Monday, December 5, 2016

St. Lucia - day two

Today was a lot of antenna building, troubleshooting and for me a bit of frustration at the fact that my gear is still held prisoner by customs.  I am starting to adapt to "island time", but when trying to deal with government officials are very friendly and trying to help but offer to have the necessary individual call back when they come in, not being able to find the phone number I am using to talk to them, but they will figure it out, yadda, yadda...

So, frankly I am just happy to be here.  I have been so head-down for the last year to 1.5 years, it is just good to not be working and just trying to relax a bit.  I did get on 20 metres with a dipole antenna and a borrowed KX3 transceiver today and had fun collecting a couple dozen contacts, mostly in the states, but did get Spain and Canary Island as well.  It is fun being the station everyone is trying to work.  St. Lucia is not rare by any means, but does draw interest, so I enjoyed that process.

I did manage late in the afternoon to determine what the local officials needed from me in order to be able to release my gear from customs and they agreed to email me copies of the necessary paperwork.  My colleague that is in the same boat with one of his pieces of equipment finally got his updated paperwork submitted right at 16:54 (4:54pm) so he didn't hear back today.  Hopefully that will be at the top of this guy's in-box in the morning and we can finally go rescue the rest of my luggage.  So, I suspect much of tomorrow will be spent driving the length of the island twice.

We went shopping for food and supplies today for the eight of us and I about had a heart-attack when the bill was over ECD $750.00  (East Caribbean Dollars).  However, the exchange rate is about 2.7 to 1 so you basically get to divide that number by nearly 3 to see the actual cost in USD (US Dollars).

So, tomorrow looks like we should be on all bands except for 160 and 6 metres.  We ran into some problems getting an antenna up on 160 and 6 metres was the last priority for folks, but we have a small group working on it so I suspect we will be on all bands by end of day.

If you want to check out the villa we have for the week, you can read all about it at the website here.

So, I am enjoying hanging out on the deck listening to the surf.  We have a bit of wind tonight and it is a nice breeze.  If you want to work St. Lucia island tomorrow should be a good time to try it.  We usually spot on dx clusters as J6/homecallsign so our frequencies should be easy to find on web sites like  Just search for J6 and you will find where we are hanging out.  Give us a call!

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