DF1KK - Visit to Grenada - 2011

It was at the end of 1970, that I wanted to visit the Grenada-island for a DX-pedition with some friends from a German Dx-pedition-group, which had already traveled to some Dx-pedition-spots in Europe. Due to small budget as a student and other reasons, the plan was postponed.

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Apartments where we stayed.

When friends of us came home from a cruising-tour around the Caribbean sea in 2010, and talked delighted about Grenada, we quickly decided for a two-weeks-stay on the island next year (2011) - and the planning started.

My wish to spend some time during the stay with ham-radio, should be carried out without making my wife and the friends think bad about ham-radio.

Surfing the internet, it took only a short while to find the very informative and interesting homepage of Derek, J39BS. Via a link to the GARC, I got the information, that a 2m-repeater is in operation on the island - that should be the matching portion of ham-radio during holidays.

An e-mail-request to Derek was quickly answered and he told, that a few hams use the frequency regularly - and to my pleasant surprise he offered his support to get a visitors license for the two weeks stay on Grenada.

I scanned all necessary documents and a photo and sent it with an e-mail to Derek. Some days before our departure, I received an e-mail with the scan of my visitors-license. Derek assured that I could operate my handheld 2-m-equipment right away after immigration-process. I didn't manage that.

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DF1KK - Mike at 1910 - Site of the J3 repeater. Antennas in background.

After the long flight and a 45 minutes carride from the airport, we were happy to reach our apartments. We started relaxing and enjoying the smell and the beautiful sights of the Caribbean sea.

While unpacking the luggage, I took out the handheld and listened to the frequency 146.760 (-600) Mhz- J39AA was possible to read from the balcony, but the 2 Watts out and a lambda/4-rod was not enough to access the repeater with a signal possible to read. J39AA is positioned on a hill quite central on the island - it's called 1910 (because of the height 1910 feet above sea-level) and serves the area all over the island. Due to the topographic situation however, not every spot is *radiated*.

On all our excursions with the rented car all around and over the island, I had the handheld switched on and very often I had the opportunity to find a *served spot* and had nice talks to the friendly hams from the island.

The island offers many experiences - cacao plantations - nutmeg plantation and factories - colourful markets - rum distilleries - waterfalls, accessable via sometimes adventurous path through tropical rain forest - beautiful spots for snorkeling and diving - old forts with scenic views over the capital St.George's, the harbour and the surrounding.

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Sunset in Grenada as seen from our apartment.

During one of these fort-exploration-tours we met Derek personally and we had a few hours together at Fort Frederick and also at our apartment. Together we also enjoyed one of the beautiful sunsets and a fantastic holiday in Grenada ended perfectly. All these wonderful sights we reached with a rental car. The roads, traffic-conditions and the left hand driving were (for us) quite unusual.

After 14 days of best holidays - and nearly every day some 2m-qso's with the always helpful and friendly hams (and this can be said about all the islanders, we met) - we had to go back to Frankfurt International Airport. There, we were welcomed with cold winter weather - no green plants in nature yet - and the usual every day life. The island Grenada is a magnificent travel destination with a lot of natural and man-made sights worth seeing - with great variety of weather-conditions (we had tropical rainfall and most beautiful sunny days - and all in between). The crowning moments for me were the amateur-radio-connections.

Cordial thanks to Derek for the brilliant support with all questions.

Mike - J3/DF1KK.

Photos By DF1KK.

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