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3B7C St Brandon DXPendition

The Objective
To activate Saint Brandon 3B7 with a view to giving as many DXers as possible a first
contact with this rare DXCC entity and, as a secondary objective, to give as many bandslots
as possible. Because the sunspot cycle will be just past the minimum our emphasis
will be on the LF bands. We expect to exceed 100,000 QSOs. We will be based on Ile du
Sud, approximately 250 miles north-east of Mauritius. The DXpedition will take place in
September 2007. We have already received agreement in principle from the radio
licensing authorities in Mauritius and we are now finalising our permits.
Saint Brandon
Agalega 3B6 and Saint Brandon 3B7 count as a single entity for DXCC. 3B6/7 ranks high
in most wanted listings, especially on LF and in the USA. 3B6/7 is much rarer than both
the Comoros (D6) and Rodrigues (3B9) so demand should be huge. The last two
expeditions to 3B6/7 were 3B7RF (53,533 QSOs) in 1998 and 3B6RF (64,239 QSOs) in
2001. Despite these DXpeditions 3B6/7 is already well up on the most wanted lists. In the
2006 DX Magazine survey, 3B7 ranked 45th worldwide and 18th on the US West Coast.
Its “Rest of World” (S.America, Africa, Australia/New Zealand, etc.) ranking is 26th. It
ranked 58th worldwide in the 2005 Most Wanted RTTY Countries survey, needed by
41.5% of respondents.
Ile du Sud, at the southerly tip of the Saint Brandon archipelago, is a long narrow island,
1050m by 220m wide on average. There are two bungalows, recently built, of a good
size but with limited accommodation. Some of the team will sleep in tents. We will be
taking marquees for some of the stations, equipment storage etc. This will be a very
different FSDXA DXpedition. There is no hotel and we will be in accommodation of
somewhat less than five stars, in fact probably zero star! The island is remote and is
uninhabited apart from a few fishermen. But the radio take-off is outstanding.
St. Brandon (also known as the Cargados Carajos Shoals) is a group of about 16 small
islands and islets on an extended reef in the Indian Ocean northeast of Mauritius. The
islands have a total land area of 1.3km. The reef measures more than 50km from north
to south, and is 5km wide, cut by three passes. The reef area is 190km. The islands have
a small population, made up of natives as well as others, and are rich in flora and fauna.
The islands are classified as a dependency of Mauritius, which is some 250 miles
south-west, and are administered from Port Louis. The islands are part of the
Mascarene Islands.
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