Sunday, 18 February 2018

CTARC Report-Back on 3Y0Z Farewell Function at RCYC - 18 Feb '18

On Saturday, 17th February 2018, the 3Y0Z team arrived in Cape Town harbour after their long voyage from Bouvet Island on the MV BETANZOS. They were hailed, to their surprise and delight by local ZS hams who had motored out from the Royal Cape Yacht Club on Robert ZS1FF's fine ketch to greet them. Paul ZS1S called out "CQ" on his trumpet. Dennis ZS1AU, Barry ZS1FJ and Andre ZS1AN were aboard too.

After a rather lengthy process of customs formalities, the crew were taken across to their hotel. It being late in the evening, the hotel's bar and restaurant were by then closed, but victuals and beer were somehow rustled up (again, with the assistance of ZS1S) and the crew could enjoy (almost) hot food and cold beer - even if it was on the balcony of the hotel.

At 12h00 on Sunday, 18th February, Cape Town Amateur Radio Centre (CTARC) members and volunteers met the 3Y0Z team at the hotel in Strand Street and started ferrying them to the Royal Cape Yacht Club for a farewell function before some departed that evening for home overseas. The traffic was very congested owing to an event at the Cape Town Soccer Stadium, but after 45 minutes, most of the team had been delivered to the RCYC.

The function was very well attended, not only by the 3Y0Z team and CTARC and local club members, but also by a good number of ZS (and other) hams and their partners who arrived to meet and greet them and, in some cases, have lunch together. Included among these were: Helmut DG5DSM, Werner V51JP (President of the Namibian Amateur Radio League), Glynis ZR1GW, Michael ZR1MDJ, Johan ZS1A, Andre ZS1AN, Dennis ZS1AU, Danny ZS1BL, Raoul ZS1C, Greg ZS1EZ, Robert ZS1FF, Barry ZS1FJ, Tjerk ZS1J, Allan ZS1LS, Matt ZS1MJJ, Oleg ZS1OIN, Paul ZS1S, Rob ZS1SA (CTARC Chairman), Tony ZS1TK, John ZS1WJ, Rassie ZS1YT, John ZS1ZC, Nick ZS1ZD, Deon ZS1ZL, Fred ZS1ZV and Nico ZS6QL (President of the South African Radio League).

Special mention goes to Werner V51JP and Nico ZS6QL who flew down from Namibia and Gauteng respectively to attend this function in Cape Town.

Initially there was a hubbub around the bar where thirsty throats were slaked with the amber nectar and face-to-face QSO's took place. Once all had arrived we then moved through to the adjoining restaurant.

A few informal speeches were delivered before the food. Paul ZS1S welcomed the team to Cape Town and thanked numerous people for their involvement, including VIPs from the ZS ham community who took the trouble to attend the function, some having travelled a great distance to do so.

Team Leader, Bob K4UEE,  responded, thanking all who have assisted with support for the DXpedition in general and CTARC and Paul ZS1S in particular for organising the function. Bob also emphasized the greatness of the hobby and the fellowship that binds fellow radio hams together by our deeds and mutual support.

Various gifts and souvenirs of the DXpedition were handed over to worthy recipients. Dennis ZS1AU was given a 3Y0Z DXpedition cap. Barry ZS1FJ, who had made a significant contribution to the DXpedition, was similarly acknowledged. Paul ZS1S was handed a laminated tactical info sheet - signed by the team members. The CTARC has been given the signed 3Y0Z DXpedition pennant, for which we are all very grateful and which we will display in our clubhouse with great pride.

Ralph K0IR, Erling LA6VM and Alejo Contreras (the Chilean glacier expert and environmental consultant who accompanied the DXpedition) also gave brief speeches.

SARL President, Nico ZS6QL, who had arrived from Gauteng that very morning, also spoke briefly. He greeted Bob and the 3Y0Z team and handed over a selection of items from the youth contingent up north, who had collected them in support of the 3Y0Z team. Bob K4UEE expressed his great appreciation for that gesture.

Thereafter the luncheon began and the team had the chance for probably their first decent food since leaving the ship. Sadly, team member Nodir EY8MM had to remain aboard the ship owing to red tape surrounding visa matters.

After luncheon and desserts there was a chance to get one last group photograph (here) and for all team members present to sign the 3Y0Z pennant. Thereafter there followed a chance to chat, make new friends, swap contact details and eventually to depart. The pennant ended up (here).

Later that afternoon the team was returned to the hotel for a brief rest and to pack. Some were to fly out of Cape Town that evening. Others departed the following day. All of them were keen to be reunited with their families and loved ones, having been away from home for quite a while. We wish them all bon voyage and safe home to their respective QTHs. We hope to see them again in Cape Town someday.

Special mention must be made of the volunteers who fetched and carried the team to and from the yacht club, ferried them on numerous trips to the airport and took them on tours of the peninsula, it is greatly appreciated.

Photos of the event are [here].

The official 3Y0Z website is [here].