Update on “PJ” Operations

    By Carl, N4AA

    I know everyone is waiting for all the PJ stations to come on the air at 0400Z tonight. In view of circumstances beyond their control, I want to bring you the latest information.

    The larger groups going to Saba and St. Maarten experienced some difficulties due to tropical storm OTTO, which ended up becoming a hurricane after turning back into the Atlantic. As it passed the Netherlands Antilles, extremely heavy rains (up to 15-20 inches) caused serious flooding on some of those islands. Seas were running with up to 15 foot waves, making it impossible for boats to approach and land on St. Maarten on Friday. The equipment for PJ7E is aboard a boat which could not get to the island due to those high seas. That boat continued on to Barbados and will return to St. Maarten on Sunday (Oct 10).

    Several PJ stations were on the air Friday and again Saturday as they prepared for the expected pileups. Some of the stations already worked are AH6HY, K1XM, K4SV, K9CT, K9ZO, W6OSP and others who were using, PJ-/homecall. REMEMBER contacts PRIOR to 0400Z, October 10, 2010 will NOT count as a NEW ONE.

    I have been in contact with the PJ7E team on St. Maarten and Joe, W8GEX authorized me to pass along the following information:

    “The weather today (Saturday) is clear and sunny. The boat with our equipment is due in here at 7-PM SUNDAY (Oct 11) evening. We will meet them, off-load the equipment and separate it for the two operating sites (SSB & CW). They will deliver the two loads to us early MONDAY morning (Oct 12). Our plan is to set up one station and one antenna as soon as possible so someone can get on the air right away. As the other stations are assembled and antennas put up, they will be put on the air as quickly as possible.

    As for Saturday night (Oct 10-0400Z) PJ7E will have one station on SSB (IC706 with a dipole for 40/20).
    The CW crew has already been on the air with CW/RTTY (using PJ7/homecalls). They are running an IC7000 and a vertical antenna, and have been worked on bands from 40 to 17 today (Saturday).“

    I have not been able to contact the PJ6A team on Saba, so I have no direct information on their activity for tonight. To the best of my knowledge their equipment was already on the island, but it seems they were having difficulty getting personnel to the island.

    To repeat what I’ve said before, after 0400Z, October 10, 2010, work every PJ callsign you can and let the decision makers decide what will count for what in due course. NO Cards will be accepted before January 1, 2011 anyway.