YV0 – Aves Island
Besides Navassa and Desecheo, Aves Island is one of the fairly rare islands in the Caribbean. It is a Venezuelan possession, and had been activated twice since I started DX-ing in July, 2001. I remember the first activation as having tremendous pileups – and where I had my first realization that I needed to step up and get an amplifier. I literally drove over to HRO in Oakland and picked up an Ameritron AL-811 amplifier and then worked them – but even with 600 watts it wasn’t easy.
YV0D in 2004 was my first QSO with Aves Island, and I worked them on 20M CW and SSB.
I believe I was using a Cushcraft MA5B – after swearing I would never use anything but wires and 200 watts or less to get to DXCC Honor Roll.
In the heat of a pileup that could have slipped through my fingers, I changed my tune . . . . funny how that happens!
Here is a very good Wikipedia article – and the pictures of how the island has been shrinking due to hurricane damage is startling:
The Venezuelan Navy has to provide transportation to this semi-rare entity, and between that and hurricane damage, this entity is still fairly high on the most wanted lists – at #39 on the DX Publications list, and #38 on the Clublog global list.
The DX-pedition that knocked it far down the list was the last one, in 2006, YX0A / YX0LIX:
Look at the section that describes how 90% of the island has been washed away by hurricane Dean. They also mention that it had gone through that before – and that the sand had “recovered” – so they are hoping the island will repair itself once again. If not – then it is starting to look a lot like Kingman Reef – almost nothing left at high tide.
A very sad thing happened during this dx-pedition, YV0LIX, Jose, had a heart attack and died. The team decided to continue on in memory of their beloved friend and used his callsign as a memorial:
There is a very “quiet” announcement for another activation using the callsign YW0A:
And a really great site that has three past dx-peditions documented with nice photos:
Here are the activations that I can find – and as always, this list will grow with reader input:
1956 – YV0AA
1984 – YV0AA
1992 – YX0AI
1994 – YW0RCV
2004 – YV0D
2006 – YX0A / YX0LIX
2007 – YW0DX
Rafael Gianni has provided a number of great resources. Thanks Rafael!
Please make sure to check out the 4M5DX Groups pages – they are an excellent group of DX-ers who put on excellent DX-peditions: