Thursday, December 14, 2006

I achieved something of a milestone and thought I would share it. My Logbook of the World account just registered its 1000th QSL. Actually, my total stands at 1003. I have uploaded over 4800 QSO entries into the system including some from Georges Island, the special event station in Maine, St. John USVI, and Hawaii. Of course, there are serious contest operators that do that much in a weekend, but with my modest operating conditions here in the condo, this represents a considerable investment in time.
I got a call from Paul this evening. He and I were having the same concerns about time pressures while on the island. It is easy to start racking up a long list of things you want to do on your vacation (or, in our case, DXpedition), but in our haste and bout of enthusiasm these last few days I’m afraid I’ve signed up for far too much. Here are the things we’ve discussed:
  • Scuba diving
  • Visit to a nearby island with cliffs and a great beach
  • Visit to the Montserrat Volcano Observatory (MVO)
  • Visit to Plymouth (guided tour)
  • Hiking trip
  • Helicopter tour of the island
  • Cookout with Montserrat Amateur Radio Society members
I’m beginning to realize that I can’t do all that and put the QSOs in the log. I’m going to have to start making some choices. Paul and I agreed that the scuba diving trip, while almost certainly spectacular, eats a whole day and then leaves you exhausted. So, no scuba diving. I had tentatively committed to one trip (and was being encouraged to consider multiple trips), but I now think I’ve overcommitted. In fact, it is probably time to make a prioritized list of things I want from this trip. Here they are (right off the top of my head--don’t be surprised if a revised list appears tomorrow!)
  1. Make QSOs - This is a DXpedition. I have worked very hard to make good plans and execute them as well as any big DXpedition might do. Now, it is time to execute and get on the air. I want to put at least a thousand QSOs in the log on this trip. That might be very difficult, or it might be easy. I have no idea. But, part of the deal on this trip is to learn. You learn by doing (not by screwing off and going on a fishing trip!).

  2. Make a DXpedition Video DVD - I want to get enough raw footage of interesting stuff while on the island (and before and after, too) so I can pull together a DXpedition video that is fun to watch and that conveys the excitement we had on this trip. I have the entire collection of DXpedition videos from DXVIDEOS.COM and would be honored if the results of my efforts were compared favorably with these excellent works. To achieve that goal, I know I need raw footage. Lots and lots of raw footage. I have purchased 15 one hour tapes that I fully expect to fill on this trip. Visits to the Montserrat Volcano Observatory, helicopter tours of the island, and hiking, can help me get interesting island footage. Other side trips (like scuba diving) cannot. I should stick with what helps me make my goals.

  3. Execute on the Public Relations tasks - I have spent a great deal of time publicizing the trip, building tools to provide the world with an online log searching capability, and a web site that can be updated while we are on the island with photographs and stories. Again, I’m trying to make this trip just as classy as some of the large DXpeditions. With the simplistic notion, “you only get better by practicing”, I’m trying to learn how a smoothly run DXpedition is organized and executed. I’m sure I’ll stumble along the way a few times, but I hope to learn from my mistakes and get better as I go. Of course, I’ll continue to share what I learn here.

  4. Those are my three goals. Modest in many ways, but important--at least to me. So, I’ll send out a message to the fellas telling them that I’m going to bow-out of scuba diving. It isn’t that it wouldn’t have been really fun; I just have other things I want to do more.


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