Pato Island between Venezuela and Trinidad (Dragon's Mouth).
Pato is the most coveted
Venezuelan IOTA island. It is uninhabited.
The size of
the island is approximately 2000 x 200 meters...
2nd World the English "settled" there, as the island
belonged to their colony Trinidad.
last HAM-Radio-activity from Pato was in 1991.
It is a
secluded island, and it is not easy to get there.
was time, to do something regarding IOTA SA-ě48,
because it stood by many on the list.
Months ago we started our preparations, and then we decided to start the
expedition on April 17, 2012
12 brave Radio Amateurs from all over Venezuela, met and
drove several vehicles to the port city GŘiria in the
extreme east of Venezuela.
On the evening of 17 we
reached GŘiria and stayed there. The next morning we went by
boat to the island on Pato.
For our personal
protection the Navy provided us with 2 well-armed soldiers.
The boundary waters to Pato are classified as very
dangerous, especially at night.
The area is notorious
for smuggling drugs and other things.
Our very fast Boat carried us for south
of the Paria Peninsula towards east towards the village of Macuro.
Macuro is a historical place. Christopher
Columbus touched here the first time the South American continent. It happened on August 5, 1498 on his 3rd
expedition. Columbus did not realize, that he discovered a
new continent. He assumed, it was a new island he discovered
and named it "Isle of Grace"
Pato island is
located within sight of Macuro.
By the way, the sea
water here has a relatively low salt content, because the
mouth of the mighty Orinoco River is not far away.
|This is the northern part of Pato
Island, and in the background on the left you see the island
Chacachacare of Trinidad.
|Behind the rocks lies the only accessible
bay on the the
island, with the lighthouse on the top.
|This is the little beach of
Pato Island at our first view.
|As you can see, there was no space to erect
antennas or install our tents. Everything was overgrown. In the background you see
a rusty roof in the vegetation. The roof belongs to a barrack left by the English in 1942 when the
island was ceded to Venezuela.
The history of the island
during the war seems to be very interesting, but there is
very little known about it.
not enter the island, we realized that a lot of work was
coming towards us. We had to remove trees and undergrowth in
order to provide us space for antennas and shelter.
The other alternative would have been to give up and return
|Our luggage is carried to the
|Part of our belongings ...
|We are ready to conquer Pato Island
:-) YV5EED with machete shows us the way.
|We are starting to clear up the
area to give us the needed space. In the heat and high
humidity, it was very sweaty operation.
|Now comes the hard work for us.
|Part of our antennas ....
|The rear part of the totally
rusted ( and leaking ) roof needs to be patched up with