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The wind continues to blow with high intensity. The tents are holding up very well although the noise from the wind and shaking tents sounds like a never ending freight train, all we’re missing is the train whistle. Fortunately, the RadioSport headsets provide a high degree of noise blocking with excellent sound quality. The operator positions are shaking along with the tent. This morning one op commented that he has complete confidence in the tents – as he was trying to get some sleep last night the tent was shaking around him as it continued to withstand the constant beating. We had rain squalls for the first time last night and at the moment it’s raining, we’re surrounded by clouds and the sea is unsettled.
Walking to the antennas is a challenge because of the sand depth and high wind. The antennas are holding up very well. We’re just a few meters from the ocean on both sides, salt spray covers everything. We’re inspecting the antennas daily and washing salt build-up off the insulators. To date, there have been no equipment or generator failures. We’ve experienced high atmospheric noise levels, the Elecraft K3 noise reduction system works extremely well.
We’re receiving space weather reports, even the sat phone service was impacted. This morning even the skipper had problems downloading weather maps.
We began taking unused and non essential equipment back to the boat today. Our plan is to take down the stations first thing in the morning Oct 12 (local). We expect it will take the better part of the day to ferry equipment back to the boat and prepare to get underway. The skipper will decide when to leave based on available sunlight and wind conditions. We’re surrounded by submerged coral so he must be able to see the underwater obstacles to navigate to the open sea.
We know all too well the frustration some of you may be experiencing. Propagation has been a real challenge, with unexpected openings occurring during times we’re working another geography. Yesterday I was called by a W6 on 40 meters long past his sunrise. When we hear these unexpected openings we take advantage of them.
And finally, we know there are PSK31 log entries that should be either SSB or CW and a few other problems. We are discussing alternatives to fix the log from the island.
We appreciate everyone’s understanding. We can assure you, the conditions in your shack are far superior to those on the island.
Team Chesterfield Island DX-pedition