||Itinerary: depart UK Jan 19, arrive Seychelles Jan 20, fly to Mayotte Jan 22, back to Seychelles Feb 1, depart Seychelles pm Feb 3, arrive home Feb 4. Air Travel: BA London/Seychelles return (via Nairobi); then with Air Austral for Seychelles/Mayotte return. All flights on time (nearly). Only one excess baggage charge in four flights, despite taking over 110kg of baggage.
Stations: both used the TS570D (no amplifiers), ETM keyers, laptops for logging with K1EA in DXpedition mode. Antennas: both used a R7000 vertical, plus a HF2V for 80/40 metres and a low dipole for 160 (FH only). An ancient IC735+PSU was also taken along as back-up, but wasn't needed.
S79 - Seychelles: English-speaking, drive on the left, European living standards and prices, nice, beautiful and lush, just like everyone imagines it to be.
FH - Mayotte: definitely Africa yet also very French, being part of metropolitan France. Croissants for breakfast, pastis and wine with every meal.
Locations: both QTHs chosen for take-off to the North. On S79 we were high on a cliff overlooking the sea but with dense vegetation all around. Not so good. However on FH we were literally within feet of the calm sea-water of the Indian Ocean, North-facing, in a huge lagoon bay, palm-fringed. An idyllic DX location, if ever there was one!
Accommodation: self-catering bungalow on S79 (North Point Guesthouse) with one bedroom plus living area. A bungalow type hotel resort on FH with excellent French cuisine, two large bedrooms, one doubling up as the shack. Special thanks to Hermann DJ2BW, who has operated twice from FH, not only for telling us which hotel to go for on Mayotte, but also for precisely identifying the two best bungalows for ham radio! Lee KD6WW (S79BL) gave us the tip on the North Point Guesthouse.
Transport: taxis between airport/hotel/airport but on FH also a ferry from a smaller island (Petite Terre) where the airport is located to the main island (Grande Terre).
Activity: CW only, 1.8-28MHz. G3TXF was QRV exclusively on the three WARC bands (13,100 QSOs) while G3SXW was on the six non-WARC bands (13,100 QSOs). CW QSOs and pile-ups were the sole objectives of the trip. Once the antennas were up, eating, sleeping and the occasional swim were the only activities apart from making CW QSOs.
Highlights : Receiving news that Ian G3WVG's second child (Tom) was born at 0202z on 1 Feb 2000. Ian was acting as 'anchor' on this trip providing us with useful feedback on propagation and DX-Cluster reports.
QSLs : QSLing 100% OK both via buro and direct. Buro QSLs can also be requested by E-mail.
QSOs : The table gives the band/location breakdown of the 26,200 CW QSOs. All WARC QSOs were with Nigel G3TXF and all 'normal' HF QSOs with Roger G3SXW. QSOs figures are net of any dups.