NEWS UPDATE by VE3LYC — Several significant developments occurred during the last few days, and I would like to update you on them below:
(1) An operation from Russell Islands (OC-168, Solomon Islands DXCC) was added to the one already planned from Duff Islands (OC-179, Temotu DXCC). Russell Islands were last operated from in Feb 2001 or 17 years ago, and this IOTA group is in demand by about 94% of IOTA chasers. This addition extends the duration of the original project by a week and adds new logistical challenges.
(2) The expedition time schedule has been finalized and all plane tickets purchased today:
18 April: depart Toronto to Honiara via Brisbane;
20 April: arrival Honiara;
22 to 25 April: operate from Mbanika Island (Russell Islands, OC-168; MWL 6.4%);
28 April: depart Honiara to Lata;
29 April to 3 May: operate from Tahua or Taumako Island (Duff Islands, OC-179, MWL 3.0%)
5 May: depart Lata to Honiara;
6 May: depart Honiara to Brisbane and overnight there;
7 May: depart Brisbane to Toronto.
(3) Bernhard (DL3GAC, H44MS) will join in the activity from OC-168. The team will operate two stations, using CW and SSB, mainly on 17, 20, 30, and 40 m.
(4) There is a small possibility that following the OC-168 operation I may attempt to operate from Nggela Sule Island (Florida Islands, OC-158; MWL 15.7%) on 26 and 27 April. However, under no circumstance I will rush to end the OC-168 operation in order to squeeze in some activity from OC-158.
(5) I will spend 9 days in the Solomon Islands DXCC (H44) and 8 days in the Temotu DXCC (H40). Between the two DXCCs, Temotu is certainly more in demand. Club Log indicates that H40 is ranked world-wide #43 at Mixt, #66 in CW, and #23 in SSB on the DXCC Most Wanted list. However, it is ranked higher in Europe: #37 at Mixt, #45 in CW, #25 in SSB, and even higher in Western Europe: #26 at Mixt, #29 in CW, #24 in SSB. Interestingly, it is a very high demand in Western Europe on some bands: #13 on 40m, #15 on 30m, #30 on 20m, and #26 on 17m.