Saturday, July 18, 2009

Cape Agulhas Dxpedition - 11th July 2009

Built in 1848, the Cape Agulhas lighthouse is the second oldest working lighthouse in South Africa.

Cape Agulhas (34° 49' 58" S, 20° 0' 12" E) is the most southern tip of the African Continent and is also the official dividing point between the Indian Ocean and the Atlantic. Early Portuguese seafarers, rounding this dangerous point called it L'Agulhas which means Cape of Needles (referring to the jagged rocks of the coastline or the fact that a compass shows no real deviation between true north and magnetic north at this location).

The southern-most tip of Africa is also the official dividing point between the Indian Ocean and the Atlantic.

L'Agulhas / Cape Agulhas has been on my list of proposed dxing destinations for some time so we took advantage of an opportunity to visit the area during a recent family holiday. We booked into the Cape Agulhas Backpackers, situated in neighbouring Struisbaai.

Later that evening I checked the AM reception with the barefoot Sony SRF-M37V. 720 Perth and 1503 Taiwan were already in at 1545 UTC so it was with great anticipation that I set off for the short drive to Cape Agulhas.

The dx location situated west of the Cape Agulhas lighthouse.

Dxing from the car, just past the Cape Agulhas lighthouse (with the beam sweeping overhead) at about 350 metres from the southern most point of Africa, was a memorable experience with good reception from Asia and the Far East.

I used the M37V and 220 metre BOG aimed at 90 degrees towards Indonesia - the most convenient direction in line with the gravel road along the coastline in front of the lighthouse.

Google Earth Image showing the DX location.

Highlights included 801 KTWG Agana Guam (10 kw over 13 998 km) and 1332 JOSF Nagoya Japan (50 kw over 14 341 km).

Loggings during the evening of the 11th July included :

549 1635 VIETNAM VoV2 My Van (personal first)

594 1625 PHILIPPINES DZBB Quezon City w talkback

711 1632 VIETNAM VoV 1 Thoi Long

720 1733 INDIA AIR Chennai w EE news

801 1733 INDIA AIR Japalpur w EE news

801 1720 GUAM KTWG Agana w id

927 1732 INDIA AIR Vishakapatnam w EE news

936 1732 INDIA AIR Tiruchirapalli w EE news

1044 1732 INDIA AIR Mumbai w EE news

1053 1758 JAPAN JOAR Nagoya

1080 1743 CHINA CRI in EE

1098 1904 CHINA RTI / RFA Hukou Village

1143 1858 TAIWAN Taiwan Area Fishery Broadcasting Station, Penghu

1242 1646 VIETNAM VoV External Service in EE

1242 1903 JAPAN JOLF Tokyo

1251 1818 UNIDENTIFIED w talkback - huge signal

1269 1700 CHINA Voice of Russia in EE

1278 1900 JAPAN JOFR Fukuoka w RKB id - good peak

1287 1657 INDONESIA RRI Palembang - huge signal

1332 1840 JAPAN JOSF Nagoya (personal first)

1413 1906 JAPAN JOIF Fukuoka - good peak

1476 1825 PHILIPPINES DXRJ Illigan City w "DXRJ 14-76" id

1521 1652 TAIWAN CBS / RTI Changchin - huge signal

1530 1707 CHINA Zhejiang RGD Hangzhou

I returned to the Struisbaai cottage and listened briefly from 2200 hrs to 2230 hrs UTC. Trans Atlantic reception on the barefoot Sony SRF-M37V included Argentina on 710, 910, 1110, 1130, and 1270 kHz.

A panoramic view from the lighthouse. The dx location along the coastal road and most southern point of the African continent can be seen towards the right (Click onto pic for a higher resolution).

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