After making almost 18K QSOs in the spirit of the original VP2VB callsign of the famous DXpeditioner Danny Weil and honoring his Yasme boat which originally sailed out of the British Virgin Islands, our group returned home yesterday happy and healthy from their temporary outpost of the Anegada Island, in spite of the troubled world of today.
The highlights were definitely meeting two of the (few) local hams in VP2V: Kenneth, VP2VK and George, VP2VQ. Out of almost 300 residents of Anegada our host on the island accidentally identified himself as 86-year old VP2VK. When the group blew up one of their 12VDC powers supplies, they found one at VP2VK, rusty and not used for decades but yet supplying the proper voltage. And to our total surprise we also discovered in his garage his more recent equipment, in the form of a brand new, still unused Stepper 3EL beam.
In Tortola, BVI our group had met George, VP2VQ working hard to rebuild his house and the great famous station which were both destroyed in 2017 by the hurricane Irma.. Due to the corona virus risk our meeting was held on both sides of the heavy gates of his property. The VP2VB team prayed for strength for George to restore his station but also to make a full recovery on his recent surgery. Signs of recovery are promising as we saw a new Cushcraft R9 antenna already standing as a landmark at his location.
A totally magical event was experienced in Puerto Rico when the non-USA members of the VP2VB DXpedition were to enter USA in their way home to Europe, with their cancelled visas due to the recent presidential decree. The immigration staff were working hard to obtain an exemption from very high up and finally they were able to obtain one. Some people are critical of US immigration but we will love them forever and ever. To make sure we reached the NYC flight, the immigration officers did the heavy lifting both literally and figuratively by taking all our (heavy) antenna and equipment bags and bypassing the security gates and accompanied the team to the departing gate. Thank you to those great people whom we will remember forever!
As of today the team members have found their own passage home: Adrian, KO8SCA to New York, Sandro, VE7NY to BC of Canada and Martti, OH2BH and Niko, OH2GEK are expecting their national airline Finnair to pick up them up later today on Finnair’s very last flight out of the USA prior to closing their airspace.
There are many rich stories in Amateur Radio and VP2VB is one of those.
As the low-bands were the main targets of the DXpedition, the results for a 2 stations/4 operators/5 days operation speak for themselves: 160m 1837 QSOs and 80m 3157 QSOs. We also tried to focus on Asia & Europe where demand for VP2V is very high on top band and so the team was able to give an incredible high number of 160M ATNO to those continents.
Let’s all give our best and keep up our hopes high that the world and amateur radio in particular, can return to its normal routine and happiness.
See you on the uninfected radio waves soon!
For the memory of Danny Weill, VP2VB
The VP2VB team, KO8SCA, OH2BH, OH2GEK and VE7NY
PS: The Club Log OQRS is now available.