Can man and woman be separated at the price of more DX for the Deserving?
You are the one to answer this question!
Upon their return to Western Samoa, Naomi flew home to Tampa, Florida via Hawaii early in January 1963. Danny left Western Samoa on January 20, 1963 and headed to Wallis Island, using the callsign FW8DW. Danny was sailing alone just as he had been eight years earlier. He sailed to the south side of the lagoon and set up shop ashore. In the next several weeks he made 3000 QSOs, one of his best efforts from anywhere.
Suva, Fiji, was then to be his swan song operation and the end of his original goal to be the first Englishman to circumnavigate the globe singlehandedly. We never know which way he would have preferred his life to be: accomplishing his goal with no amateur radio on board or the way it ultimately turned out. This way it did cost three vessels and produced DX operations in some 25 DXCC countries.
Danny activated VR2EO for some 1500 QSOs while preparing Yasme III for her longest leg of more than 100 days at sea, against the prevailing winds, to reach Corpus Christi, Texas. Prior to sailing out of Suva, OM Danny Weil released the following letter which was probably the hardest message he has ever written:
“I have decided to turn around and come home to the USA directly. All of you have been very generous in your thoughts and faith in me. I will not betray this faith by making the wrong decision at this time and I feel it is time to stop now. I know that you do not require my reasons for this decision but it makes me feel better to give my personal thoughts along this line.
“It is an impossible situation for me to carry on without Naomi. We have been a team in more ways than one, and to carry on with the job feeling as I do is pointless and will only cause much unhappiness to us both.”
With Danny at the helm, Yasme III wandered her way through the blue Pacific Ocean and Panama Canal to dock at Freeport, Texas. Yasme III was finally sold in December 1963 for USD $15,000. Danny Weil, VP2VB, was inducted to the CQ DX Hall of Fame in 1969 and his nomination referred him as “the pioneer of the worldwide DXpeditions.” And that he was!
Jim Cain, K1TN, met Danny in Texas in October 2001 at the time of Jim’s Yasme book was about completed and his re-collections were interesting; “I had driven to San Antonio in my Mazda Miata and when Danny saw the little compass on the dashboard, he pronounced me an ‘honorary’ sailor. We went out for breakfast one day and Danny mercilessly flirted with the waitress and she loved it. I had figured when you are 80 years old you can get away with such behavior. “This was Danny at his best…”
Finding and keeping a balance in life is not easy. It is easy to give up in the face of toughness and it is hard to get back into the saddle to keep on going, facing the adversities of life. Danny’s story is proof of that fact. Everything looks impossible to the people who never tried anything.
But adventurous souls like Danny could inspire the rest of us to be invincible and to keep on going. That’s why his story is still relevant today, after so many years. Generations of hams were inspired by his life at sea and in the pileups from exotic locations.
While not many of us have the courage or inclination to travel the Seven Seas in search of adventure and the thrill of activating a rare entity, we can all try to contribute something– even if insignificant – to ham radio, the greatest hobby in the world!
The Yasme Foundation flourished in the shadows of Danny Weil and through the great efforts of its first president, Dick Spenceley, KV4AA became one of the premier foundations in amateur radio. Yasme’s efforts in amateur radio continue today on a wider scale.READ ON > Acknowledgements and Special Thanks
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