F6BEE Jacques told me before leaving Tahiti (TX4T) : "If you can, try to go to Marquesas".
I have made a lot of professional trips to Nuku Hiva but only during 1 day. 1 month ago, I found a good place for ham radio in the north of the island. A good place to work JA EU and USA.
5 days before leaving Tahiti, I called my "contact" in Nuku Hiva, he is ok, you can come with antenna !!! Great ...
All equipment is ready : 100watts + HF6V + key + PC.
The day before leaving, my contact called me and announced me due to health problems he had to go to hospital, so impossible to go to the good QTH. What to do ? I have to go to the another QTH in the south !!! There is a big barrier of mountains.
Well, I may not go back to Marquesas, the equipment is ready, let's try...
The other QTH is Taohae in the south of Nuku Hiva. All north is mountains, the south is sea.
We arrived in Nuku Hiva and when finished to work, we went to Taiohae. This village is not so far from airport, but by road, it is really long : 1h15 of track, mountains road. Lands are very differents, you start in a dersert and after you are in Alps and you finish in French Polynesia.
Below, Taiohae :
Arrival first evening around 0800pm local time. It is late, but Job before and radio after.
In order to not disturb my job's friends, I installed the station in the ...................kitchen !!
At 0900 pm I start CQ'n on 40. Europeans, American stations are here. Bingo, it works. Sigs are weak from EU but we can make QSO. Not a lot of US stations.
At the same moment, all my friends who discovered ham radio asked me a lot questions about Morse, about what we do, about wich country ...
I had to be in pilup and to answer to questions, not very easy. But for us, seeing a guy practising morse code in 2011 was extraordinary.
Pilup is not very big on 40; 80 QSO in log, I QSY to 20 to work Russian and JA stations. Around 1115 pm, propagation is off. I stooped for now, and I dismantled all station because the day after we may not come back here... Only 130 QSO in log in 2 hours. A little dispapointed.
Second day; we arrived 1 hour earlier on Taiohae, but it is already night here. Good news, we will start working tomorrow only at midday. So I must dismantle the station before 10h00 am local time.
Start on 40, but sigs were more weak than yesterday. Sigs from EU were very weak and a lot CQ without answer. QSY on 17, it worked a little with JA and Russian and all Asia. Around 1100pm loc time: Nothing ! All bands were closed. Go to sleep. Tomorrow should be better. 250 QSO in log only ! Really disapointed !!!
The day after, woke up just after sunrise. Start CQ on 20. Sigs were weak but it worked with some EU stations via LP (MD0CCE-OM3PC...). Try on 17 : nothing. Try on 15 : nothing.
Stay one hour CQ'n on 20 without any answer.
I phoned to my wife and asked her to spot me on 17 and after on 20, but NOTHING !
Decided to stop : 270 QSO in log. Completely disapointed !!!
SP3DOI Les told me in 2009 "If you don't want to make QSO, go to Marquesas ..." He was with TX5SPM in the north part but with heavy mountains also at east and west. He was totally right.
It is sure, the QTH in the north should be better:
- Good views to JA and Europe/USA: No mountain
- Did not have to loose 03h00 of freetime per day on the road to go to Taiohae.
If you plan to go to Marquesas, operating from a village is quite impossible.
You can go also on Toovi. It is in the center on a table land, but there are also some mountains around.
A big frustration to have not been better. DL5XU told me on on4kst's chat. "Phil, you made 270 happy ham operator, that's good."
To finish: good news, my contact in Nuku Hiva is well, health problems are in the past now.
I dont know if I will go back to Marquesas before I leave French Polynesia. I hope so.
Request fro DXCC and LoTW are in progress.
To finish : When you operate from a kitchen located in a wash bole, don't be surpirsed if you don't make QSO ...
Few pictures below:
FO8RZ/P Nuku Hiva
To USA and Europe short path
73/88 de FO8RZ/P Phil and sorry for bad english if you find fault