During a trip to the radio Ham show of Marennes Oleron in early August, experienced DXpeditioners 14DA049 Fred, 14ATS049 Anthony and 14RV101 Eric undertook a thrilling islands on the air DXpedition to Ile Madame, one of the smallest islands in the Charente Straits.

The QRZ for this very popular activity was 14DA/AT-024.

Not valid for EU/IOTA but carrying the reference AT-024 in accordance with the Des Iles de La France Metropolitaine (D.I.F.M.), the Ile of Madame at 45° 57′ 27” N, 01° 06′ 54” W is located in the 381 km long River Charente estuary.

Accessible from the French mainland only at low tide on foot or by car through the “Pass the Oxen” which is covered at high tide by the sea, this exciting DXstination, according to the team, is close to the island of Aix, Oléron Island and Fort Boyard on the Atlantic coast of 14 Division.

Situated in the department of Charente-Maritime and with an area of four square miles, Isle Madame is unpopulated.

It depends on the municipality of Port-des Barques.


ile-madameAs you can see by the extensive proofs provided by Fred and the team, the Skypper antenna was mounted approximately 10 meters off the ground, roughly 15 meters from a camp shelter containing barbecues, and only 20 meters from the picturesque rock shell shore of the estuary.

This DXpedition coincided with a pilgrimage to the island which occurs each year in August to commemorate the priests who were held prisoner or died there.  

According to the history books, hundreds of Catholic priests were held captive here during anti-clerical persecution in 1794.

A total of 254 died before the survivors were allowed to leave.

During the pile-ups behind their IC-706 MK2 transceiver, the guys were able to share a coffee and an orange juice and take in their picturesque surrounds.

101 contacts, including 2 with other island activities, were made over a period of less than 24 hours with DXCC which included 1, 13, 14, 15, 18, 19, 26, 30, 31, 34, 35, 43, 47, 67, 91, 104, 109, 161, 233, 327, 328 and 329.

On behalf of the DA-RC, congratulations and thank you to Fred, Anthony and Eric for their impressive activity.


QSL Information:


MA024 front

MA024 back copie