IOTA new-one NA-233, Ogliuga Island of Delarof Group in Western Aleutians, Alaska was activated with a callsign KL7RRC/p June 10-17 2009.
Upon arrival in Adak, June 7th PM we learned our 100ft vessel was broken and supplies (generator/antennas/food/camping gear) will not arrive untill June 11th. By pure luck and great support from "Locals" we where able to find new charter boat, rain gear, generator and everything required to make it happen.
Members of Russian Robinson Club Yuri Zaruba UA9OBA, Johnny Kiesel KE7V and Yuri Sushkin N3QQ installed vertical dipole for 20m and we made about 600 contacts from Adak (NA-039) with a callsign KL7RRC while negotiating charter costs, getting food, fuel and at 7AM June 9th we sailed towards Ogliuga Island on 35ft F/V "Julia Anna".
Captain Ridgley Stier was surprised when we mentioned where we want to go, but he took a pause, looked charts, weather and he came back and said "OK". Our adventure started!
He asked about our sizes: shoes, but it was lost in English/Russian translation, we where thinking about our sizes for potential coffins. Hi Hi.
Safe return was not guaranteed.
Our skiff had 2 horse powers (Yuri/Yuri or Yuri/John), but no motor.
First few days on the Ogliuga island where great, perfect propagtion, sun shine, even sun burns in Aleutians! We actually saw Gareloi volcano, located 10 miles North from us. Then big storm came in, full rain gear, lots of closing did not helped, it was bitter f... cold.
Ogliuga island, our goal, was an emergency air field, operational during WWII. We almost step on one of mines, laying down on the beach next to our camp.
Imagine 1960s, first flight to space, landing on the Moon. Our operating position was outside of tent, tightly covered with a tarp and to get in and out we felt as astronavts/cosmonavts, flying on the air. Yuri Zaruba UA9OBA liked to work nights and sometimes he turned off VOX to warm up his toes with a foot switch. As you warming up your car during winter, we had to warm up our equipment every morning, because lots of moisture.
Coolest part was, we had only 1 bottle of vodka "Russian Standard" and it was gone in about 15 minutes upon arrival. That's why so many contacts have been made!
Last 2 or 3 days sugar and butter was gone, and water ended ~ 24 hours before boat arrivial.
But we still dreamed about Amchitka Island possibility, NA-070 group, ex nuclear testing range. Just 70 nautical miles West! Captain said no, new storm is coming up, it is not safe.
We had no satellite phones or HF direct contact with Adak, our only link was Ham radio. Our return was rescheduled several times, with help from Tim
K7CTR and Dick N7RO, who called Captain's friend we learned when to be ready for p/up.
We would like to thank to Sergey Morozov, RA3NAN for major financial support, Icom America for provided equipment, Ed K7WIA, and Kim Dove for their time and all of you who contributed toward our success.
We hope when you had a QSO with KL7RRC, you had as much fun as we did to make contacts, sometimes many times! Results: > 6200 QSOs.
Good news are: our equipment is stored in Adak now and we looking to take on Amchitka challenge, the birthplace of Greenpeace.
We invite sponsors and participants who shares our dream.
Pictures are coming soon.
June 17, 2009
KL7RRC/p is still ON from NA-233, but the ship is already on the way to pick the team up!
Based on the weather condition (which leaves much to be desired), the final desission will be taken at the time of departure from NA-233 (17th Jun 2009, 14 UTC), either to go to NA-070 (+24 hours of travel) and activity as KL7RRC/a for 24...48 hours, or come back to Adak NA-039 (+12 hours of travel) and operation as KL7RRC.
Stay tuned for the latest news.
1. Last minute travel from Novosibirsk, Russia to Seattle, USA DONE
2. Last minute travel from Seattle to Adak, Alaska DONE
3. No additional spaces on the boat. TBD
4. Food supply is for 2 persons and only 2 sleeping bags. FIXED
We will work on items 3 and 4, hopefully Yuri can make it.