NEWS UPDATE — The Bouvet Island DXpedition team (3Y0Z), 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
MAY 3, 2017 — Ralph, K0IR, co-leader of the 3Y0Z DXpedition to Bouvet recently got in touch:
“The 3Y0Z Bouvet Island DXpedition, scheduled for early 2018, has added a propagation section to their website. It is a series of videos showing propagation from Bouvet and spreading across the world. There is one video for each band, 10 through 80 meters. Find your spot on the globe and determine the times and frequencies most likely to provide you with a QSO. The site URL is: www.bouvetdx.org”
JANUARY 16, 2017 — A DXpedition to Bouvet is not to be taken lightly. Bouvet is a serious and dangerous place that demands attention to safety, serious planning, physical and mental endurance, time to allow for storms and rough seas and a team with the right balance of size, experience, talent, emotional stability and sense of purpose. We feel we have met these criteria, but when we arrive at Bouvet, we also need to attend to our obligations to you, our financial supporters and DX audience. How we meet those obligations and expectations will define us as a team.
It is our belief that, given the rarity of this entity, we must pull out all the stops. We must utilize maximum legal power, the best antennas, world class transceivers, propagation studies, the best location on the island, a safe vessel and crew, highly qualified helicopter pilots and the complimentary resources of our team. We will need near real-time information flowing to us through our extensive pilot system, so that we can maximize our primary purpose — providing QSOs.
We have a conscience. We will not do this just for the sake of doing it and end up using a compromised location, less than 24/7 coverage of all open bands, limited power, inefficient antennas and insufficient time at the island. We want to do this right, and give everyone the best possible chance of making the QSOs they desire, be they on 160, the WARC bands, SSB, CW, RTTY or 6 and 2 meter EME.
Rest assured that we will do our very best for you! No shortcuts or compromises!
The 3YØZ Bouvet Island DXpedition Team