ZL9HR – not a trip to the beach

This site was originally intended to be nothing more than a convenient spot to share some information with a few folks, and try out some ideas for webpages. However, I recently enjoyed reading W8TN’s blog about the lead-up to the recent NH8S dxpedition to Swains Island, and he’s inspired me to add a few similar posts here.

Every trip to distant parts has its inherent risks, and dxpeditions are no exception. It sounds like they had ferocious spiders on Swains Island, and excessive heat. For the ZL9HR team heading to Campbell Island in November, excessive heat is not on our list of concerns. A look at the climatic data for Nov/Dec on Campbell Island indicates that hypothermia is a more probable risk than sunstroke. Cool, wet and windy. This ain’t gonna be a beach vacation…

Weather Event (averages for Nov and Dec, last 10 years) mean +/-SD
Total Rainfall (mm) 118.8 41.7
Wet Days – Number Of Days Per Month With 1mm Or More Of Rain 19.6 4.8
Rain Days – Number Of Days Per Month With 0.1mm Or More 25.5 3.3
Mean Air Temperature (C) 7.9 1.2
Mean Of 9am Temperature (C) 7.8 1.2
Mean Daily Maximum Air Temperature (C) 10.5 1.3
Mean Daily Minimum Air Temperature (C) 5.4 1.2
Days Of Wind Gust >= 24 Knots (44 km/h) 26.6 3.0
Days Of Wind Gusts >= 33 Knots (61 km/h) 19.8 5.1
Days Of Wind Gusts >= 51 Knots (94 km/h) 4.5 4.3
Mean Wind Speed km/h 28.2 4.4
Wind-Gust – Highest Nov/Dec Wind Speed km/h 112.1 18.6

Consequently, the expedition planning discussions have included many non-radio topics such as the best makes of thermal underwear and the merits of different waterproof boots! So far we don’t have a manufacturer of thermal underwear as a sponsor – although that would be a great addition to the list. “Icebreaker” is favored by several team members, perhaps because of the manufacturer’s claim that their merino wool “resists odor for weeks”?  The topic of waterproof boots managed to illustrate the diversity of the English language and the potential for confusion amongst the team members from the so-called English speaking nations: “Wellies” to a Brit, “gumboots” for the Aussies, whilst in the US more prosaic terms like “rainboots” or “muck boots” seem more common. Turns out, if you look at advertisements for Wellies/gumboots/muck boots, manufacturers frequently mention their product is waterproof, comfortable and lightweight. If someone in the gumboot industry can really do this, they could be rich. In the meantime, pick two out of the three attributes… I ended up going for waterproof and comfortable, and expect the airline will stick me with an overweight bag fee!

Over the next couple of months, the occasional post related to ZL9HR will appear here. There are also several pages devoted to topics such as propagation and the siting of the operating site and antennas (see links on the right-hand side of this page). However, for the official ZL9HR website, you should go here.

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