[amsat-bb] ND9M/MM Voyage - VQ9-W4 via Panama

Clary, James T, Civilian James.T.Clary.civ at MSC.NAVY.MIL
Thu Jan 27 06:04:50 PST 2011

Greetings from the Indian Ocean!


My merchant marine ship is enroute from Diego Garcia (grid MI62) to
Charleston, SC (FM03) and is taking the Pacific route this time. I've
got the FT897D and FT817ND with the Arrow-2 with me, and I'll be QRV
from quite a few wet grids along the way. Unfortunately, my XYL Cori
isn't along for the ride; she's at home recovering from shoulder surgery
and getting ready for our next road trip.


The grid fields that I expect to travel through while enroute to the
Left Coast and hopefully operate from include: MI, NI, OI, OJ, PJ, PK,
QK (24 hours at Guam), QL, RL, RM, AM, BM, CM. and DM.


My job is seven days a week for four months straight, which is why I get
long vacations for those long road trips! The downside is that I have to
miss passes that occur during the normal daytime working hours. I can
sometimes get away at key pass times, so AO27 and HO68 (when it's QRV
again) are possible, but can't be predicted.


Another downside is that with an easterly voyage of this length, we'll
be going through a lot of time zones. (We're currently at GMT +6.) We'll
go through 10 time zones before we hit the USA, and at an average of a
time zone every three days (and losing an hour of sleep each time as
well as gain a day somewhere along the line), the body will start to
adjust to the new time just when we have to set clocks ahead again. It's
going to get old very fast!


The majority of passes that I'll be on will be in the late afternoon and
early evening, so AO51, FO29, and AO7 Mode B will be the focus. Early
morning AO7 passes will occasionally be on the plate too.


Likewise, I should be on late evening VO52 passes but likely only once
we've crossed the Int'l Date Line into the eastern Pacific. I have to
set up on the ship's helicopter deck that normally has no lighting and
isn't patrolled. The ship is very, very safe, but since we're at sea, I
have to pay extra attention to wherever I am outside on the decks
especially after dark. My LED headband lamp up gives me pretty good
light up there, but it would be way too easy to disappear over the
railing, and it's a big ocean!


We'll be off the coast of southern California by the end of February and
should be there for about 10 days before we resume our voyage towards
Charleston. Our route will then take us through the Panama Canal and
northward around Cuba towards Jacksonville (EM90) for another stop at
the end of March; after a week or so there, we'll finish the trip with a
quick run to Charleston where I'll sign off the ship in April. Cori will
meet me at the ship, and we'll head home to Panama City, Florida.


I've applied for my IARP permit for Panama so that, barring unforeseen
regulations, I'll be able to operate whatever passes occur as we transit
the Canal. It's way too early to know if we'll actually stop at Panama,
but I'll be ready with the gear to operate from the country itself for
those who need DXCC credit.


I'm cut off from the internet for the next three months, so I will not
have access to my regular AOL e-mail account. Any queries or sked
suggestions should be sent to me at the following shipboard address for
now: james.t.clary.civ(at)msc.navy.mil. The address obviously has a lot
of dots, but they have to be in there to get through.


As always, I'll send regular updates on my trip's progress to the BB.


CU on the birds!




Jim, ND9M / VQ9JC

Grid NI02








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