To The Mountains of the Moon

Part 11. The End

All good things come to and end, so also this Gatti Hallicrafters Expedition. But if all was good is very doubtful.Even the logs are lost.

To Nairobi

Sundaymorning, July 11th the caravan left Narwa for Nairobi, but caused by Murphy's Law (problems with tyres, carburators, hitches of trucks etc..) they ended that day in the jungle. Rain made them impossible to travel, so another day they stayed on the same place. Tuesday they moved on, and the caravan reached Narok. On the track to Narok they saw plenty of Longnecks, even a group of 32 of them. Errol and Weldon had a busy day. Wednsesday they reached Kijabe, close to the point were the tarmac road to nairobi started. At last on thursday July 15, 1948 the expeditioners reached Nairobi, and parked their trucks on Delamare Avenue, causing a huge traffic jam. There seemed to be thousands of people on hand, and they sure asked enough silly questions.After this public relations stop, the caravan moved out to camp 8 miles outside Nairobi. It was the end of the road for Bob, he left circus Gatti, and moved to the Queens hotel in Nairobi.

The end of the Expedition

Bill Snyder and Doug Edwards did leave the expedition very early. The climbing of the Kibo was for these two members also a stumbling block, however not a physical one. Attilio Gatti was not an easy person to deal with, his word was law. Bill wanted to quit, even before the expedition had started. Bill was with Arch Oboler at the right place, and stayed for months in Africa, not playing radio, but being a cameraman, and a sound technician. Bob served his contractual time with Gatti, and after succesful climbing the Kibo, he held the whole HAM world for 4 extra months in ecstasy. For Jim Powers, Nairobi was also the end of the expedition, he tried to get home by plane. Gatti went on two more months, having his own safari to the "Mountains of the Moon". King, Prince and Wakeford were with him, putting base camps 6, 7 and 8 on the map. According to his contract, Bob had to leave Africa immediately after the expedition was over, and had to return by boat to the States. But Bob wanted to go to Saudi Arabia, so Bob did go back to Gatti's camp to talk some things over, as he was not settled with the Commander. Bob was also QRV as a guest operator of VQ4ERR in Nairobi from July 15 July to August 21, and made 307 QSOs from the shack of Robbie Robson, VQ4ERR. While Bob was with VQ4ERR, Robbie wanted a new antenna. This was to be on top of his tower which had been for a windmill. Bob had read somewhere in QST of a Yagi which could be built so that it could rotate continuosly, without twisting the coax line. It made use of two loops of copper tubing close to each other to couple the feedline to the antenna. Since it was a new design to Bob also, it resulted in many climbs up and down the tower - it was good that he was young then. After lots of adjustments and trial and error the antenna worked very well. Bob had accepted a job at ARAMCO in Saudi Arabia, but he cannot remember when the idea came up. Probably it was his father, John, W6YEZ who got the idea. Bob could get on board the Norwegian tanker M/T Dovrefjell who brought Bob from Dar es Salaam to Bahrein. Bob, the pilot of the M/T Dovrefjell Their engines were broken and so the tanker sat in the hot humid harbor while those were being repaired. Bob was put to work painting the sides of the tanker. Next job was cleaning out the bilges. He finally got acquainted with the radio operator who was Norwegian and learned a few words of their language. Since he was an officer of the ship Bob soon got acquainted with the captain and other officers. Once underway Bob was promoted to be helmsman and to steer the tanker. The ship was short handed and they wanted him to stay on, but his destination was first Bahrein Island in the Persian Gulf, and then on to Saudi Arabia to visit his parents. Bob worked two years for ARAMCO Bob and had several duties. He was supervisor of the radio station HZA, and worked for the geology department in the Arabian desert. Of course Bob was one of the HZ1AB operators. Bob arranged also a licence to be QRV from Bahrein, and was using the call MP4BAL. Finally he returned to San Mateo, California ©W7LR and PA0ABM
Traffic Jam in Nairobi Bob, the pilot of the M/T Dovrefjell  The world of VQ4ERR  Bob QRV from VQ4ERR, QSL came from PA1AT