We were a group of nine operators being organized by our leader Vance, W5IJU, (I learned in 2005 that he is now silent key.) We set up two camps, the upper camp was in the lighthouse ruins which had been nicknamed by hams a long time ago as the Navassa Hilton. The lower camp was down by Lulu Bay and the famous ladder. Each camp had it’s own 5000 watt generator.
The operators at the upper camp were: Vance, W5IJU, team leader Don, VE1AOE, our satellite guy Bob, KØIYF (now NØRN), he loved 160 Dave, KB4VLO (now N9DI), a friendly southern voice Dave, WJ2O, a general nuisance
The lower camp operators were: Larry, NF6S (now W4UAT), excellent CW op. Jun, JH4RHF (also KH2S), pile-up expert Kumiko, JR4DUW (also KH2W), 1st YL on KP1 Toshi, JR8RUZ, digital modes
We had a Jamaican crew who did an excellent job of getting us there, ferrying equipment to the island and toting it up the hill. They also prepared our meals.
Life On The Island
Our loyal generator
W5IJU/KP1 and NF6S/KP1 QSL Card
As Navassa is a US possession, there was no need to obtain licensing for the US operators. Our Canadian operator had no problem either as we have a reciprocal agreement with Canada that is automatic. The Japanese operators had all previously flown to Guam and passed their US Extra Class exam there. They each had a KH2 call.
Many old time hams may remember there was a ladder that you used to scale the cliff face to get on the surface of the island. It has been rumored that since our visit, the ladder has been removed. Below is details of what it once was.
We had many stations set up on this island. Here is the equipment I used: Kenwood TS-940 Transceiver Tandy 1400 HD Laptop Computer Heathkit Micromatic Keyer Bob, KØIYF, strung a wire up to the top of the lighthouse that we spread out in a delta loop fashion that worked excellent for my antenna.
The upper camp SSB guys did paper logging. I haven’t found any volunteers willing to keyboard them. So, here they are still in paper form. If you find yourself in the log tell my QSL manager which log and which page and you’ll get a QSL.
Also on that weekend was the CQ WW WPX Contest and here are those logs: W5IJU/KP1 Contest Logs from 27 and 28 March 1993
Group photo aboard ship just as we’re saying “good bye” to Jamaica in the background.
Most of our participants travelled together and entered customs as a group. Apparently it overwhelmed the customs officials who ended up confiscating most all the equipment putting it in lock-up. It took 3 days of negotiations (using greenbacks) to get it back. That’s why we had a late start for the island.
I happened to travel individually and although I had lots of questions during the customs inspection, I was allowed to pass with everything in hand.