I (Linda G0AJJ) was very pleased to be invited to attend the 10 year Anniversary of the Scandinavian Young Ladies Radio Association being held in Denmark on 22nd to 26th August. At the time I was not officially a member of SYLRA but had regularly supported their HF Contest that is usually run every October.
We met our fellow delegates at the Hotel Prindsen and were welcomed by Inger Lundin, OZ7AGR, the Chairperson of SYLRA and her husband Bjarne OZ2UV who were the event organisers. All delegates including partners were given a bag containing a SYLRA t-shirt, name badge, SYLRA mug and event timetable. There were 60 delegates in total from USA, New Zealand, Australia, South Korea, Japan, Norway, Finland, Sweden, Iceland, Germany, France, Luxemburg and Sicily. It was lovely to meet so many ladies that I had spoken with over the years and to be able at last to put faces to the voices. I was particularly pleased to meet the ladies that participated in the DXpeditions to Greenland OX5YL and Falklands VP8YL as I had worked most of them last year.
On Friday morning we were treated to a presentation of the 2013 Cordell Clipperton Island DXpedition by Kenneth OZ1IKY. This involved a team of 24 radio amateurs and 5 scientists. The island consists of a small stretch of sand with one tiny clump of palm trees. It is only inhabited by sea birds and the orange crab which the team adopted for one of the QSL cards, so everything had to be transported by boat including fuel for the generators and drinking water. There is no shade available so they had to erect the tents in scorching full sun whilst being bombarded by guano from the booby birds constantly taking off and even though the sea looked beautifully inviting they could not risk taking a swim because of the sharks that constantly circle the coast line looking for food.
Kenneth explained that the booby birds cannot reach height unless they evacuate all surplus weight as they leave the ground, so the team soon got used to being covered in white stuff whenever they ventured out of the tents! There was no safety in the tents either, as the little orange crabs that inhabit the island would appear from nowhere and nip anything within reach of their razor sharp claws. These little creatures also eat everything and anything and within minutes had chewed up one of the transceiver boxes that a crew member had left on the ground so everything had to be sealed and safely stored off the ground. The CW team were sent to the far end of the island away from the phone/data team so that they wouldn’t distract each other. They has set an initial target of making 100,000 QSOs and were pleased to achieve 113,601 contacts…..a lot of work for the QSL manager! The gentlemen were then taken by coach to visit the Ringsteds Radio Museum and a very nice lunch whilst the ladies attended the Conference in the hotel.
Inger welcomed all members to the Conference and spoke about the history and formation of SYLRA and the various activities of the group. We introduced ourselves and gave a few words about our interests and what brought us into the hobby. We were then split into work groups where we discussed amongst other topics the problems on air that we as YL operators had experienced. The general consensus was that most OM operators gave support and were gentlemanly on air but sadly there remains a significant number that don’t appear to have any listening skills and certainly need to improve their manners and radio etiquette. The YL’s that operated in Greenland complained that at times the pile up turned into a “free for all” with people just shouting over each other and not listening to what the operator was asking for.
After lunch the meeting continued with an interesting talk by Anna TF3VB about the SYLRA web page and latest developments. This was closely followed by a slide show and talk by Vala TF3VD and Anna TF3VB informing us about the next planned SYLRA conference in Iceland on 9th to 12th June 2015, and the International YL meeting in Iceland on 9th to 15th May 2014. See web page http://iyl.ritmal.is
International YL meetings are organised every two years by countries YL national clubs with the first meeting having taken place in 1991 in Stockholm, Sweden. This was followed by Osaka (Japan) in 1993, Berlin (Germany) 1996, Longyearbyen (Svalbard) 1998, Hamilton (New Zealand) 2000, Palermo (Italy) 2002, Seoul (South Korea) 2004, Mumbai (India) 2006, Cape Town (South Africa) 2008, Munich (Germany) 2010 and Adelaide (Australia) 2012. It is a very good opportunity to meet up with other YLs from around the world who share common interests.
I was able to spend some time operating OZ6SYL on 40m before preparing for the gala dinner at 6.30pm. We were all very impressed by Pirkko OH5GYM who was dressed in a beautiful traditional Finish costume which she had made herself. The evening started with music from a band of four Danish 13 year old girls who had written their own music and lyrics. This was followed by a superb dinner with party games & Latin dancing taught to us by Anna, TF3VB.
The next day was spent doing some sightseeing and first on the agenda was a trip to Roskilde Cathedral. Roskilde, in the eastern part of Denmark was established as a centre for trade by the Vikings more than a thousand years ago, and is one of Denmark’s oldest cities. All the Danish Kings and Queens are buried within the cathedral from Harald Bluetooth in 986 to Frederik 9th in 1972. Apparently all Danish kings are named either Frederik or Christian. The inside of the cathedral is beautifully designed with simple lines and richly decorated with frescoes painted in the 1500’s. Next stop was the Viking Museum. The museum has recovered five Viking ships which were original scuttled to create a barrier in Roskilde Fjord during 1000 and these were excavated fifty years ago. There was also a film show depicting the incredible story of the Vikings and their seagoing activities. The museum is currently reconstructing a new Viking ship – the 10m long Gokstad sixareen. It was fascinating to watch the workmen using the same type of tools, materials and construction techniques as were used all those years ago.
Later in the afternoon we boarded the Sagafjord steamer for a cruise of Roskilde Fjord. This is a salt water inlet which has many reefs and numerous islands, some of which are inhabited, but most are home to protected bird life. One interesting island is Svineholmen (The Pig Islet) or Ring Island, which is no more than a small grassy streak of beach surrounding a fresh water pond. No one knows how it evolved but it is assumed that the pond is a so called “kettle hole” where an ice cube was left as the ice age withdrew and as it melted it became a pond. It is now the home of grey geese, mersanders, avocets and little terns.
Before preparing for our final dinner with the group we decided to have an hour on OZ6SYL and I managed to work about 20 stations on 40m writing the QSL cards as I went along.
Our final evening in Roskilde was both a happy and sad affair as we were all conscious that we would all be travelling home the next morning and although some of us will meet up again in Iceland next year there will be many who probably will not make the long journey.
After a farewell breakfast in the hotel restaurant we said our final “goodbyes” in reception where we all exchanged cards and e-mail addresses. Richard was given a gold tiepin of the Korean Radio Society by Chae HL1KDW who had been president of the society. We both really enjoyed the experience immensely and wished that it could have lasted longer, but we had a wonderful time and made lots of new friends from all over the world. Inger and Bjarne worked hard to make it a “special meeting” and were excellent hosts. I will always have fond memories of my visit to Denmark.
I am now looking forward to the International meeting in Iceland next year and the opportunity to meet with my new friends again. I wonder if there will be a 1kw linear for me to play with?