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It’s All in the Cards! QSL Cards from Bonaire

Editor’s Note: Every month, DX Engineering features QSL cards from our team members’ personal collections. To highlight upcoming DXpeditions, we’ll be displaying a few of our favorite cards along with details about what it took to make these contacts. We’re excited to share some of the special cards pulled from the thousands we’ve received over the years. We look forward to seeing your cards as well!

Bonaire QRV in February

NE9U is scheduled to be active from Bonaire as PJ4/NE9U in HF from February 11-26. For those participating in the ARRL International DX, CW contest, NE9U will be QRV during the event which runs from February 18, 0000Z to February 19, 2359Z.

Bonaire (IOTA SA-006), a Dutch island in the Leeward Antilles in the Caribbean Sea, was the 233rd Most-Wanted DXCC Entity per Clublog as of January. Situated 50 miles off the coast of Venezuela, Bonaire is one of three islands in the ABC Islands group—so named because of the first letters of their names. Which leads us to our geography question of the day: Can you name the other two ABC Islands? Both have been featured in OnAllBands and, if you’ve been paying attention, you’ll note that one begins with an A and the other a C. Cue Jeopardy theme music. Now…go! Answer below.

About Bonaire

This 111-square-mile island has a population of around 21,000. Bonaire’s capital city, Kralendijk, has a population of roughly 10,600. Residents speak Dutch, English, and Papiamentu, a Portuguese-based creole language that is the most widely spoken language of the ABC Islands. Described by some as a “diving paradise” because of its stunning marine life and protected coral reefs, Bonaire—like the other ABC Islands—sits outside the area’s tropical hurricane belt.

QSL Cards

The active hams at DX Engineering have had great success contacting Bonaire over the years (a good reason to contact them for help with your gear if you’d like to do the same). Here are a few of the QSL cards from their collections.

Tom, KB8UUZ, DX Engineering technical writer, reached the multi-op PJ4W DXpedition, which operated from the Radio Netherland Worldwide broadcast facility on Bonaire. The seminal activation ran for 12 days in October 2010, celebrating Bonaire as a new DXCC entity. He also reached PJ4Y during the CQ WPX SSB contest in 2005, when Bonaire was not its own DXCC entity. In March 2012, he contacted PJ4Z multiple times on SSB.

Bonaire QSL Card
Bonaire QSL Card from 2010
Bonaire QSL Card from 2005
Bonaire QSL Card with reptile in picture
Bonaire QSL Card from 2012

Wayne, K8FF, DX Engineering customer/technical support specialist, worked PJ4D (20M SSB) and PJ4I (30M CW) both on October 10, 2010—the day the Netherland Antilles was dissolved as a nation. Both DXpeditions highlighted the birth of Bonaire as a new DXCC entity. Dave, K8DV, DX Engineering customer/technical support specialist, reached PJ4D on 17/15/10M CW and 80/40/10 SSB. The PJ4I card shows the flamingos of Bonaire, which can be found in all their pink, long-legged splendor in various locations on the island.

Bonaire QSL Card with sunset scene
Bonaire QSL Card with flamingos

Dave, K8DV, also contacted PJ4/WA4PGM in October 2006 on 20M CW.

Bonaire QSL Card with boats

Scott, N3RA, DX Engineering sales manager, made an 10M FT8 QSO with PJ4GR in June 2020.

Bonaire QSL Card multiple scenes

“I’ll take Islands of the World for $1,000, Mayim.”

Back to our geography stumper. Bonaire is one of the three ABC Islands. Can you name the other two? If you said Aruba and Curacao, give yourself a gold star and an OABGQOTD Award (for you acronym fans, that’s an OnAllBands Geography Question of the Day Award)! If you answered with “arugula” (a spicy leafy green) and “chiaroscuro” (the treatment of light and shade in art), maybe it’s time to invest in Geochron’s Digital Atlas 2 4K.

Bonaire stands as the least populated of this island group compared to Aruba (69.5 square miles, population 106,500) and Curacao (171.4 square miles, population 152,300). Aruba is the closest of the three to the Venezuelan coast at 15 miles.

The Netherland Antilles’ dissolution as a DXCC entity in October 2010 gave rise to four new entities: Bonaire, Curacao, Saba and St. Eustatius, and Sint Maarten.

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