This afternoon I flew into Bamaga where I met up with one of my support people who took me 8km north to the coastal location of Seisia. It’s so exciting to be in far north Queensland again in such a remote location. Seisia will be my mainland staging base and supply town. Fingers crossed that all of the equipment has survived the freight and flights and is in working order.
I have just a little bit of mobile phone and internet coverage on the beach in Seisia which means I can give you my latest update before departing for the island in the morning. As I write this it’s 7:30pm local time. Tomorrow is going to be a big day to set up the camp on this uninhabited island. In the morning I’ll get fuel, food and water to keep me alive and sustained. The threat of crocodiles is something I’ll need to take seriously and I’ll be trying to get the antennas as close to the water’s edge as possible while trying to have the tent as far away as possible.
People need to remember that there’ll be times that I need to go off the air for 15-30 minutes to work on the generator or to repair the tent during a storm. There may be times of the day that I won’t be on air in case of bad weather (especially electrical storms) or if the supply boat comes to bring me fuel, water and ice.
I’m really hoping that I have internet mobile coverage somewhere on the island not too far from the campsite, I’ve been told this be possible if I’m lucky. If I don’t, then each day at noon I may arrange for my support guy to pick me up from the island, go to Seisia, get more ice, fuel, etc supplies and bring my laptop to upload files onto ClubLog to avoid people doing dupes. Only time will tell what’ll I’ll end up doin. There are so many variables and potential things to go wrong on this DXpedition – so fingers crossed!
Looking at the tiny island from the mainland it has a surprisingly large hill on it and so I need to carefully pick my spot to avoid signals being blocked. We’re probably going to land and set up camp on the northern side so that’ll provide a clear water short path to JA, W/VE and Europe. It may not great for long path Europe but don’t worry guys because here in the tropics the best European path is 15m and 20m short path especially at this time of the year. This is opposite to my OC-261 DXpedition in southern Australia where long path 20m was ideal and short path was almost non-existent. If I find a good spot with clear water short path then it will allow me to look for JA and W/VE on 15m in my mornings at 2100-0200 UTC, visit the mainland, return as quickly as possible around 0400/0500 UTC to try for 20m for long path Europe and short path west coast W/VE and South America. Then it’s the long shift from around 0800 UTC working 15m JA/Europe and venturing to 20m by 1000 UTC to look for short path W/VE coast to coast and then Europeans will start arriving around 1200 UTC. Remember Europe to stand by for North America in the 1000-1400 UTC period when I ask, but don’t worry as 20m to Europe should be open past 1600 UTC if conditions are good.
Who knows, we’ll just have to see what ionospheric and environmental conditions throw at us in this wild adventure over the next 6 days.