*DXPEDITION REPORT* 43DA/IWI-001, Ballina Island

In cloudy, overcast skies, 43DA001 Darren and I arrived on scenic Ballina Island in northern New South Wales for Part 2 of the Eleven Meters United (EMU) Islands Fiesta (EIF).

Despite freezing temperatures, Daz and I were champing at the bit for some inland water island (IWI) DX action and glad to catch up for some atypical DXpedition work.

By 0:00 UTC we had erected our antenna on the grassy riverbank of the Richmond River canal, along with a Yaesu FT-950 transceiver and various DX-cessories on a camp table right on the water’s edge. 

Here we had a majestic view of a long rocky ledge of oyster encrusted rocks, some boats anchored along distant mudflats and a close by scout hall, not far from the island’s famous landmark…the Big Prawn!

Additional DX-essential items included a Yaesu SP-2000 external speaker, a pair of Sennheiser HD280 Pro studio headphones, an old Sugar Delta World Directory for ease of DXCC listings, a copy of the 2011 RSGB IOTA Directory, a world atlas, and last but not least a 43DA/IWI-001 EIF log sheet which was provided by EIF organizers.

We also had, at our fingertips, a lap top computer with wireless internet access which enabled us to access the world’s finest online notification system for 11m DXers, Cluster dk, and it was on here where were we notified the DX world that we were “now on the air”.

First in the log was prominent Mexico based DXer 10MEX001 Ricardo from the Mike Echo X-Ray Club at a report of 5/3. 

Ricardo just so happened to be one of the EIF Project Team too so it was awesome to log him from our first IWI DXstination for the Richmond IWI Tour!

Soon after that followed 41RB198 Noel at 0121 hrs from the North Island of New Zealand (OC-036) at 5/2 and then a couple of operators from the Gilbert Islands IOTA group……firstly 224AT101 Man and then 224DA065 Ata as 224DA/OC-017 from Tarawa Island who was well on his way to 50 contacts for the EIF.

Other notable contacts made during our 3 hour stay on Ballina Island include a number of other DA-RC members……big guns 43DA021 Brian and 43DA007 Mike at 02:53 UTC and 03:25 UTC respectively and 43DA148 Peter at 03:30 UTC as well.

Contacts were also made with fellow EIF island stations 41ET/OC-036 on the NZ’s North Island and also 91DA/OC-022 on Serangan or Turtle Island a few kilometres off the coast of Bali.

Divisions heard but not worked include 2 (United States of America), 121 (Bahamas) and 302 (Asiatic Russia), the latter both island stations participating in the EMU Islands Fiesta (EIF) also.

At 3:00 local time, the band had quietened so we packed up our station and left for Cabbage Tree Island, approximately 35 kilometers up the River, for activity number 2 in the Tour.

73 de Brett, 43DA162