The MV Braveheart completed fueling today and is ready to sail at approximately 0100 UTC on December 26th. The vessel will sail around the north cape of the north island of New Zealand, sail cross the Tasman Sea, sail across the Great Australian Bight, and head up the west coast of Australia to the port of Fremantle.
The Amsterdam DXpedition team members will begin arriving in Fremantle, Australia on January 9th. They will meet with the Western Australia DX’ers who have helped the team acquire ground rods, antenna supports, various pieces of hardware, and additional medical supplies. There will be lists to double check, shopping to do, planning meetings, and very likely some good times with our VK6 friends.
The FT5ZM team will meet the Braveheart in Fremantle on January 13th or 14th. The Braveheart will refuel, take on new provisions, and load the additional supplies obtained in Perth and Fremantle. We will load our personal gear and luggage and install an Elecraft KX3 and KPA100 with a multiband vertical for our maritime mobile operation. When everything is secure, we’ll say farewell to our VK6 friends and sail for Amsterdam Island on January 15th.
We are nearing the end of a very long road leading to this point. We are enormously grateful to our corporate, organization, and individual sponsors. The cooperation of the French government, Terres australes et antarctiques francaises (TAAF), the base commander on Amsterdam Island, and many French amateurs has been outstanding. We are deeply indebted to these organizations and individuals.
You should hear from us one more time before we leave home and head for Australia. Thank you everyone for your interest and support.
Ralph – K0IR