Saturday, July 14, 2007

Pre-packing (or Practice Makes Perfect, Part 2)

With just over a week until my trip, it was time to go through my radio "packing list" as I did a few weeks ago, except this time I'd "pre-pack" everything and not put it away. The idea is to not leave anything for the last minute, and to make sure that if there were any items on my packing list that I still need to buy or borrow, that I had them. In the process of doing this, I discovered that my packing list wasn't as complete as it should have been. I printed out the list, and as I pulled out each item and put it into a temporary bag (it'll be repacked for real soon), there were a few items that I realized that I never put on the list. Although some of the items were relatively unimportant (I decided to throw a few small alligators clips in, for instance), I realized that I did entirely forget to put the Buddistick (and accessories) on the list. Oops. Most likely (!) I wouldn't have forgotten that, but since I decided that I'd probably use my packing list for any future ventures, I might as well get it right.

Of course, as I was typing this, I realized that I in fact had forgotten to pack one very important thing: My Cayman license and import permit.
The reason why I realized that I had forgotten to pre-pack that was because I looked down, and there it was, sitting in front of my keyboard, where it's been sitting for a couple of months now, so that I, um, wouldn't forget it. It guess it had been sitting there for so darned long that I had ignored it. Oops again. Well, I've now made a couple of copies of the documents, and pre-packed them, as well as the originals.

As a side note, the reason that I mentioned the import permit is because there's apparently a law in the Cayman Islands that if you bring in your radio equipment,
you need to have an import permit (which costs around USD$15). If you don't have that, I've been told by a couple of guys who've gone down there that you have to post bond equivalent to the value of the radio upon entry, which is returned to you when you leave with your equipment. I've also had one or two folks tell me that they've gotten in without the bond or the permit, but I figured that I'd avoid the hassle and paperwork by getting the permit in advance.

Back to pre-packing. Aside from those items that I didn't forget but were on the list, and those items that I did forget and weren't on the list (until now), things went pretty well. I have a very small number of items that are being left until the last minute, the only significant item being the radio
itself, since it's in use right now. Either later today or tomorrow I'm going to pack that as well, and swap in a spare 2m rig that I normally use when doing a temporary mobile setup. The only downside is that if by some chance I have a little time to play around in the CQ WW VHF contest next week (which isn't likely; we have all-day plans for Saturday, and are leaving for Cayman on Sunday), I won't have a 2m all-band tranceiver. Oh well. The one really good piece of news is that all of the equipment takes up relatively little space, and is fairly light. Not including the radio (which will most likely be part of my carry-on so it won't count as part of my weight allowance for the flights), the bag weighs 18 pounds (about 8.2 kilos), so that won't break the weight budget. By the way, as I mentioned, this is not the final packing. This is just a bag that I thought I could fit most of my gear into. In the picture, you can see some of what I'm taking, like the power supply, feedline, some spare radial wire, some tie wraps, and even the "cheat sheet" for my '706 just in case I need to adjust some rarely-used setting.

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