DXpedition to Agios Georgios island - AS-120

Since the Nicosia club (5B4NC) did not participate in the IOTA contest this year, some of the members decided to organize a "light" activation of the Agios Georgios (Saint George's) island, IOTA reference AS-120.

 DXpedition announcement

DXpedition info
Duration 11 hours
Actual operation time 8 hours (approx)
Contacts 373 on 20m, 164 on 17m, 446 on 15m and one on 10m. Total: 984
HF Radios Yaesu FT-897 and FT-847
HF Antennas Cushcraft R8 and StepIR BigIR
Power source 1KVA Kipor Generator
Operators 5B8AP (Andreas), 5B4MF (Spyros), 5B4AHE (Tamer), 5B4ZN (Philip) and 5B4XF (Paris)
QSL info Via home calls

The complete story
The idea of a "light" DXpedition to Agios Georgios island was being discussed during the club's meetings for a few months now, but decision was finalized in the beginning of September. The "DXpedition manual" that was prepared for IOTA 2007 was stripped down, circulated to the interested members via email and gathering of the equipment began. We did a dry-run to test the generator, BigIR and FT-847 on Thursday afternoon before the DXpedition. Everything worked ok. On Friday morning we confirmed with George, our boat-man, that the weather prediction was favorable and the DXpedition was officially a go-ahead!

We met at around 18:00 on Friday 25/9 at 5B4MF's place to load the cars and set off for Polis, where we would spend the night. We loaded two cars with our personal stuff, the antennas and the DXpedition equipment and set off.

We arrived at Polis about 3 hours later, got supplies for the next day and checked in out hotel apts. The arrangement was to start loading the boats at 6AM the next morning. We woke up before 5:30AM, prepared and drove to the Latchi harbor. The equipment was unloaded from the cars and loaded into a speedboat. Contrary to the IOTA 2007 DXpedition, loading was much faster and required only one boat. This was supposed to be a light DXpedition anyway!

We left the harbor about half an hour later and arrived at the island at around 6:40AM. We repeated the drill of unloading the stuff from the boats onto the rocks and then transferring everything to the top of the island. We set up the BigIR and R8 antennas and the two operating positions and got on the air at 06:00 UTC (9:00 Local time), as expected.

5B4ZN and 5B4MF started operating first and the rest of us followed. We had a few pileups on some bands where others were silent most of the time. While two of us were operating the rest could go for a swim or spend their time chatting with each other. At around noon we lit the BBQ and prepared a simple lunch.

We stopped operating at around 14:00 UTC and started dismantling the stations and transferring the equipment to the rocks where we would load it into the boats again. The boats arrived about half an hour later, the equipment was loaded and about 20 minutes later we were back to civilization.
Another great experience came to an end!

 Pictures from the DXpedition Page 1 Page 2