December 09, 2017

QSL card in the Spotlight: FT5XT/MM near Kerguelen Islands

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QSL card from FT5XT/MM for a 40m CW QSO with PA7MDJ on 8 Oct 2017 0115 UTC.
FT5XT/MM is operated by Frenchman Gildas Ballanec F4HQZ (ex-TU5KG). Gildas is the captain of a fishing vessel which each year sails in the FT5 area for a period of about three months. He's active as FT5XT/MM from the ship when he sails within the vicinity of the Kerguelen Islands, and as FT5WQ/MM within the vicinity of the Crozet Islands. As most of you will know, /MM stands for Maritime Mobile and is added to an amateur radio callsign to indicate the station is located aboard a ship at sea.
Sporadically Gildas goes ashore on one of the islands (for instance when the ship needs refueling) and will be active from there with the callsigns FT5XT (on Kerguelen) and FT5WQ (on Crozet) without the /MM suffix added. Both Kerguelen and Crozet are part of the Terres Australes et Antarctiques Françaises or TAAF and both form a separate DXCC entity. In case of Gildas' operations, of course they will only count as such when he operates from the islands and not when he's operating /MM from the ship at sea.
In previous years Gildas sailed on the fishing trawler "Ile de la Réunion", and I assume this year is no different. The "Ile de la Réunion" is shown on the QSL card and on his TU5KG page. The "Radio Officers" website in an October 9th, 2017 news item also reports Gildas is aboard the F/V "Ile de la Réunion".

For more info on this QSO, see also my "More 40m fun!" blog entry above.

Kerguelen Islands (source)
The "Ile de la Réunion" (source)
Map showing the location of Kerguelen and Crozet (source)
QSO confirmed in Clublog

See also:

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