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Progress Reports


Wednesday 5th September 2001

Yep!  It's a whole year later, and we've finally got some pictures up here.  Check out the Picture Gallery for our pictorial record.  Maybe check back next year to see if anyone's got their written records here!  Can't rush into these things y'know!

Thursday 21st September

Welcome back, Kevin and "Tearaway".  Yes, Kevin got back to Darwin this morning and we are all breathing a lot easier.  It has been a very anxious time waiting for Tearaway's arrival, and we applaud Kevin's courage, resourcefulness and excellent seamanship, plus the wonderful assistance from a group of fishermen in refloating the boat and getting it safely back to Darwin.  Kevin has a lot of tales to tell about his experience and we're sure we'll all be hearing about them before too long.  Stay tuned, we'll be back soon ....

Sunday 17th September

The IOTA committee has accepted the Browse Island operation and confirmed OC-234 as a new island.

Thursday 14th September (just!) 11.50 pm

Great news.  We've just heard, Kevin's got "Tearaway" afloat and is en route back to Darwin.  Big excitement here, and lots of relief that he's OK.  What an incredible achievement to have refloated the boat on his own.  There must be another book in there, Kevin!  Many, many thanks to all who have expressed their concern and sent good luck messages for Kevin.  We think celebrations are the order of the day now.

Thursday 14th September 

LOGS ARE NOW ONLINE!  Go to the "Logs" page to check for your callsign.

Sunday 10th September

All our operators are now back home and, as predicted, have heaps of stories about the trip.  They're all busy compiling their tales before memories become blurred with time and distance.  Not that we think that's likely after such a dramatic DXpedition debut for the TSDXG!  Don't think the writing will take too long, so check back here for further details.  

Everyone connected with the DXpedition would like to express their heartfelt thanks to everyone who assisted in coordinating the rescue operation and for all the messages of support while they were real life castaways.  

Also as predicted, plotting and planning for the Cassini Island activation is under way.  Current opinion is that it should be deferred until after the coming wet season when the possibility of cyclones is over.  Having experienced the awesome power of the sea without cyclonic influence, our guys aren't all that keen to make the personal acquaintance of even a little cyclone.  We think that's rather a wise decision.  Details of the Cassini trip will be posted here as they become available, so don't go too far away ...

Thursday 7th September 10.15 am Darwin time

Just heard from VK8DK the guys will arrive back in Darwin tomorrow (Friday).  Everyone safe, sound and cheerful, with heaps of stories to tell ... stay tuned ...

Tuesday 5th September 10.00 pm Darwin time

Hope everyone who wanted a contact got on their radios yesterday because VK6BM is now definitely QRT.  Our intrepid castaways have all been rescued safe and sound from their island paradise.  Sigh ... no more hula dancing ...  sob! ... no more surfing, scuba diving, swimming with the friendly (?) sharks, fishing ... Oh, no!  What about the mermaids?  Hey!  What about ... RADIO?  Well, we reckon big confabs are on the agenda very, very soon.  Lots of plotting and planning (see item 10 on our timetables page) for the activation of Cassini.  Stay tuned folks, Cassini hasn't been written off, only delayed ...

Monday 4th September 12.00 midday Darwin time

Whatd'ya know!  Boat still won't co-operate and our guys are still cooling their heels on Browse.   So ... to make productive use of their enforced stay, they've set up some equipment again and put VK6BM back on air.  Now's your chance IOTA Hunters!  Get a call in quick before some bright spark gets the boat off the beach!  Stay tuned ... more later ...

Still Sunday 3rd September  6.00 pm Darwin time

Well, the boat wouldn't cooperate at high tide and is still aground, but the guys are confident they will get it afloat on tonight's tide which is expected to be about 30cm higher.  In the meantime they're sitting tight (haven't got too many options, have they?) and getting to know the HMAS Geelong crew.  The coastwatch plane is keeping an eye out for them as well.  Thanks guys.  They have plenty of supplies so aren't concerned and I think they're considering digging in for an extended holiday!  Keep checking, more later ...

Sunday September 3rd  12.30 pm

... more info.  Just heard that HMAS Geelong is at Browse and its crew is assisting our guys.  Thanks a squillion fellows.  All us wives, friends etc really appreciate your help.  More later ...

Sunday September 3rd

Message just received 10.30 am Darwin time.  VK6BM is now QRT from UTC 1.00 am, 10.30 am Darwin time.  Approximately 1758 QSO's have been logged.  Exact figures will be available later.  

Conditions on Browse, both on the island and for mooring, were unexpectedly difficult and high winds overnight drove Tearaway aground.  There doesn't appear to be any significant damage to the boat apart from some scratches etc. and some food has been lost, but not enough to cause concern.  An attempt will be made to refloat Tearaway at high tide later today.   Kevin, the skipper, will make a further assessment once the boat is afloat and give a decision about the remainder of the trip.  At this stage, it looks like VK6CJ, Cassini Island,  is still on track, with possibly extra time being spent there.

All our operators are OK.  No injuries but naturally disappointed at not being able to continue on Browse.  Check back for updates.  We'll get information posted here as soon as we receive it.

Saturday September 2nd

Everything appears to be going well.  Wind had dropped in the Browse area a few hours ago so hopefully, our operators managed to get the rest of their equipment onto the island and set up.

Friday September 1st

Come on guys!  Where are you?  Is anybody out there .... ?
11.15 pm.
Aha!  Alan, VK4AAR found 'em.  They had very heavy seas which delayed things considerably, but now have some of their equipment ashore and set up and are going well.  Browse Island now has an IOTA number, OC-234.

Thursday August 31st

Haven't heard anything from the guys today so I guess we'll all have to wait till they come up on air!  Maybe someone can leave a message in the guestbook when they start transmitting.

Wednesday August 30th

Phone call from VK8DK, Len, from Troughton this morning.   Reports all well and happy.  VK8TM, Terry, prefers solid land.  Curly in seventh heaven.  VK6YS, Wally, having a ball.  VK8AN, Dan, relieved to find the party hadn't forgotten to pick him up from Troughton!  Replenished fuel supplies and set sail again, hoping to get favourable winds for the run to Browse.  Should make Browse in plenty of time to fire up to schedule and be on air 1st September.  Are you keeping an eye on the countdown on the timetable page?

Tuesday August 29th

Spoke to VK8AN, Dan, on Troughton Island tonight.  Tearaway is expected to arrive at Troughton around midnight and will anchor offshore for the night.  Our intrepid operators cum sailors had a stiff breeze right on the nose all the way and consequently had to motor most of the way from Darwin to keep to their schedule.  That's made an unwelcome dent in the fuel supplies and they'll need to assess the situation before they leave Troughton tomorrow.  Check back for the latest update tomorrow, or listen out for the guys on air under their own call signs/mm. 

Monday August 28th

Well, our guys finally set sail yesterday, Sunday 27th, after a fewLoading onto Tearaway delays caused by weight distribution on the boat.  Specifically, the weight of all the equipment distributed the Still Loading! boat too low in the water!  But that was soon overcome and off they went into the midday sun instead of the rising sun.  Everyone's pretty confident the operation will still keep to schedule .... give or take a few hours here or there!

Keep a listen out over the next few days because they might beHmmm .... can't understand what's causing this weight problem .... transmitting under their own call signs/mm while they're under sail.  And don't forget to keep an eye on the countdown on the Timetable page.


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