I have been a ham radio operator since I was in high school although I am not very active anymore. I do keep in touch with Les who lives over near Gardiner New York on the other side of the Hudson. He is still very much involved and active and has become one of the hams that goes to very distant mostly uninhabited islands and puts them on the air. One of the most remote locations in the world is Mellish Reef. Les and a group of hams went there two weeks ago to set up a portable operation for a week.
Here is a before picture at Mackey 600 miles north of Brisbane on the northeast coast of Australia having a departure dinner before going for four days by boat to the most distant reef in the Coral Sea.

Mellish reef in uninhabitated by man and at high tide is only 600 yards long by 120 yards wide.The reef is home to thousands of nesting seabirds of all species, a large population of nocturnal hermit crabs and a myriad of sand flies, ticks and lice. Here is a friend who will greet the intrepid travelers.

Well they set up their stations although the weather was very bad and the crossing by boat was treacherous and nauseating. After two days of intermittant operating I found the following on the internet.

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.”

More details when and if Les returns.

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