T30LP DX-Pedition; Tarawa Island
David (K3LP) operated as T30LP from Tarawa Island along with others on the T33C DX-pedition team.
Arriving in Tarawa (T30)
The Tarawa Motel was our first place of rest upon arrival at Tarawa at 10:30 AM on March 26, 2004. The motel was really someone's home with three bedrooms on the beach. A dump to say the least. We unloaded our equipment and then headed off to the telecommunications office to meet up with Mote Terukaio.
The Ministry of Communication Transport & Toursim Development, PO Box 487 Betio, Tarawa, Republic of Kiribati, Phone number (686) 26003. The Ministry of Information, Communications & Transport issues the licenses. Our contact was Mr. Mote Terukaio (T30MT). His home phone is (686) 26861, Office (686) 26003 Ext. 22, Fax (686) 26193, Manager of Telecommunications, Frequency Allocation and Licenses, and email: firstname.lastname@example.org. The process of getting a license was painless. We needed to prepare a simple application, provide a copy of our current license and pay a $50 fee (Australian) for each call request. The call signs we got were:
T30LP and T33LP – David Collingham (K3LP)
T30ND and T33ND – Will (K6ND)
T30WB and T33WB – William (Bill) - (AK0A)
After getting the licenses, we headed to check on the T33C container waiting in the harbor in Betio. Betio (pronounced “Bay-Shio”) is the largest community on the most southern part of the island. After opening the container door, everything was in perfect condition. After taking a bunch of photos and checking on the food. We headed back to the Tarawa Motel. Will and I moved to the Otintaai (pronounced O Sin Tai) Hotel, $70 (Aust.) plus 10% government tax per night per night including tax plus provided continental breakfast. The hotel is located in an area called Bikenbibeu about 5 km southeast from the airport in Bonriki. The hotel email: email@example.com phone number is (686) 28084, and Fax (686) 28045. This is a great place to stay right on the beach, great air conditioning and they are OK with ham radio antennas. Try to get rooms 1 thru 10 bottom floor. You can walk right out to the water and work on antennas any time you want.
Oh yea, be ready to dance you ass off on Friday and Saturday nights beginning at 10:00 PM until 2:00 AM at the town hall across the street. Don’t worry about the local guys fist fighting, it seems 9 fights a night is common – no real guns used here though I did look down the barrel of a plastic one unexpectedly (another story). They really have the process down well, they stop the music, buddies from each side grab their buddy from the fight, each side tells their own guy he won, the music comes back on and then you wait for the next fight. It’s like high school all over again. After watching a couple of fights, I could see Will (K6ND) the dancing king still out on the dance floor. He had his white socks and sandals on which glowed as the black light shined on the dance floor. Will (K6ND) is now well known as “Who Wants to Dance Next” on the island. You can’t imagine how many women were smiling. They loved Will. I wonder what the locals guys were fighting about? It was time to take Will home!
Tarawa is one of the sixteen atolls, which form the Gilbert group, is a triangular atoll lying just eighty miles north of the equator. Two of the sides of the triangle, one twelve, the other eighteen miles long, are formed from strings of low lying islands, none higher than ten feet above sea level. The third side is open to the sea although a barrier reef leaves only one navigable entrance into the lagoon.
Tarawa is well known for the Battle of Tarawa, November 20-24, 1945. The American Casualties were 3,301 killed, wounded and injuries in action About 4,690 Japanese died and 17 with 129 Korean labourers were taken in prison. For further information, contact Ministry of Communications, Transport and Development, email: tourism.Office@mict.gov.
This site was last updated 01/27/11