Due to the ever worsening weather associated with an impending tropical storm, the team decided in the interest of safety to end the operation early. The last night on the island was extremely difficult. With continued heavy rain and wind, radio operations were nearly impossible. We have set sail for the Australian coast and seek a course to keep ahead of the storm that caused us to leave the reef. Expect 2.5 – 3 days of sailing prior to reaching our port destination.
News from the VK9MT team
The full team assembled in Mackay and has been busy with assigned tasks and making preparations for sailing. The boat will have a crew of 5 experienced sailors and 11 passengers. After several days of continuous rain, the boat is loaded with all our radio equipment, stocked with food and other essentials. The humidity has been excessive and very uncomfortable to those of us unaccustomed to such conditions.
Our equipment arrived in Australia in excellent condition. We assembled the CrankIR antennas and made final tuning adjustment to the folding hex beams.
The Advance Team arrived in Mackay on March 18th - 19th. After many connections and over 30 hours of plane / layover time from EU and US we finally arrived at hotel. Next morning we met the owner of the receiving firm and began the task of inventorying the shipments and opening the crates and barrels.
We spent the better part of two days at shops around Mackay buying items we thought too expensive to ship round trip from the US and EU.
The Advance Team leaves for Australia on Sunday, March 16th, arriving Tuesday, March 18th. All equipment arrived in Australia and is at our partner firm. During the time we are at sea and during radio operations there will be no personal e-mail communications with the Team. Look to the DX bulletins for updates. We plan to update them using a satellite data terminal. If sea conditions permit there will be Maritime Mobile operation.
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