Monday, November 06, 2006

Paradise (licensing applications) Lost

With apologies to Milton, we've hit something of a bump in the road in the Montserrat planning. The licensing applications we had sent to the island in September have yet to produce any results. We're now concerned that the address we'd gotten off of the ARRL web site might not get the package to the right offices on the island after all. If that's the case, this is my screw-up. Drat.
Luckily, I was able to come up with another resource familiar with the island. Art Blank (WA7NB) was working the CQ WW DX contest and I was able to work him while he was VP2MDY on the island of Montserrat. After we did the exchange, Art said, "Aren't you the Buddipole DXpedition guy?" I cranked up the power from 5 watts to 100 so we could have an easier time talking and told him, "Yes!" We then chatted for just a moment and he said he would be happy to answer any questions we might have about the island. Boy do I have questions!
I wrote to him the other night and he replied almost immediately with lots of good information, including some new contacts on the island that might help us get our licensing approved (or at least be able to help us assess the status of our applications). A couple of guys in the group are now working through these new channels to discover the fate of our paperwork. That's the great thing about this group: guys just see something needs to be done and they pick up the task and run with it. This trip is really going to be fun!
I know I am repeating myself, but, one of the best assets you can have is somebody local to the place you are visiting. Talking to people who have visited there in the past can also be a boon. Though it is hard work and sometimes depends on a little luck (as with my chance meeting with Art on 15m), it can mean the difference between guessing and asking somebody who knows. That is, it makes all the difference in the world.
When I learn something either way on the licenses I'll post it right here. I sure hope I didn't goof up and send that package of applications to some administrative black hole someplace... {sigh}


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