5 March 2018
The Team informs DxCoffee readers:
The 3YØZ team members are safely home. We have been home about
two weeks now, after 31 days aboard our vessel M/V Betanzos.
We have been to Bouvet Island, and as a result, we have a better appreciation
for the challenges we face. It is a dark, dismal and dangerous place.
Yet, when the sun shines, it is magnificent.
The most difficult thing to reflect upon is the final day offshore, when we
saw the island, crystal clear in calm winds, less than a mile away. The
conditions were perfect for our first reconnaissance flight and possible landing of
men and camp infrastructure. But, during the violent night before, the
Captain had made the decision to abort. In retrospect, his call was
clairvoyant. The mechanical, propulsion failure on the ship that occurred would have
brought disaster, if it resulted in some of our men being stranded ashore.
We are sure you are wondering what happens now? Well, we are not the kind
of people to give up. The same thing happened when we were trying to
activate Peter I in 2005. We came back the following year and with DAP’s
(the vessel owner) help, we got it done.
We are optimistic about a fair settlement and a resulting refund of some of
our money paid to DAP for this recent attempt to activate Bouvet. That money, and what
we still have in the bank will allow us to begin making plans to try again.
We have begun the difficult task of looking for a suitable vessel, and would hope
to go back to Bouvet in the next year or two. Obviously, we will keep you informed.
Thank you for the hundreds of favorable and encouraging comments from our
financial supporters and sponsors. No one has asked for any of their
contributions back, and, in fact, many have offered additional support for the
next chapter in this book. We are hopeful that those of you who have
invested in this project will see fit to “roll over” your financial support
to the next attempt.
So, if we can pull all the moving parts together, we are going to try it again.
Hopefully, this time, with a different outcome.
5 February 2018, 0930 UTC
The Team informs DxCoffee readers:
South Atlantic Ocean
Our captain has decided that it is in the best interest of safety and expediency to proceed directly to Capetown, South Africa rather than Punta Arenas, Chile. We are currently heading north to avoid the possibility of encountering ice. Currently there is no ice in sight or on radar. In due time we will head easterly toward Capetown.
Our entire team is safe. Most are resting in their bunks and in good spirits. We will keep the amateur radio community and our families informed as we continue our journey.
Ralph – K0IR
Bob – K4UEE
Erling – LA6VM
3 February 2018
The Team informs DxCoffee readers:
“During the last 72 hours we continued to experience the high winds, low clouds, fog, and rough seas that have prevented helicopter operations since our arrival at Bouvet. No improvement was predicted in the weather forecast for the next four days.
Then, last night an issue developed in one of the ship’s engines.
This morning the captain of the vessel declared it unsafe to continue with our project and aborted the expedition. We are now on our long voyage back to Punta Arenas.
As you might imagine the team is deeply disappointed, but safe.”
There is already talk about rescheduling the DXpedition.”
13 January 2018
Press Release # 11
“Heavy sea ice east and north of King George Island has made navigation between King George Island and Bouvet slow and of increased risk. We will therefore depart from Punta Arenas and sail directly to Bouvet. This has necessitated changes to preparations. That process is underway and moving as fast as possible.
Our sailing time to Bouvet is now estimated at 14 days. We estimate that our sailing date and QRV date will move back 24 to 36 hours. Our QRT date will be extended as necessary to provide everyone with the best possible chance of working Bouvet.”
K4UEE – Bob
K0IR — Ralph
29 December 2017
Press Release # 10
We recently reached yet another milestone in our quest to activate Bouvet Island.
DAP, the Chilean company that owns and operates the M/V Betanzos and the helicopters has satisfied the last contractual requirements, prior to departure. We submitted to them a “fit for purpose” checklist with 120 items as part of our contract. They have satisfied all the checklist items, and we will be transferring almost ½ million US dollars to them in the next few days.
So, we are happy to report that we are on schedule for a January 13, 2018 departure to Bouvet Island, the World’s most isolated island and the number two most wanted DX entity. All team members will meet in Punta Arenas, Chile no later than January 10, 2018. We will attend a one and one-half day marine safety course, purchase last minute supplies and then fly across the Drake Passage to King George Island in the South Shetlands. There, we will board the newly refurbished Chilean vessel M/V Betanzos, and begin our 9 to 11-day voyage to Bouvet. The team feels confident knowing that the ship’s captain and many of the crew have been with the vessel for eight years, and have extensive Southern Ocean experience. The Captain reports he has previously been to Bouvet.
Sea ice has been reported along a direct route to Bouvet, and that may dictate we take a more northerly course, before turning East to approach Bouvet. That may add day or two to our transit time.
Our two helicopters have completed their 100-hour inspections, and are ready for service. There has been a thorough review of landing procedures and shelter and antenna layouts. We have three alternative anchoring systems to secure the shelters and antennas to the ice on the surface of Bouvet.
So, the plan remains unchanged. We will have two stations on every open band whenever humanly possible, gain and directional antennas where possible, high power stations and a propagation-driven operation. The primary modes will be CW, SSB and RTTY. FT8 will be utilized if it is the only productive mode. Anyone preparing to utilize FT8 must read the 3YØZ FT8 protocol on the Band Plan page of the DXpedition website.
Complete information on band plans and frequencies, propagation predictions and QSL procedures are available on the DXpedition website: www.bouvetdx.org. You will find strategically placed “donate” buttons if you want to help with our substantial costs. I hope you share in the excitement of this great undertaking. We anxious to get underway!
18 October 2017
Press Release #9
After over 10 years of dreaming and 2 years of rigorous planning, we have turned a page. Our team is intact and ready. We have 17,000 pounds of equipment. It has been tested, sorted, inventoried and packed into our 40-foot sea container. We have discussed all conceivable contingencies, including rough seas, clouds and fog, high winds and emergencies at sea and on shore. We have studied propagation, maximized our location on the island, selected the best radio equipment, and have thought first and foremost of safety. All of this culminated when we sealed our sea container on October 9th, entered it into customs bond, placed it on a truck and watched it begin its journey to Punta Arenas, Chile. Our die has been cast. Now, a new chapter begins: one of reflection, waiting anxiously and hoping (praying) that all will go well from this point on.
We have been blessed by the worldwide support of individual amateur radio operators, clubs and foundations. They have backed us, overwhelmingly. We are inspired by the support we have received, both financially and in spirit. We want to live up to all that is expected of us on this “generational” DXpedition, which is likely the largest and most challenging DXpedition —- ever. Indeed, there may never be another like it. We now have time to appreciate the responsibility that this project thrusts upon us. We feel it, and we will do our utmost to meet the DX world’s expectations from Bouvet – the number 2 “most wanted” entity.
You will start seeing band plans, more detailed propagation information, QSL information and more on our website. Our Facebook and Twitter social media outlets will keep their conversational tone, but shift their focus to how you can best work us, plus current events and news of interest. Our updated propagation forecasts continue to validate our predictions, as visualized on our website propagation page.
Our team now has a singular focal point, King George Island, where the next chapter begins. We will meet our ship there on January 13th, and sail 2,200 miles to Bouvet. By departing from King George Island rather than Punta Arenas, we save about 400 miles of sea travel. This essentially gives us one or two more days on the air from Bouvet. We will savor those days, because they will give us QSOs that otherwise would not have been made.
We have asked more from our team members than for any previous DXpedition. This includes their time, effort and money. We thank all of you who are helping to defray some of their costs. We continue to welcome new and additional support to help with these expenses.
We are counting the days…..
22 August 2017
Press Release #7
“This Press Release is meant to be an update to our many financial supporters in the DX
community and others who may be considering supporting our efforts to activate the # 2 DXCC most wanted — BOUVET Island.
Our fund-raising began about this time last year, so we have been at it for 12 months. We are extremely grateful for the excitement, encouragement and actual contributions that have come our way. It has truly been amazing to see how the DX community has stepped up to help “make this happen”.
We believe that we have negotiated a contract with our transportation partners that gives us a good idea of what our costs will ultimately be. This expense represents most of our overall costs.
Regarding the remainder of our budget, cost control is a daily challenge and a priority for
leadership and the team. We take it very seriously.
However, recently we made a couple of changes affecting the expense side of our equation.
This accounts for a small 3% increase in our overall costs, but will make life on Bouvet safer and more comfortable. We have decided to add a second Operating shelter (OP B) and a third sleeping shelter (Sleep C). This will allow us to have more room to place our 14 one-KW stations (12 HF and 2 EME) and to separate the operating modes. This will make our 14-16 estimated days of 24/7 operating more comfortable and less challenging. The bottom line is we have a small percentage increase in costs, but the on-island benefits are well worth the extra expense.
In summary, looking at our income from the Operating Team itself, the DX Foundations, DX Clubs and individual DXers worldwide and our estimates of what our costs will turn out to be, we feel we are in a good and enviable position…but we are still short over $100,000.
With this in mind, we are continuing to ask for your financial support. You may visit our
DXpedition website www.bouvetdx.org and click on a “donate” button.
Many thanks, CU in the pileups!”
1 August 2017
Ralph K0IR informs DxCoffee Readers:
As in any group, the moral compass, accountability, and integrity of amateur radio operators covers a wide spectrum. The best of these character qualities in the ham radio community came to light last week.
FlexRadio Systems and Ranko Boka, 4O3A, of SKY SAT wanted to be absolutely positive that they would in no way compromise the success of the Bouvet Island DXpedition. They looked at this DXpedition as a once in a lifetime experience for many DX’ers and put the success of 3Y0Z above personal gain, competition, and acclaim.
FlexRadio Systems and SKY SAT were concerned that: a.) Parts availability for production of the FlexRadio amplifiers may be a problem. b.) Sending a total of 14 amplifiers to Bouvet would cut into inventory they had promised to their customers. c.) Meeting our shipping date might compromise their testing and quality control.
We will take several new FlexRadio Power Genius XL amplifiers to Bouvet. However, FlexRadio and Ranko reached out personally to ACOM to assist in supporting 3Y0Z. On short notice, and within 24 hours, ACOM agreed to help make the Bouvet DXpedition the best that it can be and agreed to provide 12 ACOM 1500 amplifiers.
ACOM, FlexRadio Systems, and SKY SAT/4O3A put aside personal gain and competition and worked together to help the Bouvet Island DXpedition be a better experience for you the DX’ers. These are truly quality people.
Ralph Fedor – K0IR Bouvet Island DXpedition Co-Leader
LINK TO ASSOCIATED WEB PAGE: http://www.bouvetdx.org/acom-flex-doc/
28 June 2017
Press Release #6
In consultation with our new transportation partner Aerovias DAP, we continue to refine our plans for our Bouvet DXpedition. We expect to depart from King George Island, in the South Shetlands Islands on January 13, 2018. Our transit time to Bouvet will be between 9 and 11 days depending on weather and the sea state.
Upon arrival at Bouvet we will conduct reconnaissance flights to the island and select a campsite free of crevasses. As weather permits we will begin building our radio city on the ice and secure our infrastructure. Then antennas will go up, our equipment will be assembled and we will begin non-stop operations. We are planning to be at Bouvet for 21 days, and depending on weather and other factors we hope to be on the air for 14-16 days. Then we will return to either King George Island or Punta Arenas, Chile. All in all, we will be away from civilization for 6-7 weeks.
Final preparations continue this summer, and we still have a lot to do:
Equipment will be tested under simulated harsh conditions at the QTH of K9CT.
Antennas will be assembled, tested and packed for transit at the QTH of WB9Z.
The Sea Container will be packed and shipped from Atlanta the first week of October.
A team meeting will be held in Atlanta on Sept. 7-10. Topics to be discussed will include:
Shelter erection and quick deploy plans
Escape plans and rescue.
EME set-up and testing
Familiarization and operation of Flex Radios and Amplifiers
Propagation and our strategy
Our fund-raising continues. We are pleased with our progress toward our goal of $740,500. The team has committed $400,000 cash as well as paying for their own transportation, food and hotel expenses. DX Clubs have stepped up and some have added additional contributions as have many individual DXers. However, we are still about $200,000 short. Please help if you can. We have a large payment due for the vessel and helicopters in several months.
Please check our website http://www.bouvetdx.org at periodically for updates and additions as we progress toward departure. You can also join our Facebook group https://www.facebook.com/groups/639362206232014
For the 3YØZ team,
7 May 2017
Press Release #5
The Bouvet Island DXpedition team (3YØZ), is pleased to make an important announcement about our transportation plans to Bouvet Island.
From the beginning, we have worked with Nigel Jolly to secure safe, reliable, and affordable transportation to Bouvet. We both have struggled with the costs involved in getting Nigel’s ship and a helicopter from New Zealand to the tip of South America to begin the voyage to Bouvet. Together, we have been working to find alternatives while Nigel’s vessel, the Claymore II stood ready for our use if we could not find a suitable alternative. We are announcing today that we have found an alternate vessel that eliminates the repositioning costs and at the same time adds additional margins of safety for our team.
DAP, a Chilean maritime and aviation company that took some of us to Peter I in 2006, recently acquired a vessel that is perfect for our DXpedition to Bouvet. This company also has a fleet of 16 helicopters. Bob, K4UEE, and George, N4GRN, have just returned from Punta Arenas, Chile where they inspected the vessel, the helicopters and discussed our requirements with DAP. Nigel Jolly supplied us with a checklist to be used while inspecting DAP’s vessel and helicopter capabilities
Based on our observations, and our discussions, and based on DAP’s reputation and our personal history with DAP; we feel we have found a sound alternative and optimum means of transportation to Bouvet. DAP’s ship is somewhat larger than Nigel’s vessel, and they have offered us two helicopters instead of only one. They are both medium duty, twin engine BO-105 helicopters. We will also have two pilots and mechanics with years of Antarctic flying experience. The ship is being re-fitted with a hanger to house those two helicopters during transit and poor weather conditions..
The vessel’s Captain and crew have sailed the vessel for many years and have been retained by DAP. Interestingly, one of the crew members that will accompany us to Bouvet is Alejo Contreras Staeding. He is a well known Antarctic explorer, guide, glaciologist and adventurer. We met him in 2006 on the way to Peter I. We are extremely pleased to have him join us.
We have signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) with DAP and a formal contract is being drafted. We will review that contract with Nigel, and expect to sign it soon. This is an important step, as the new vessel and the capabilities of DAP will fully complement our team. This is a winning partnership that helps assure not only safety for our team, but an excellent chance of a very successful DXpedition under the extreme circumstances we are expecting.
Our departure will be approximately mid-January, 2018, possibly sailing to Bouvet from King George Island. We expect 9-11 day voyage to Bouvet. When the weather allows, we will land on the island by helicopter. Our first priority will be to inspect the terrain, select a site clear of crevasses and establish our shelters stocked with emergency supplies. Once secured, we will bring the rest of our equipment ashore and commence radio operations as soon as possible. We expect to be at Bouvet for 21 days, and allowing for weather, hope to be on the air for 14-16 days.
This is likely the most expensive DXpedition ever attempted and the operating team has committed to fund up to 50% of the costs. We are hopeful the DX community will fund the remainder. You may follow our planning progress and see our fund-raisings results on our website www.bouvetdx.org.
1 May 2017
Ralph K0IR informs DxCoffee readers:
“Here is a little announcement for DX Coffee —
Propagation predictions in video format are now available on the Bouvet Island DXpedition website: www.bouvetdx.org Simple click on the menu item at top of the home page.
Thank you, my friend.”
Ralph – K0IR
07 December 2016
PRESS RELEASE #3
Bouvet Island DXpedition 2018
The Bouvet Island DXpedition Team is happy to report the following:
After extensive examination, we have found a suitable landing zone on Bouvet Island and have identified what appears to be the best operating location in the area. Our proposed site is at 540 24’ 23” South and 30 24’ 39” East at approximately 600 ft. ASL. This is on the Slakhallet Glacier on the northeast quadrant of Bouvet. It is relatively flat with areas of maximum slope not exceeding 8 degrees. This is well below slope levels that are prone to avalanches. We have less information on the presence of crevasses, but do not detect any on the highest resolution images that we have. Of course, an on-site inspection upon our initial helicopter landing will determine our actual operating location.
We have researched and selected our Antarctic shelters. These four shelters will house our stations, our sleeping quarters, and our eating and meeting facility (the MEG tent). These were selected to survive the high winds, precipitation, and temperatures expected on Bouvet. We will heat our operating shelter and the MEG tent. Our sleeping shelters will not be heated for safety reasons.
The ten HF beams that served us so well on Amsterdam Island (FT5ZM) will accompany us to Bouvet. We intend to deploy them on a line along 2400 to 600. This will keep the antennas from beaming into each other when aimed at Europe, Japan, and North America. Our verticals for 160, 80, 60, 40, and 30 meters will be placed to minimize interaction. Images of our antenna plans, shelter layouts, and shelter interiors are on our website.
The Japanese support team has reorganized and will be led by Hiro, JA4DND. Joe, JJ3PRT, will be our new pilot for Japan. JA4BUA, Kuwa, will be in charge of web and IT duties, and JK1KSB, Oku, will do our public relations. In addition, we’ve added a VK-ZL-Oceania pilot, VK6VZ.
Our on-line store has opened! You can now shop at Café Press for 3Y0Z souvenirs — mugs, hats, cups, T-shirts, etc. You can purchase fun and usable products and at the same time…support the 3Y0Z team. (www.cafepress.com/3y0z)
Our Facebook page, 3Y0Z-Bouvet Island DXpedition, now has over 1500 followers. Stop by for photos, articles, updates, and meeting fellow DXers.
Fundraising is an on-going process for us. This is a demanding and expensive project;
possibly the most expensive DXpedition ever. We ask for your financial support. Please click on our “Donate” buttons on our website and help us make this happen.
The Bouvet Island DXpedition-2018 Team wishes you and your families a wonderful Holiday season and a New Year filled with DX!
5 December 2016
24 September 2016
Ralph K0IR, Erling LA6VM and Bob K4UEE informs DxCoffee readers:
PRESS RELEASE #3
Bouvet Island DXpedition 2018
September 23, 2016
The 20-member Bouvet Island DXpedition team is happy to report that our longstanding landing permit (2007) has been updated and revised to conform to current environmental protection regulations, planned landing and helicopter operations, base camp set-up, dates of operation, and operating plans. The updated document has received signatorial approval of the Norsk Polar Institute. Our amateur radio license with the call sign 3YØZ has also been renewed and will be used during the Bouvet DXpedition 2018.
An international team of pilots has been selected to serve as an interface between the DXpedition team and the DX audience worldwide. They are your voice and will collect your feedback and information during the DXpedition and relay it to the team on Bouvet. Those pilots are:
NV9L (Val) Chief Pilot
HK3W (Siso) South America Pilot
JA1WSX (Hiro) Asia-Oceania Pilot
K2SG (Tony) North America Pilot
ON9CFG (Bjorn) European Pilot
ZS2I (Johan) Africa Pilot
Foundations, DX clubs, corporate sponsors, and individuals have shown enthusiastic support for the Bouvet Island DXpedition. This DXpedition is an expensive project with team members bearing 50% of its total cost. Your financial support is encouraged and welcomed to help us make this happen. Please see our list of donors and sponsors and learn how you can help on our website at: www.bouvetdx.org
73, For the TEAM,
19 August 2016
3Y0Z, a great Team
10 August 2016
3Y0Z Bouvet Island DXpedition 2018, IOTA AN – 002.
Team: Franz DJ9ZB, Nodir EY8MM, Jorge HK1R, Ralph K0IR, Robert K4UEE, Craig K9CT, Erling LA6VM, Geroge N4GRN, Arnold N6HC, James N9TK, Jeffrey NM1Y, Michael PA5M, Andrew UA3AB, Robert VA7DX, John VE7CT, Glenn W0GJ, Gregg W6IZT, Hal W8HC and Jerry WB9Z.
QSL via N2OO.
Visit the official web site http://www.bouvetdx.org/