NEWS UPDATE, NOVEMBER 1 @ 19:45z–After trying for 2 days the 5L3BI team couldn’t make a landing. Way too dangerous. Jeremy EI5GM and Col MM0NDX almost capsized next to rock. The swell around the rock never eased. There’s lots more to say but not at this moment in time. (73 Col MM0NDX)
OCTOBER 28, 2017 – The journey has already started. Richmond EL2BG left Monrovia yesterday and reports a safe drive so far (he completed 50% of the road trip as of last night). The next part of the trip is the most dangerous with flooded roads and potholes commonplace. The European ops leave for Monrovia tomorrow morning via Amsterdam and Freetown, Sierra Leone. Next day (07:30Z on Monday, Oct 30) the remainder of team will fly to Greenville to meet up with Richmond who has hopefully conquered the treacherous road conditions. All going well they expect to be QRV before sundown on Monday 30th. Liberia is same timezone as GMT.
SEPTEMBER 13, 2017 – The wet season is in full force in Liberia this year. This makes any road travel tricky and potentially dangerous which in-turn has so far prevented Richmond EL2BG and Dickson EL2DT from making a 2nd recce trip to Baiyah island. The images shown depict current road conditions on the only road south to the small village opposite Baiyah island.
Since we believe roads conditions may never fully recover between now and the end of October, we have recently managed to (thankfully) reserve seats on a MAF (Mission Aviation Fellowship International) flight which will take most of the team directly to Greenville Sinoe airstrip. From there we will meet Richmond EL2BG who will have made the treacherous road journey south in his 4×4 vehicle. We cross fingers he makes the trip!
We are in constant contact with the local villagers and elders who still remember our project and are eagerly awaiting our arrival. We look forward very much to meeting them, too.
With the new and additional cost of flights to/from Sinoe region from Monrovia we do still seek generous donations from the IOTA and DX community. We are truly indebted to those generous donors and organisations who have supported 5L3BI thus far – it’s much appreciated. Considering a donation? Please visit here: https://af111new.com/support/
In less than 2 months the activation of this brand new IOTA will have taken place. The excitement is rising!
It’s likely a final news release will be issued prior to departure.
Vy 73 from 5L3BI team.
PS: EI5GM, EI9FBB and MM0NDX have been issued with the Liberian callsigns EL2GM, EL2BB and EL2EL. It’s their plan to use these calls after the 5L3BI activity from the LRAA (Liberia Radio Amateur Association) in Monrovia, probably on November 3rd. However, if due to bad weather / sea conditions we cannot land on the island, then we will revert to using these calls during late October / early November from mainland Liberia.