Browse Island OC-234 is a small 35 acre uninhabited island which is an important nesting site for Green Turtles and many seabirds. It was activated only once before as VK6BM back in 2000 and is claimed by 10.2% of chasers.
Most wanted VK IOTAs
1st OC-216 1.9%
2nd OC-214 6.9%
3rd OC-198 8.8%
4th OC-234 10.2%
5th OC-267 10.9%
After VK5CE/8 OC-198 in October and the upcoming VK9AR OC-216 operation, Browse Island will become the 2nd rarest VK IOTA.
When this DXpedition was first made possible, based on the research vessel itinerary it was originally going to be 3 days on Ashmore Reef and there was going to be a full day visit to Adelle Island OC-071. I already had OC-071 after the recent visits by VK6BP/P. As time went on, the voyage transformed into a four day visit to Ashmore Reef and Adelle Island was removed from the itinerary, but a brief visit to Browse Island OC-234 was a possibility, albeit a very short stopover.
The research vessel agreed to allow us to access Browse Island during its short 4 hour visit there which would occur at dusk in the early morning. The biggest hurdle was getting permission from the Western Australian Government’s Department of Parks and Wildlife. Ashmore Reef is controlled by the national Commonwealth Government, but Browse Island is controlled by the state Government.
In 2014 we had great contacts with the Department of Parks and Wildlife office in Broome during the VK6ISL OC-294NEW operation. Unfortunately staff had moved on and relationships would need to be built again. So we have been trying to gain permission to operate from Browse Island for over the past couple of months and approval came on Friday 27/10, just days before we fly to Broome.
So after the Ashmore Reef DXpedition, on the return to Broome, we will be operating for 4 hours on Browse Island OC-234 on Sunday November 12 local time sometime in the region of Saturday November 11 from 2000 UTC to Sunday November 12 0100 UTC. The callsign will be VK9AR/6. Once we depart Broome on November 5, we will have no internet/email communication until after both the VK9AR and VK9AR/6 operation.
This is the maximum time we can stay on the island. We know that this won’t satisfy IOTA demand for OC-234 but at least it means around 500 or more IOTA chasers will have a chance of this rare one. When I spoke with the Department of Parks and Wildlife, they mentioned that an overnight stay on this island would not be allowed due to the crocodile population there.
We will be operating with hopefully 2 stations (one CW and one SSB) and will be on the bands that give Europe and North America a chance. We will choose these based on our experience from Ashmore Reef. At first we may be on 40m/30m at our sunrise for Europe, then 20/17m/15m for long path and short path North America. Oceania and Asia will have no problem and so at times we will ask for EU only or NA only for the more difficult paths. PLEASE ONLY ONE QSO PER PERSON.
VK9AR/6, up to 4 hours operating sometime during Saturday November 11 2000 UTC to Sunday November 12 0100 UTC.