P A T O   I S L A N D

NOT a paradise :-(

Y W 5 P I    2012

IOTA: SA-Ø48    WLOTA: LH-ě499


Location Pato Island 

Location of Pato Island between Venezuela and Trinidad (Dragon's Mouth).
Pato is the most coveted Venezuelan IOTA island. It is uninhabited.
The size of the island is approximately 2000 x 200 meters...
In the 2nd World  the English "settled" there, as the island belonged to their colony Trinidad.

The last HAM-Radio-activity from Pato was in 1991.
It is a secluded island, and it is not easy to get there.

So it was time, to do something regarding IOTA SA
-ě48, because it stood by many on the list.
Months ago we started our preparations, and then we decided to start the expedition on April  17, 2012

12 brave Radio Amateurs from all over Venezuela, met and drove several vehicles to the port city GŘiria in the extreme east of Venezuela.

On the evening of 17 we reached GŘiria and stayed there. The next morning we went by boat to the island on Pato.

For our personal protection the Navy provided us with 2 well-armed soldiers.
The boundary waters to Pato are classified as very dangerous, especially at night.
The area is notorious for smuggling drugs and other things.
Here we left GŘiria.
  Ready to leave   
  Leaving GŘiria   
Leaving GŘiria
Our very fast Boat carried us for south of the Paria Peninsula towards east towards the village of Macuro.

Macuro is a historical place. Christopher Columbus touched here the first time the South American continent. It happened on August 5, 1498 on his 3rd expedition. Columbus did not realize, that he discovered a new continent. He assumed, it was a new island he discovered and named it "Isle of Grace"

Pato island is located within sight of Macuro.

By the way, the sea water here has a relatively low salt content, because the mouth of the mighty Orinoco River is not far away.

  Near Macuro   
Dragon's Mouth 

Northern part of Patos Island 

This is the northern part of Pato Island, and in the background on the left you see the island Chacachacare of Trinidad.
  Southern part of Patos   
Behind the rocks lies the only accessible bay on the the island, with the lighthouse on the top.

The future QRT for YW5PI 

This is the little beach of  Pato Island at our first view.
As you can see, there was no space to erect antennas or install our tents. Everything was overgrown. In the background you see a rusty roof in the vegetation. The roof belongs to a barrack left by the English in 1942 when the island was ceded to Venezuela.
The history of the island during the war seems to be very interesting, but there is very little known about it.

We did not enter the island, we realized that a lot of work was coming towards us. We had to remove trees and undergrowth in order to provide us space for antennas and shelter.

The other alternative would have been to give up and return :-)


Our Faith

Our luggage is carried to the "beach" 

Landing at YW5PI

Part of our belongings ...

Now we ned space for our antennas

We are ready to conquer Pato Island :-) YV5EED with machete shows us the way.
We are starting to clear up the area to give us the needed space. In the heat and high humidity, it was very sweaty operation.

We need space !

Now comes the hard work for us.
  A harmless green - yellw tree  
Part of our antennas ....


The rear part of the totally rusted ( and leaking ) roof needs to be patched up with canvas.