For all of my previous IOTA DXpeditions there have been some inhabitants or facilities on the island. For instance Magnetic Island was a popular tourist island with a daily ferry service, Fitzroy Island had a resort on it with an almost daily Fast Catamaran service and Horn Island had a pub and motel with a daily flight there. Then I started to get a little more adventurous, Bremer Island had accommodation there but it needed a charter boat for the visit and Flinders Island also had accommodation but it needed a single engine charter plane to get there.
It was time to draw inspiration from my collection of DXpedition DVDs by K4UEE and 9V1YC, etc and go somewhere that was totally uninhabited, that was in a very remote part of Australia and was in high demand and hadn’t been activated for a long time. OC-255 fitted these criteria. Red Island is totally uninhabited, is off the far north tip of Queensland, is claimed by only 15.4% of IOTA claimants and was only ever activated once for four days back in 2002.
Originally the VK5CE/P OC-261 Flinders Island trip was going to be my only DXpedition of 2013. However I’d been planning the logistics of visiting OC-255 for a while and so when the opportunity came to do this, the planning and research had already been done. I had to do this planning in secret from my lovely XYL as I figured there was only a 1 in a 100 chance of doing this IOTA DXpedition – she’s understanding, but not THAT understanding. Once she agreed for me to go to OC-255 she realised there had been a conspiracy all year to try and make 2 DXpeditions a reality in 2013 J
The journey to get to this island is a long one from my home in Middleton, South Australia. It requires two flights totalling 4400 km or a bit over 7000 miles from Adelaide to Cairns and then Cairns to Bamaga. From Bamaga I’ll have a local 4WD and fishing boat operator act as my DXpedition support person. He will pick me up from the Bamaga air strip, take me to the island, help me set up the tent and antenna and every couple of days he’ll visit the island with fuel and water and just to make sure I’m safe.
There’s an air of excitement about being on my rarest IOTA yet especially as it is on a deserted island, while at the same time there’s a feeling of nervousness as this is the first trip where I’ve really had to take safety and life support into consideration.
The cost of this DXpedition will be high and so the support of sponsors is really appreciated. If you work me as VK5CE/P on Flinders Island in August, please note that all donations will be used to fund this IOTA DXpedition to Red Island.