My main target was to visit Tuvalu (T2) and West Kiribati (T30) and wanted to stay for about a week on each island. The only airline connection with both islands was provided by AirPacific, flying from Fiji. So my initial flight was from Amsterdam to Nadi on Fiji. I planned not to have the connecting flights too tight to avoid having problems if flights were delayed. At the same time, it gave me the opportunity to operate also from Fiji (3D2). AirPacific is flying only on Tuesdays and Thursdays to both islands so this actually formed the basis of the travel plan.
For Fiji I stayed at the "amateur radio friendly" Club Fiji Resort which is not far from the Nadi international airport and has a chalet very close to the sea.
As mentioned before, I used Fiji as the central location for the flights to Tarawa (T30) and Funafuti (T2) and using the available time for operating. In practice this meant arriving in the evening, taking some food, installing the antenna on the beach (during darkness), and assembling the radio station after which I could operate a couple of hours. The following day was used for some necessary shopping and operating until 10 PM. After 10 PM I first started to take down the antenna (again during darkness) followed by packing all equipment and personal gear to be ready for an early departure the next day.
Before departing from the Netherlands, I still did not have my license, so it was still to be seen how this would develop. I did have the temporary import permission so I could at least enter Fiji with my equipment. After arrival in the evening I had still no license on hand, so took a dinner and went to sleep after 30 hours of traveling.
The next morning I contacted the license officer in Suva again and fortunately received my call sign. This was the moment to get into action. I started to assemble the vertical antenna but found that one hose clamp was missing (and was still on the workbench at home). I rushed to downtown Nadi to buy three hose clamps from a hardware store. Within about 2 hours everything was up and running and I could start enjoying the pile-ups.
In one of the restaurants of the resort was an internet PC with a very slow connection. It was open from 10 AM till 9 PM and I went there a couple of times to read my e-mail and to update my web site.
- Three piece of luggage Three piece of luggage
- The chalet close to the beach The chalet close to the beach
- ECO R7+ at the beach ECO R7+ at the beach
- Station with K3 Station with K3
- Danger Danger