Doug Faunt (n6tqs) wrote,
Doug Faunt
n6tqs

Swains Island, 10:30 AM, 97F-36C

We've been here a week, and it's been busy. We departed Pago Pago 4
hours late because of some stolen luggage between Apia, so arrived
mid-day, and pushed to set up some stations. That lead to some bad
decisions, such as the location of the northernmost station , which
had to be mived a few days later, because the mosquitos were so bad
the location was untenable. We also worked too hard that first 1/2
days, so it took a couple of days to recover. It would have been more
effective to have not pushed so hard, especially after an
uncomfortable overnight boat trip, on the deck of an inter-island
freighter.

I'm sitting in the island`s church now. We attended and Easter
service here, with some beautiful singing, and then a feast after.
The menu was spiny lobster, wrasse, sauted ferns, boiled green papaya
two kinds of breadfruit (one tasted like potato, the other like fresh
bread), and a coconut sweet.

I'm told there are thirty kinds of coconut on the island, but one
that's totally edible doesn't seem to be available right now.

The central lagoon is shallow and mostly cut off from the sea, so it's
brackish. That's what I'm using for laundry and shower water, since
real fresh water is in short supply. We brought just enough for
drinking (we hope), and the residents don't really have any to spare.
Most people on the trip are bathing in the sea, but a few just aren't
bathing as far as I can tell.

We're on a westward-facing beach, so it's not optimal, but
transportation is impossible to the north side these days. Once upon
a time there was a road, and even some narrow-gauge railway tracks,
around the island, but not now.

It's hot, 104 degrees F at the hottest, and humid all the time.

The Palm is functioning beautifully as an ebook reader, but my MP3
player quit before I left Pago Pago. The Palm has that capability
too, but I've been too busy to listen. I can read sometimes, when the
bands are slow, between contacts. I think we've worked most of the
stations who want us on RTTY, and we've even made most of a 6M
moonbounce contact, with information exchanged, but only the final
confirmation missing.

It'll be another five days here, departing on Sunday, then a day and a
half in a fancy hotel in Pago Pago, a nightime boat ride to Apia, and
then a few days of operating and sightseeing there, before my flight
home on the 24th.
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