JUNE 19 @ 21:00z — The NAI’A has arrived Pago Pago. So has the full KH1/KH7Z team. Baker Island next stop.
JUNE 19 — The majority of the team is now gathered in Pago Pago, American Samoa. 10 out of the 14 team members have arrived, and the other four are all in route. The NAI’A is expected to arrive in Pago Pago at approx. 1900z today. The team plans on boarding the NAI’A tomorrow to get ready to leave port Wednesday.
JUNE 18, 2018 — Don, N1DG says: “Dinner in Samoa. Took 3 planes and 36 hours to get here. Later today we go to American Samoa to meet the Nai’a. Departure Wednesday to Baker. [L-R] N4HU, K6TD, N1DG, JN1THL, 9V1YC, K6MM”
JUNE 17, 2018 by Kevin K6TD — “We arrived at the boat about 9:30AM on 15 June Fiji Time. The freight agent’s flat bed truck had just arrived. They were waiting for a forklift to unload the 9 pallets of equipment. The forklift arrived quickly. Pallets were unloaded, and then items taken off the pallets and handed onto the ship. The crew made quick work of getting all the barrels, and cases.
All the equipment was stacked into the outside prep area, adjacent to the storage area. The crew moved all the equipment in, repacking it twice.
The dock at Lautoka isn’t large, and we were parked behind a ZL naval ship that wanted to leave. So, we cast off the dock lines, motored out of the harbor, did a triangle route, letting the ZL naval ship depart. And return to the dock. The NAI’A felt very smooth and steady on our short 15 minute out and back.
Once back at the dock, items from the NAI’A warehouse arrived – generators, tables and chairs, gas cans, lights, etc. Stowing these items required the storage area be re-packed, for a third time. But, it all fit. Which was a surprise to all of us that saw the equipment coming onto the ship.
The storage area is normally the camera storage and prep area. Right next to this area is a meeting and bench area. When the time comes to move the equipment off the boat, in the correct order, we can move it all into the meeting area, then extract items in the right order. Going to make all this pretty easy.
George, AA7JV, and Rob, NAI’A owner got a chance to talk boats, routes and issues, such as navigating coral heads. We all came away thinking we can do this. The only issue concerning all of us is the surf at Baker.
NAI’A has two large skiffs, which they fitted with bran d new engines today. Rob bought a new skiff just for this trip. The NOAA boat that visits the island told Rob about this skiff that makes getting thru the surf much easier.
N4HU, AA7JV, KN4EEI, and K6TD stored items on the boat, so we don’t need to haul them with use thru APIA onto Samoa. We went over the cabin assignments with Vanessa and Chad, our cruise directors. Got a chance to meet and talk with the cook. The cook even made us all hamburger for lunch. We won’t go hungry on this trip.
We hooked up and activated the inReach tracker, lent to us by ND2T. Rob’s wife plans to track the boat with it.
HA7RY found the expresso machine, and proceeded to make several cups while we were there.
We all got to sit in the air-conditioned dinning room, and review all the items required by DDXA and NAI’A. How much gasoline are we taking (1800L)? What is the island rotations schedule? I forget all the items we covered. We all felt preparations are complete.
The boat plans to leave Lautoka harbor at 2:00PM on Saturday.
Weather today in Fiji was pleasant. Not oppressively hot, nor humid. If you were out of the sun, and where a nic breeze blew, it was very pleasant.
Next stop – APIA, then meet the boat on June 19th in Pago-Pago”.
More pictures and info here
JUNE 12, 2018 — George, AA7JV team member of KH1/KH7Z writes:
“We will be active on 160 from Baker Island from June 27 to July 6 (note that dates are tentative and may change — please visit http://baker2018.net/ for updates). Given the time of the year, KH1 is likely to be challenging for most. In addition to the less then perfect time of year, we are limited to a maximum antenna height of 43 feet. But, we do have a new antenna for 160 meters we will stand it in the salt-water to maximize its performance. We will also have a couple of DHDL receiving antennas with high performance pre-amplifiers. In other words, we will do our absolute best to overcome the handicaps that we were dealt.
Our TX frequency will be 1822.5 to begin with and we will be listening up. NA stations should call above 1825.0 to avoid the stronger JA callers, who are limited to below 1825.0
Our sunset will be at 07:45 UTC. We will be on the band at sunset to fully take advantage of the 1 1/2 hours of common darkness with the NA East Coast.
During that time the sun will be still up in Japan, so we will be able to focus on NA and SA. West coast stations will have more than 4 hours of common darkness with us, they should have a decent chance of putting KH1 in the log. After the West Coast sunrise, from about 12:45 UTC onward, JA, UA0 and SE Asia, as well as ZL/VK, will have an exclusive shot at us. During this time we may move down to give the JA-s more room.
EU will be…well…difficult. We will stay on the air throughout each sunrise, working as far west as possible.”