NEWS UPDATE –
This operation was timely accepted toward OC-298 credits, and QSL cards were shipped from Sicily on Friday Nov 20. Huge thanks to Alfio (IT9EJW) for his sustained effort to design, print, plasticize, and have the cards shipped to me in record time. He was strongly committed to have it done even earlier, but I was very busy during the week following my return back home, so that additional delay was entirely on me.
Direct QSL cards will be mailed shortly after they’ll arrive here from the printing house. Meanwhile, all QSOs made by those stations that requested direct QSL cards or provided support for this project and made the log will be uploaded to LoTW on Dec 5, and enabled for QSO matching. Keep checking this website for future updates.
NOVEMBER 4 – A reminder that TX0T goes QRT from Takakoto tomorrow (November 5).
OCTOBER 30 @ 02:48z – TX0T begins operations from OC-298NEW on 20CW. Video above by F5BZB (40CW).
OCTOBER 29 @ 18:00z – arriving Takakoto.
OCTOBER 29 @ 16:45z –
All my luggage is now checked in with big ‘Fragile’ stickers – just over 60 kg. Boarding is at 18:30 UTC.
OCTOBER 29 @ 04:45z (Thanks W8JRK)
I was very stressed when I arrived here this morning, despite being able to sleep in the plane for 4 hours. My host here in Papeete, an incredible guy I would recommend anyone who needs accommodation in Papeete, told me right away: you have to relax now, decompress, it’s French Polynesia, things work differently here!
I will be early for my flight to Tatakoto tomorrow morning. I have a lot of luggage, and I’m not worried a bit about paying for it, but I’m a little concerned as to whether they will allow me to take everything with me. I know from past experience that this is not always possible. Flights to this atoll are so rare, that they may order some things to be flown in, so… who knows if there is sufficient space on the plane.
Then, upon arrival in Tatakoto, I need to see my accommodation. I don’t care of anything except having space for an antenna and AC power. I know that they have a solar panel based AC system, and hope that everything is working as designed, hi.
I am going to have dinner now, after which I am going to bed. It is very warm and humid here. It rained all day today, between 5 am and 6 pm. It is 7 pm now and pitch dark, as sunset at 6 pm.
OCTOBER 28 @ 1645z –
I am now at the guesthouse in Papeete. The arrival in Tahiti was uneventful, except that the passengers found themselves under a torrential rain pouring in just as they put foot on the tarmack. I managed to sleep for four hours during the flight, which allowed me to get here a bit refreshed. The covid-19 test clinics open at 8 am, and I’ll have to find the closest one to go to right away.
OCTOBER 28 @ 05:30Z –
I arrived in time at the Air Tahiti check-in desk on the Los Angeles airport. Upon verification that I do have the correct and valid covid-19 type test, Air Tahiti issued me a new ticket from LA to Papeete. I am currently waiting for boarding, which will start momentarily. I haven’t eaten much today, so I’m waiting for the ‘dinner on the plane’, hi. I don’t know what other adventure awaits me in French Polynesia, but I hope that I left all mishap here in North America. I will arrive in Papeete at 05:05 am local time, after which I will go straight to the hotel. At 8 am I need to be at one of the local covid-19 test centers to take another test required for the travel to Tatakoto.
OCTOBER 26 –
Back on track, for the time being! After an extensive search, I was able to find a farmacy which promised to do the regular test in record time, for a fee. The regular RT-PCR test is mandatory for travel to French Polynesia, the ‘rapid’ test is not accepted. I was able to change my itinerary from Washington DC – SF to Washington DC – LA. This gives me a chance to pick up the 11:55 pm flight from LA to Papeete. Unfortunately, my ticket with United is now useless, because the flight is with Air Tahiti, and they have no agreement between them. I didn’t purchase the new ticket, because Air Tahiti recommended me to do it at the check-in, just in case my flight to LA is delayed and I cannot make their flight. The new one-way ticket is $2k, which I don’t want to waste.
If my flight arrives on time in LA, I would have about 1h 45min to recover my luggage, move from Terminal 7 to the International Terminal and get to the check-in. They close the check-in 1h before the flight, but I would like to be there at least 15-20min earlier. Air Tahiti knows of my situation. Also, United Airlines have been helpful to put me in a very front seat, so that I can get out of the plane right away upon arrival. It will be a rather physically demanding run with heavy luggage, but there is a chance to make it.
OCTOBER 26 –
Bad news… United Airlines (UA) wanted to see a covid-19 test result dated no later than Oct 24. Despite my explanation that I have only one ticket, from Ottawa to Papeete, despite email correspondence that I had with the Ministry of Health of French Polynesia which clearly showed that they are OK with my testing as done, the airline was firm in not allowing me to board.
The head of the respective UA team indicated that he is absolutely convinced, based on the information I provided that French Polynesia authorities will allow me into the country. However, UA have their rules, and they can be fined if they don’t respect them! Even if he (pilot) will allow me to board, it is highly possible that his counterpart in San Francisco won’t, and if so he will be blamed for making the decision to board me in the first place.
I have searched the internet and there is only one pharmacy, relatively close to the airport, which offers ‘rapid covid testing’, and it opens at 9 am. I will phone them in half an hour to see if I can get my results before 3-4 pm. If so, I will take the test, wait for the result, make sure that it is negative, and attempt to re-book my travel to Papeete with American Airlines (AA) if there are still seats available. AA have a flight to Los Angeles late afternoon, and from there to Papeete, but I cannot book and pay for them unless I have the test in hand.
If I cannot get the result sufficiently fast, so that I can be at the airport by no later than 4:15 pm local time (20:15 UTC), or if there is no seat availability to Los Angeles or from there to Papeete, I have no choice other than to return back home.
SEPTEMBER 21, 2020 – Cezar (VE3LYC) will operate as TX0T from Tatakoto Atoll (OC-298NEW), French Polynesia, between October 29 and November 5, 2020. He will use an ICOM IC-7000 with KMA500 amplifier into a multi-band vertical. Cezar will focus on 17, 20, 30, and 40m, operating CW and SSB. Visit here for more information about this project.
My goal is to make 4000 QSOs with at least 2500 unique stations located on six continents. I will operate primarily on 17, 20, 30, and 40 m, using CW and SSB.