In September 2000 I planned a vacation to an exotic place. I visited the Bahamas in 1996 so I decided to go to another warm location. Ham friends suggested the Maldives Islands. I have been listening to short wave since 1974 and am still an active listener. I also have been licensed since 1999 but do not have a lot of experience. Some friends have "forced" me to bring my HF equipment to use during spare time on my vacation. I followed normal procedure to obtain a license by contacting Mr.Abdullah Rasheed in the Maldives and then paying a fee through my local travel agent. On December 12 a copy of the licence arrived via fax. During the past month I have tested the vertical antenna that was made by Giovanni I1UJX; besides being one of the kindest persons I have ever met in my life he is also an expert at this. During the ARRL 10 mt contest I had the opportunity to QSO JA and K with just 100 watts and the antenna at ground level surround by walls - amazing performances.  I decided to go to Ellaidhoo island simply because the tour operator is one of the few that didn't ask for an additional fee for singles. The ARI atoll is one of the most famous place for scuba diving in the Maldives. I will be joining the scuba school for the first time and I hope to have enough time to operate my station. Since this is my very first expedition I apologize if my operating procedures will be a bit slow but I will also be trying to relax as much as possible! Running 100 watts on a vertical antenna will produce a weak signal but, as I mentioned, this is my fun and I hope for you too. I hope to operate in PSK and RTTY and since my logs will be handwritten don't expect a contest rate! I do hope to contact all my friends who know me better as 425DXNews webmaster. If you hear me on the airwaves please drop me a call. It would be great to meet everyone on the air for the first time. Thanks and look forward to hearing from you !

Maurizio Bertolino