his fellow Walnut Creek neighbor and friend Bob, KK6EK to help, and the rest is history. But the “secret weapon” to making the Chilean connections that cannot be under estimated was Carlos. Others have tried since – all ending in failure.
This is the first DXpedition where I decided to work them on more than one band and mode. The greenie disease started calling . . .
|SA||ITU Zone: 14||CQ Zone: 12|
Added to the DXCC List: added to the list in 1965. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Desventuradas_Islands
Flag (Chilean possession)
Rareness Factor: Top 10 “Hot Stuff / Hair on Fire” rare
Current Clublog Most Wanted (as of this writing): #6
DXpeditions: as far as number of activations go – this is one of the most rare – just behind P5 and BS7H. Its about as rare in this regard as South Sandwich or Heard Island – its more rare than Navassa!
Hair on Fire Rare
Having worked with Bob and Carlos and the entire Cordell / VK0EK Team, I can say it was one of the highlights of my DXing and DXCC career. Bob does science on these trips – and only operates some shifts, but he is neither a “power DXer” or contester. He is a superb organizer and planner, and he can activate the rarest of the rare. He has 4 DXpeditions of the Year under his belt, but is now retired from DXpeditioning. He was a member of the legendary VK0IR Team and project.
I learned all about the competition between DXpeditioners while working on VK0EK, and some of it is actually ugly. Its not something I wanted to know about – but over time I came to realize that its basically competition, and that in the long run – its better to have several groups compete to activate a place than for no one to bother because its too hard.
I had one or two “twinges” of thinking I’d like to join a DXpedition Team, but in reality – I’m an armchair DXer who likes the planning and hard work of activating a Top 10 entity – but am just not a globe trotter or one who would have the patience sitting in a tent working Q’s for weeks.
DXCC Entity “Vital Stats”
The QSO was made during West Coast afternoon during the vernal equinox, and the solar conditions were close to the second peak of Cycle 23:
|Cycle23||Start 1996-08||Number 11.2||Peak 2001-11||Number 180.3||Years to Rise 5.3||Years to Fall 7||Cycle Length 12.3|
Important DXCC Resources
- ARRL DXCC Standings – http://www.arrl.org/dxcc-standings
- LOTW – https://lotw.arrl.org/cgi-bin/lotw_page_auth/default
- Clublog – https://clublog.org/index.php
- The History of the DXCC by (me) – History of the DXCC
BTW – I think the best DXCC List is either found at Clublog or in LOTW. The ARRL DXCC Desk and other parts of its web site regarding DXCC almost look abandoned. Luckily, LOTW and their standings lists look well kept, supported and looked after.
I think I was too green a DXer to even realize that two of my neighbors were putting such DXpeditions on. I did come to know about Bob and Carlos with the K7C Kure DXpedition – another very rare one – a few years later. Bob, KK6EK was not your “normal” DXpedition Leader, and that is precisely the reason I enjoyed working with and for him on VK0EK (and to a lesser degree, TX5K).
Bob is retired from DXpeditioning, so I expect that VK0EK was my one chance to do what I did and have a “season in the sun” – in other words, it was a wonderful “swan song”.