2020: VK5KI OC-139

VK5KI IOTA Expedition to OC-139 – New Dates 13-18th July

I am very pleased to announce that the VK5KI Expedition to Kangaroo Island (IOTA OC-139) has been rescheduled, although it has also been scaled down. It will not be coinciding with the IOTA contest for 2020 and instead will be held during the South Australian school holidays between July 13-18th. It is also being converted into a holiday style expedition with myself (VK5GR), Andrew (VK5AKH) and my family. Bands and equipment are to be finalized but it will likely be only one station covering all bands from 80m to 10m. (it remains to be seen if 160m can be activated – we will see).

We are thankful here in South Australia that the authorities have successfully managed my home state’s way through the COVID-19 crisis so far. They were able to reopen intra-state travel over a week ago, including ferry travel to Kangaroo Island. Consequently, many of the other holiday spots locally will be potentially quite busy as people try to overcome cabin fever from the lock-downs. Kangaroo Island, which requires that extra amount of effort and cost with the ferry crossing, should be much quieter, with fewer people and plenty of serenity. We now have a different venue confirmed on the island also, which is quite isolated from the main community. All in all, it should be a great week with some family time , amateur radio and a chance to unwind.

We therefore hope to see you on the air as VK5KI from Kangaroo Island OC-139 in July after all!

73 de Grant VK5GR

 

 

VK5KI DXPedition to Kangaroo Island OC-139: ON HOLD

It is with much reluctance that the VK5KI team have decided to suspend preparations to travel to Kangaroo Island IOTA OC-139 in July.

The rapidly deteriorating situation revolving around the COVID-19 Pandemic has recently seen locals on the island calling for a full quarantine. Out of respect for them, and for the new requests from the Australian Government for people to avoid all non essential travel and inter-person contact, we will reschedule the project to a later time (potentially 2021).

In addition, the RSGB contest committee has announced the following:

RSGB HFCC: IOTA Contest and additonal contests(Nick G4FAL – hfcc.chair@rsgbcc.org)

We have reached a point with COVID-19 that it is inappropriate for us to run the IOTA Contest in July 2020 in its usual format. We cannot encourage our participants to operate in multi-operator groups nor to travel to island locations where visitors are not currently welcome. We would like your opinion on whether we should cancel outright or should retain a contest this year for single operator, home stations only.

It is clear that the IOTA contest, one of the main drivers for the intended dates, will now not accept the expedition as an entry. This was a major motivation behind our decision.

We will re-plan VK5KI and other IOTA projects once borders and quarantine conditions both reopen.

Meanwhile everyone, stay home, avoid personal contact and stay safe through these extraordinary times! See you on air instead!

New Expedition Planned: VK5KI Kangaroo Is – ON HOLD

VK5KI is now on hold due to COVID-19. Movement is being limited and the IOTA contest rules have been modified to rule out our ability to enter.

We will reshedule once things start to return to normal.


January 2020 has seen some of the worst bush fires tear across Kangaroo Island in living memory. Over half the island (200,000 hectares or 770 square miles) has been burned, more than 50 homes were destroyed, 2 people lost their lives and tens of thousands of animals were killed. These fires, started by dry lightning storms in early January, have hit the community and the environment on the island hard. Now, as the fire is being brought under control thoughts are turning to recovery and rebuilding shattered lives.

 

With an event like this, and the fires in the Adelaide Hills this summer only 10km from home, I find the events all to close, all too real. The last time I remember fires anything like this was Ash Wednesday in 1983 when we could see the flames tear across the top of Mt Lofty from all over Adelaide. I was only 11 at the time.

Today, knowing people who have been directly impacted and seeing the devastation of the wilderness areas I love, here in my own state, I have been looking for a meaningful way to give back something to those that have been so badly affected. Inspired by the SA Tourism #BookThemOut campaign, aimed at supporting the tourism operators and residents on Kangaroo Island, I hit upon the idea of staging an IOTA expedition to the island later in the year.

VK5KI – Kangaroo Island – IOTA OC-139 – July 22-28th 2020

Kangaroo Island, the largest island in the OC-139 group, will be activated by a small group of amateurs from Adelaide between 22-28th July 2020. They will operate from a property near Emu Bay on the north coast of the island. This coincides with the IOTA Contest in 2020. The plans at this stage include operating on all bands from 160-10m, including as a Multi-2 station during the contest. Outside of the contest expect to see VK5KI on all HF bands and modes.

A special bi-fold QSL card will also be produced for the activation which will be available via M0OXO’s OQRS service (thanks again Charles). The logs will be available via Clublog IOTA matching and LOTW once the Direct QSL cards have been posted (early LOTW is available for those who request a card).

Extent of Kangaroo Island impacted by the fires