As Yemen falls like a rock from its lofty perch of #5 on the Most Wanted List, it’s only natural to ponder Navassa Island.
A prior attempt was made in 2008 and 2009 by the KP1-5 Project which resulted in K5D to Desecheo, but Navassa still awaits.
Uninhabited since 1945, the island is surrounded by cliffs with no natural harbor, making it difficult to reach by sea – similar to Malpelo. Complicating matters is the fact that the island is claimed by both the US and Haiti.
Simultaneous claims to a an island are nothing new, the most recent one aired being Spratly 9M0C. But the standing of Navassa at #2 on the List is an indication of the diplomatic difficulties regarding this particular speck in the ocean despite its close proximity to many who could financially afford an operation that would put it into logbooks worldwide.
In lieu of anything on the horizon regarding Navassa, some DXers may be interested in taking a look at a couple of past operations.
The first – KC4AF, from 1958, shows the CW ops using bugs. Ah, those must have been the days – operating a bug for hours, non-stop. My wrist gets glassy just from thinking about it.
Fourteen years later, KC4DX aired from Navassa with a team of operators, one of whom was Wayne Greene W2NSD, editor of 73 Magazine. Making use of Swan and Heathkit equipment, a 3-element Yagi (which is still on the island!) and “a ladder that is a bitch to climb”, the team spent 6 days pounding out contacts on phone and CW.
You can read team member Chaz W4GKF’s account here with plenty of photos and Wayne’s article in 73 Magazine here (evidently he really, really didn’t like Neil WB4UPC!). If the online pdf is difficult to read, that entire issue of 73 Magazine can be downloaded here (43MB pdf) or just the article itself from here (3MB pdf).