Fall DXpedition to Willis Island Set, Outing to Mellish Reef Postponed

02/16/2021

The Daily DX reports that a team from the Hellenic Amateur Radio Association of Australia (HARAOA) is planning a November 3 – 13 DXpedition to Willis Island, which ranks #38 on Club Log’s DXCC Most Wanted List. The group has put off plans to include a stint from Mellish Reef, last activated in 2017. “With time away from jobs a consideration for the ops, Mellish is being put off to 2022,” said team leader John Chalkiarakis, VK3YP.

The seven operators for this fall’s DXpedition will be from Australia and New Zealand. They’re in the process of obtaining a permit from Parks Australia, which is “required to ‘camp’ at these Australian Coral Sea marine parks.”

Chalkiarakis says the call sign VK9HR is expected to be renewed in August, but he’s trying to get VK9W. “VK9IR will be an additional call sign to be allocated,” he said. The most important document is the landing permit, also from Parks Australia. No permit is required to visit these coral sea islands for non-commercial purposes, but a permit application is needed to set up a campsite and to stay overnight on the island.

The seven-operator team plans to use verticals on 160, 80, 40, and 30 meters, while VDAs (vertical dipole arrays) will be used on 20, 17, 15, 12, and 10 meters. Activity is expected on SSB, CW, and FT8 on 160 through 10 meters. The equipment complement is expected to be Kenwood TS-590S and Icom IC-7300 transceivers with amplifiers on all.

A DXpedition website and logo are in the works. Home to a meteorological station, Willis Island is in the Coral Sea, off the northeast coast of Australia.

Chalkiarakis also said that he and some friends have been trying to obtain a landing permit for Macquarie Island (VK0M), which is #12 on Club Log’s DXCC Most Wanted List, but he conceded that it’s nearly impossible to get permission from the Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service,” because Macquarie is a protected nature reserve. — Thanks to The Daily DX

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