Nauru, Solomon and Papua New Guinea – and the biggest hit of them all

Danny wasted no time upon his arrival on Nauru Island reporting to the Island Manager, Mr. Cameron. Nauru was then administrated jointly by Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom.

The logistics were amazingly effective as Danny’s support team managed to ship a three-element tri-bander to Nauru. A local group helped Danny to hoist the 40-foot 2-in diameter pole at the base, while Danny worked above, at the top of the pole, being the brave type. All this took place under the supervision of Nauru’s commercial radio operator, Les Wright, VK9LW.

Nauru being a completely new country, Danny was overwhelmed by the pileup but stuck with it for a solid 14 hours using the callsign VK9TW, handing QSOs out as fast as he could. “When I tell you blokes I spent 14 hours a day on the rig it’s no lie,” he reported.

The journey to the Solomon Islands (VR4AA) was another 7-day trip at sea, covering about 700 miles. There was a clear indication of frustration upon his arrival. There were no people… no fanfares. DXpeditioning had shown Danny its less attractive face. “I had expected to have a few visitors but not a soul came to greet me, and really, I felt far lonelier then than I had in all the past thousands of miles at sea,” he reported back to KV4AA. After 12 days of operating and 1650 QSOs it was time to set sail again.

Making 1650 QSOs in twelve days is less than many would expect but we have to realize that the entire DX industry was in its infancy, ahead of its own time, and it was just Danny with his multi-hopping travels that developed the first stages to the multi-station and multi-operator DXpeditions of later years.

The trip to Port Moresby on Papua was planned to be a short one. It ended up being the longest one of all, with a heartbreaking nightmare and the end of the Yasme sailboat. SOS signals were dominating the airwaves, telling a story of the sad end to Danny’s dream of being the first Englishman to sail around the world alone.

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