The great achievements by the human
being always start with a dream. And the Aves Island
Expedition 2006 was no exception. Our Association
patiently waited for fourteen years to see itself again
on that unique place of the Caribbean. We annually
trained activating the different Venezuelan IOTA islands
to celebrate our Navy Day and participated in important
international constests in the multioperator –
multitransmitter category. Finally, the desired
opportunity arrived. To all DXer, his dream is to
participate in an expedition to a DXCC country. A group
of valuable Venezuelan and foreign amateurs was
conformed so that in the modes of phone, CW, digital and
satellite, would fill the Hertzian waves during the two
weeks we would be in the island.
With enthusiasm, each of the
operators prepared himself to become part of the team.
Planning was polished monthly, weekly and daily, as the
final day of departure got closer. A good operation from
Aves Island would be the best gift we could offer to the
On April 18, 2006 at 12 pm, we left
the port of La Guaira, on board “Admiral Brion” (F-22)
frigate of the Venezuelan navy and, after thirty sailing
hours, on April 20 at 6 am, we arrived in front of this
tiny DXCC country. The operators were airlifted by
helicopter and the equipment, by zodiacs, to the island.
The Simon Bolivar Scientific Naval Base would be our
center of operations. Soon, the first two stations were
set up: one for 20 meter phone and another, for 15 meter
CW. The Aves Island DXpedition 2006 – YXØA was on its
A day of great physical strain and
exhaustion but, with maximum enthusiasm to install
antennas, stations and the CW tent. At 8 pm, the frigate
returned to main land
Later, at 10:30 pm, the unexpected.
Our digital and 80 meter phone teammate, Jose Valdes
Rodriguez YV5LIX passed away with a severe heart attack,
in spite of the efforts of our physician’s hams.
The frigate returned and his
remains were returned to Caracas.
Sorrow and impotence were placed
aside by the solidarity for our fallen teammate and in
his honor and with the authorization by the officers of
the National Telecommunications Commission present on
the expedition, the transmissions were reinitiated with
the callsign YXØLIX. The rest is history.