With thanks to Ralph H44RK / H44IOTA who sends exclusive text, images and movie from his time on Ngella Sule, Florida Islands OC-158. DX World.net is a sponsor of H44IOTA.
Haroro village in Rodrick Bay is in the North West corner of Ngella Sule, the biggest island in the Florida chain that constitutes OC-158. We chose this site for activating OC-158 for a number of reasons, but primarily because of its safety. John Ruka (Chief of Haroro village) has a long history in the region with minimal land disputes and a great reputation with the yachting community.
Rodrick Bay Hideaway (as it is most commonly known) is quite simply a haven for yachts in the Floridas and one of the few places of no theft, no uninvited boardings and no anchorage fee. So with free moorings, friendly people, great snorkeling and a very relaxing environment, it is indeed paradise.
Last year John organised the first ever Solomon Islands Yacht festival and as a result possesses a number of dwellings suitable for use as a radio shack. John kindly offered Ralph the use of one of them for his operation.
We arrived in Rodrick Bay early on the morning of the 22nd of June and started ops morning of the 23rd. The entire village helped erect antennas, 2 of Johnâ€™s sons climbing surrounding trees to string up the doublet about 30ft above the hut, erect a vertical and Ralphâ€™s 3 element Yagi.
Unfortunately operating conditions deteriorated with a solar flare of 9.9 so between this and incessant thunderstorms contacts were limited. For 3 days Ralph remained active in the hut with limited success, finally dismantling all gear and returning to Honiara with John, his wife Lillian, son Joseph and 10 bags of lime for sale at the Honiara market.
We are currently in Honiara while we prepare for our trip to H40 and the installation of the VHF Radio Safety equipment in Temotu Province. We anticipate a 7 day stay in Honiara, then a brief return visit to Rodrick Bay, before reaching Lata in approximately 3 weeks.