Here’s an email I got from a Gentlemen I’ll call “Carlos”:
Date: Wed, 27 Apr 2016 12:37:55 -0400
Subject: Does this make sense ??
Congrats on your 331 truly amazing. Hopefully 1 day I’ll join Famous Group of Honor Roll.
Ok, As you know My name is Carlos from Puerto Rico (redacted) and would like to know your point of view on Dxpeditions being approved or not, since It really doesnt make sense:
Here in PR we have an Island called Desecheo Island (Puerto Rico territory) but for some odd reason the US took over the island for research and experiment ohh blah blahh….
Why would I need a Permit to Operate from desecheo ?
Here comes the curve ball,
Every weekend Desecheo Island shore is fully packed of civilians with their family members and friends hanging out at the beach at desecheo, they do BBQ’s camping etc… then head back to the mainland approx.5-7min boat ride…
My question is, Can I go join the BBQ and turn my radio on to transmit from Desecheo island ? Its totally legal to be on shore on any island….
Just thinking while driving the North West Coast of PR and in Plain view there it is: Desecheo Island.
I chose to write you because I know you are 1 of the well known ham operator for being outspoken and talk your heart and mind…
Im no writer sorry for the many mistakes hi hi..
At face value it appears to be a very easy answer. Something along the lines of; “it’s illegal to set foot on Desecheo Island without a permit”.
But not so fast!
The island is off limits, but around Desecheo (and several other islands) the waters are for public use and need no permitting. It is legal to scuba, dive, boat, etc. around Desecheo.
Example: Taino Divers – Desecheo Island
In several cases, I’ve found Land Ownership Laws do not start until the “high water mark”. It’s called land above the “high water mark”, and shoreline and water below the high water mark. The high water mark in many cases is legally described as the “highest wash of the waves”. It’s possible this is how these weekend family BBQ’s and outings happen on the shore of Desecheo – legally.
You seeing where I am going with this? Carlos takes a radio, battery and vertical to Desecheo on his family BBQ with hundreds of other weekend visitors – legally stays below the high water mark and operates his rig on the shoreline above water (and on land) – all without a permit. Legal? Pirate operation? Count for DXCC?
And just for you people that might say, “well, maybe the ARRL considers land-based to be just like the Land Ownership Laws and for Carlos to be counted as a land-based operation he has to operate above the High Water Mark. Well, Mr. Land Law Expert, please answer me this: how have hundreds of operations been approved operating from beaches BELOW the high water mark, even some with antennas in the water? They’re not considered above the high water mark and on land, now are they? You going to disqualify hundreds (if not thousands) of operations because they were not “land-based”?
If this is found to be some loophole in the DXCC Rules, then I’d imagine (like Carlos) you wouldn’t need a permit for a few other shoreline operations now would you? Local Hams could make weekend excursions to some pretty rare places that take hundreds of thousands of dollars to activate presently. And that’s good for Ham Radio.
Bring your arguments, but before you do, don’t just dismiss what you can’t see because it may be an opportunity. Open your black and white mind and come visit us in the gray area of N0UN.net.