Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Bad news I'm afraid - CY0 Dxpedition further delayed

Maybe I should stop writing about it. Then it might happen. Sable Island is notoriously difficult to get to. Landing a plane there depends on a lot of things, mostly weather and the availability of a good pilot and a decent plane. Plane and pilot are now available to the CY0 Sable Island Dxpedition team (following a faulty plane last month) but now the weather is against them.

It is with a fair amount of sadness that I read this afternoon that the CY0 Dxpedition has been postponed again, for at least a week. Conditions at the "beach runway" are not expected to be suitable for a landing for at least another week. Sadly, this means the CY0 team have to put their equipment into storage and they are returning to the US mainland for a second time.

You can see a full statement relating to the current difficulties on the Dxpedition website. In the meantime, the following information pertaining to the challenges of landing a plane on Sable Island might be of interest to you:

We have experienced first-hand the challenges of accessing Sable Island. Sable is uniquely located in the North Atlantic where the cold Labrador currents and the warmer Gulf Stream currents meet. As a result, Sable is subjected to unusual and unpredictable weather conditions and the "window of opportunity", at times, for a landing may only be a few hours. Access in Winter conditions creates additional challenges. Anyone traveling to Sable Island must be patient. Conditions that must be met include:
- beach must be free of standing water and not overly wet sand
- wind velocity crossing the island must be acceptable
- ceiling must be adequate
- no icing conditions
- no fog (large problem during Spring, Summer, and Fall, but low problem during the winter)

 All I can say right now is "damn!". But not to worry. It will happen when it's supposed to happen. Those interested in rare DX are encouraged by the fact there is much to be worked at present, including 9Q50ON in Dem. Republic of Congo, ZD9T in Tristan de Cunha (if you can hear him!) and VK9NN at Norfolk Island, nearly as far as Kermadec.

Also keep an ear out for 5X1NH in Uganda, 7P8RU in Lesotho and OR4TN in Antarctica who was spotted on 30m CW earler tonight.

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