A paradise in the Caribbean Sea.

YW5LR    2011



Los Roques

Satellite view of "LOS ROQUES"
Map of Los Roques
It always was my wish to visit Los Roques ...

Los Roques is an archipelago in the Caribbean Sea, located 90 miles north of the mainland-coast. Los Roques Islands became a National Park in 1972 and is the largest marine reserve park in Latin-America. It covers more than  2.251 KM2 and consists of more then 100 inhabited islands, except Gran Roque. The archipelago is similar in size of  the complete Northern Caribbean Virgin Islands.
1529 Los Roques is noted the 1st time on nautical charts, and since 1589 it belonged to the former Spanish Province of Venezuela.

Most tourist who visit Los Roques go by air and then charter boats for sightseeing, snorkeling, scuba or fishing.
Los Roques is not a low-budget destiny for tourists ...

For July 2011 our DX Club received an invitation from the Venezuelan Navy to celebrate the Navy-Day from the main Island "Gran Roque".

We left the port of la Guaira in the late evening of July 13, 2011 and anchored the next morning around sunrise at the front of the island of "Gran Roque" (look at the map above).
We found, that all Venezuelan Cellular-Phone Companies cover the Islands. Also fast access to Internet (UMTS) is available.

Gran Roque from above

The main-island "Gran Roque" from where we operated. (Picture from Wikipedia)
Our plan was to operate from two locations on Gran Roque.

So one station (QTH 1) we installed at a Navy facility directly at the beach, and the other one (QTH 2) at a lighthouse on top of a hill.
The lighthouse is very old, and has been replaced by another one, not very far away. If you look carefully, you can see it on the above picture on the top.

At QTH 1 we installed the equipment and antennas for all HF-Bands on our 1st day. The second day a few brave fellows climbed up the hill to QTH 2, with stations for 7, 28, 50 and 144 MHz. A good physical condition is required to carry all the radio-equipment, inclusive gasoline and a power-plant.
The hike is not easy, even without carrying things, climbing up the stony path under severe heat-conditions.
The lighthouse is called the "Dutch Lighthouse" and is located about 70m above sea-level. On Google you find some interesting histories about the lighthouse ...
  QTH 1 und QTH 2  
Our first impression of QTH 1 (on the beach) and QTH 2 on the top).


Gran Roque after sunrise (in the background the electrical power plant and the sea-water desalination-plant).



Why they are smiling ?

Something is going on :-).

Part of our luggage

Luggage transfer

Towards Gran Roque

Our equipment on the way to Gran Roque.
Our antennas are arriving.

1st brainstorming :-)

The 1st brainstorm session after our arrival  :-)