Dima, RA9USU will be active as 7O73T from Socotra Island, IOTA AF - 028, Yemen until 28 November 2023.
He will operate on HF Bands, including activity in CQ WW DX CW Contest, 25 - 26 November 2023.
QSL via UA3DX.
Pearl of the Indian Ocean
The magical island of Socotra can rightly be considered one of the most amazing places in the world. It owes this definition to its nature, which is truly unique. Just imagine, one third of the island's plants, a large number of birds, spiders, mollusks and almost 90% of reptiles are not found anywhere else in the world.
Most interestingly, few people realized about the natural treasure trove until 1880. That year, Professor Isaac Balfour organized an expedition, which turned out to be a real triumph. The scientist managed to discover more than 200 previously unknown plants in a month and a half. At the same time, 20 of them belonged to new genera that have not yet been studied. Even today, the island is little known, as the tourist destination is only developing. Those who find an opportunity to visit Socotra go mainly to get acquainted with its amazing nature.
This was the name given to Socotra in ancient Egypt. The inhabitants of the legendary civilization believed that the island was guarded by 75 giant snakes that waited for seafarers in the coastal caves. They gave Sakotra the name Pa-anch and claimed that Spirit Island was ruled by the Serpent King. The main riches of the King on the island were considered to be myrrh and frankincense.
In general, Socotra is surrounded by legends. According to one of them, the capital of the island was the Sun City, to which the mythical bird Phoenix returned. According to legends, it had plumage similar to the burning sun and the scarlet sunset of the summer sky. Legends also say that on Sakotra lived a giant bird Rukh, which was so strong that it could easily lift an elephant into the air. The bird itself was so huge that it laid eggs the size of a temple.
It is said that the famous navigator Sinbad once saw the legendary bird on the island. Perhaps it was the eagle Rukh that carried the famous sailor out of the gorge when he was laden with heavy treasures. According to legend, the cunning Sinbad disguised himself in sheepskin to attract the attention of the giant bird.
Three legendary trees of Socotra
Although the island is full of unique plants, the three species of trees that have become its trademark are most often talked about.
The dragon tree (Dracaena draco). The tree got its unusual name due to the red resin that oozes from its trunks. Another name of the tree is Dracaena dracaena, and the famous Russian scientist Vladimir Dahl gave it another name - "draconnik". The resin of the Dragon Tree is used by the inhabitants to produce varnishes and paint, and is also used in medicine and cosmetics. Such an important role in the economy was noted by Socotrians and Dracaena draco became the symbol of the island.
The appearance of the Dracaena draco is quite unique. The branches of the tree are centered on the crown, are very branched and have almost the same thickness along their entire length. From the side, such a tree looks like a giant mushroom with a green cap. The plains dotted with dragonberry look more like the landscapes of another planet than anything familiar to our eyes.
Cucumber tree (Dendrosicyos socotrana). This is the rarest representative of trees of the gourd family. The plant got its name thanks to the fruits, which in appearance resemble cucumbers. However, unlike the familiar vegetable, these fruits have many large thorns on the rind. The tree itself has a fleshy trunk and short branches covered with leaves. The trunk can reach a meter in diameter, and from the side looks like an elephant's leg.
Desert Rose (Dorstenia Giga). A unique tree that can only be found on Spirit Island. The plant has a very fleshy barrel-shaped trunk and short, thick branches. The desert rose is called dorstenia for its unusually beautiful flowers, which look quite contrasting with its shapeless trunk. One of the features of this species is its complete unpretentiousness - Desert Rose can grow even on bare rocks.
Kalansiya Beach is a paradise on earth
One of the attractions of Socotra is the mesmerizing beauty of Kalansiya Beach. Turquoise waters wash the dazzling white sand, reminiscent of pictures from tourist brochures about paradise vacations.
The water in this place is surprisingly transparent and quickly warms up. This is used by stingrays, which come here to bask in the sunlight. Surprisingly, but for all the beauty of the place is almost deserted and only local fishermen periodically appear on the shore. By the way, if you are interested, they can catch a stingray out of the water and offer to cook it in the nearest restaurant. Also on the beach you can notice multiple chains of traces, which leave wandering on the beach crabs.
In general, the island is just created for eco-tourism, which is what lures tour operators to Socotra. If you decide to go here on vacation, arm yourself with a camera and get ready for an unforgettable experience.