Monday, November 13, 2006

Licensing - part deux

The group made the decision today to resubmit our licensing applications to the island. Just so we're clear: this is my fault. I sent the original applications to the address found on the ARRL web site here using this application. I knew that the capital city Plymouth had been buried under many meters of ash and debris from the Soufriere Hills Volcano eruption in 1995, but I had assumed that the mail would be redirected to the new capital offices. I was wrong.
So, today we agreed to collect all the materials again. In the mean time, our contacts on the island will be nailing down the correct mailing address for this stuff so I don't send this next batch into oblivion, too. With luck, and perhaps the correct address and postage, we'll have our licenses in a few weeks.
In the mean time, it looks like Chris has nearly secured our flights on that last leg of the journey. Carib Aviation will be providing us with a charter. Because we will be taking one of Carib's larger aircraft, we'll have plenty of room for the seven of us, and the pile of equipment we'll all be bringing. I think we'll all feel better once this very last step in our travel plans is finally settled.
Assuming we get the licenses and the flights finalized soon, we will have done all the travel planning we can do for now. Actually getting to the island will then depend on the weather, and to some degree, the volcano.
The Montserrat Volcano Observatory has an alert level indicator for the public. It has been at "3" for a while but that could change quickly, and we all know it. Here's what "3" means:
"Confined dome growing rapidly, or growing to the west or north; or, unconfined dome growing towards the east or south. Dome may be changing its direction of growth, or there may be high levels of gas or long-period seismicity, or moderate levels of swarms or tremor. May be moderate to high levels of rockfalls and pyroclastic flows with associated light to moderate ash fall.
"This level of activity could include pyroclastic flows and light to moderate ash falls. There will be increased Government public information on the situation. Government will also be reviewing their evacuation procedures and plans. Continued testing of the siren system. Read your Guide to Volcanic Hazards. YOU SHOULD BE LISTENING TO RADIO ZJB FOR REGULAR UPDATES AND ADVICE."
While I've got about a pile of radio books that need to be read (or reread), I think I'd like to read a little about volcanos before I leave for this wonderful place. There aren't many places on the Earth where there are active volcanos and I'll be near one of them. This will be my second volcano (my first was the big island of Hawaii) and I confess I'm fascinated by them. This is going to be a great trip!



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