*DXPEDITION REPORT* 14DA/62001R, Willow Island

Feeling energized, I left home at 9:40 ET for my IWI Activation and arrived on wee Willow Island just 5 minutes later as it’s only 2.5 km from my house.

Turning up at my inland water DXstination I was shocked to find the large iron gate wasn’t open yet so I couldn’t enter the property.  

So I waited a short while for access, hoping I’d be inside soon for some nice pile-ups on the radio!

Luckily I was only a few meters from the Deûle River so I took a moment to admire the water fowl gliding peacefully across the water, the occasional fish jumping on the surface, as well as the pretty green trees nearby swaying in the gentle breeze.

After 20 minutes enjoying the typically beautiful Northern France scenery, I was glad when the gate to my intended QTH was finally unlocked.

I loaded the truck as this part of 62001R is not accessible by car.

Towards the tip of the island, via the old bridge, I made my way to an ideal location with my radio equipment.

After setting up the station — a Yaesu FT857D transceiver, KL501 (150/250w) amplifier, Bamby Antenna and battery 130A/h (900 Amp), I sat and tested transmission to see if everything was functioning okay.

BINGO! I contacted Franck who was activating a Lighthouse On The Air (LOTA) as 14HF/​​FRA708 so I’m delighted my portable station was in order.

Straight away I made some CQ DX calls as 14DA/62001R on the International Calling Frequency 27.555 MHz USB, and then waited on 27.660 MHz USB for propagation.

I also sent an SMS to friends Olivier and Dany 14DX010 and 14AT190 to tell them that I was QRV from Willow (Also known as Saules and previously as Berclau).

At 10:48 I had a short QSO with 14IAA059 whom was monitoring locally.

At 10:49, 14AT190 Dany pumps through at 5/9 and then the QSOs keep coming fast.

The first station worked outside France was 30EA013 Fran from the Kingdom of Spain at 10:53 with a commanding 5/9+ signal.

At 11:09, fellow DA-RC member 104DA102 Sylvain on the island of Corsica in the Mediterranean Sea was logged at 5-7 with 14DA049 Fred at 11:35.

Finally at 13.55, 30LOM496 from Alicante was penned down to round off the log.

By the end of the activity I have an adequate distribution of 55 stations in the log from 10 DXCC [France (14), Spain (30), Corsica (104), Poland (161), England (26), The Netherlands (19), Denmark (47), Italy (1), Portugal (31) and Scotland (108)].

Thank you all who called for 14DA/62001R and see you soon on the 11m band for other activations!

73 de Phil, 14DA028