Coetivy Island is an active open prison and a rehabilitation centre for Drug abusers. It is 180 miles from anywhere and is only accessible via the IDC (Islands Development Committee) who have full control of the island. We were limited to a maximum of 6 persons and had to use the IDC private airplane charter. The last 180 miles of our project cost over $20,000!
Early on in our planning stages we began a vast sponsoring program. We needed the help of the IOTA/DX community to help to offset these high costs. Many DX Clubs and foundations gave assistance for which we are most grateful. Without the help of all individuals, this project would not have happened. We had a clear vision of what our goals were, we always intended to maximise the number of Uniques to give this New IOTA to as many as possible. 9,808 Unique callsigns were logged!!! We also realised that regular S7 was most wanted on the US West Coast where we maximised our antenna farm to empathise into this area during limited openings. In total, we worked 6,660 North American stations netting 31% of all QSOs. Special thanks to the Western Washington DX Club who was the only North American Club to help fund our project.
On Tuesday 17/Nov/15 at 18:00 UTC all 6 stations began CQing altogether. Clive 3B8CW was the 1st into the log on 17m SSB. Our stations were planned to enable us to be QRV with 2 stations per band. S79C went QRT at 02:19 on 22/Nov/15 on 30m CW with AA4BQ being the last in the log. Altogether a total of 21,541 QSOs in 146 DXCCs were worked. The team noted excellent pile-up behaviour from all Continents and maximised our QSO count on all open bands. We encountered daily electricity outages and often had to QRT to interact with prisioners and inmates.
All supporting documentation has already been submitted, so therefore, special thanks to Roger G3KMA and the IOTA committee who have already approved and validated this operation. Our logs are now uploaded to CLUB LOG and our OQRS facility is already buzzing with requests. We hope to begin the initial QSL mailing in early – mid January, just in time for the IOTA Honour Roll update. Logs will be uploaded to LoTW in the coming days once the inevitable few log errors are corrected.
Sincere thanks to all our sponsors, to the DX Clubs and Foundations listed below and to our corporate sponsors. Your help is what made our success – Tnx!
Although S79C is now QRT, our work still continues with publications & presentations and also, for our QSL manager Charles M0OXO, whose work is now just beginning! Tnx Charles.
All information is available at http://af119new.com.
On behalf of EA3NT, MM0NDX, PA3EWP, SP5APW & VK5CE, vy 73. We could not have asked for a better team!
As with all DXpeditioners, plans are already underway for yet another new one! Stay Tuned!
de Dave EI9FBB (S79C Team Leader)