What radio amateur doesn’t dream of going on an DX-pedition? So I was lucky. I accidentally became a member of the 3DA0WW team.
In fact, I never even dreamed. Exotic lands were too abstractly distant. Sometimes I had QSO with expeditions with my bad antennas and low power, but that country only remained a name and a picture from the Internet.
When Sasha UT7UV called me and offered to go with them to Swaziland (Eswatini), at first I thought it was a joke. I am the most ordinary radio amateur without outstanding abilities and experience, Time for reflection and decision-making was about a day, but the price of the trip was acceptable. Then I decided that if I can buy tickets for all three planes to fly together, then this is fate. I didn’t know the rest of the team members before, I just heard about the legendary Yuris YL2GM. I was afraid to be a burden for a team of tough expeditioners. As a last resort, I will wash the dishes and help carry things, I thought and agreed.
And now a few days later we are at the Borispol airport, Ukraine. For me, it was complete unknown about the placement and generally what’s what. The guys took some antennas and equipment with them, and I just some personal things and a camera.
The flight to Dubai was fast and I seen this beautiful city again.
There haven’t been that many flights lately …
The plane to Johannesburg was already larger.
A little adventure with luggage, the last short flight and we are in FDSK – Sikhuphe – King Mswati III International airport.
The owner of the lodge personally came to meet us with one of his wives (in the end we finally got confused with them). After a short journey, we arrived at a place – very beautiful and cozy on the edge of an old volcano. It was already getting dark and we quickly began to set the vertical at 40 meters in order to immediately go on the air. But a surprise awaited us. After a short time, the amplifier goes alarm and show high SWR and I, cursing and panicky fearing malaria mosquitoes, go into the darkness to check what happened.
I see a lying vertical and decide that the guy wire was not tied well. I call Pasha UU0JR and we were raise the vertical, check again the whole mount. After a while, the situation repeats itself, but I am confused by how a thick rope could break a little higher than the anchor. Then I pay attention to the wet end of the rope and then we learn about the existence of a pest dog.
We were very tired, so launch a digital workplace and go to bed.