Monday, August 01, 2016

Summer fun

Last weekend I made what has become an almost annual trip across the North Sea to the Netherlands to take part in the Summer Meeting - where pirate operators and listeners get together to chat, eat and drink.

This year the event was organised by the Shortwave Combination Holland in the north-east of the Netherlands, a great location and run like clockwork by Jos of Radio Lowland and his team of helpers. There were many pirates enjoying the atmosphere, including a good number of MW operators like Radio SilviaJack SparrowArmadaHavannaCalimeroRelmusCasablancaWadloper, Batavier and more.

My visit to the Netherlands began on Friday July 22 when I flew over from England and spent the afternoon and evening with Radio Barones, who was in good spirits. His transmitter was not in A1 condition at the time so there was no transmitting like on so many previous occasions, but that was no problem. I've known the Baro for over 20 years , so it's always good to visit and find out what he's been up to.

On Saturday morning I took a slow drive to another good friend, to Radio Zeewolf and his family who welcomed me into their home. My bedroom for the next couple of days was in the studio, nestled among the many transmitters and pieces of radio equipment all set out in a stunning fashion. It really is a sight to behold!

On Saturday afternoon we headed to the Summer Meeting and spent a fine time in the company of many pirates whose names are know by radio listeners and DXers across Europe. Stations like PowerlinerTechnical ManBlack ArrowPythonFoxfireMustangTidalwaveCarrierwavePirana - they were all there. 

It was also a pleasure to meet Alf and Per from Sweden - great supporters of the pirate scene and big players in the Dx world in Scandinavia. We spent time chatting and drinking at the Summer Meeting before getting together again on Sunday with Radio Zeewolf and visiting a couple of pirates.

First stop was at Studio 52, where yours truly was a little quiet after far too much to drink at the Summer Meeting - I personally blame Mustang and Batavier. When you're in their company it is very difficult to drink slowly!

As ever, it was interesting to see where another shortwave pirate is housed and just what the set-up is. Many thanks for the coffee and cake, which helped wake me up a little!

The biggest surprise of the trip came on our next visit - to Radio Casablanca. Operator Hans has been transmitting for some 44 years and has seen it all during his time as a pirate. MW is his passion, and qsoing in particular. He took great delight in showing us his set-up and has kindly let me share these photos with you:

I think it's fair to say it's best to keep your hands in your pockets if you're going anywhere near the Casablanca transmitter! With wires everywhere it might not look the safest piece of kit, but it certainly packs a punch on the MW band with a great signal into the UK and Europe.

Like most pirate studios these days, there were plenty of computers on show. However, Casablanca has prefers to play his music from CD and has a fine collection.

After we had taken a good look at indoor side of Radio Casablanca, we went outside for a look at the antenna . . . and found something quite unexpected at the bottom of his antenna mast. For the use of friends and family, Hans has his own pub!

I had seen some Casablanca beermats previously, and now it all makes sense. With a full bar, pool table, fruit machine, music and even a transmitter, the pub has it all! Our Swedish friends could hardly believe their eyes!

Later than evening after a super Chinese meal in the Zeewolf garden it was great to hear Casablanca on air . . . just a few hours earlier we had been in his studio and drinking in his pub!

My trip this year was only a flying visit and I was back home on Monday evening, tired but with plenty of stories to tell.

I would like to say a very big thank-you to Barones and Zeewolf for kindly letting me stay with them, and also to Zeewolf's family for having this strange, sometimes messy, Englishman in their house for a couple of days. Also a big thumbs-up to Jos for all his time and effort to make the Summer Meeting the success it was. I can only imagine all the time and effort that went into making sure it ran so well. Many thanks.

It was great to be there and spend some time with you all.


  1. David, thanks for your kind words. You are always welcome to visit us again.

  2. Interesting reading, as always. Perhaps a UK pirate reunion get-together should next be arranged..

    1. I reckon this is a brilliant idea and certainly one I have thought about. I wonder if there would be enough interest for it to work?

  3. good idea charlie. a uk style meeting. iam sure there would a lot of interest from uk pirates.?

  4. Thanks for the blog update and great to read you had a good time, meeting so many pirates and remembering it after too many beers too. Catch you soon in the chat room, Cheers, Dave.

  5. already go into training for next year will be helping one little David Cheers''73 Manus

  6. Yeah, lets try to make the UK meeting happen.

  7. Fantastic report. Would love to attend this next year in the Netherlands.

  8. Fantastic report. Would love to attend this next year in the Netherlands.


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