Friday 13/06/2014

Departure to The Netherlands for our IOTA adventure was scheduled at 6:00 GMT, however, my good friend 14IR106 Fabrice arrived 20 minutes in advance to help load all of our station equipment into the car.

Spirits high, we took to the road at 5:50 GMT towards the Dutch province of South Holland and, almost 3 hours later, arrived at the small port of Nieuwendijk in bright sunshine.

Immediately, we unloaded the necessary equipment from the car for loading onto trucks and bought our tickets for the boat ride across to Tiengemeten Island.

At 12pm local time we boarded the pedestrian and bike friendly vessel and in just 10 minutes were on the idyllic shores of Tiengemeten.

Just 7 km long and 2 km wide, this island is categorized by the Radio Society of Great Britain (RSGB) as being one of the Zuid Holland/Zeeland Province group, sharing the reference EU-146 with nearby Goeree Overflakkee and Schouwen Duiveland islands.  Apart from being a haven for serious bird watchers, it represented an amazing opportunity for us as keen DXpeditioners, as well as the 11m DX Community’s dedicated Island Chasers.

For reconnaissance (information gathering efforts), Fab and I had examined several places on Google Earth that might be suitable to install antennas.

We discovered that Tiengemeten Island is a real wilderness with trackless terrain, flowing creeks and gullies, meadows full of flowers and huge populations of migrating birds, including ospreys and egrets.  Some of the marshy pastures are grazed by Highland cattle and other hardy animals also.

We installed the homemade Skypper antenna on a lightweight mast some 12 meters above the ground and with a Yaesu FT-857D (100w) transceiver humming along on a table beneath, we made our first transmission ‘test’ to see if everything was functioning correctly.  Fortunately, it was!

At 12:49 pm local time, our first CQ DX call as 19DA/EU-146/TI was made on the International Calling Frequency, 27.555 MHz USB.  This resulted in 30AT252 Pepe from the Kingdom of Spain being logged on frequency 27.570 MHz USB with a powerful 5/7 signal.

31AT183 Nuno from the Republic of Portugal in South-Western Europe was next in the log at 12:50 local time with a 5/7 report, closely followed by the first operator in France, 14SD197 Christian, at 12:52 pm.  Situated in Finistère in the extreme west of Brittany (D-29), Christian was barely readable at 3/1 and he was followed by 14HF297 Jerome of Normandy (D-76) with a 4/1 report at 12:55 pm.

We ended the day at 6:14 pm with 64 stations in the log and two DA-RC members…14DA033 Laurent with a report of 5/7 and 104DA102 Syl on the island of Corsica in the Mediterranean Sea at 5/1.

Despite challenging band conditions, it was a terrific day on the microphone for both Fab and me, in a truly majestic island setting!  We hoped tomorrow would be even better!

Saturday 14/06

The first boat to dazzling Tiengemeten Island left the diminutive  Nieuwendijk Port at 10:00 am local time so we had ample time to rest in, enjoy a hearty breakfast and then prepare our equipment for the voyage.

Arriving on the shoreline of our intended DXstination, in the estuary of the Haringvliet estuary in the Dutch Rhine-Maas delta, just south of Rotterdam, at 10:10 am, we quickly moved to our TX location, mounted the wire Skypper antenna only meters from the water’s edge, and soon had the Yaesu FT-857D rig in line and ready for some seriously serious IOTA action.  This time we’d included a super-duper KL-501 250 watt linear amplifier too made by RM Italy for EXTRA kick!

Our day was again blessed with warmth and sunshine and the myriad of unique bird-life celebrated too as they took to the air above our remarkable island with squeals of joy; magnificent ospreys and egrets among them.

A haven for rare and wondrous bird-life, the name of the island comes from ancient measurement of one gemet, which is comparable to one acre. The island itself has a population of around 10.

With our first CQ DX call, premier station 14DA049 Fred was logged at 10:43 am with a solid 5/5 report.  He was followed by 102AT101 Sal in the Middle Eastern DXCC of Kuwait at 5/9 at 10:59.

From the Oceania region, 43AT144 John in Australia was logged at 5/6, with 79WO189 Jack on Luzon Island in the Philippine Islands soon after with a solid 5/7 signal.

50 stations were logged in total today with 3 DA-RC members amongst them; 14DA049 Fred, 14DA007 Chris and 3DA012 Roger.

At 17.25 we reluctantly had to go QRT to take the boat back to the mainland.  Still, it was another successful day for our IOTA DX adventure!

Sunday 15/06

The last day activating picturesque Tiengemeten Island as 19DA/EU146/TI we were hoping for a red hot band opening.  Fortunately, this was the case too as the spread was present, but, unfortunately not so consistently stable.


Our IOTA DXpedition station was the same this day, except that we’d decided to reduce our weight and take the station and a small battery (88A/h 570A).

First in the log for Day 2 was fellow Frenchman 14MC006 Christophe at 9:30 am with a 5/8 report.  He was followed by Big Gun DX Hunter 18SD105 Theo in Greece at 5/9. At 9:38am fellow Dx Adventure Radio member 19DA109 Marcel smashed through at 5/5, meaning we’d been able to log more than the island’s ‘10’ population in just a few minutes.


Tiengemeten Island FlagSunday 16/6/14

With sunlight sparkling across the water, we set up our station the following day and at 10:02 am, 153RS777 Jan from the Kingdom of Thailand was logged. From the

Land Down Under, 43CAR010 is added to the log book at 3/1 not long after, as well as 30DA016 Dave from the Kingdom of Spain at 5/7.

We finish our IOTA activation of this diminutive EU-146 island at 12:40pm to take the boat back to the mainland at 13:10.

It’s a satisfactory record with 181 stations in the log with 28 DXCC: 30, 31, 14, 19, 161, 13, 4, 34, 49, 47, 29, 26, 108, 104, 1, 102, 43, 21, 79, 35, 3, 165, 18, 109, 16, 15, 153 & 328.

The station was composed of the following: Yaesu FT857D, IC-706MKIIG, RM KL 501 Linear Amplifier,  Skypper (Bamby) antenna, Computer + exel-log, Batteries 2x 100A, 1x 130A and 1x 88A.

Thank you to all those who entered in the log and sorry for those we have did not listen to.

73 from Fab 14IR106 and Phil 14DA028