Marion Reef, Coral Sea

JUNE 17 – Now QRV —

JUNE 3, 2017 – The trip has been postponed for another week. Andy received a phone call from the skipper yesterday – the boat’s gear box is faulty and needs to be repaired. New dates are June 17-24 on air, with whole trip June 16-25.

MAY 30 — Andy, VK5MAV updates that he will be active from Marion Reef, Coral Sea Islands, OC-267 as VK9MAV between June 11-16, 2017. QRV on HF bands. Also plans activity from Whitsundays Island OC-160 during June 17-18, 2017. QSL via VK5MAV direct, OQRS Club Log or via RN3RQ buro.

MAY 19 — I’ve finally received a long-awaited call from the skipper that I’ve been included in the ship’s role for the journey to Marion Reef.

The dates are indicated from the 8th to the 18th of June – but it’s not entirely clear, these days when the ship is coming / going or I have to arrive / depart on these dates. But any way you can (and have to) to wait for me on the air between these dates for 5-6 days.

I’m not at all sure whether to get out with OC-160, as planned earlier. In general, the whole situation is like “Take the bags – the train departs!”, But perhaps because I am strictly limited to the time frame of leave, permit, etc. And they live there and all this is just part of the daily worries.

Well, as a cherry on the cake –
1. All this has sharply increased in cost.
2. I’m not as happy as I should – just “burned out” slightly. But I believe it won’t reflect on the activity.
3. The ship made a test trip Marion reef a week ago. The reef is almost invisible – a high tides plus it has been well-worn by Debbie cyclone. All this will make my stay there bit more “interesting – perhaps all 6 days will be spent sitting on the upper platform of the weather station. And the “eagle position” included … 🙂

Not the Scarborough reef, of course, but the motives are present.
How it looks – here – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v7Ix9jQLqEg&t=405s

What to do with antennas – somehow I will not put my mind to it. There will be no special place to stretch them …

Alas, although I threatened IOTA society to do 2 expeditions a year – this year will have to confine to one. “Everything is expensive in the bazaar …”
BUT.
For 2018, the plan is almost complete – it includes 2 islands. Not super rare – but rare enough. If, of course, no one else will run across my path …

See you all on air from there !
Cheers.

Andy VK5MAV/VK9MAV