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DX Castaway

Craig Edwards, Coorong, South Australia

September 9, 2005

After being released from 30 days home detention after the August Coorong DXpedition I thought it was time to return again. This time it was only to be a single Friday night/Saturday morning in order to get home again for the AFL Football finals game Saturday night. So I had to pack a lot of listening into a short period of time. Realising this it didn't take long to get into DXpedition character as soon as I left work Friday afternoon.

A unique coastal DX phenomenon has been occurring in the last few visits to my spot in the Coorong. Each time the theory has been tested it has shown to be correct. You see there are two Emu's that live around Parnka Point in the Coorong. They are two unique wild birds that are around 7 feet tall and are not frightened to approach the DX van. The mystical ionospheric theory is that if I see them both on an afternoon then the next morning's African DX is great, if they aren't seen, then it's very ordinary. With such magical DX power I've formally named one of them 'Kongsfjord' and the other one 'Lemmenjoki.' In fact after one afternoon they both hung around so long, I started calling them by their nicknames 'King Kong' and 'Lemon Chicken'.

Emus
DX Emu's 'King Kong' and 'Lemon Chicken'

So it was with great excitement that I first saw 'Lemon Chicken' crossing the dirt road and a few moments later 'King Kong' appeared - I knew I was in for a good morning of DX on Saturday. So DX camp was quickly established with the EWE to Africa. Although I modified the null at sunset so that I could try for a bit of North American activity. Early indications were interesting with a couple coming in nicely KHPY 1670 and KXOL 1660.

Emu
Why did the Lemon Chicken cross the road?

But a regular crackle in this zero noise location meant one possibility - lightning. Very quickly the wind picked up and as I gazed out over the sand dunes I could see the sunset being lit up as a storm approached from the Southern Ocean. Seeing though DX wasn't THAT GOOD, I pulled out the antenna and went to bed at 7pm. The wind was at it's strongest I've ever experienced at the Coorong. Thank goodness I was in the van instead of the tent! It wasn't long before the storm was on top of me as I tried to sleep in the van.

The second phenomenon of the weekend was about to occur - the trauma of the storm shut down a compartment of my subconscious and when I awoke, it sent me into a temporary stupor where my psyche was controlled by two key influences. Firstly it was the fact that I was a DXpeditioner, and secondly by a DVD I had watched the previous evening - 'Castaway' starring Tom Hanks. As far as my storm ravaged brain knew, I was now DXpeditioner Tom Hanks, stranded at Parnka Point on a DXpedition!!!!!


A strange object is sighted across the water

There was no time to fight this, it was 2:30am (1700 UTC) and Djibouti 1539 was already coming in, so I accepted it and hit the dials. 'King Kong' and 'Lemon Chicken' were right, DX was excellent this morning.

After numerous hours at the dial, sleep deprivation had made we weary and I felt very alone. All there was to keep me company was the exotic African music on the AM band. My final and probably favourite log was that of Radio Free Africa Tanzania on 1377 with US Urban rap and lots of English and Swahili IDs around an hour after local sunrise.

Wilson
The object washes ashore...

As I put down the headphones at the end of the morning DX session, I peered out across the water:

I could see a round object on the sea,
I wonder I wonder what it could be.
Was it danger, maybe I should flee,
Or could it be, a friend for me.

As a DX Castaway, I needed mental stimulation as a coping mechanism, so when the object came ashore I knew I had a new friend - WILSON!!!!!!!!!!

Wilson
WILSON!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ah finally as a DXer I had a friend, what a merry old time we had. We spoke about our lives, me talking about my wife, and Wilson telling me about his time as a basketball on a navy boat before going overboard - ah yes we shared many a tale about women and seamen.

It's all a bit of a blur really. I remember waking up at noon back to my normal self. Phew that was a close call. I remembered who I was, farewelled King Kong and Lemon Chicken and departed the Coorong for home once again.

TRAIL

Craig Edwards DXing at Parnka Point, Coorong, South Australia.
DXing with Icom R75 off 12V, pre-amp and EWE to Africa

Teaching Wilson
Me teaching Wilson how to use the R75

666 2057 Rdiff Vision Reunion, St Pierre, Reunion. I was actually doing a report for DZRH when all of a sudden conditions swung to Africa and Reunion was in the clear over DZRH and 2CN with French animated talks and laughter nad French and English pop songs. Sep 9 (CE)

774 1800 unid. Heard only for a few minutes in the clear after a program feed problem on news time from 3LO with Arabic talks, probably Morocco or Egypt. Sep 9 (CE)

792 1740 Radio Aden, Al-Isawah, Yemen. Male talks in AA over unid Chinese station. Sep 9 (CE)

936 1845 RTM Agadir, Morocco. Fair with Arabic male talks mixing with the 4PB and unid Asian. Sep 9 (CE)

954 1832 QBS Al Arish, Qatar. Quite good at times over 2UE with Arabic music show and female announcer. Sep 9 (CE)

Wilson
Wilson……….ahhhh he's a funny bastard!

1170 1730 Radio Sawa, Al-Dhabbaya, United Arab Emirates. Fair here despite 1169 Iranian. Now carrying Radio Sawa in AA // 990 and 1260 after previously being Radio Farda outlet // 1575. Sep 9 (CE)

1188 2120 Radio Sana'a, Yemen. Poor under 2NZ with usual non-stop Arabic music show. Sep 9 (CE)

1214 1925 Radio Tanzania, Arusha, Tanzania. Favourite log from the July trip back here with male talks in Swahili noted // 5050 with IDs on half hour. Sep 9 (CE)

1295 1720 Radiodif Vision Guinea, Conakry, Guinea. Tentaltive only but reliable audio from this usual het only signal, exotic Afro music and brief bits of male talk in French. Sep 9 (CE)

1377 2105 Radio Free Africa, Arusha, Tanzania. Fair here well after local sunrise with 3MP signal faded out, US English rap songs in English then a series of Radio Free Africa and RFA jingles in English and Swahili. Sep 9 (CE)

1413 1710 BBC Masirah Island, Oman. Fair in Hindi mixing with Vision and 2EA. Sep 9 (CE)

1458 2045 Radio Vision Mayotte, Pamandzi, Mayotte. Good here during late morning African opening with French talks. Sep 9 (CE)

1512 1809 BSKSA Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Usual AA prayers from this Saudi mega station. Sep 9 (CE)

1530 1845 Voice of America, Sao Tome. Fair with male talks in French. Sep 9 (CE)

1539 1657 Radiodiffusion Vision Djibouti, Djibouti. Good early African with ID on the hour then into North African music // 4780. Sep 9 (CE)

1548 1705 Deutsche Welle, Trincomalee, Sri Linka. Good here in German mixing with 4QD, no sign of Kuwait or Moldova. Sep 9 (CE)

Published on November 7, 2005

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