VP5 – North Caicos, Turks and Caicos

Dates: 12 to 19 February 1997

Callsign: VP5/WJ2O

VP5 – North Caicos, Turks and Caicos 2024-04-17T22:10:49-05:00

This was the first of what turned out to be a series of trips to Turks & Caicos. This one to North Caicos where I had to bring my entire station as nothing was set up for me.


We stayed at the Hollywood Beach Condos in Whitby. This was a single building split into four condo units. It was very quiet and peaceful with no telephones or televisions and you are just a few steps from the ocean beach. You are facing to the north which is perfect for making contacts with the United States.

There was plenty of room to erect any antennas you desire. I put up the vertical in the sand toward the beach with a huge array of ground radials. Also, from the base of the vertical I strung out a quarter wavelength of wire for 160 meters and another quarter wavelength along the sand in the opposite direction. This worked wonders as I made over 200 QSOs on that band during the contest.

Hollywood Beach Condos in Whitby

Getting There

Providenciales Airpor

Providenciales Airport. Our first glimpse of this airport. Little did we know that we would be seeing this airport 5 more times after this.

The Station

Dave WJ20 station

VP5/WJ2O Equipment



The Butternut through the trees.


Radials. Separate radial cut for each band fanned out across the sand.


Adding 160m to my HF-6V

message in the bottle

Ancient Communications. If all else fails you can always communicate using this ancient method of putting a message in a bottle.

The Condo

Cottage driveway

Cottage driveway. This was our place for a week.

Northern Caicos cottage kitchenette

Northern Caicos cottage kitchenette

Shack bedroom

Shack bedroom

Ocean view from the cottage

Ocean view from the cottage

Northern Caicos beach

Northern Caicos beach


Dave WJ2O riding a bike

Bad-ass bikers in Northern Caicos were a hassle!

Kew Post Office

Kew Post Office.

School day in Northern Caicos

School day in Northern Caicos

Bottle Creek Police Station

Bottle Creek Police Station.

Fun on the Island

XYL Chris collecting conch shells

My XYL Chris collecting conch shells.

Dave's neighbors in Northern Caicos

Our neighbors. This is a couple from Canada that were in the unit next door to us.

bar in Northern Caicos

Island enjoyment. Every Island has at least one bar.

Time to Depart

North Caicos Airport entrance

North Caicos Airport entrance.

Leaving Northern Caicos

Saying good-bye.Our cab driver took care of us the entire time we were there.


VP5/WJ2O QSL Card front

I suggest you contact Jody Millspaugh, VP5JM. Make a check out to T.A.C.A.R.S. in the amount of $21 USD. Mail it with a copy of your license to her at P.O. Box 350567, Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33335. You should give her plenty of time like about 2 to 3 months. Her E-mail address is Jody@caribsurf.com.


During the ARRL DX CW Contest I made 4,132 QSOs. This was during a period of minimal sunspot activity so 10 meters was no help at all. Outside the contest I put another 1,389 calls in the log


Kenwood TS-940 Transceiver,
486-DX Laptop Computer,
Ameritron AL80B Amplifier,
Butternut HF6V Vertical Antenna,
Heath Micromatic Keyer.

Dave's equipment in Northern Caicos

From the US you fly into the international airport at Providenciales. To get to North Caicos, you take a small plane which cost 25 USD per person per direction. They told me that it’s only a 10 minute flight which I didn’t believe as nothing only takes 10 minutes. But, sure enough, we were there in 10 minutes from take-off to landing.


One of the baggage handlers loaded our stuff up on two different carts. Apparently there are two different forms when entering Turks and Caicos. One for immigration and one for customs. I did not know about the customs form until the official asked me for it. I told him I didn’t have one but I would be happy to go back and fill one out. The guy responded, “nah, go ahead.”

North Caicos from plane

Looking down at North Caicos from our small plane.

smallest airport terminal

This is a very close 2nd place contender for the smallest airport terminal I’ve ever been to. I think Treasure Cay in the Bahamas still wins though.