Mellish Reef, being about 300 km to the east of the Northwestern Group, thus the most distant from the Australian continent of all the reefs and atolls of the Coral Sea Islands Territory, is not considered to be part of any group. It has the outline of a boomerang-shaped platform around 10 km in length and 3 km across, area 25 km2. The surrounding reefs, which enclose a narrow lagoon, are completely submerged at high tide. Near the centre of the lagoon is the only permanent land of the reef – Heralds-Beacon Islet. The island is a small cay measuring 600 m by 120 m, area 57,000 m2, only rising a few ms above the high-water mark.
VK9MA plans to operate from Heralds-Beacon Islet, the only permanent land on the reef. The island is a small cay measuring 600 m by 120 m (57k m^2), only rising a few meters above the high water mark. It is composed largely of sand, shingle and coral rubble. In the north is a narrow and elongate drying sand bar. There are no trees and no structures.
We have partnered with Tangaroa Blue Foundation and the Australian Marine Debris Initiative, in conjunction with Parks Australia and the Department of the Environment, to conduct an island cleanup and debris inventory of Heralds-Beacon Islet. This cleanup will provide valuable data and help protect the many sensitive and threatened species of Mellish Reef. We will also provide data to Park Australia on the status of Mellish Reef’s animals and ecology.
We will position antennas directly on the beach for optimal propagation to most of the world.