Midwinter 2024 in Antarctica

On the  occasion of  this year’s Midwinter Day,  UKAHT (UK Antarctic Heritage Trust) wrote:
Christmas celebrations may be far from our minds at this time of year but 21 June has always been a red letter day in the Antarctic calendar as those South mark the shortest and darkest day of the year.

This year the day takes on special significance as it marks eight decades since the establishment of Base A at Port Lockroy (WAP GBR-Ø1) when Britain’s research on the continent began. Today is an opportunity not only to celebrate but to reflect on the remarkable strides that have been made in polar science at this time.  The UK Antarctic Heritage Trust works to advance the preservation, enhancement and promotion of Antarctic heritage and to engage, inform and inspire a global audience.

We care for six important Historic sites on the Antarctic Peninsula, including Port Lockroy, as well as supporting other organisations with grants to ensure our Antarctic history is safeguarded and shared with a new generation keen to learn about Antarctica. We also support other organisations to look after British Antarctic heritage sites in other parts of Antarctica. It is active in the promotion of Antarctic public engagement and supports institutions who have a connection to Antarctic heritage through their collections or education and outreach.

TNX and credit to the UK Antarctic Heritage Trust (UKAHT).
Readers can subscribe through the mailing list at:   info@ukaht.org

 

WAP has collected few post card messages from Stations in Antarctica and we are pleased to share them with all the Antarctic chasers and followers. Thanks to eveyone sharing happyness with us on the Midwinter 2024 by sending us greetings and wishes.

Happy Midwinter to all those involved involved in various capacities to the Scientific Bases in the  Icy Continent …  adding a prayer: the World of Radioamateurs, always hopes for a Radio contact … don’t be lazy, challenge propagation and give us the joy of contacts, as often happened in past years! CW or SSB, it doesn’t matter, but come on air!

LU8XP Cosme Alfonso Averna, “Pupi” is SK

After suffering from a progressive illness that had recently kept him away from amateur radio, Cosme Alfonso “Pupi” Averna died last june 19 2024 in Ushuaia  (WAP ARG-23) at the age of 76. He was an important collaborator of the Radio Club Ushuaia where he held different positions including Vice President and Secretary.
Now “Pupi” also runs around in the sky chasing our CQ DXs together with the many friends who keep him company in heaven. We down here remember him fondly, mindful of the QSOs we enjoyed together.

He was born in Bahía Blanca on July 3, 1948 and at a very young age, he joined the Argentine Navy. In 1984 he was assigned to the Ushuaia Naval Base where he worked in the Weapons Workshop, specializing in ammunition and explosives, retiring after reaching the hierarchy. of Senior Warrant Officer.

Pupi chose Ushuaia as his place in the world, being from Fuegian by adoption after four decades living there. He had entered the world of amateur radio in 1990 with the LU8XPA license which he changed in 1998 to LU8XP.

A lover of DXism and international competitions, Pupi obtained outstanding positions, due to his geographical location and he did join several 20-meter wheels, meeting numerous colleagues from different provinces.

Once he retired from his work activity, he bought a motor home with which he traveled thousands of kilometers throughout Argentina for years, visiting colleagues with whom he had made friends through the radio.

In 2011, together with Viki Balmaceda LU5DUZ , Pupi LU8XP attended the most important amateur radio fair and exhibition in Europe in Friedrichshasen, Germany. In the photo he appears in the center with Viki on the left and Tony DF2RY on the right.

Pupi Averna was a well-known and beloved figure who discovered amateur radio at the “End of the World”, becoming in a short time a true ambassador of communications on the big island of Tierra del Fuego.

On the pic to the right, we see Orlando Perez PT2OP in Ushuaia (Mar-2014), Tierra del Fuego, operating as LU/PT2OP at Pupi’s station, LU8XP, which is also in the photo. 
Pupi, Hamradio world will miss you but surely we’ll keep you on a corner of our hearth. R.I.P.
Condolences to his family and to the Ushuaia Ham friends.

Plateau Station. KC4USJ, WAP USA-13

Plateau Station was the highest and most remote scientific station established by the United States. Construction of the site, started on December 13, 1965, and the first Traverse Team  (named  SPQML II) arrived in early 1966. The station was located at 79° 15’ South, 40° 30’ East in the far interior of the Antarctic ice cap, 11,890 feet above sea level.
Plateau Station  was operated and staffed by the National Science Foundation and US Navy.
A select Team of four scientists and four navy personnel were on constant duty at the station, which was under the command of a naval medical doctor. Originally designed for two years of service, the Base was in continuous use for three years until January 29, 1969, when it was closed but mothballed for future use. Plateau Station  was also the coldest of any United States Stations on the Continent and the site for the world’s coldest measured average temperature for a month at that time, recorded in July 1968, at −99.8 °F (−73.2 °C).
Plateau Station closed permanently in January, 1969.

Actually Plateau Station  is an inactive American research and  support Base on the central Antarctic Plateau.

On 22 December 2007, the Norwegian-US Scientific Traverse of East Antarctica visited the Base and entered the buildings, finding that it was mostly intact.

In 2017, the CoFi-Expedition made a stop at  Plateau Station. They entered the Station through a hatch at the top of highest building, the watch tower. The Bse is completely snowbound nowadays. The only visible building at the base is the meteorological tower. The expedition left the base with the same general impression as the expedition in 2007 did.
Researcher Sepp Kipfstuhl said: «If someone should visit the base in 10 or even 20 years, it’ll have barely changed. The meteorological tower should be visible for the next 500 years».

To get something more about Plateau Station, go to:
Memoirs & Diaries — The Antarctican Society

To read a recollection of the U.S. Navy person in charge of mothballing the station, Electronics Technician John Wright, click the red link below:
  John+Wright+Recollection

Ham radio Callsign issued at the time for Plateau Station was KC4USJ.
The  QSL of KC4USJ here aside,  prove the Hamradio activity 1968-69 from Plateau Station (WAP USA-13).

.
TNX Bob Hines K4MZU for having shared this very rare QSL with us!

Lion Airfield, Antarctica, WAP FRA-NEW

Lion Island  66° 39′ 32″ South, 140° 00′ 53″ East  is  small rocky island 0.2 mi NNE of Petrel Island in the Geologie Archipelago. It was surveyed and named by the French Antarctic Expedition of  1949-51 under André Liotard. The name derives from the rock summit of the island which has the shape of a lion’s head.
As for the Lion Runway, it is an artificial creation undertaken in the 1980s, which saw the destruction and the subsequent leveling of several islets in the Pointe-Géologie archipelago with dynamite,  to connect them together and create an airstrip, at a time when environmental standards were not the same as today.

Cuvier Island and  Lion Island  which were only 250 mts and 150 mts respectively to the North, the Pollux and Zeus islets as well as the Buffon Islands (two rocky islands 150 mts  to the East), disappeared under the earthworks of the Lion track.
Pollux Islet a rocky islet in the Pointe-Géologie archipelago (Adelie Land) and Zeus were themselves two rocky islets in the same site;  Zeus islet had the bad idea of ​​being located in the axis of this track, between the Pollux islet, 100 mts to the Northwest, and the smallest of the Buffon islands, 100 mts to the southeast. Lamarck Island,  a rocky island located 250 mts away to the southeast of Pétrels Island in the fateful  NW-SE alignment of Cuvier, Lion and Buffon in the central part of the Pointe-Géologie archipelago, was spared by the construction of the Lion trail.
The first work began in January 1983. A committee of wise people responsible for studying the ecological impact of the track recommended to the French government to stop the work at the beginning of 1984. This same committee recommended resuming construction of the track, considering that the project would only have a slight impact on the animal species living on site, resulting in only a 10% drop in fertility. Work resumed in November 1987 was completed on February 12, 1993. The excavations made it possible to create a dike connecting these islets separated by shallow arms of the sea, the whole constituting a track 1,100 mts long. A volume of 700,000 m3 of rocks were torn up during the operation.
In 1993, a huge heavy storm caused irreparable damage to the roadway, and the airfield was never operational but the site still has structures and buildings that serve  as depot, simply due to the fact that it’s quite close to DDU

At that time, the TAAF wishes to entrust the operation of the runway to the airport services company Sofrévia, but the General Directorate of Civil Aviation (DGAC) which sent technicians on site at the end of the work, issues a report unfavorable to the opening of the airfield. In question, the quality of the aggregates whose diameter is likely to constitute a danger for the reactors and propellers of large aircraft. Furthermore, the Air Force cannot makes iys planes available for qualification tests due to its participation in the Gulf was which monopolizes its resources. On January 26 and 27, 1994, a storm hit Pointe-Géologie. Giant waves break over the islands, the wind blows at 160 km/h with peaks of 200 km/h. This storm directly affects the runway, creating a breach 300 mts   long and 15 mts wide, which makes the runway unusable. The head of the TAAF research mission, Bernard Morlet, states that this damage is not attributable to a fault in the construction of the runway but to a lack of maintenance work, postponed as a cost-saving measure.

On September 21, 1994, the Minister of the Environment Michel Barnier formalized in the Council of Ministers the abandonment of the Adélie land trail.

Now, it will be quite possible that a couple of days operation by David Brunet FT4YM  could take place from what currently is the Lions Airfield on Lion Island, sometimes during the 2024-2025 summer campaign.
Stating the over reported evidences, maps, pictures and description,  Lion Airfield at 66° 39′ 32″ South, 140° 00′ 53″ East  on Lion Island, on Pointe-Géologie archipelago (Adelie Land), will enter on WAP-WADA Directory as  WAP FRA-NEW.
If/when David FT4YM will operate from there, a WAP reference number will be given.

Finger crossed though and GL to David for a possible activation of this “New One”!
TNX Mehdi F5PFP and David F4FKT/FT4YM

WAP Antarctic Bulletin # 303

HI Folks,

WAP Antarctic Bulletin nr. 3Ø3 of June 6th 2024 edited by Max IK1GPG and Betty IK1QFM is online here on WAP website.

Chasers car read it directly from this spot (Click on 3Ø3 above) or go to the “Antarctic Bulletin” dedicated page  at http://www.waponline.it/wap-antarctic-bulletins/  where you can get all the WAP Bulletins pubblished so far. The 1st WAP Antarctic Bulletin was pubblished 23 years ago,  exactly on 10 febr. 1991!
Thanks for following us, thanks for loving Antarctica as much as we do.

Antarctica: approaching the new season

Not too much to report from Antarctica at this time of the year  The White Continent is actually in the deep winter,  waiting the 2024-2025 Summer Antarctic Campaign.

QSLs from the still active Russian Bases have been printed and are now coming to the chasers, while at Concordia Dome C (WAP MNB-Ø3) the chief of the Base, Gabriele Carugati IU2LXS must be very busy as no one has ever heard him on air.
Since there is no news of  “On Air” activity from Radio Amateurs overwintering in the various all year round Stations , let’s console ourselves with some interesting photographs sent us by our friend David Brunet F4FKT/FT4YM who will be operational again from Antarctica during the next coming summer campaign 2024-2025.

David is now learning CW and I’m sure he will get a chance to operate Morse code as well, even if SSB will remain his best operative mode.

Here below the sites where David did operate from:
Antarctic Campaign 2022-23
FT4YM/P: Base Concordia
FT4YM: Base Dumont d’Urville
FT4YM: Base Robert Guillard – Cap Prud’homme
FT4YM/Mobile: Raid#3-ICORDA 2023

Antarctic Campaign 2021-22
FT4YM/P: Base Concordia , Antarctica
FT4YM/P: Base Little Dome C , Antarctica
VK0/FT4YM/P: Base Casey , Antarctica
IA0/FT4YM/P: Base Mario Zucchelli , Antarctica

While waiting the good time, WAP thanks David for joining us;  we are really pleased to share the good recalls.
TNX David FT4YM

Antarctica and Uruguay- Exploring Artigas (WAP URY-Ø1)

El País is a national Uruguayan daily newspaper one of the most important source of information in  Uruguay. It is based in the capital city of Montevideo and is regarded as the newspaper with the largest circulation in the Country. It was first published on September 14, 1918 and previously belonged to the same media group as the television network Teledoce.  and  an important newspaper il Uruguay.

Recently, El Pais has pubblished a series of articles about Antarctica, an interesting work carried out in collaboration with the Instituto Antártico Uruguayo (IAU) and the Ministerio de Defense Nacional.

WAP is happy to share the first one which starti with a trip on the Hercules plane and a view of the Artigas Base inside. Fly with us and enjoy the trip.

To get to Antarctica from Uruguay you need to make two flights on a Hercules Air Force plane. After eleven hours you arrive at the Teniente Marsh Airport, close to the Artigas Base, the only access to King George Island by air.
Uruguay has two Bases in Antarctica: Artigas (WAP URY-Ø1) and Teniente de Navió Ruperto Elichiribehety Station (WAP URY-NEW).
Artigas Base is the most popular and has the greatest presence of people: in summer about 50 people can live there while in winter only eight live there. Scientists and the military coexist in this place where the development of science is the priority. Uruguay is present in the area and has been part of the Antarctic Treaty for 40 years. El País traveled to Antarctica in February 2024 to learn first-hand how the Artigas Antarctic Scientific Base works, who travels to that place, why Uruguay has a presence and how people live on this Continent.

.

Thanks and credit to: Istituto Antartico Uruguayo and El Pais

 

Refugio Aeronaval “Capitán Estivariz”  (WAP ARG-NEW)

The “Capitán Estivariz Aeronaval Refuge”,  is located on Watkins Island in the Mikkelsen islands group (see a note below)  within the Argentine Antarctic Sector.  In the 1955-1956 Antartic Campaign, an intense hydrographic activity on the South Shetland Islands was achieved. To support the scientific activities (mainly aerial photographic survey of the entire western coastal area of the Antarctic Peninsula above 65º South, was carried out).
A Shelter located at 66°23′ South, 67°13′ West was built on a small islet between the southwest coast of Watkins Island and Belding Island, and opened on February 29, 1956. The Icebreaker ARA General San Martín did participate in its construction during the 1955-1956 Antarctic campaign.

The Refuge Hut was named in honor of Captain (C) Eduardo Aníbal Estivariz, of the Argentine Navy, who did contribute to the success of the Argentine revolution of 1955 and who was killed in an aircraft accident. The Argentine Captain Estivariz Air-Naval Refuge in Antarctica, is managed by the Argentine Navy.  In the early 1960s the Shelter, consisted of a wooden building was occupied in the summers of 1955-1956 and 1956-1957, with provisions for three people for three months.

Note:
Watkins Island    is a low lying, ice-covered island 5 miles (8 km) long, lying 3 miles (5 km) southwest of Lovoisier Island, one of the Briscoe Islands. The island was first mapped by the French Antarctic Expedidition under Jean-Baptiste Charcot (1903–05 and 1908–10), but remained unnamed until resighted in 1934–1937 by the  Rymill, who gave the name Mikkelsen Island in honor  of the Danish Arctic explorer Ejnar Mikkelsen,. In applying the name, Rymill was unaware of the existence of Mikkelsen island, 75 miles (121 km) southwestward, named in 1908–1910 by Charcot. To avoid confusion of the two, the UK Antarctic Place-Names Committee (UK-APC) recommended in 1952 that the Rymill naming be amended. The new name, Watkins Island, commemorates Gino Watkins, leader of the British AntarcticAir Route Expedition(1930–1931).

WAP is still in search of a picture of Refugio Aeronaval “Capitán Estivariz”  and will be grateful to anyone who can find one and send it for our archive. Thanks a lot in advance!

Hobart’s role in Antarctic Exploration

People may not be aware of the historical richness of Hobart in Tasmania in relation to Antarctica. Most of the greats of Antarctic exploration had a connection to this town. Biscoe, Dumont D’Urville, Ross, Bernacchi, Borchgrevink, Weddell, Mawson, Amundsen, Franklin, Furneaux, Crozier and others. As a staging point for Antarctic expeditions, Hobart was in an ideal position and is still today one of the Antarctic gateway cities. Not everyone used it though and Scott and Shackleton never came here but they still had some connections to it.
The author of this article tells  one story from its rich history. Roald Amundsen is probably most famous for being the first to reach the South Pole in the ‘race’ against Robert Falcon Scott. Tragically, Scott and his companions died in their attempt. While they were still trudging through the snow, Amundsen had completed his mission and returned to his base camp, boarded his ship, Fram, and headed back to Hobart.
On his trek to the Pole, Amundsen slept in a small, cramped tent with his companions, while the Antarctic winds battered it from all sides, but I don’t recall him ever complaining. However, when he arrived back in Hobart on the 7th March, 1912, after his epic adventure he described his hotel room as ‘miserable and small’. He wrote in his diary that he was treated as a tramp.
This wasn’t so surprising when you consider that he didn’t announce his arrival, was wearing a seaman’s sweater, peaked cap, speaking with a foreign accent and perhaps looking worse for wear after 99 days of trekking in the ice. To the owners of Hadley’s Hotel he looked like someone who might skip out without paying but they gave him a cramped room under the stairwell anyway.
The next day Amundsen went to have photographic plates developed and sent a coded telegram to his brother to give to the King of Norway announcing his success in reaching the Pole. A few days later when the news reached the media his hotel lobby was crowded with reporters. He was no longer the foreign tramp but Amundsen the great explorer. A thanksgiving service was held for him in the cathedral opposite the hotel and boat races held in his honour. Amundsen hosted a dinner for his entire crew at Hadleys and his earlier treatment was forgiven and forgotten.
If you go today to the Grand Mercure Hadleys Hotel you’ll find the Amundsen Suite, a grand double suite, which is nothing like the small room Amundsen actually spent a few nights in.

Thanks and credit to Robert Evans at:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/2212798205/?hoisted_section_header_type=recently_seen&multi_permalinks=10163721019658206

Horseshoe Island Base  (WAP GBR-14)

The Base “Y” at Horseshoe Island  (WAP GBR-14) was established by the Falkland Islands Dependencies Survey in 1955. Its position,  Latitude 67° 48′ South, Longitude 67° 17′ West,   located on Sally Cove, Horseshoe Island, Bourgeois Fjord, Marguerite Bay This was part of the push to increase UK scientific activity ahead of International Geophysical Year, 1957-58, with a number of bases opened during this period.

Horseshoe Island Base “Y”  did open on 11 March 1955 and closed 21 August 1960 when personnel were transferred to Stonington Island  Station  “E”  (WAP GBR-Ø5). Reopened briefly from 7 March 1969  through  11 July 1969  to complete local survey work.

VP8DLM operated by Mehdi F5PFP  was active from this rare site on March 2011, giving many of the Antarctic hunters a real “New One”!

Now Horseshoe Island Base “Y” stands almost fully equipped from the time it was in service and is the destination of polar cruises as it’s often included in the programs of polar tourism as it has been open as a museum for tourists and scientists.
Base Y is visited by over 2,500 visitors every year despite its remote location away from the main travel routes. The site was used occasionally by BAS personnel on field trips from Rothera (Station “R”, WAP GBR-12). It was cleaned up by BAS in 1995 and designated Historic Site and Monument no. 63. Managed by UKAHT since 2014.

Thanks and credit to: UKAHT – Horseshoe

Read more on: Base Y from the 1950s turns into museum | Polarjournal

 

Polish Refuges in Antarctica (WAP POL-NEW)

Polish Demay Refuge  provide limited accommodation capacity for  4 people with field medical kit available during summer for emergency use. The scientific use, is subject to the permission of the appropriate authority. The refuge (wood hut) is situated on a flat marine gravel terrace in Paradise Cove between Demay Point and Uchatka Point, ca 10 km from Arctowski Station (WAP POL-Ø1) . The refuge can be reached both by Zodiac and by foot. It is located within the Antarctic Specially Protected Area (ASPA No.128

Demay Refuge (Poland) WAP POL-NEW, Paradise Cove, Admiralty Bay, King George Island Lat: 62°13’South,   Long: 58°26’30” West  

Lions Rump Refuge  
Accommodation capacity for  4 people with field medical kit available during summer for emergency use. The refuge (wood hut) is situated on a flat marine gravel terrace on the western shore of King George Bay near Lions Rump (ca 35 km from Arctowski Station). The refuge can be reached only by Zodiac. It is located near the boundry of the Antarctic Specially Protected Area (ASPA  No 151)

Lions Rump Refuge (Poland) WAP POL-NEW, Lions Rump, Martello Tower, King George Bay,  King George Island. Lat: 62°06´South   Long: 58°05´West  

Both Refuges are visited yearly by Polish researchers… We always hope one day or another someone can be “On Air” from one or both this two rare spots, as they seems not so difficult to activate!

David FT4YM ready for another Antarctic campaign

Probably,  the old days, those in which CW and SSB were the best expression of the world of Amateur Radio will never come back, but fortunately, there are still young people that, to the most modern digital transmission/reception techniques (such as FT4/FT8, in which is the PC that makes QSOs), those youngs prefere the traditional ways, those that truly have the charm that takes you inside!

Well, David Brunet F4FKT-FT4YM, despite being relatively young,  must be one of the old fashioned Hams; we met him “On Air” during his past two seasons in Antarctica where he gave many radioamateurs the pleasure of several QSOs including a couple of “New Ones”.

WAP has recently received  a mail from David  on which he express his appreciation for our Antarctic website: “I relive good memories as I read her lines, emotions arise and fingers frozen too” was his comment!
David said he should go back to Antarctica this year  with a little better equipment: “Yes it is a chance to go, quite hard to transmit after work; I have the pleasure to give pleasure to the OM who have the chance to hear me and especially to answer me. I would not fail to inform you via Mehdi F5FPF

Wonderful to know that David  will be again in Antarctica and for sure, Hams worldwide  will be pleased to log FT4YM again, perhaps from some “New Ones”.  For now, while waiting the season to come,  WAP and the thousand  of Antarctic chasers wish David a great time  on the Ice!

TNX and good luck  to David Brunet F4FKT/FT4YM

Base Petrel  (WAP ARG-17) Argentina builds  its most modern Antarctic Base

Petrel Base opened in 1967 but has been used as a temporary summer base since 1976, after a fire destroyed its main accommodation building. Petrel Base (WAP ARG-17) is one of the Argentine research stations located  on the Antarctic Peninsula. Established as a permanent research station in 1967, it has been a temporary base since 1978, housing scientists only part of the year. Petrel Base is found on Dundee island, among Graham Land’s Joinville island group.

The project that involve the build of a totally renewed structure on Petrel Base was conceived by the Tandanor shipyard,  a building with several modules, with a total of 800 square meters covered, and weighing 300 tons, The material arrived at the Petrel Base aboard the Icebreaker Almirante Irízar  last February 2024.

A team of engineers from the Argentine Army was deployed this summer to Antarctica to assemble the new habitable house of Petrel Base, a set of thousands of pieces, bolts, nuts and washers of 300 tons of steel , which was designed and built by the Tandanor state shipyard to tolerate the climatic challenges of the white continent.
The project is a multi-module building of which the foundations were installed during last year’s Antarctic campaign, while this year progress is being made on the first habitable structures.

José Luis Oca, the naval and mechanical engineer, head of the infrastructure sector of the Infrastructure and Construction Directorate of Tandanor did sail to Petrel Base, to coordinate the first stage of construction last January.

Oca said that, what they are developing in Petrel is the habitable house that will be occupied by the scientists and the personnel who provide service in each campaign- Iit’s a structure of six modules of which the foundations were placed and, this summer, the first is planned to be built: a construction of 800 square meters covered.

The New Petrel structure took into account all the technological innovations of recent decades and all the scientific knowledge about the climatic and geographical conditions of Antarctica that was produced at this time. We also studied the projects of Countries that built Antarctic bases in recent years.

The head of the Joint Antarctic Command, Brigadier General Edgar Calandín, told Télam that the tasks of supporting science and technological developments carried out in our bases and in collaboration with Antarctic programs of other Countries are an exercise of sovereignty; The progress in the recovery of  Base Petrel materializes a new gateway to the Argentine Antarctic Sector, which is much more than a logistics point because, in addition to being able to operate with planes and ships, it will have the most modern infrastructure to function at the same time.

“We are also building new physical foundations for the presence in Antarctica, while the construction of the new buildings at the Petrel Base progresses, an initiative to develop the new infrastructure of Carlini  (WAP ARG-2Ø) and Brown (WAP ARG-Ø2) Bases  “University’ in Antarctica” through agreements so that the young people who winter at the Esperanza Base (WAP ARG-Ø4) can study there, taking some content in person and others remotely, and that this mechanism of study can also be used by the crews of other bases in the north of the Antarctic Peninsula,” he highlighted.

Today Argentina is redesigning its Antarctic policy and that will materialize shortly with a new Antarctic policy directive, which has research, development and evolution as its center of gravity, this will allow us to finalize a new master plan of evolution with a search for cooperative integration of all state agencies as an expression of sovereigntyconcluded Calandín.

TNX and credit to: Argentina builds its most modern Antarctic base in Petrel – (agendamalvinas.com.ar)

 

Antarctica learns its “Religious Tourism” options

Antarctica, a Continent of all of us who inhabit this planet, has temples surrounded by ice and snow that can also be visited. 60 cruise ships surround yearly the white Continent, some of those departures will offer the tourists to see its chapels. The women and men who are in Antarctica live their faith in a very special way in chapels belonging to the different installed bases.

Battered by climate change, the native organisms of this continent include a myriad of types of algae, bacteria, fungi, plants and animals, the true inhabitants of its landscape. However, decades of research around the latter, including its organisms, has established a more or less standard population scattered throughout many of its corners, and in order to make sense of the world, even there, and even among science, there is a need for faith, there is a need for religion, there is a need of prayer.
Among the ice in all its forms, in addition to more ice, there are some Churches. They are few, but each one more curious! One of the southernmost buildings in Antarctica is, curiously, a religious building. Let’s think about the St. Ivan Rilski Chapel, the first Eastern Orthodox edifice in Antarctica and the southernmost Eastern Orthodox building of worship in the world. Located at the Bulgarian Research Station, San Kliment Ohridski Base (WAP BUL-Ø1) on Livingston Island, in the South Shetland, it has been the first Orthodox temple on the Icy Continent and the southernmost until the construction of St. Vladimir’s Chapel at Ukraine’s Vernadsky Base (WAP UKR-Ø1) in 2011.

It is not only its location, but also its peculiar shape that catches the eye: St. Ivan Rilski Chapel it’s a small trapezoidal building measuring 3.5 meters by 12 meters made of red metal that rests on small pillars.

Built in 2003, among its features a bell donated by Nikola Vasilev, former deputy prime minister of Bulgaria, who worked as a doctor at the base between 1993 and 1994, also a cross donated by Bulgarian artist Dicho Kapushev, an icon of Jesus Christ betrothed by Bulgarian artist Georgi Dimov and an icon of St. John of Rila donated by Bulgarian President Georgi Parvanov.

But, Did you know that Argentina built the first church in Antarctica?
Although it is not the site where the first mass of the “White Continent” was organized, it is the oldest Catholic temple. Touring the facilities of the huge Esperanza Base (WAP ARG-Ø4) which Argentina has managed since December 17, 1952, a visitor can’t avoid to see the structure of the first church in Antarctica. This small temple, known as “St. Francis of Assisi Chapel” has stood at the northern tip of the Antarctic Peninsula for almost half a century and still surprises those who observe it for the first time. Currently, it is part of the small list of Catholic churches in Antarctica and preserves some very important religious objects, which were given as donations from Pope Francis in the last decade.

The first church in Antarctica is the colorful Chapel of St. Francis of Assisi, which opened its doors on February 18, 1976. At that time, its priest was the Jesuit Buenaventura De Filippis, who was born in Italy and spent an important part of his life at the Esperanza base in Argentina. And, curiously, this chapel was also the place where, two years after its inauguration, the first religious wedding in Antarctica was organized.

The first Mass in Antarctica was celebrated on February 20, 1946 and was organized by the Jesuit Felipe Lerida, in the Stella Maris Chapel of Argentina’s Orcadas Base (WAP ARG-15). After the Mass, the priest sent a telegram to Pope Pius XII: “First Mass celebrated. Cross erected”. But, for the next 30 years, the continent continued without Catholic temples on its territory.

Thanks and credit to:Las iglesias más australes del mundo están en la Antártida (elconfidencial.com)  and ¿Sabías que Argentina construyó la primera iglesia de la Antártida? – Billiken

Ranui Cove Coastwatchers Hut (WAP NZL-Ø9)

Ranui Station (aka North Hut-Ranui lookout hut) located at Port Ross on  Auckland Island at 50°32’3Ø” South, 166°15’4Ø” East was maintained by a Team of 4-5 men from 1941 until 3 June, 1945. The first recruits came from the NZ Post & Telegraph Service, but from 1942 scientists were included. Various scientific work took place from wildlife research to detailed meteorological observations. During 1944-45, a survey party led by Flight Commander Allan Eden undertook the first full topographical survey of the Auckland Island group. The complex, included a base hut, ancillary huts, long drops, radio masts, landing areas, and tracks hidden in the rata forest, out of sight from the sea. The hut itself is located just below the ridge above the base and provides a clear view of all the entrances to Port Ross. At first, private messages were restricted to bereavement or other urgent matters, but later each man was allowed to send and receive two personal messages annually. The only news of the outside world was that heard over standard domestic radio, and other morse code transmissions picked up by the radio operators.

The remains of the Old Ranui Station is located on the outer reaches of Port Ross, hidden in the back of a small cove.

ZL9/K8VIR  &  ZL9DX did operate from Ranui Cove (WAP NZL-Ø9)  in the year 1997 …. Maybe it’s time for some others DX-peditionners to try again, isn’t it?

Thanks and credit to:  Second World War lookout huts (doc.govt.nz)


A bit more of history;
During the Second World War, the New Zealand War Cabinet were concerned enemy ships might anchor in the subantarctic islands where each harbour could have been a potential refuge for enemy vessels,  and actioned the “Cape Expedition”.
The Cape Expedition program was to build three Stations to keep watch for enemy vessels; two on Auckland Island and one on Campbell Island. The coastwatchers were stationed at each for 12 months at a time and were to contact New Zealand by radio if any vessels were seen.  Prefabricated 3m square huts of weatherboard construction with bitumen roofs were shipped to the Auckland Island in 1941. One was built at Port Ross in the North and the other at Carnley Harbour on the South end of the island.
Radio contact was kept to a minimum to avoid detection, and transmissions were largely in morse code. Contact was made with the other stations and the Awarua mainland radio station every 24 hours. This was increased to two plus a weather schedule in 1942, and then four from 1943. If enemy ships were sighted personnel were to alert the mainland by radio, and retreat to emergency huts.

Philatourism; Arctic, Antarctica, Space … and more

Radio amateur’s passion is often linked to “Philately”, especially that which recalls the Arctic and Antarctica but also,  always in terms of radio contacts, also to the Space as in the case of the International Space Station RSØISS.
The soul and creator of this particular passion is Valery Ivanovich Sushkov RMØL who has been pursuing for years this important initiative with determination.
A hobby or a passion?
One thing is certain: collectors from all over the world are attracted by this trend, which contains cultural and scientific implications  .

On April 18, 2024 at the Ryazan Museum of Travelers  in Ryazan city,  a special cancellation solemn ceremony of postal issues in the “Great Russian Travelers” line took place. Under the press of philaturism was attended by signatories: outstanding Russian traveler, Honorary polar explorer, Mikhail Georgievich Malakhov Hero of Russia, Alexander Nikolaevich Kapitanov Director of the Ryazan Travelers Museum, author and director of the project “Great Russian Travelers”,  travel researcher, postal historian, winner of the “Geographical Oscar”, author of the term “philaturism” presented by “Bottle Mail”, “Traveller’s Mail” and “Polar Mail“, which include postcards, vignette stamps and a special postmark,  Valery Ivanovich Sushkov RMØL and students at one of the secondary schools in Ryazan.

Also, Valery Sushkov, in that ceremony, awarded Mikhail Georgievich Malakhov with a table medal named after Admiral Peter Ricord, associate and friend of Ryazan Vasily Golovnin, for his outstanding contribution to the development of the Far East in the field of studying and developing the recreational potential, historical, geographical, natural and cultural heritage of the Far East and the Arctic Russian Federation, as well as a certificate of honor from the project “Great Russian Travelers.

The purpose of the historical-geographical, scientific-educational, film-publishing, tourism-local history and memorial Project “Great Russian Travelers” is the revival of the traditions of Russian travelers in research and discovery, the popularization and promotion of tourism and postal business, highlighting their contribution to the economy of Russian society and the development of ties between the peoples of different countries.

Read more at: В г. Рязани прошла церемония спецгашения почтовых выпусков «Великие русские путешественники. Под призмой филатуризма: В.М. Головнин, М.И. Венюков и М.Г. Малахов» | Русское географическое общество (rgo.ru)

Petrel’s Chapel  has got light

Thanks to the efforts of the staff actually on Petrel Base (WAP ARG-17) , the small Chapel of “Santo Cura Brochero” has  been equiped with electricity.

The Chapel which was previously not equipped with a power line, is named after Jose Gabriel del Rosario Brochero (16 March 1840 – 26 January 1914), a Catholic priest who suffered leprosy throughout his life. He is known for his extensive work with the poor and the sick. He became affectionately known as “the Gaucho priest” and the “cowboy priest”.
He was beatified on 14 September 2013 after a healing was recognized as a miracle attributed to him. Cardinal Angelo Amato, on the behalf of Pope Francis, presided over the beatification.

Another miracle under investigation was approved in 2016 and a date for canonization was approved in a gathering of cardinals on 15 March 2016. 

Jose Gabriel del Rosario Brochero  was canonized as a Saint on 16 October 2016.

TM21AAW (WAP-353) another great goal by F8DVD

We must say that the 1st edition (2004) of the  Antarctic Activity Week  did see the participation of the first French station  TMØANT (WAP-ØØ8) a  Team operated by LYON DX GANG ASSOCIATION.

François Bergez F8DVD have never lost a single edition of the AAW since 2005 when he did sign TM8ANT (WAP-14)!  Now , the 21th  edition  (2024) of the AAW was again a lot of fun fot  with 6272 contacts in 153 DXCC countries, was the comment by  François (TM21AAW)  , who have just shown his new QSL printed for the event.

The picture on TM21AAW’s card, shows the Ukranian Antarctic Akademic Vernadsky Station (WAP UKR-Ø1) located at 65˚14′ South, 64˚15′ West, Marina Point on GalindezIsland in the Argentine islands Archipelago.  The Faraday British Research base was established there in 1947 and transferred to Ukraine in 1996.

QSL for TM21AAW is actually on print with Alfio IT9EJW; as soon as the cards will be ready, direct and buro requests will be mailed.
TNX François  F8DVD

What say? WAP congratulates François for his continuous presence in the AAWs and always for the great score of QSOs and again for his wonderful card!

Hovgaard Island Camp site (New entry on WAP WADA Directory as MNB-NEW)

Antarctica shows often some interesting “secrets” which we are pleased to reveal. This time we are discovering Hovgaard Island which is sometimes visited by groups or particular hikers who appreciate its beauty. On those occasions, a “Field Camp” is installed and who knows… maybe one day even an expedition of radio amateurs will give us the pleasure of this “New One“.

is an island 6 km (3 nmi) long, lying at 65°07’ South, 64°04’ West, off the northwest coast of Kyiv Peninsula, 2.8 km (1.5 nmi) southwest of Booth island  in Antarctica. Hovgaard  island that forms the western side of the Lemaire Channel  is part of the Wilhelm Archipelago

It was discovered and named “Krogmann-Insel” (Krogmann Island) by the German 1873–74 expedition under Eduard Dallmann, but the name Hovgaard, after Polar explorer and officer of the Danish Navy Andreas Hovgaard applied by the Belgian Antarctic Expedition 1897–99, under Gerlache, has overtaken the original name in usage. The name Krogmann Point has been given to the western extremity of Hovgaard Island.

Hovgaard Island is a popular location for camping in Antarctica among Expedition groups due to the presence of a relatively flat campsite along Penola Strait. Campers dig “snow graves” to sleep in. The holes offer protection from the wind.

The shoreline of Hovgaard can be a bit tough, but once on shore, the island is gently sloping smooth rock and snow.

 

On the island , there is  cache weighed down with heavy rocks and also anchored to the ground with cables. The cache is located up high on weathered stone where it is unlikely to be troubled by snow or ice during the winter. The cache contains emergency supplies  for trapped ship-wrecked expedition; inside will be timed food, fire supplies and  a tent.

For the meantime, Hovgaard Island Field  Camp , 65° 07’ South, 64° 04’ West,  Wilhelm Archipelago, Antarctic Peninsula has been add to the   as WAP MNB-NEW

Chilean Isla Gonzalo, WAP CHL-21

Gonzalo Island (56° 31’ 15” South, 68° 42’ 40” West), is a Sub-Antarctic island, uninhabited except for a Weather and Research Station (WAP CHL-21) operated by the Chilean Navy. With an area of 38 hectares (94 acres), Gonzalo is the second largest island of the Chilean Diego Ramirez Archipelago after Bartolomè island. The archipelago lies in the Drake Passage between the continents of South America and Antarctica.

The Diego Ramírez Archipelago is a group of small Chilean islands and islets, located about 100 km southwest of Cape Horn and 93 km SSW of the Ildefonso Islands, in the Drake Passage, about 790 km NNW of the South Shetland Islands (Antarctica). They comprise about 8 km. from north to south, reaching latitude 56º32.2′ South and can be considered the southernmost point of the American Continent, the land closest to the Antarctic Territory.

Gonzalo Island was activated  from 15 through 17 January 2021 by  CE9/PA3EXX  and CE9/VE3LYC

 

Approaching to the Chilean Antarctic territory is the Gonzalo island  Lighthouse (ARLHS CHI 020, CHI-020, CHI 020 , aka Diego Ramírez Islands Lighthouse), after the end of the American continent in one of the most important areas stormy of the world, projecting Chile towards Antarctica.

The Chilean lighthouses are the most important constructions of the national network of national navigation aids, which have the purpose of allowing safe and expeditious navigation of ships along authorized national routes.

This network is basically made up of 960 lighthouses and beacons, 135 buoys and 133 electronic equipment, installed from the maritime limit leading to Concordia, to the Chilean Antarctic Territory.

For operational, logistical and administrative purposes, it is administered at the national level by the “Maritime Signaling and Navigation Aids Service”, dependent on the General Directorate of the Maritime Territory and Merchant Navy, DIRECTEMAR. In turn, this network is served by five Zonal Maritime Signaling Centers, located in the ports of Iquique, Valparaíso, Talcahuano, Puerto Montt and Punta Arenas.

The important mission of the Diego Ramirez Island Lighthouse
Maritime signaling not only helps Chilean-flagged vessels, but also contributes to internationally navigated vessels being made by the endowment of lighthouse keepers who fulfill isolated periods of 6 months in those remote territories.
The Work of the lighthouse keepers is carried out in isolation and maintenance communication via satellite and radio, maintaining control tasks of maritime traffic and carrying out an important work of effective sovereignty in our national territory. 
Supporting Extreme temperatures, wind gusts of 200 kilometers per hour and a temporary constant, are part of the usual conditions, in which These men must perform their tasks between sea and solitude.
The Naval servers that fulfill these tasks have to be self-sufficient, highly prepared in state-of-the-art technology at the same time time they must learn to master cooking, maintenance and temperance, enduring the harsh isolation in that remote territory.
The Logistic support of the aforementioned distribution is organized from the Zonal Center of Maritime Signaling of Punta Arenas, where They prepare the elements and naval servers that are destined to the task, coordinating with surface and naval means of the Third Naval Zone for the development of refueling and relays of personnel.

TNX: Armada de Chile

India Post opens third post office in Antarctica

April 5th 2024, INDIA’s NCPOR 24th Foundation Day
India’s National Center for Polar and Ocean Research (NCPOR) did organize an engaging cultural program titled “From Labs to Stage.” This unique event showcased the diverse talents of NCPOR’s scientists and staff, bringing them together in a celebration of creativity and entertainment.

In this historic moment, as a part of the foundation day celebrations, the Indian Postal Services, in collaboration with NCPOR, inaugurated a new Branch Post Office at Bharati Station (WAP IND-Ø4) in Antarctica. April 5 was chosen because it marked the 24th Foundation Day of National Centre for Polar and Ocean Research (NCPOR), Goa.

Dr. Shailendra Saini, group director (Antarctic Operations), said: “This is a symbolic yet milestone effort. Our scientists do have access to modern means of communication including WhatsApp, albeit at slow speeds, so they do keep in contact with their families. But the souvenir value of receiving a letter stamped ‘Antarctica’  in an era when people have stopped writing letters altogether — holds great importance. We will collect the letters once a year and despatch them to our headquarters in Goa from where they will be mailed to the scientists’ families.”

Chief Postmaster General Mumbai, Shri K.K. Sharma, officiated the opening, unveiling a special Picture Postcard of Bharati Station that was released on the occasion with the presence  of Shri. R. P. Patil, Director Postal Services, Goa Region, Dr. Thamban Meloth, Director NCPOR, Dr. Rahul Mohan, Group Director and Scientist at NCPOR and the Team leaders of Maitri and Bharati Stations.

K K Sharma said the new venture “underscores the commitment of the postal fraternity to serve even the most remote corners of the globe. The department had earlier installed a post office at Dakshin Gangotri Station in 1984 and another at Maitri Station in 1990. He commended the efforts of all the people involved in making this launch possible and expressed confidence in the postmaster stationed at the Bharati Branch Post Office to facilitate meaningful connections through the exchange of letters with loved ones.

India’s first post office in Antarctica was setup in 1984 at the Dakshin Gangotri Station, which was the country’s first scientific base there, according to a report by Indian Express. Around 10,000 letters and mails had been posted and cancelled at the icy continent’s post office. Significance of post office with Indian address in Antarctica The Antarctica has 2 research stations – Maitri and Bharati – both are a part of the Goa postal division. 
Apart from senior postal department officials, a number of scientists working in Antarctica and was followed by the defacing of the stamps on the postcards by the first Branch Postmaster of Bharati Post Office, Shri. Sudhanshu.
Dr. Thamban Meloth, Director of NCPOR, highlighted the significance of having an Indian Branch Post Office in the icy continent of Antarctica.
Dr. Anand Kumar Singh presided over the function.

In the list taken from the dedicated Indian philately history of Abhai Mishra’s book (see http://www.waponline.it/antarctic-philately-by-abhay-mishra/). Among the Honorary Post Masters of India’s Antarctic Post Office from the 7th Indian Scientific Expedition to Antarctica (ISEA) through the 32nd ISEA, we found our good friend Bhagwati Prasad Semwal  (picture aside) Licensed Ham Radio operator , callsigns: VU3BPZ, Ex-AT10BP, VU3BPZ/P, ex-Antarctican participating the ISEAs XX, XXIV, XXIX and XXXII at Bharati as 8T2BH,  who was Post Master himself  at Maitri Station.

The first Indian Scientific Expedition to Antarctica was initiated in 1981.

In 1988-89, the Dakshin Gangotri Station (WAP IND-Ø1) was decommissioned as it was submerged in the continent’s ice and in January 26 1990, a new post office branch was built at the continent’s India Maitri Research Station (WAP IND-Ø3), according to the publication. For over 35 years since then, placed in blank envelopes, letters and postcards were sent to the Maitri station’s post office for cancellation. According to the publication, now, almost 40 years later, the letters which are to be sent to Antarctica, will now be having a new Pin Code – MH-1718.

Read more at: https://www.deccanherald.com/india/significance-of-the-indian-post-office-in-antarctica-with-a-new-pin-code-for-letters-postcards-2968404

TNX and credit NCPOR

 

RI1ANE Progress Base WAP RUS-11

Let’s congratulate Igor Taranenko (RQ8K ), operator at the Russian Progress  Base in Antarctica; Igor has begun his journey at Progress signing RI1ANE on last december 14th 2023 and is expected to be down there, till May 2025.

Igor is very active on all bands, Actually it’s easy to work him CW on 10 mts as conditions seems to be good on 28 MHz, but also 20 & 40 mts.

Progress is a Russian Research Station (WAP RUS-11) in Antarctica. It is located at the Larsemann Hills antarctic oasis on the shore of Prydz Bay. The station was established by the 33rd Soviet Antarctic Expedition on April 1, 1988 and was moved to another place on February 26, 1989 In 2000, work was temporarily halted but it reopened in 2003.
A landing field is located close to the station for air connection with other stations. From 1998-2001 works were performed to transfer transportation operations to Progress from the Mirny Station (WAP RUS-Ø7) and make it the main support base for Vostok Station (WAP RUS-13).

QSL for RI1ANE goes via RN3RQ, OQRS, direct, bureau, LOTW

One CW contact to get the certificate. Goal achievied!

It was a chance with profound symbolic value; losing it would have been a real shame.

March 30th and 31st, hours and hours of listening to look for at least one of the 8 active CW stations that would have given the possibility of receiving a dreamed certificate, that of the 97th anniversary of the 1st telegraph connection between Antarctica and the Southern American Continent, more precisely, between the Argentine Orcadas Base (WAP ARG-15) and the city of Ushuaia in Tierra del Fuego (WAP ARG-23) in Argentina.

The stations that would give radio amateurs the opportunity to obtain the certificate were: LU3IA, LU5WE, LU6EWR, LU8DAR, LU9MAH, LW1DPS, LW2DCJ and LW5DD.

A single contact to one of these stations was enough to get the certificate.

LW5DD finally came on 10 meters CW, the 31st of march 2024 on 28.026 at 16:18 GMT, with  loud signal so we exchanged a good 599 x 599.

.

 

Getting the certificate was easy, by accessing the  site QSLOG.AR – Bienvenidos!!! al Sitio Integrado de QSLOG.AR from where, smoothly I  downloaded the confirmation.

Thanks to the friends of the Servicio Auxiliar de Radioaficionados de la Armada (SARA) for having set this interesting venture!

UEA Scientists say polar trip “really successful”

Climate researchers on board the RRS Sir David Attenborough have described their latest polar expedition as “really successful”.

A team of 40 scientists, led by the University of East Anglia (UEA), have spent the last month conducting research in the Antarctic.

They have been investigating how carbon dioxide moves and transforms from the atmosphere into the Southern Ocean in the hope of improving models that make predictions about climate change.

Some of the work, such as operating underwater gliders, has been carried out remotely, almost 9,000 miles (14,500 km) at the UEA’s campus in Norwich.

Prof Karen Heywood, the UEA’s lead principal investigator, said her team had used “every scientific capability the ship had”. “We’ve been deploying instruments from the ship to profile the ocean, we’ve been collecting lots of  water for analysing and we’ve been looking at how much krill there is,” she said.

Read more at: UEA scientists say latest polar research expedition ‘successful’ (bbc.com)

Thanks and credit to BBC

97 years since the first radiotelegraph contact with Antarctica

March 30, 1927 is an historical date, when the sounds of the Morse alphabet were heard for the first time in Antarctica; fundamental step in the development of communications at those latitudes, That day at the Meteorological Observatory of the South Orkney Islands, the Orkney Station (LRT) was officially inaugurated.
The Argentine Navy radio officer Emilio Baldoni first established contact from Antarctica  with the LIK station in Ushuaia, the southernmost city in the world and through it, with Buenos Aires.

In the eleven nights preceding this event, from Laurie Island, where the Orcadas Base is located, the head of the expedition José Manuel Moneta, together with Miguel Ángel Jaramillo, Pedro Martín Casariego, Luis Falico and Conrado Becker, encouraged the radio operator Emilio Baldoni , who, pushing the key with his firm fist, repeatedly broadcast into the ether: “CQ… CQ…CQ… de LRT… LRT… LRT… Orcadas, Orcadas, Orcadas” , which in clear text, means “General call from South Orkney Islands… from Orkney Islands…”, followed by the text: “Answer very long calls to tune in… calling from South Orkney Islands….

When on that historic day, March 30, 1927, the Morse sounds of the letters were heard and repeated at rhythmic intervals: “LRT… LRT…”, everyone shouted in unison “We… We… Finally …Finally…”, the question was: Who is calling us? and immediately you could hear “LRT… LRT… de LIK… LIK… LIK…”; exclaiming all together “They’re calling us from Ushuaia.”

Well, the rest of the extraordinary event, is history!

To celebrate the historical event, next March 30th  from 00,00 UTC through March 31st at 23:59 (UTC international time) LU2CN, SERVICIO AUXILIAR DE RADIOAFICIONADOS DE LA ARMADA S.A.R.A. will carry out a CW activity to recall this historic event for Argentina.

.

A special certificate is available and will be issued for free to those who can make a contact.

WAP and Hams WW will be on air, for sure… we just hope the LUs operator can pay attention also to the Hams outside South America!

TNX: | SARA | QSL 97 años del primer enlace radiotelegráfico con la Antártida – QSLOG.AR

“POSTVENTURE & Postal Adventure” another great idea of Velery Sushkov, RMØL (ex RW3GW)

Ham Radio is something of incredibile!
Being a radio amateur is certainly a privilege; Radio gives us the opportunity to travel the air, make connections all over the world, meet extraordinary people with whom growing lifelong friendships.

It’s the case of a friendship born more than 40 years ago, when for us, young Radioamateurs, looking for DX meant working the islands in the Arctic, the Antarctic bases, and proudly showing the QSLs confirming these contacts.
Well one of these friends, always active in the most remote places both in the Arctic and in Antarctica was and still is Valery Sushkov RW3GW, now RMØL!

Valery Sushkov RMØL (ex RW3GW)  is a travel researcher, postal historian, travel marketer, documentarian, chief postmaster of the International Philaturism Society, author of the new concept of “philaturism” in the history of world tourism practice, curator of the World Postal Mail Museum. Head of the Project “POSTVENTURE & Postal Adventure”. Visited more than 50 countries of the world, participant and organizer of more than 100 different expeditions on 6 continents, conqueror of the South Pole and the highest peak in Africa – Mount Kilimanjaro, member of the Russian Geographical Society – Society for the Study of the Amur Region, member of the Union of Journalists of Russia, laureate and winner of the National Awards of the Russian Geographical Society “Crystal Compass”.

Philaturism  is educational and adventure tourism and the study of territories through the prism of philately and postal history, something new born from the fervent mondo f Valery!.

For the development of philaturism, the project “POSTVENTURE & Postal Adventure” and the International Philaturism Community were created. Valery Sushkov RMØL (ex RW3GW) defines the project and community as a postal radio-telegraph historical adventure experiment. Together with like-minded people and partners, Valery Sushkov is implementing a project in the form of historical and postal reconstructions, special cancellation ceremonies, philaturist flash mobs, installation of postal monuments, the creation of postal routes and expeditions, philanthropic guides and philatelic products.

See: RM0M – Callsign Lookup by QRZ Ham Radio and https://www.rgo.ru/ru/article/master-klass-s-valeriem-sushkovym-filaturizm-novoe-ponyatie-v-mirovoy-praktike-turizma

Platcha Hut, WAP AUS-NEW

It’s a real shame! Six  people visited Platcha Hut, a brand “New One” for many Antarctic Hunters, and nobody brought an HF Radio, to operate a little while from there, and living us  the pleasure to log a rare spot in Antarctica!
We just read the info posted today on FB page: «That’s one way to get to work! Expeditioners from Davis Research Station flew out to check in on the isolated Platcha Hut last week. The team of six got a lift from a helicopter that is currently at the station and had one of the most unique morning commutes in the AAP! »
There are a number of features close to Davis Station (WAP AUS-Ø3) which are the subject of regular recreational visits. These include Lake Dingle and Lake Stinear, the lakes nearest to the Station, Tarbuck Crag as the nearest high point, Weddell Arm for viewing Weddell Seals when appropriate, Ellis Rapids  and Brookes Hut. Other field huts within the area, which are regularly used for recreational as well as scientific purposes are Platcha, Bandits, and Watts Lake Huts.

Platcha Hut  68° 30′ 47″ South, 78° 30′ 36″ East is situated in an extemely handy spot at the base of the plateau just to the south of Breid Basin a few metres above the shoreline. The locale is easy to reach by helicopter in the summer and is a decent walk over rough terrain from Davis Station for the keen. In the winter, Platcha Hut is one of the first to be visited once the sea ice forms and is thick enough. From Davis quads or Hägglunds, head along a waypointed route that follows Long Fjord to Breid Basin. The Hut itself sleeps four in bunk beds with room for two in the recently renovated (2011) Met Hut (the original Platcha) at the back.

In the early 60s the original Hut was manned continuously by teams of two for a few weeks at a time. They were tasked with making meteorological observations.

The present Platcha Hut was built in 1982. On the 9th of September the internal fit-out was transported to Platcha and by the 16th of September the hut was completed and ready for occupation which was a mammoth effort by the wintering team of 1982.
Thanks and credit to: Field huts around Davis – Australian Antarctic Program (antarctica.gov.au)

There are lots of Antarctic Hunters all over the world, who would love to work for the fist time on air Platcha Hut and for sure the other Huts scattered around the main Scientific bases in Antarctica.
From these pages, we, Radioamateurs launch an appeal to those responsible for scientific activities in Antarctica: Bringing a radio, setting up a couple of dipoles and doing a few hours of activity on HF is not just fun or recreation, but the study of radioionospheric propagation which  could be part of the list of scientific experiments. Thank you

Refuge Luis Risopatrón (aka Luis Risopatrón Base)  WAP CHL-17

Luis Risopatrón Refuge is an Antarctic Chilean refuge,  located at 60°22’17” South, 59°42’53” West on the north shore of Coppermine Cove, Robert Island in Nelson Strait on South Shetland Islands

The refuge lies 100 metres from the Antarctic Specially Protected Area  ASPA No.112

Originally, it was called Coppermine Naval shelter and  was inaugurated on March 20, 1949 by the Chilean Navy during the commission of Commodore Leopoldo Fontaine. By law No. 19087, enacted on September 24, 1991, the “shelter” was renamed Base Luis Risopatrón, although, due to its characteristics it was  known for quite a bit of time,  as  Luis Risopatrón Refuge. The shelter is located 40 m above sea level, on a solid rock surface, 150 m from the coast. 20 km from the closest base, Captain Arturo Prat, (WAP CHL-Ø1).

The Base installation is made up of 5 modules. Scientific activities concerning terrestrial biology (since 1975) and geology and geophysics (since 1980) have been carried out there. The Base  site, has a capacity for a staff of 12 people.

We must say that Risopatron Refuge should not be confused with the Luis Risopatrón Scientific Antarctic Base, which did  participate in the activities of the International Geophysical Year on March 3, 1957. This Base  was set 60 meters from the O’Higgins Base (WAP CHL-Ø2) with civil resources belonging to the Catholic University of Chile.

It was destroyed by fire on March 10, 1958, just a year after its opening.

.
WAP has no evidence of any recent Ham Radio operation from the Base or Refuge, whatever you want, while CE9AE seems to be (so far) the only one who did operate from the Base in 1957.

Argentina “120th Anniversary” Antarctic  Marathon

Last march 10th 2024, the marathon  for the “120th Anniversary”  of Argentina’s presence in Antarctica has ended.

It was not easy for EU to work the station active from the several LU Bases in Antarctica, as well as other callsign and Polar Ship involved, due to the operating GMT time non favorable for EU,  but in spite of that, quite a few Hams did manage to work some!

Congrats to Estado Mayor Conjunto de las Fuerzas Armada,  Comando Conjunto Antártico for the wonderful initiative. The marathon continue until the Antarctic campaign 2023-2024 will end; certificates are still available.

Not everybody has worked Icebreaker ARA Almirante Irízar yet, so our attention will now pointed on LU2AIB/MM, hoping to have this “new one” on the log as well, other than the pleasure to discharge the related certificate.
Look also for LU2ARM operating time to time, from the Joint Antarctic Command (EJERCITO ARGENTINO, DIRECCION ANTARTICA, in Buenos Aires, Capital Federal)

All Digital Certificates, available to those who did work the Argentina’s Bases in Antartica and other official LU station which work  within the event, could download their own confirmation by entering the QSLOG.AR website at:

QSLOG.AR – Bienvenidos!!! al Sitio Integrado de QSLOG.AR

TNX : Estado Mayor Conjunto de las Fuerzas Armada,  Comando Conjunto Antártico
and
LU3IA Alfredo Arcangel Amaro  (pic on the right) for his envaluable help and timely information on the activities of the various LU’s  Antarctic stations.

Brabant Island;  when  a Hamradio operation from there?

Brabant Island, lying off the west coast of the Antarctic Peninsula at 64°15’South, 62°20’West, is the second largest Island of the Palmer Archipelago within the British Antarctic Territory. Brabant Island, 59 km (37 mi) long north-south, 30 km (19 mi) wide, is lying between Anvers Island and Liège island. It had only been visited on six very brief occasions since its discovery in 1898, although a 1/200 000 topographic map had been produced in 1963 from FIDASE aerial photography.

Joint Services Expedition explored the island in three phases over a 15-month period, from January 1984 to March 1985; each phase was landed and recovered by HMS Endurance.  The aims of the expedition were primarily scientific and secondarily adventurous.
HMS Protector returned recently to Brabant Island for the first time since 2017 to continue work to remove abandoned equipment from  the 1980’s expedition.

Royal Navy sailors have helped preserve the natural beauty of Antarctica by removing three tons of waste that  had frozen into position but subsequent thaw and freeze cycles meant it could now be removed seven years on. Twenty-nine members of HMS Protector’s expedition headed ashore on the ship’s Zodiac boats.  “It was quite shocking seeing all the mess left behind at first. But once we got together to gather up all the rubbish, we could instantly see the benefits of our work, quite a bitter-sweet

HMS Protector is the Royal Navy’s Polar Research ship and is currently deployed in the Antarctic region promoting British interests and enforcing the Antarctic Treaty by working with partners including the British Antarctic Survey (BAS), United Kingdom Antarctic Heritage Trust and the governments of the Falkland Islands, South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands.

TNX and credit: HMS Protector removes waste from Brabant Island next to Antarctica Peninsula — MercoPress

Well, maybe someone from the nearby Argentine Base Melchior (WAP ARG-13)  can try to visit Brabant  for a brief stay, or someone of the BAS can operate from there on one of the next visit!

Watch the Brabant Island Expedition Film 1983-85 here below

21st AAW Certificate

As widely announced, last month of  February,  the 21st edition of the Antarctic Activity Week took place. (see: http://www.waponline.it/antarctic-activity-week/aaw-2024/)

All the participating stations with their own “Special Call” and the related WAP reference did report the large participation of radioamateurs and in many cases,  they experienced a significant pile-up!

Many Hunters have already requested the certificate which, like every year, is offered free of charge to the participants, by our dear friend IK3GER Paolo Corsetti, whom we will never stop thanking.

An Antarctic diploma displayed in the shack of any DXer, makes a nice show and looks like a certification of a particular interest and, in the spirit of  WAP, it demonstrates the sensitivity of radio amateurs towards scientific research and the love for a Continent like Antarctica, a land of study and PEACE.

The picture above,  shows the diploma got by our friends Volker Strecke DL8JDX who did participate as Hunter in the 21st edition of the AAW 2023 which has just ended.

South Georgia Whaling Museum-  Grytviken (WAP GBR-29)

WAP is proud to show an envelope posted directly from South Georgia, by Dr. Volker Strecke DL8JDX   on the last of his cruise to Antarctica.
The South Georgia Museum is located in the old whaling  Station of Grytviken (WAP GBR-29).  The building was once the whaling manager’s  home and office.

The  museum was established by Nigel Bonner in 1991 as a whaling museum. Its scope now embraces all the main areas of island’s history, including most aspects of South Georgia’s human heritage and natural history.

Exhibits include discovery, exploration, Shackleton, surveying and mountaineering expeditions, sealing in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, the early days of whaling, techniques of modern whaling in the middle part of the 20th century, whalers’ social life, maritime history, and natural history. Displays also cover the 1982 conflict and subsequent British military presence until 2001.

GSGSSI has responsibility for the operational buildings and infra-structure associated with the museum. The South Georgia Heritage Trust took over the management of the museum in July 2006.

TNX  Volker DL8JDX

.

Get more at: South Georgia Museum – Government of South Georgia & the South Sandwich Islands

Polar Philately: 90th Anniversary of the Chelyuskin epic. Press conference in Moscow

A press conference, a special post card cancellation ceremony, and a presentation of a quest route was held in Moscow in honor of the 90th Anniversary of the heroic epic of the rescue of the Chelyuskints and the establishment of the title of Hero of the Soviet Union.
Speaker RMØL (ex RW3GW) Valery Sushkov, DX-peditioner on the Arctic and Antarctica. (see pic aside)

On February 13, 1934, the radio operator of the Chelyuskin steamship, Ernst Krenkel, sent a  radiogram to Moscow about the loss of the ship. 104 people, including 2 children, remained on the ice. From that moment on, an heroic air rescue operation began, which lasted 2 months. In April 1934, 7 polar pilots became the first Heroes of the Soviet Union in the USSR.
On February 13, 2024, at the Federal Information Agency of Russia “TASS” (Moscow, Tverskoy Boulevard, building 2, 2nd floor) a press conference was held, a special cancellation ceremony for a postal card with a stamp and a presentation of the quest route of the All-Russian Public Committee “Chelyuskintsy” “, dedicated to the celebration of the 90th Anniversary of the Chelyuskin epic and the appearance of the title of Hero of the Soviet Union https://chelyuskincy.ru

At the end of the press conference, a solemn ceremony of special cancellation of a special postal card and a stamp with a limited edition and a presentation of the city memorial, historical, cultural and philaturist quest route in Moscow,  took place.

The author of the postcard, vignette stamp, special postmark, as well as a quest route in honor of the 90th Anniversary of the heroic epic of saving the Chelyuskinites and the establishment of the title of Hero of the Soviet Union was a travel researcher, postal historian, author and director of the All-Russian project for the development of philaturism “POSTVENTURE & Postal Adventure” , member of the PKO RGS-OIAC and the Union of Journalists of Russia, Valery Sushkov (RMØL ex RW3GW).
Artist: Vladislav Serov, Designer: Natalya Pligina.
WAP
readers and everyone interested, can pre-order a new postal card (edited No. 2, which plans to be released on April 13, 2024) with a vignette stamp and a special postmark in honor of the 90th anniversary of the heroic Chelyuskin epic and the appearance of the title of Hero of the Soviet Union by contacting the issuer: All-Russian Philatourism Development Project “POSTVENTURE & Postal Adventure”. Tel./WhatsApp: +7-950-805-22-11, E-mail: info@postventure.ru

Source: В Москве прошла пресс-конференция, церемония спецгашения почтовой карточки и презентация квест-маршрута в честь 90-летия героической эпопеи спасения челюскинцев и учреждения звания Героя Советского Союза | Русское географическое общество (rgo.ru)

TNX Oleg UA6GG (Polar DX Trophy)

WAP Antarctic Bulletin nr. 302 is online

WAP Antarctic Bulletin nr. 302, released on Febr. 18th 2024 is available online with last info and reported activity from Antarctica.

Bull 302 is downloadable at: http://www.waponline.it/wap-antarctic-bulletins/

This issue contains the information and the guide for the important Argentine Activity (22 February-10 March 2024) to celebrate  the 120 years of continuous presence of Argentina in Antarctica and the related available Certificate.

TNX Max IK1GPG and Betty IK1QFM, editors of WAP Antarctic Bulletins.

John Sharpe VK2FR/VK2ANT a warm recall by his daughter Aimee

John (SK), formerly VK2FR and VK2ANT, was a skilled radio Ham that spoke to many people around the world including those at Antarctic Bases and research stations over the last four decades.
His daughter Aimee sent WAP some photos from her trip to Antarctica. «It was absolutely amazing and such a special pilgrimage. Aimee and her hausband Adam visited Chilean station González Videla and Argentina’s Almirante Brown. Although there wasn’t anyone based at Brown at the time, it was incredible to see the station which was also home to hundreds of Gentoo penguins. I am keen to go back again and visit South Georgia Islands next time. I was just in awe of Antarctica, what a sacred place!».

Aimee Sharpe wroteFor as long as I can remember, I would listen to my father communicate over the radio, fascinated by the secret language of morse code as he bounced and beeped through the ionosphere until the early hours of the morning. His great love was Antarctica and it was his dream to travel there together one day. He was a proud member of the Antarctic Ham community and held several Antarctic Awards including WAP-WACA, WAP-WADA, Wireless Institute of Australia Antarctic Award as well as the United Nations Honor Roll.
After my father died suddenly in January 2021, I travelled to Antarctica in honour of him (see pic of Aimee aside). It was a sacred pilgrimage for me and an experience that irrevocably changed my life.
One of the happiest moments from the trip was landing at Almirante Brown, an Argentinian research base in the Antarctic Peninsula that is home to hundreds of Gentoo Penguins. I had a laugh to myself when I saw that the radio tower was the same size as the one that my dad built in our backyard… at least there weren’t any neighbours to annoy with this tower, and the penguins didn’t seem fazed!

The WAP Antarctic Activity Week has just begun and runs until next Sunday (18-25 February 2024). During this week, radio amateurs from around the world will be contacting the women and men who are away from their homes and families on the southernmost Continent.
-Ahead of the 21st Worldwide Antarctica Program’s Antarctic Activity Week, the Australian National Maritime Museum   received a special visit from Aimee Sharpe. She met with staff and volunteers at the museum to inspect the radios aboard our vessels and share her father’s story-  reported the Volunteers.

The Australian National Maritime Museum  is proud to have volunteer Amateur Radio Operators, who transmit and receive from the radio room of HMAS VAMPIRE (VK2VMP).
Those who are experienced radio amateurs and are interested in joining the team, please get in touch. www.sea.museum/support/volunteer. (pic on the right : Aimee Sharpe and Stirling Smith, Archeologist and Curator at the ANMM – Australian National Antarctic Museum in Sydney)

 

TNX Aimee Sharpe for joining us during the AAW and leaving us a great recall of our real good friend as John VK2FR was!

Argentina celebrates the “120th Anniversary” of  his presence in Antarctica

Beside the WAP’s Antarctic Activity Week which runs from 18th to 25th february, another important event recalls the WW Ham radio community, the so called “Dia de la Antartida Argentina” which is celebrate yearly on 22 february.

Historical reference:
“Dia de la Antartida Argentina” (Argentine Antarctic Day-Law 20,827) commemorates the inauguration, on February 22, 1904, of the Meteorological Observatory on Laurie Island, South Orkney, which would later become the Orkney Base (WAP ARG-15), a historical milestone that marked the beginning of the uninterrupted connection of Argentina in Antarctica.
Since this event, Argentina has maintained a permanent and uninterrupted presence on the Antarctic continent for 120 years.

On its “120th Anniversary”  a “digital certificate with 5 contacts” has been issued to celebrate the event,  which will be held from February 22 to March 10, 2024.

This  Digital Certificate,  will be available for working five (5) stations of the Joint Antarctic Command.
Icebreaker ARA Almirante Irízar and the joint Antarctic bases listed below will be “On Air”  for the national and international radio amateurs (and SWL) community.

Look for the followings:
LU1ZA Orcadas Antarctic Joint Base (WAP ARG-15)
LU1ZD Gral. San Martín Antarctic Joint Base (WAP ARG-Ø8)
LU1ZG Belgrano II Antarctic Joint Base (WAP ARG-Ø6)
LU1ZI Carlini Antarctic Joint Base (WAP ARG-2Ø)
LU1ZR Petrel Antarctic Joint Base (WAP ARG-17)
LU1ZV Esperanza Antarctic Joint Base (WAP ARG-Ø4)
LU4ZS Vcom Antarctic Joint Base. Marambio (WAP ARG-21)
LU2ARM Joint Antarctic Command
LU2AIB/MM Icebreaker ARA Almirante Irízar

Date: February 22 to March 10, 2024.
Schedule: Subject to operational activities and tasks on  80, 40, 30, 20, 17, 15, 12, 10 mts
Modes: CW – SSB – FT8 – RTTY – PSK
Exchange: Only signal report (RST) is required

Task:  To obtain the certificate you must be able to contact 5 calls of the above list.
Operation:  Subject to time availability of Antarctic operators and propagation conditions.

Argentine and foreign Amateur radio stations will be able to download their QSL by entering the integrated system (QSLOG.AR) through the website www.qslog.com.ar  in the activities tab,  once the event has ended and the logs have been processed.
Hams should NOT send any logs. If you do not see your QSL/Certificate reflected, you must contact the event organizer in order to verify your QSO data.
SWLs could confirm the listening of each station, sending all the corresponding data to the email (qslantartida@fuerzas-armadas.mil.ar , lu3ia@hotmail.com)  subsequently downloading in the same way the corresponding QSL of each operator listened to.

TNX : Estado Mayor Conjunto de las Fuerzas Armada,  Comando Conjunto Antártico and LU3IA Alfredo Arcangel Amaro

Wilkins Aerodrome (WAP AUS-NEW)

Wilkins Aerodrome at 66°41’27″South, 111°31’35″East  is named after the legendary patron and pioneer of early Antarctic aviation, Sir Hubert Wilkins.

Wilkins Aerodrome is a major summer-only facility. is located approximately 70 km southeast of Casey Research Station (WAP AUS-Ø2) and serves as the Antarctic terminal for the intercontinental air service.

Situated in an area of Antarctica known as Wilkes’ Land, the aerodrome has been sited 700 metres above sea level to minimise the likelihood of melt, as the coast is relatively warm by Antarctic standards during the summer months.

The Wilkins site is approximately 70% exposed ice and 30% snow cover that is less than one metre deep. The foundation of the runway is natural glacial ice, rolled with proof rollers to ensure that the surface ice has suitable bearing strength and integrity to support the aircraft.

The runway surface is tillered by a snowgroomer to manufacture higher friction levels prior to each flight of a wheeled aircraft.

The facility operates between October and March each year. It closes for around six weeks at the height of summer, due to warmer temperatures causing sub-surface melt.

.

So far, nobody has been operated Hamradio from Wilkins, which still remains unnumbered;  that’s why we hope one day or another some zealous Radio amateur can do it.

The Southern Pole of Inaccessibility Camp (WAP RUS-NEW)

Chinese explorer and adventurer, Feng Jing, hiked to the Southern Pole of Inaccessibility (POI), which is the farthest point from all the coastlines of Antarctica.

With two assistants she reached the POI after 80 days on January 25, 2020. It is a remarkable achievement traversing over 1,800 kilometers in extreme conditions; one fascinating aspect to the trip is that there is a Lenin statue at the Pole of Inaccessibility! No one had ever reached the spot on foot before and also, very few people have ever visited this inhospitable spot.

.
Have a look at the video below (start it  at min 2:09)

Pole of Inaccessibility (aka Polyus Nedostupnosti Station)

In 1958 the Soviet Union sent an expedition of scientists there, with the goal of establishing a Base Camp at 82° 06’ South, 54°58’East. Equipment and personnel were delivered by an Antarctic tractor convoy operated by the 3rd Soviet Antarctic Expedition. The station had a hut for four people, a radio shack, and an electrical hut. These buildings had been constructed on the tractors used during the traverse, serving as accommodation. On top of the camp structures,  they placed the Lenin bust. Next to the hut, an airstrip was cleared and a Li-2 aircraft landed there on 18 December 1958. The outpost was equipped with a diesel power generator and a transmitter. Pole of Inaccessibility Station performed meteorological observations from 14 to 26 December 1958.

On 26 December the outpost was vacated indefinitely. Four researchers were airlifted out, and the remaining 14 members of the party returned with the tractors. The Station was deemed to be too far from other Research Stations to allow safe permanent operation, so it was left to be used for future short-term visits only. The Pole of Inaccessibility has the world’s coldest year-round average temperature of −58.2 °C (−72.8 °F).

The camp was essentially abandoned and only a handful of people have travelled there. The camp buildings were buried by snow over the last 60 years, but incredibly Lenin is still visible and there unharmed having survived despite it all.

Read more about Pole of Inaccessibility at: The Pole Or Bust! The Loneliest (And Coldest) Lenin (rferl.org)

The 8th Soviet Antarctic Expedition visited the site on 1 February 1964 and left five days later.
The American Queen Maud Land Traverse, reached the Pole of Inaccessibility from Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station (WAP USA-21) on 27 January 1965. The crew were flown out by a Lockheed C139 Hercukes on 1 February. On 15 December 1965 a new American crew arrived by C-130 to make observations, refurbish the snow cats, and continue the Queen Maud Land Traverse, zig-zagging to the newly installed Plateau Station (WAP USA-13) where they arrived on 29 January 1966.
The 12th Soviet Antarctic Expedition visited the site in 1967.
On 19 January 2007, the British Team N2i reached the Pole of Inaccessibility using specially-designed foil kites.
On 27 December 2011, during the Antarctica Legacy Crossing, Sebastian Copeland, and partner Eric McNair-Landry, reached the Pole of Inaccessibility by foot and kite ski from Novolazarevskaya Station (WAP RUS-Ø9), on their way to completing the first partial east–west transcontinental crossing of Antarctica of over 4,100 km (2,500 mi).
The station building is surmounted by a bust of Vladimir Lenin facing Moscow. It is almost entirely buried by snow, with little more than the bust visible. 
Following a proposal by Russia to the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting, the buried building and emergent bust, along with a plaque commemorating the conquest of the Pole of Inaccessibility by Soviet Antarctic explorers in 1958, has been designated a Historic Site or Monument (HSM 4).

Speaking as a Radioamateur, I must say that it is a real shame that, for some years in Antarctica, the Hamradio culture has no longer had the importance it once did.
That several expeditions, like these ones over the last 50 years to the Pole of Inaccessibility Station, were not accompanied by radio operators to give radio amateurs from all over the world the chance to contact a place so full of history, let me say,  is truly a shame! Let’s hope that, before too long, a new expedition could operate HF from Pole of Inaccessibility Station (HSM#4)!

LU8AEU, ARA Frigate Ship “LIBERTAD” will be on air for 3 days (10-11 & 12 Febr. 2024)

To all the Hams collecting Polar Ship, WAP reminds that Fragata ARA Libertad is valid for WAP Awards  as well as for Polar DX Challenge.

February 10, 11 and 12, 2024, the Argentine Ship Fragata ARA Libertad will be on air  for 3 days. It will be a chance, an opportunity not to be missed!

Within the framework of a great celebrations, the ARA Frigate Training Ship “LIBERTAD”, will moored at Mar del Plata Naval Base to honor the 150th Anniversary of the founding of the City of Mar del Plata.
LU8AEU will be on air CW, SSB, FT8, FM on 10,20,40, and 2 meters at 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m LU time  which correspond at 14:30 through 24:00 GMT. A Memorial QSL will be issued to a single contact

LU8AEU will be operated by volunteer members of the Auxiliary Radio Amateur Service of the Navy, from the Mar del Plata Naval Base.

Argentine and Foreign Amateur Radio Stations will be able to download their QSL by entering the QSLOG.AR integrated system, through the website www.qslog.com.ar  , once the event has ended and the Logs have been processed.

In case you do not see your QSL coming up, you must contact the event organizer in order to verify your QSO data.

The SWL stations will be able to confirm the listening of each station, sending all the corresponding data to the email (arasaraeventos@gmail.com ) subsequently downloading in the same way the corresponding QSL of each operator listened to.

TNX Armada Argentina and the Friends of Fragata Libertad.

7T22ANT will join the 21st Antarctic Activity Week

Kamel Ghalem, 7X2GK will participate in the 21st Antarctic Activity Week with the special callsign: 7T22ANT (WAP-345) from 15th through 25th February 2024.  QSL manager :  IK2DUW

Kamel wrote: Last year we participated in the 20th AAW with the same invitation, and it was a good and useful experience for all of us. This is the third participation in a row and we hope that this year will be better.
Best wishes from Algeria, 73 de Kamel

Algeria is the first African Country to join the Antarctic Activity Week and this is a great goal.
WAP wish Kamel Ghalem to repeat the positive experience of the past years and  welcomes  7T22ANT again on board,  sure that everyone chasers  will contact him on the bands.

A Czech Team will be at Gregor Johann Mendel Polar Station around Febr.9th

 

An interesting article  published at: https://polarjournal.ch/en/2024/01/31/meet-the-czech-scientists-who-convinced-their-government-to-go-to-antarctica/?fbclid=IwAR3oKt7Ny65_Hs8NENd4R-10MJgaub-HbZ398NfRtyBobNotHLV_OQLPDAE remind us that one of the rare Antarctic Station “Gregor Mendel” (WAP CZE-NEW), has been recently reopened . The main part of the expedition team has left on 24 January for the Mendel Polar Station on James Ross Island, where they  will arrive around Febr. 9th to spend two months there.

Actually the Czech team consists of 24 participants; nine researchers (two of them women, one of them from Charles University), one doctor, four technicians and a two-member film crew consisting of Petr Horký, a traveller and documentary filmmaker, as well as an experienced polar explorer who has made expeditions to the three poles of the Earth (North, South and the Cold Pole), and Jan Šimánek, a cameraman. They will be shooting a unique documentary about the Czech Antarctic Research Programme for Czech Television.

It’s a great news for the “Antarctic Chasers”; let’s hope  it could be possible that in a near future some Ham radio operation could be performed down there as well. The station is the property of Masaryk University in Brno and was named after the father of modern genetics, the meteorologist Gregor Johann Mendel

Some members of the expedition are at the Eco Nelson Base (WAP CZE-Ø1) on Nelson Island. This smaller expedition will last at Echo Nelson six weeks in total, of which,  almost four weeks will be spent working on King George Island and Nelson Island. At the end of this part of the expedition, two participants will travel to the Ukrainian station Vernadsky (WAP UKR-Ø1) on Galindez Island to continue working on the joint Czech-Ukrainian research project, and will return to Europe in early May.
TNX Český antarktický výzkumný program

Mendel Polar Station is a “New One” for Radioamateurs WW, who are collecting contacts in HF with the Antarctic Bases.  WAP did suggest the Český antarktický výzkumný program that it will be great if Mendel Polar Station coul be “On Air” for the 1st time. Testing HF propagation from Antarctica is not only an exercise, but something of science!
They are good and clever guys, let’s hope that our appeal will be heard!

See the interesting video at: Czech researchers depart for new Antarctic station | Radio Prague International

Capitán Cobbett Naval Refuge (WAP ARG-NEW)

On 23 January 1954, Argentine Navy personnel did inaugurate the Cabo Primavera Refuge (now Capitán Cobbett Naval Refuge) on a rocky promontory on Cape Primavera. Over many years this building was used by Argentine exploration expeditions to the area  to collect Meteorology  and Biology  data.

On March 3, 1977, the Antarctic Command of the Argentine Army did inaugurate Base Primavera  (see picture below)   following the works to the Refuge and the construction of new buildings.
The Summer Capitán Cobbett Naval Refuge that serves Base Primavera, (WAP ARG-Ø9),    is a small building that currently has the function of a laboratory; it has two rooms and a bathroom, and has supplies for three men for three months. The refuge was renovated, in March 2017, by a task force of the transport ship ARA Bahia San Blas

A bit of history
The Naval Refuge  “Cabo Primavera” has been established 70 years ago, (January 23, 1954), within the Argentine Antarctic sector, Costa Danco, Tierra de San Martín.
Located in Cierva Cove, in the Antarctic Peninsula at 64°9’17” South, 60°54’21” West, the  Navy Refuge currently called “Capitán Cobbett”, in memory of the Navy Captain Enrique Cobbett, who lost his life in the shipwreck of the frigate Buenos Aires off Cape Horn, in August 1826. It happened when he was preparing to reinforce Admiral Brown’s squadron in combat with the imperial forces of Brazil.

At the light of the last information collected,  Capitan Cobbett Refuge (aka Cabo Primavera Refuge) will be add to the WAP-WADA Directory as , in the waiting of a possible activation!

Antarctic Activity Week: TM1ANT WAP-Ø37 by F5SIH & F4HWS

Eric F5SIH is re-joining the Antarctic Activity Week after years of non-presence. Eric will operate as TM1ANT, WAP-Ø37,  in tandem with Tom F4HWS
Eric wrote: «I’ will be active again with TM1ANT during the next 21st AAW. Just got the license. Two operators, Eric F5SIH ans Tom F4HWS» .
73, TM1ANT, F5SIH Eric.

Eric sent  us a preview of the new QSL  of TM1ANT expressly designed for the 2024’s AAW .

The image on the QSL,  comes  from a photograph taken by David Brunet F4FKT/FT4YM when he was in Antarctica. It’s a tribute and at the same time, a recognition of the emotions that David FT4YM was able to give us during his missions (2021-2023) from some rare Bases and remote sites  following the scientific French-Italian expeditions on the Antarctic plateau.
TNX Eric F5SIH & Tom F4HWS, welcome on board!

We just remind the Worldwide Ham radio operators  the date of the 21st AAW which will be held from 18th through the 25th of February 2024 (Check: http://www.waponline.it/antarctic-activity-week/aaw-2024/ ) . Don’t forget to join the event,  it will be our small contribution to the conservation of Antarctica as a land of study and peace.

More on Ernst Krenkel, a Polar scientist who travelled in the Arctic and  Antarctica

In the summer of 1924 Ernst Krenkel went to Leningrad with what little money he had saved, hoping to find employment as the radio operator on any ship undertaking a long voyage. At that time, only specially designated Soviet vessels went on long voyages, and in Leningrad there were already qualified naval radio operators without work. Just when Krenkel had given up all hope of finding work he was told that the hydrographic management bureau was in urgent need of a radio operator prepared to go on any expedition, to any island in the Arctic ocean. There was little interest because the pay was poor and it was necessary to be away for the whole year, living in ‘hellish’ conditions.

Ernst rushed around for an interview, and was offered a post. With a small advance on his salary, and wearing his new naval uniform he set off by train to Arkhangelsk (Archangel). On arrival he was assigned to the “ Yugorski Shar “ which was preparing to take the relief crew to the first Soviet polar observatory “Matochkin Shar”, constructed the year before on the northern coast of the Matochkin Shar strait of the Novaya Zemlya archipelago.

After returning to Moscow the following year he was enlisted in the Red Army and served in the radiotelegraphic battalion in Vladimir. At around this time the USSR government decided to allow ‘private radio stations’ on the short-waves. Ham radio was born in the USSR and Ernst Krenkel was delighted. Soon he was on-air using homebrew equipment, with the callsign EU2EQ (later U3AA).

This is just a brief anticipation of what is well reported in the detailed article available with lots of historic pictures which tell of the heroic deeds of Ernst Krenkel RAEM.

Read the whole history at: https://qst.su/archives/29525

But Ernst Krenkel  traveled also to Antarctica and operated under the call RAEM/MM in 1968/1969. Thanks to Oleg UA6GG for providing WAP few historical QSLs shown above, which confirm Krenkel’s radio operations activity in Antarctica

TNX Oleg UA6GG
www.dxtrophy.com

Spanish Polar Ship BO Sarmiento de Gamboa

The Oceanographic Vessel (B/O) Sarmiento de Gamboa is a multidisciplinary research vessel with a global non-polar scope. Its instrumentation and laboratories allow it to carry out studies of global ocean circulation, marine biodiversity, fishery resources and climate change; It is also used to perform work in geology, marine geophysics, hydrography, physical and chemical oceanography, marine biology, resource estimation (fisheries), ocean monitoring with remotely operated vehicles (ROVs, AUVs, submarines, etc.), and deployment of underwater observatories (OBSEA, GEOSTAR)

The research carried out there is fundamentally directed and financed by the National Plan for R+D+i.

It also has the most advanced technologies in terms of navigation systems (for example, dynamic positioning) and is the first Spanish oceanographic vessel that can work with high-depth ROVs (Remote Operated Vehicles) and AUVs (Autonomous Underwater Vehicle).

The B/O Sarmiento de Gamboa belongs to the CSIC and is based in Vigo, where it was launched in 2006. The Marine Technology Unit (UTM) of the CSIC is responsible for the management of the vessel as well as the maintenance of the scientific equipment and provides the technical staff to carry out the oceanographic campaigns.

One day or another On Air? ….

Kottas Field Camp , New entry on WAP WADA Directory

Kottas camp (74°12′ South, 9°44′ West) is a German Field Camp at Dronning Maud Land, Antarctica has been add to WAP-WADA Directory .

The German contribution to the ITASE programme was carried out during 5 years (2004-2008) , mainly in the frame of the EPICA pre-site survey in Dronning Maud land, along the traverse route from Neumayer Station  across Ritscherflya and Kottasberge, Heimefronfjella to Amindsen.
The traverse were carried out by Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research, Bremenhaven (AWI).

Stake readings for accumulation studies across Ekstromsen and Ritcherflya was carried out each field seson. The 460km long stake line comprises approximately 950 stakes . It starts 10 km South of Neumayes  at 70°41.83’ South, 8°26’24” West  and ends after the crossing of Kottasberge at 74° 30’00” South, 9°13,09’ West.

Source: Snowpack properties in Dronning Maud Land, Antarctica, compared to Envisat ASAR and Scatterometer measurements | EPIC (awi.de)

Attached map shows the Kottas-traverse route, connecting the German Base Neumayer (70°39′ South, 08°15′ West) and Kottas camp (74°12′ South, 9°44′ West) as well as snow pit and firn core sampling sites.

1899-2024, 125th Anniversary of S/Y Belgica return from Antarctica

The Belgian Antarctic Expedition of 1897–1899 was the first expedition to winter in the Antarctic region. Led by Adrien de Gerlache de Gomery, it was the first Belgian Antarctic expedition and is considered the first expedition of the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration. Among its members were Frederick Cook and Roald Amundsen, explorers who would later attempt the respective conquests of the North and South Poles.

To celebrate the 125th Anniversary of the return of S/Y Belgica to Antwerp (5 november 1899) a special post card and stamps have been issued.

TNX Dr. Eddy de Busschere  of the Belgian Polar Expedition Society for sending us one of this special card.

S/Y Belgica did remain trapped  in the ice for a long Antarctic winter.
The crew  disliked the penguin and seal meat that had been stored and initially tried to ban its consumption, but Signs of scurvy  began to show in some of the men. Gerlache and Captain Lecointe became so ill they wrote their wills. Two of the crew started to show signs of mental illness and morale in general was extremely poor. Lieutenant Danco fell ill from a heart condition and died on 5 June. Danco Island was named in his honor.
Cook and Amundsen took command as Gerlache and Lecointe were unable to fulfill their roles due to scurvy. The true cause of scurvy as a deficiency of Vitamin C was not discovered until the 1920s, but Cook was convinced that raw meat was a possible cure for scurvy due to his experiences with Robert Peary in the Arctic. He retrieved the frozen penguin and seal meat and insisted that each man eat some each day. Even Gerlache began to eat the meat and slowly the men recovered their health. It is now known that raw meat and organs contain a small amount of Vitamin C.
Several months of hardship followed. Even as spring and summer arrived, attempts to free the ship and its crew from the grip of the ice failed. By January 1899, Belgica was still trapped in ice about seven feet (2.1 m) thick and the possibility of another winter in the ice seemed real. Open water was visible about half a mile away and Cook suggested that trenches be cut to the open water to allow Belgica to escape the ice. The weakened crew used the explosive “tonite” and various tools to create the channel. Finally, on 15 February 1899, they managed to start slowly down the channel they had cleared during the weeks before. It took them nearly a month to cover seven miles (11 km), and on 14 March, they cleared the ice. The expedition returned to Antwerp on 5 November 1899. Though the circumstances were severe, the expedition had nevertheless managed to collect scientific data, including a full year of meteorological observations.

 

Edgeworth David Field Camp (WAP AUS-1Ø)

Edgeworth David  Fied Camp (aka Edgeworth David Base) was established as a summer camp in 1986. Located at  66°14’59” South, 100°36’12” East , in the Northen Bunger Hills, Edgeworth David summer Base lies about 7 kilometres (4.3 mi) from WNW of  Polish Antoni Dobrowolski Station (WAP POL-NEW),  approximately 440 km west of Casey Research Station (WAP AUS-Ø2)and 85 km inland from the Shackleton Ice Shelf in the Bunger Hills region, Wilkes Land.

Edgeworth David is a summer-only Station, a research outpost named after Sir Edgeworth David, opened in 1986 by the Australian Antarctic Division (AAD), it is temporary visited during the summer season and used for Geological, Geophysical, Geomorphological and Biological research.

 

Edgeworth David Field Camp has been “On Air” on last dec. 25 & 26 2023 signing VKØAI, operated by  N E “Norbert” Trupp (VK5MQ).
Norbert was deployed to Edgeworth David;  weather delayed the return flight to Casey Station, allowing Norbert a brief period of operating on the 25th and 26th December 2023. Daytime propogation was poor and bands only opened in the evening, with all contacts FT8. Camp power is supplied by generator while operating times and satellite comminications are limited.

At the light of this evidence and a copy of QSL provided by Olivier F6EPN (Spratley Woody), we have given Edgeworth David Field Camp a reference as WAP AUS-1Ø.

The “New Refrence” will appear on next WAP-WADA and WAP-WADA  Directories (Release of June 2024).
TNX Olivier F6EPN

New WAP-WACA & WAP WADA Directories just released

The twenty third edition (release 1.43) of WAP WACA & WADA Directories are available to download.  From the main page of WAP website,  just go to the “Download Section” and select WAP-WACA & WAP-WADA Directories  and feel free to save them both on your PC.

WACA Directory contains a list of more than 4362 callsigns used in Antarctica & Sub Antarctic territories since 1945.

WADA Directory lists 1005 Bases, Camps, Huts, Refuges and  Stations in Antarctica since 1945.

Also a new release of the Antarctic & Peri Antarctic Lighthouses has been issued on January 1st 2024 and it’s available to download as well; just go to the Lighthouse page.

Enjoy Antarctica!

73 from WAP Staff