Susan Meckley, Skipper of the USSV Dharma, and amateur radio operator, W7KFI, has been authorized to operate from Johnston Island, KH3, (see photo at Left.) This may very well be the LAST operation from there. Susan has been told that the Air Force and the Fish and Wildlife Service are declaring Johnston Island a "closed" island. It took her 7 months to acquire permission to make a stop there. Note, Susan is a 73-year old Grandmother!
Susan has had many troubles in her effort to reach Johnston Island - the engine on her boat quit, she had to return to Hawaii for emergency oral surgery, and, always at the mercy of the weather, had to lay over in Hawaii for the Hurricane season. But, just last week, Alan, W8OP, received an email from Susan stating that she hopes to head out before the end of the summer. Here is Susan's email:
Ahoy:Let's hope she is able to make a safe voyage and work all WVDXA Members who need KH3.
I rec'd your nice letter, thank you. Yes, according to the powers that be, I am the last "officially approved" landing on KH3. The island is a nature preserve and is now "closed", much like Howland, Baker, Kure, Swan, etc. The only priviso from the Govt was that I take everything with me, leave nothing, and stay out of the water, the army galley used to dump their garbage in the water, thus th shark population is horrendous. I have a rule, I don't east raw fish, they (Hopefully) dont eat raw me.
I now have $5,000 saved for the engine change out....another thousand and the work begins, so I hope to be out of Honolulu before the summer is over. When I do leave, I will notify everyone...the trip there should take me a week, and then a day or so to set up. I have purchased an additional 27.5 gal water tank, so I should be able to remain at least a week, that is , if there is no rain. With rain, I stay longer.
Again, thank you very much.
If you don't change direction you will arrive exactly where you're headed!!
Susan Meckley, Skipper - USSV Dharma
HERE is a link where you can see a photo of Susan and listen to a conversation she had with radio host, Art Bell, while she was 200 miles off the coast of Hawaii.