By Jim, VK9NS
The weekly flight from Perth supports both Cocos (Keeling) and Christmas Island. The routine used to be 1st. week Perth - Cocos (Keeling) - Christmas Island and back to Perth. The 2nd. week Perth - Christmas Island - Cocos (Keeling) and back to Perth.
After the operation on Cocos (Keeling) I had decided that I would also operate from Christmas Island. Bob Winn, W5KNE could not make the extra time available so I waved Bob goodbye from Christmas Island as he headed back to Perth to begin his long haul home to the U.S.A.
I had old friends from my days in Papua New Guinea now living on Christmas Island and my accommodation was easily arranged. To find a suitable place for setting up my station was slightly harder but I ended up in the old transmitting site. No shortage of masts, and power was still available. The place was, however, pretty derelict and dirty. I was to discover later that the rats loved it there. Oh, well! The things we DXpeditioners do in the name of DX.
After a good clean-up around my operating area, my equipment was soon up and running. Peter, VK9XP was a great help and we soon also had antennas organised.
Christmas Island was at that time in a state of 'flux' in a very special position, rather like the past events on Cocos (Keeling) life was changing. Many things were going, never to return - that transmitter station would be an example.
The Island is totally different from the atoll structure of Cocos (Keeling) and has a beauty of its own. Christmas Island became famous for its phosphate industry and the infrastructure of golf course, airport, houses and so on is all built on phosphate money. By now the phosphate lifestyle with hundreds of expatriates was virtually at an end and the Island reverted to empty houses, few golf players and so on.
I enjoyed operating from Christmas Island in the name of H.I.DX.A. and it was also nice to catch up with old friends. I addition I was never short of certain other 'company' during my hours of operating in the evenings and early mornings. I actually came to know many of these four footed friends personally as they scurried around. ...