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ZD9W Tristan da Cunha

Yuris, YL2GM will be active as ZD9W from Tristan da Cunha Island, IOTA AF - 029, 24 September - 22 October 2023.
He will operate on 160 - 6m, CW, SSB, FT8.
Recent DX Spots ZD9W
ZD9W Log search QSL via YL2GN.
Ads for direct QSL:
Ziedonois Knope, P.O. Box 55, Balvi, LV-4501, Latvia.

ZD9W Tristan da Cunha Island News 20 October 2023

The weather is bad. Yuris, ZD9W is using the remaining DX-Commander antenna to work on the air. The chances are slim that he would fix the low band vertical and would appear on 160/80m bands in the remaining nights. Ship is scheduled to depart on Monday, October 23, if the weather will permit. Yuris, ZD9W plans to pack the day before - on Sunday.

ZD9W Tristan da Cunha News 18 October 2023

Wind is getting stronger again and the forecast for the remaining days is not too promising. Low band vertical broke again. It will be repaired if the weather permits. Spiderbeam is still holding.

ZD9W Tristan da Cunha Island News 16 October 2023 News Part 2

ZD9W October 16 - update

Evening update: All antennas are restored

ZD9W Tristan da Cunha News 16 October 2023

ZD9W October 16 - Morning update
From all the antennas only DX-Commander survived the night. Other antennas are now damaged and Yuris will try to repair them. Wind seemed to calm down yesterday afternoon, so Yuris, ZD9W raised the antennas. But later in the evening wind again got stronger, and this is the result

ZD9W Tristan da Cunha Island News 15 October 2023

October 15 - Update

In the evening Yuris, ZD9W reported that he has repaired Spiderbeam and raised up all antennas. First QSO on 6m band in the log.

ZD9W Tristan da Cunha Island News 13 October 2023

Wind got stronger again and broke one leg of Spiderbeam despite it was just slightly elevated above the ground. It is repairable. But this will have to wait until wind calms down. Right now only DX-Commander vertical remains up, other antennas are lowered. Weather forecast promises quite strong wind gusts whole weekend.

ZD9W Tristan da Cunha News 12 October 2023

ZD9W October 12 - Update

Early this morning Yuris, ZD9W had to lower the main antennas to prevent damage due to the strong wind. He was going to raise them back up when the wind calms down, hopefully later today.

ZD9W Tristan da Cunha Island News 11 October 2023 Part 2

Low band vertical is repaired and also 6m band yagi installed.

ZD9W Tristan da Cunha Island News 11 October 2023

ZD9W October 11 - Update

Yesterday low band vertical broke, this is why there was no low band operation last night. Yuris hopes to fix it today when it stops raining. It probably will be 10 cm shorter.

ZD9W Tristan da Cunha News 8 October 2023

ZD9W shack is in the kindergarten building which is on the edge of the village. Kindergarten has 5 children, 3 employees. Yuris has been given a room where he lives. Most antennas are installed by now, and the routine operation can start. Next week he will install also 6m band yagi. He has tried to put BOG antenna to improve signal reception on low bands, but it wasn't very effective, probably due to the volcanic soil on the island. There is about 5-10 cm of soil followed by volcanic rock. Yuris initially had issues with installing aluminum guy wire supports which he had with him. The owner of the building gave him iron rods, which could penetrate the rock beneath.
Yesterday first 70 CW QSOs on 160m band were done. Managed to get in the log the fellow HAM from his own home town. Also EY8MM got his #319 new DXCC on 160m band in the log. Will continue to operate on the low bands in the coming days too.
The propagation is fantastic. Noise floor is low, especially on the higher bands.

ZD9W Tristan da Cunha News 5 October 2023

Yuris, ZD9W has found alternative location with more space for antennas. He installed low band vertical and Spiderbeam.

ZD9W Tristan da Cunha Island News 5 October 2023

ZD9W Tristan da Cunha News 1 October 2023

Very strong wind of Friday (Sep 29). The wind got twice as strong on Saturday (Sep 30), plus it started to rain. DX-Commander antenna broke. Yuris lowered the remaining antennas for the night. Today (October 1st) he fixed the DX-Commander antenna and continued operation on the air. It is sunny today, but the wind still remains strong. Notice bending DX-Commander on the left side of the below video, it might look like just another piece of vegetation initially.

ZD9W Tristan da Cunha News 29 September 2023 Part 2

Yuris got in touch late evening to say that today around lunch time he finally got on the island. All went without accidents. He has managed to install the EFHW and DX-Commander antennas already and made about 200 QSOs so far. Internet is available in the village, not directly in the place of his stay.
Strong storm is approaching the island and will hit it tomorrow.

ZD9W Tristan da Cunha 29 September 2023

Yuris, YL2GM, ZD9W start his activity from Tristan da Cunha Island.

ZD9W Tristan da Cunha News 27 September 2023

Message from Yuris, ZD9W 19:10z: Today we are approaching the island. Some 20 miles left. Tomorrow after the breakfast, weather permitting, we will get ashore.

ZD9W Tristan da Cunha News 26 September 2023

Message from Yuris, ZD9W 19:30z: the latest forecast for arrival at ZD9 is Wednesday (September 27), due to strong winds. He feels ok - seasickness has passed after the 1st day.

ZD9W Tristan da Cunha News 25 September 2023

MFV Lance is currently inside another storm. According to the weather forecast storm might subside by midday September 26. Hopefully then there will be enough time with not so strong side winds to reach the island until the next storm comes. About 320 km left until the destination (25.sep 16:00z).

ZD9W Tristan da Cunha News 24 September 2023

MFV Lance is maneuvering during the passing storm. Another possibly stronger storm is forecasted on the path for Monday.

ZD9W Tristan da Cunha News 15 September 2023

Yuris, ZD9W is on the ship and waiting for its departure at 12:00 PM UTC.

Captain of the ship says that it will take 9 days to reach Tristan da Cunha (ZD9). So arrival should happen on September 24.

Tristan da Cunha - Lost in the Ocean

If you think that this is the first time you have heard of an island with such an exotic name, you are mistaken. It is described in two famous literary works: the world-famous Jules Verne's The Children of Captain Grant (if you haven't read the book, you've definitely seen the film!) and the lesser-known Hervé Bazin's The Lucky Ones of Despair Island.

ZD9W Tristan da CunhaTristan da Cunha Island. Author - Brian Gratwicke.

The most

This attention is no accident - the island of Tristan da Cunha is truly unique and of great interest to a certain range of travellers, for at least three reasons:

It is home to the most isolated settlement on our planet - Edinburgh of the Seven Seas. Not the most remote (Easter Island takes the lead here), but the most isolated. It has neither an aerodrome nor a full-fledged port. The easiest way to get here is by sea (5-6 days from Cape Town by ship), but only if the weather allows you to get ashore. According to statistics, every third ship, after 2-3 days at the roadstead, leaves without disembarking passengers.
The highest peak of the South Atlantic (2055 m) - Queen Mary Peak - is located on the island.
It is also home to the world's smallest flightless bird, the Tristan shepherd.

ZD9W Tristan da Cunha Island DX NewsTristan da Cunha Island. Author - Robert Ovenden.

Life on a volcano

Tristan da Cunha is part of the archipelago of the same name, which the Portuguese navigator named in his honour. There are thousands of kilometres of water to the nearest inhabited land: to Saint Helena - 2161 km, to South Africa - 2816 km, to South America - 3360 km. Its location almost coincides with the geographical centre of the Atlantic.

The island was discovered by the Portuguese in 1506, but he did not land on it. The French were the first to do so in 1767, and the first inhabitant was an American who settled on the island in 1810.

The island itself is a protruding peak of an active volcano above the ocean. It was formed almost a million years ago, but from time to time it shows its nerve. It has erupted twice in the last century, the second time destroying a convenient harbour, after which no large ships (barges or small yachts at most) can approach the shore.

The total area of Tristan da Cunha is about 100 square kilometres, but at least 90 of them are occupied by steep mountain slopes.

The last eruption of the local volcano in 1961 forced the inhabitants to leave the island - they were evacuated to England. The whole world expected that most of them, having tasted the "benefits of civilisation", would stay, but two years later, all of them, without exception, returned to Edinburgh of the Seven Seas.

ZD9W Tristan da Cunha Island Tourist attractions spotTristan da Cunha Island. Author - Akash Nambiar.

Amazing commune

Tristan da Cunha is under British jurisdiction as part of the Overseas Territory of St Helena Island. It is the only island in the whole archipelago where people live permanently. And Edinburgh of the Seven Seas is the only inhabited place in the archipelago. Locals rarely mention this name - they say "Settlement" or "Settlement". And it is understandable, because the number of its inhabitants usually does not exceed 300 people (although the 1988 census lists 313).

What can one do to earn a living on such a tiny, secluded island? Edinburgh is lucky enough to have lobsters and lobster off its shores, which the Japanese are keen to buy. The island has its own lobster factory where the catch is processed and packaged. Unfortunately, you can only catch lobsters when the weather permits, which is only about 70 days a year. In addition to lobsters, other gifts of the ocean are harvested.

They also grow potatoes and some other vegetables, raise chickens, goats, cows and sheep, but in strictly limited quantities so that they do not eat all the grass. Some serve government facilities. And all without exception participate in public works - construction, repair, etc.

All land is in common use. No one can buy it here, not even Roman Abramovich or Bill Gates. All families are engaged in farming, growing vegetables, and cattle breeding. The number of cattle is strictly controlled, not only to preserve the pastures, but also to prevent some families from becoming richer than others. To the same end, plots are constantly redistributed among families to avoid division into best and worst. So here, if not communism, then real equality.

All the locals are related to each other in one degree or another. Marriages with close relatives have been banned as of late, as they have already led to genetic diseases. But since emigrants are not accepted on Tristan da Cunha, there are certain difficulties with the creation of a family - you have to wait years until the wife or husband reaches the right age.

But there is no corruption and crime on the island. The government, as well as all other executive and supervisory bodies are replaced by the Chief Islander (an official elected position) and 11 members of the Council.

Naturally, much of what is needed on the island has to be transported by ship.

Windy Country

Edinburgh of the Seven Seas lives in a constant strong wind blowing from east to west or vice versa. Shelters are built for the wind, not the rain (for example, almost all garages have no roofs, but very strong walls). An unusual plant, New Zealand flax, a grass three times the height of a man, is grown as a windbreak. The plant, considered an aggressive weed in the rest of the South Atlantic islands, is invaluable here.

Locals often find themselves hostage to ocean storms, with wind gusts of up to 190 kilometres per hour. Occasionally they are so strong that they lift sheep and cows into the air, throwing them into the ocean waves, where the animals die.

Despite the warm climate (the temperature has never dropped below +5 degrees Celsius), there are no mammals (except seals), reptiles or butterflies on the islands. But penguins, albatrosses and other seabirds are abundant.

Tristan da Cunha does not offer organised tours, only some excursions specially organised by local guides. The island has no hotels (only one guesthouse), no restaurants and no regular transport service. Therefore, a trip here should be planned not a couple of months in advance, but at least a year in advance.

ZD9W. Where is Tristan da Cunha Island located. Map.

ZD9W Tristan da Cunha. Sunrise 02-22-2024 at 06:25 GMT sunset at 19:39 GMT
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