New QSLs from WAP ARG-23 & WAP CHL-13

Gus Smitka OE3SGA is a real Old Timer and for long time a keen DXer and  Antarctic Hunter.
Gus has just received QSL cards from Michael DL2OE,  when operating  from   Tierra del Fuego  WAP ARG-23 as  LU/DL2OE  and WAP CHL-13  as CE8/DL2OE (Isla Grande  de Tierra del Fuego, Chilean Sector) on last April 2019.

Nice cards and two WAP references for WAP-WACA & WAP-WADA Awards. Both QSLs will be shortly loaded on WAP Antarctic & Sub-Antarctic QSL Gallery

TNX OE3SGA & DL2OE

 

 

 

 

Russia to celebrate 200th anniversary discovery of Antarctica by Bellingshausen

Russia’s tall ships are to undertake a round-the-world trip to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Antarctica’s discovery by the Bellingshausen-Lazarev expedition, according to official information from Moscow.

In effect, 2020 marks the 200th anniversary of the discovery of Antarctica by the expedition led by Fabian Bellingshausen and Mikhail Lazarev. In honor of this event, plans are underway for the round-the-world sailing of the tall ships Pallada (pic aside to the left), Sedov (pic below to the right) and Krusenstern  (pic at the bottom of the page) in 2019-2020.

The south polar expedition consisting of two sloops-of-war, the Vostok, commanded by Fabian Bellingshausen, and the Mirny, commanded by Mikhail Lazarev, left Kronstadt in 1819 and discovered Antarctica on 28 January 1820. In 1821, the ships returned to Kronstadt. They stayed at sea for 751 days and covered over 92,000 km. In addition to Antarctica, the expedition discovered 29 islands and one coral reef. The Russian sailors conducted scientific research, including oceanographic research.

The global tour is planned to start at the end of 2019 when the ships set sail from their respective ports: Pallada from Vladivostok, Sedov from Kronstadt and Krusenstern from Kaliningrad. Thus, the expedition will consist of Sedov and Pallada sailing around the world and Krusenstern taking a transatlantic voyage. Most of the places and ports the ships will call on were discovered by the Russians during their expeditions around the world.

Milestone events during the expedition will be the meetings of the three ships in the Atlantic Ocean on the Ushuaia-Cape Town leg, in the UK South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands, with Pallada’s itinerary reaching its nearest point to Antarctica.

Sedov takes off from Kronstadt in December 2019 and will be back in Kaliningrad in December 2020.

Read more at: https://en.mercopress.com/2019/03/30/russia-to-celebrate-200th-anniversary-discovery-of-antarctica-by-bellingshausen

 

 

Russians are clever guys and wonderful Hams, we’re sure they will carry on this expedition some radio operators as WW Ham Radio world will be please to catch the opportunity to work the ships involved in the round the world trip and eventually some places in Antarctica and Sub-Antarctic sites!

Dome-Fuji Station WAP JPN-Ø4

Dome-Fuji Station, 77°30’South, 37°30’East was established in January, 1995 to conduct deep ice-core drilling at the highest dome of Dronning Maud Land, some 1000 km away from Syowa Station. After completing 3035 m deep drilling, the station is being closed temporarily.

Dome Fuji (also called Dome F or Valkyrie Dome) with an altitude of 3,810 mts or 12,500 ft above sea level, is the second-highest summit or ice dome of the East Antarctic ice sheet and represents an ice divide.

 

January 2019 saw the conclusion of WindSled’s Unexplored Dome Fuji expedition. The Spanish team of four, led by Ramón Larramendi, completed a 2,500km return journey from near to Novolazarevskaya base to Dome Fuji (3,768m) in 52 days traveling in a series of customized sleds with built-in living quarters and powered entirely by kites.

See  a 2,46′  video by clicking  here
Since the project’s inception in 1999, the WindSleds have been used on 11 expeditions, covering more than 20,000km in Antarctica, Greenland, and Canada.

 

On the Hamradio wise, Dome Fuji (WAP JPN-Ø4) was last time on the by  8J1RF on 2003-2004  (44th Japanese Antarctic Research Expedition) operated by JAØWJN Ichio Obinata (Obi).

Since that time, nobody else have been active from there.

Colombia plans to establish Scientific Station in Antarctica

Colombia works on establishing a scientific station in Antarctica. Military forces are set to support “Admiral Padilla Summer Station” that will accommodate the various Colombia Antarctic Program (PAC) organizations as well as Colombia’s National Technical Committee for Antarctic Issues.

Colombia plans to set up its base at a point along the Gerlache Strait, a body of water 100 miles long and 20 miles wide that separates the Palmer Archipelago from the Danco Coast on the western side of the Antarctic Peninsula.

Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, Peru, and the United States already have bases in that area.

 

Colombian Navy (Armada Nacional) will test icy waters after announcing plans to establish a naval base on Antarctica; five to 10 years is the allocated time frame for Colombia to establish a permanent presence on the icy continent with a base that will be shared with international scientists to monitor the effects of climate change.

The strategic objective is part of the Navy’s Colombia Antarctic Program (PAC), operational for more than three decades, and which is currently conducting the 4th  Scientific Expedition with researchers on board the ARC “20 de Julio”. Colombia makes it once a year to Antarctica with its own ships, an accomplishment only four nations in the world have achieved.

As a member nation of the Antarctic Treaty, the ARC “20 de Julio” has invited naval officers from Mexico, Spain, Peru, Ecuador, Argentina and New Zealand to work alongside them, as well as a team of Colombian scientists researching this remote continent’s biology, oceanography and geology. The ARC “20 de Julio” is a fully-equipped ship for both military and scientific operations. A helicopter does photogrammetric mapping and zodiacs collect cold-water samples.

Source: https://thecitypaperbogota.com/features/colombias-navy-plans-to-establish-permanent-base-on-antarctica/18932

Info from Volker Strecke, DL8JDX, Antarctic Veteran

During this Antarctic Winter Season there are at least 4 Stations active:
Neumayer III (WAP DEU-Ø8), Davis (WAP AUS-Ø3), Scott (WAP NZL-Ø1) and Syowa (WAP JPN-Ø3). It is worthwhile looking for them in FT8 or in WSPR using http://www.PSKReporter.info  and WSJT-X Software. See also: http://www.wsprnet.org

DPØGVN, Neumayer III, Op: Andreas, DL3LRM

See  http://www.qrz.com/db/dp0gvn

VK0HZ, Davis, Op: Matt, VK5HZ

See  http://www.qrz.com/db/vk0hz

ZL5A, Scott, Op: Adam, ZL4ASC

See  http://www.qrz.com/db/zl5a

8J1RL, Syowa, Op: Yath, JG2MLI

See  http://www.qrz.com/db/8j1rl

Good hunting! Volker, DL8JDX Antarctic Overwintering Expeditions:

1.AE Georg Forster 1988-1989 Y88POL (WAP DDR-Ø1)

4.AE Georg Forster 1990-1992 Y88POL (WAP DDR-Ø1)

13.AE Neumayer II 1992-1994 DPØGVN (WAP DEU-Ø2)

About the impression that  new generation of Hams, are using FT8, FT4 and other digimodes that really depersonalize the genuine SSB contacts as we were use to made, Volker said: -yes sure CW or SSB are the original contact modes. But other possible opportunities in getting in contact with Antarctic wintering station in FT8 or WSPR would be of interest for other polar station hunters anyway.
TNX Volker, DL8JDX

Site of worship at Polish Arctowski Station, Antarctica

A “Church in Antarctica” as well as any other signs or place of worship in any corners of the Icy Continent are the most sincere examples of faith and genuine places of worship; they deserve to be known.

is officially considered the largest desert in the world, but even in this icy barren landscape, the explorers and scientists braving the harshest of climates, have still found time for religion. What the Polish researchers and technicians have done at Arctowski is really a touch of devotion !

The attached pictures are taken in Arctowski Station (WAP POL-Ø1) by the personnel who are working there. They show in a kind of niche, carved into the rock, a small statue of the holy Madonna, facing the Station buildings. A second bigger one,  is sets little lower. Both statues are located in the great rock on which the lighthouse stands out (62°09′28″South 58°27′56″West), and people at Arctowski, call this corner “Chapel”.
About the second (bigger) statue, there is a story associated to it: Around 1980, the staff employed at the station,  wanted a sign of religiosity to stop by for a moment of recollection. At that time in Poland, we had a communist regime and the government banned the creation of a space for worship. No way to put a statue on cargo ship that brought the supplies to Arctowski. The workers hid the statue of the Virgin in a deep cargo box and smuggled it out of Polish border. Now both signs of devotion are proudly on the site that Polish staff did choose for them.

Well, we are grateful to Sebastien Gleich  SQ1SGB and Margaredth Witczak who did help WAP in searching of worship sites in Antarctica.

 

In the area, there is also the grave of Polish wildlife photographer Wlodzimierz Puchalski, surmounted by an iron cross, stands on a hill to the south of the station. Puchalski died on 19 January 1979 in the course of filming a nature documentary in the vicinity of the station. The location of the grave and cross has been designated a Historic site or Monument (HSM 51), following a proposal by Poland to the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting

LU5ZB an ancient QSL from Melchior Base WAP ARG-13

Norbert Maibaum (DL SWL), from Bonn, Germany is a very active Antarctic Chaser.

Recently I did send an historical  QSL card  to be add to the WAP QSL Gallery; Norbert says: -Perhaps I can provide you an addition to your impressive list;  LU5ZB was QRV  in 1951 from the Destacamento Naval Melchior, WAP ARG-13-

TNX Norbert Maibaum (DL SWL)

 

Antarctic Historical QSL Gallery is loaded on WAP QSL Gallery and collects QSLs for contacts from the very beginning Antarctic seasons by Ham radio operators,  up to 1960.

 

LU5ZB, QRV  in 1951 from Melchior Base is now loaded in WAP QSL Gallery; check Ancient Historical QSL and or Argentina’s album.

Enjoy surfing the WAP QSL Gallery areal piece of Ham radio history from Antarctica

Republica del Ecuador Refuge, Brand new WAP ECU-Ø2

WAP ECU-Ø2 is a new reference, just issued to this Antarctic Refuge.

Republica del Ecuador it’s an Antarctic Refuge located at Hennequin Point, 62°07’16” South,  58°23’42” West inside the Admiralty Bay on King George Island (or 25 de Mayo Island). It was installed by the first Antarctic expedition of Ecuador and inaugurated on January 13, 1988 with the assistance of delegations from Germany, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, United States, Poland, Russia and Uruguay, which have Bases, scientific stations and shelters in the island. Its first occupants were Ecuadorian scientists who performed hydrographic and geological works. Republica del Ecuador Refuge consists of a six-meter container that has basic medical supplies, non-perishable food and two bunk beds with a capacity for four people. It is for researchers and tourists who want to rest or study the area.

Mehdi F5PFP together with ON7ZM (see 2 pics aside), made a short stop on Republica del Ecuador Refuge on Febr.22, 2009 just before landing on Macchu Pichu Base (WAP PER-Ø1).

He was active from there as HC/FT5YJ (see pics attached)  and logged 5 QSOs with South America (LU3XPM, CX8OX, LU8XW, PY2BQA, CE8RPA), even if nobody claimed the card …!  Mehdi wrote:-we discovered an high QRM level coming from the generator that provided S7 to S9 of QRN on 20mts. We spent most of the time trying to resolve that problem but … nothing! So, Republica del Ecuador was on air even if it was a very brief!-

Ecuadorian Navy provide regular maintenance: Ecuadorian mission did repair the Refuge on February 9, 2006 working 37 days, and also from December 16, 2013 through  January 18, 2014, Officials of the INOCAR (Oceanographic Institute of the Navy), performed the integral maintenance of the Refuge including graffiti, repair of walls, ceiling and floor.(pic on the right)

See also: http://www.periodicolaprimera.com/2014/01/personal-del-inocar-efectuo.html

Now to “Republica del Ecuador Refuge” already listed on WAP-WADA Directory, at the light of the information provided by Mehdi F5PFP- HC/FT5YJ , whose  log says: -22/02/2009 from 14:05 to 14:20utc 20m SSB; LU3XPM, CX8OX, LU8XW, PY2BQA, CE8RPA-, a reference has been given as WAP ECU-Ø2

It was a brief operation due to a problem with the generatorsays Mehdi–  I also remember  the refuge is not well situated to anchor  with a sailing boat due to an inappropriate depth of the sea floor , so we stayed just  maybe an hour then we moved to Machu Picchu a neighboring place of Admiralty Bay – King George Island-.

TNX F5PFP

Antarctica, the first sun appears at Concordia Station

“Sun or not, the view is  magical”.
There are no clouds, the view around Concordia Station   (WAP MNB-Ø3) seems almost endless. When it’s cloudy, the world seems to close around us, making isolation more acute.

In the end, the sun came out a couple of days later, on 12 and 13 August, even though the temperature dropped to -65, -80°C.

Antarctic winter still stands.

 

Welcome to the light to the overwintering Team!

Leith Whaling Station on South Georgia Islands (WAP GBR-NEW)

Leith Harbour was a whaling station on the northeast coast of South Georgia, established and operated from 1909 until 1965. It was the largest of seven whaling stations, situated near the mouth of Stromness Bay. The whaling stations of South Georgia were laser scanned by Geometria Ltd (http://www.geometria.co.nz), with support and funding from the Government of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands and the Norwegian Foreign Ministry.

Thanks and credit to: Daniel McCurdy

 

This video shows interpretation of 3D laser scan data collected from the Leith Harbour whaling Station (WAP GBR-NEW), South Georgia. The buildings explored are the Boiler House and the Machine/Engineering Shop.
No Ham radio activity have been performed from this site of the South Georgia Sub Antarctic Islands, still full of Stations, and Old Refuges, quite easy to be reached and be put on air ….

Mizuho Station, WAP JPN-Ø2

Mizuho Station 70°41’58’’South, 44°16’52’’East was established as a summer Base in July, 1970 on the Mizuho Plateau, 2230 mts above sea level, 270 km south-east of Syowa Station (WAP JPN-Ø3). Mizuho Station (WAP JPN-Ø2) in one of the fourth Japanese scientific installations in Antarctica.

It was a permanent Japanese Antarctic transshipment Station (1970-1987) operated for 17 years by the Japanese National Institute of Polar Research, performing studies in meteorology, glaciology, physics of the upper atmosphere (mesosphere and exosphere).

 

Even if at present, Mizuho Station is being temporarily closed,  it is a logistical support point between the Syowa station and the Mount Fuji base. Mizuho Station closed in 1987,  still have installation and it is sporadically occupied for meteorological and glaciological observations.

On the Ham Radio wise, Mizuho Station  (8J1RM) was on the air at the time of it’s life and in particular on the 22nd Antarctic Japanese Expedition (1981-1982-TNX I2MOV for QSL).

 

 

Since 1986 no HamRadio operations have taken place from there.

 

Antarctica, land of studies & researches

From Physicists to Geologists, meet 6 amazing Antarctic Women of India, cut off from civilization, these scientists spend months studying everything from the history of super-continents to bacteria in glaciers, and have fun while at it!

 

Bracing herself against the chilly katabatic winds, Dr Mayuri Pandey pulled out her polar gloves to jot down notes about the rock samples she had just collected. The cold bit into her fingers, sending a shiver down her spine, but she didn’t mind. She was loving every moment out in the icy coast of East Antarctica. It was her dream come true.

Dr Mayuri, a geologist at Banaras Hindu University, was fascinated with Antarctica right from when she was a teenager. As a first step towards realising her ambitions of visiting the polar continent, she took up a PhD in Antarctic geology at Delhi University.
But it wasn’t until towards the end of her doctoral research that she stumbled upon an opportunity to be part of the 36th Indian Scientific Expedition to Antarctica.

Bharati Station (WAP IND-Ø4) during snow fall

Read more at: https://www.thebetterindia.com/192027/antarctica-india-lab-women-science-research-work-photos/

Climate change study

Climate change and the loss of ice in the West Antarctic is a direct result of human activity mixed with natural weather cycles, a new study has shockingly claimed.

Climate researchers from the UK and the US believe they have the “first evidence” linking humans to climate change, global warming and Antarctic ice melt. For decades, scientists have attributed some Antarctic ice loss to periodic winds and warming ocean waters. But a study led by researchers from the British Antarctic Survey has analyzed how the impacts of man-made global warming are affecting glaciers in the West Antarctic Ice Sheet. The study’s dire findings were published on August 12 in the journal Nature Geosciences.

Read more more at: https://www.express.co.uk/news/science/1165196/Climate-change-study-human-activity-to-blame-melting-Antarctica-ice-sheets-global-warming

Below a 15′ video shows how it was 10 years ago!  TNX BAS

New Historical site in Antarctica- Larsen Cairn

Antarctica, a continent of ice and rock, was the last place on Earth to be discovered by humans, only two centuries ago, and remains almost completely uninhabited.

Larsen cairn, 64°14’13” South and 56° 35′ 7″ West, is located 2 kilometers from the facilities of Marambio Base (WAP ARG-21)direction E-N-E (76˚) and 230 meters to the S-E-S of the Chavez lighthouse, 40 meters above sea level and 70 meters from the coast.

Thanks to the joint work of Argentine scientists and diplomats, Larsen cairn will remain protected and disseminated as a new Antarctic Treaty Historic Site and Monument approved with nr. 94, on July 11 by the recent 42nd  Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting from Argentina, Norway, Sweden and United Kingdom joint proposal, symbolizing the achievements of science and international cooperation, fundamental pillars of the Argentine Antarctic Program.
The “Cairn of Larsen” is a site where various expeditions from different countries at different times left messages of their passage through that remote place, while waiting for their rescue or looking for survivors.  In this way, this new historical monument stands as a witness to the exploration of those regions, as well as Antarctic science, being a symbol of the birth of polar paleontology.

The history of the site begins in the summer 1892/3, when Norwegian Captain Carl Anton Larsen explores that region with the idea of extending the whaling industry to the South.

Larsen would then descend on what we know today as Vicecomodoro Marambio Island, in an area near the Argentine Base, leaving the first human footprints there. On that site, Larsen did collect some invertebrate fossils, which would later be the first in Antarctica to be studied. Before leaving, he installed a stone marker on the island with a two-meter post in which he wrote the year and the name of the expedition ship Jason.

For this reason, the footprints of the first Antarctic pioneers have an extraordinary heritage value for all mankind. The historical sites of the sixth continent are so scarce, that, in all its extension, including the surrounding islands, we find less than one hundred of them, however, a new site has been added to that select list thanks to the work promoted by the Argentine Antarctic Program, promoted by the National Antarctic Directorate (DNA), through the Argentine Antarctic Institute (IAA).

Read more at: http://www.marambio.aq/mojonlarsen.html

Whaling stations of Stromness Bay and Husvik

Looking at the three abandoned whaling stations in Stromness Bay, South Georgia, from the sea. The stations said to be closed to visitors because of their dangerous state, including contamination by asbestos. The Sub-Antarctic Island of South Georgia had five main shore stations at the height of whaling in the early 1900s.

Here below the details of the five Stations;  all are  WAP GBR-NEW
(see WAP-WADA Directory-Sub Antarctic Section)

Leith Harbour Station located at Leith Harbour,  54°Ø8’27″South, 36°41’16″West

Ocean Harbour Station  at  54°2Ø’ØØ”South, 36°16’ØØ”West

Prince Olav Harbour Station  at 54°Ø4’ØØ”South, 37°Ø9’ØØ”West

Rosita Harbour Station at 54°Ø1’ØØ”South, 37°27’ØØ”West

Stromness Station,  located at Stromness Bay, 54°Ø9’36″South, 36°42’42″West

The last of them closed in the mid 1960s. This clip is attached to the monthly website newsletter on www.sgisland.gs

Hams from the US are plamming a DX-pedition for the beginning of 2020 to South Orkney Islands as VP8/VP8DXU… let’s hope one day somebody can think to operate from the South Georgia, there are a lort of new sites to activate from there!

Cristo Caminante Catholic Chapel, at Base San Martín (WAP ARG-Ø8)

The “Capilla Cristo Caminante”, is located up in the hill behind San Martin Station (WAP ARG-Ø8). The pics aside show the closest shots of the Chapel of which, so far we do not have better visualizing.

San Martin Base was inaugurated on March 21, 1951 by then Colonel Hernán Pujato, being at that time the first Argentine continental scientific Base and southernmost establishment in the world. From that moment on, the Base’s weather station provided indispensable records and forecasts for navigation in the waters adjacent to the Antarctic Peninsula.

As of March 21, 1976 with new facilities it was called San Martín General Army Base until in the 1990s its name was modified to San Martin Antarctic Base or San Martín Base.

Cristo Caminante Catholic Chapel in comprised in the Base facilities, as well as  the Main house, Auxiliary house, Laboratory, Radio Shack, Electric power plant, Automotive park, Automotive workshop, Nursing, Carpentry and Miscellaneous deposits.

 

Father Pablo Daniel, Caballero Karanik who did visit the Chapel  in the fifth summer campaign to addresses spiritual assistance and responding to the request of the Bishop for the Armed Forces and Federal Security Forces. (Obispado Castrense de Argentina)Mons. Santiago Olivera said:

 

 

 

“I could be at the San Martín Base, and  I was in the Cristo Caminante Chapel, a Holy place where in the last 10 years there wasn’t  a Chaplain, to make a prayer for the incoming seasonal Team ”

 

 

Chilean Cabo Gutierrez Vargas Refuge (WAP CHL-NEW). TNX to Mr. Fabricio Tavares

We must thank Mr. Fabricio Tavares  for the pictures of  Refuge Cabo Gutierrez Vargas (WAP CHL-NEW) which  we were looking for since quite sometimes!

Mr. Fabricio Tavares  from Brazil, is the responsible of a Twitter account which loads so many useful Antarctic information;  he wrote: Congratulations for the important job WAP website accomplishes! Feel free to use any info WAP  may wants from my Twitter account-.

Mr. Fabricio Tavares  collects pictures of almost every Antarctic facilities and outpost in the Icy Continent, and says: –it’s possible that I have some images you need (do not hesitate on asking those to me, if you need).  The only problem is that I have so many photos that it’s impossible for me to indicate their original sources-.

 

WAP  would like to express gratitude to this great friend; his Twitter account  https://twitter.com/antarctic_infra?lang=it  is a huge source of Antarctic information.

See: http://www.propolar.org/notiacutecias2013-2016/permantar-3-deception-en-el-refugio-chileno-buscando-los-sensores-abajo-130m-espesor-de-nieve

and: http://www.propolar.org/notiacutecias-2012-13/permachange-dirio-de-campanha-14-01-2013

 

 

 

 

TNX to Mr. Fabricio Tavares  and to PROPOLAR .org from which, pics of Cabo Gutierrez Vargas Refuge (WAP CHL-NEW) are coming from.

 

Chilean Hams involved in Emergency Communications

On Saturday, July 27, 2019 Radio Club of Chile, through its Radio Amateur Emergency Service together with the Amateur Radio Circle of the Army Telecommunications School, set a test in the field, to evaluate response capabilities in case of Emergency. They did install stations Emergency communications and test transmissions in HF, VHF, UHF with its repeaters and Digital voice systems in DMR, managing to communicate with more than a hundred stations.

 

It should be remembered that Chile is one of the countries in the world where the role of radio amateurs who have already demonstrated their good work during earthquakes and other emergency situations, is most valued; nevertheless the emergency practice can be exported in Antarctica as well where the situation is sometimes worse than in the Continent!

Being an Antarctic veteran, Mario Reyne CE3BFE was among the team!

 

TNX CE3BFE  (Last picture here on the right show Mario CE3BFE  in  the shack of R1ANF with Oleg Sakharov at Bellingshausen Station)

Portugal marks 10 years of presence in Antarctica

A cooperation agreement between the Portuguese Polar Program (PROPOLAR) and the Bulgarian Antarctic Institute has been signed at the University of Lisbon. The occasion was the tenth anniversary of the start of Bulgarian-Portuguese studies in Antarctica and the establishment of Portugal’s National Polar Program.

Although the Polar Regions are far from Portugal, their dynamics affect the entire Planet. Portugal aims at benefiting of the excellent conditions of the Polar Regions as vantage points for conducting research in the frontiers of science, with strong international cooperation and excellent conditions for technological development and cutting-edge research.

International Polar Year (IPY) 2007-2008’s  event was the starting point to establish the foundations for a Portuguese Polar Program, a task promoted by the Portuguese Polar science community.

In 2007, the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT) implemented the Portuguese Polar Program (PROPOLAR) and funded research projects on atmospheric physics, cryosphere and polar biology, in the sub-Antarctic and the Antarctic.

The Portuguese Polar Program (PROPOLAR) working in close connection with the Polar Office from FCT, is the organization coordinating the Portuguese Polar campaigns. Since Portugal has no permanent infrastructure in the Polar Regions, research is based on international cooperation and on the management and sharing of an Antarctic flight offered to partner programs. In the past five years, PROPOLAR has funded 49 research projects, provided access of 22 Portuguese scientists per year to the Polar Regions, and supported and managed 10 Antarctic flights, ensuring transport for 429 passengers and cooperating with 7 national polar programs.

Maybe one day we can enjoy some HF contacts operating from Portuguese  Hams from Antarctica … who knows?

Refugio Cabo Gutierrez Vargas  and abandoned Chilean site in Antarctica

WAP is  looking for some pics of Refugio Cabo Gutierrez Vargas  (WAP CHL-NEW) which is located 1Km close to the Presidente Aguirre  Cerda Base (WAP CHL-Ø4). On several  websites it is reported that ruins of the Refuge are still in place.  On last 2011, Mehdi F5PFP was very close to it, when he did activate Presidente Aguirre  Cerda Base (CE9XX, see QSL on the side); Mehdi  reports to have seen the remaining of this Refuge but he did not take direct picture of it!

WAP is actually in  contact with Mario Reyne CE3BFE (Jefe Expedición Antartica Chilena www.marioreyne.cl ); he is trying to get pics of Vargas Refuge (62° 56′ 41.15″ South , 60° 35′ 59.96″ West), even if he said, it will be an hard task!

Refugio Cabo Gutierrez Vargas  so called in memory of the aviation Captain who died on December 30, 1955, was located at 1 kilometer (0.62 mi) from Aguirre Cerda Station and was inaugurated on February 12, 1956. Its purpose was to serve as a Refuge for the members of the Station in  case of fire.

On December 4, 1967, the Refuge was definitively abandoned, as well as the Aguirre Cerda Station, due to a violent volcanic eruption.

 

 

 

The poor remains of the refuge structure can still be seen on the beach where it was located (aside a picture from Google Earth)

 

TNX F5PFP & IZ8EWB

Mobile networks helping with Antarctic research

Mobile networks have been assisting scientists with Antarctic research.
Scientists have been studying giant holes of open water in Antarctic ice, called polynyas, in the Weddell Sea. A team from the University of Washington has been assisted with robots and seals with antennas attached to their heads.

The robots and seals have used mobile networks to send data back to the scientists.
TNX Bhagwati VU3BPZ

The scientists’ latest findings were published in the journal Nature.

Source:
https://www.commsmea.com/technology/19729-mobile-networks-helping-with-antarctic-research

Presidente Aguirre Cerda Station (WAP CHL-Ø4)

In 1955 Chile inaugurated its station Pedro Aguirre Cerda at Pendulum Cove (62°56 South, 60°36 West), to increase the Chilean presence in the sector claimed by that nation.

At the Chilean station Pedro Aguirre Cerda andthe nearby Gutierrez Vargas Refuge scienmtists did perform studies of meteorology and volcanology.
Today only ruins remain.

When the US Coast Guard icebreaker Eastwind visited Deception Island in 1963/64, the British and Chilean scientific stations were active. The Chileans had an airstrip, with a DeHavilland Beaver supplying their base from Punta Arenas.In 1969, a violent volcanic eruption demolished the Chilean stations Pedro Aguirre Cerda and Gutierrez Vargas Refuge. Remains at Whalers Bay include rusting boilers and tanks, an aircraft hangar and the British scientific station house (Biscoe House), with the middle torn out by the 1969 mudflows. A bright orange derelict airplane fuselage was removed in 2004. Deception Island has become a popular tourist stop in Antarctica because of its several colonies of chinstrap penguins, as well as the novel possibility of making a warm bath by digging into the sands of the beach.

Last activity from this rare Old site in Antarctica (WAP CHL-Ø4) was made by F5PFP operating as CE9XX  on March 2011.

S/V San Telmo, sank in Antarctica in 1819

In 1819, the Sailing Vessel San Telmo, commanded by Captain Joaquín de Toledo y Parra, was the flagship of a Spanish naval squadron under Brigadier Rosendo Porlier y Asteguieta bound for Callao (Peru) to reinforce colonial forces there fighting the independence movements in Spanish America. Damaged by severe weather in the Drake Passage, south of Cape Horn, it sank in September 1819.

The 644 officers, soldiers, and seamen lost on board the S/V San Telmo may have been the first people to die in Antarctica, as parts of her wreckage were found months later by the early sealers visiting Livingston Island. Indeed, if any of the crew of the San Telmo survived to set foot there, they would have been the first people in history to reach Antarctica.

San Telmo Island off the north coast of Livingston Island is named after the ship.

If someone is going to Cádiz (Spain) this summer, don’t forget to visit the exhibition that recalls the trip of the Sailing Vessel San Telmo, the first ship that could reach Antarctica, and its 644 crew missing members. The exhibition, organized by the Naval Museum of San Fernando is open to the public until next August 31.

The museum is owned by the Spanish Ministry of Defense, and is peripheral to the Naval Museum of Madrid.

TNX IZ1GJK
Read more at:
 https://www.abc.es/cultura/abci-armada-expone-cadiz-triste-historia-san-telmo-perdio-antartida-1819-201904280124_noticia.html

A Challenge for those who love the Poles

On WAP website, we have recently add a new page called “Arctic & Antarctic Global Program”, a French proposal for Hams, launched years ago by F5PFP (f5pfp@sfr.fr), to whom address requests of information, or asking for the “form” to list the stations worked.

Pic aside shows F5PFP when signing VP8DLM in Antarctica.

The combination of the Antarctic & Arctic Challenges scores allows the landing to a global scores called Polar Trophy.

Check http://www.waponline.it/arctic-antarctic-global-program/ to get  full infos

Captain Caillet-Bois, Naval Refuge WAP ARG-NEW

The Captain Caillet-Bois, Naval Refuge (63º 54 ’40” South,  60º 47′ 52″ West), is an Argentina’s refuge in Antarctica,  30 meters above sea level on the small D’Hainaut island , Port Mikkelsen bay,  Trinity Island,  one of the Palmer archipelago. It was inaugurated by the Argentine Navy on December 10th , 1954.  Its original  name was Port Mikkelsen Refuge.

In March 2017, it was renewed by a task force of the M/V ARA Bahía San Blas; a group of 6 Navy men remained for 8 days in the shelter making maintenance and replace spare parts until March 17, 2018.

On the evening of the first day of navigation in Antarctica, the M/V ARA “Bahía San Blas” anchored near Trinidad Island, where the Capitán Caillet Bois Naval Refuge is located, thus starting the operations of the final stage of the 2018 Antarctic Summer Campaign.

http://gacetamarinera.com.ar/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/04-03-17-cailletbois.mp4?_=1

No Ham radio activity has been performed at this Refuge so far; If it will happens in the future, a new WAP Reference will ne given

Antarctic Meeting for  Polar Veterans

Volker Strecke, DL8JDX (pic taside) informs that next 14th November 2019 in Dresden, Germany there will be an Antarctic Meeting of many Polar Veterans on the occasion of 30th Anniversary of the border opening between former East and West Germany and the later reunification as well as the related impressions from that time at Georg Forster (WAP DDR-Ø1)and Neumayer II (WAP DEU-Ø2) Stations.

 

 

TNX Volker Strecke, DL8JDX 

New QSLs available @ Mehdi F5PFP

Nine years ago, Mehdi Escoffier, F5PFP did set a great Antarctic Expedition which have reached several rare spots such as Bases, Huts and Refuges  in Antarctica.

On last 4 December 2018, we did inform the Antarctic chasers that, as regards of VP8DLM, FT5YK , CE9XX  (2011 Antarctic Expedition), Mehdi, F5PFP was going to print a new batch of QSL cards as the old ones  have been almost exhausted.

(see: http://www.waponline.it/new-batch-of-qsl-going-to-be-printed-by-f5pfp/ )

Now the cards are ready (see the pics aside) and  Mehdi , F5PFP has informed, through a post on Antarctica List (antarctica_list@yahoogroups.com ), that these new QSL cards are available.

Those interested can write to Mehdi F5PFP ( f5pfp@sfr.fr ) to arrange how to get them.

 

TNX  Mehdi F5PFP

NZ-Scott Base (WAP NZL-Ø1) rebuilding program

Scott Base (WAP NZL-Ø1)  is getting old. Antarctica NZ wants a complete replacement; to dom that plan, Antarctica New Zealand must raise $50 million in charitable donations as part of its $250m Scott Base rebuild.

The state agency plans a 10,000 square-metre new base with three interconnected buildings on the same site as the existing base. It will include 100 beds, science labs, meeting spaces, a cafeteria and pub, and a hangar for two helicopters.

Scott Base redevelopment Senior Manager Simon Shelton said the current base was reaching the end of its functional life.

Thanks and credit: https://www.stuff.co.nz  

Source:  https://www.stuff.co.nz/science/113844159/scott-base-rebuild-to-cost-250-million?fbclid=IwAR2opY3TK73Cxv3NeYR-ejkeC_DwLz49ibB6uG8mTUrTpY0Ik_KgsG6RZW0

From the Hamradio  wise,  we’re really missing some HF contacts with this Base in Antarctica!

We hope to work some NZ operators on HF bands SSB & CW from Scott Base (WAP NZL-Ø1) as we got used to do years ago!

2019 – ANTARCTIC CHALLENGE & POLAR TROPHY

Mehdi Escoffier  F5PFP has just published the 2019 Antarctic  and Arctic Challenge ranking  and the Polar Trophy score, a kind of an adventure shared by Old Timers all over the world.

Collecting rare spots, make contacts to such remote locations  through the Ham radio  is not just an hobby, it’s a real passion!

Join us and enjoy this real fascinating world!

For reasons of space, we publish only the first 10 Hams classified but we refer you  to antarctica_list@yahoogroups.com to see the full list

2019 ANTARCTIC CHALLENGE SCORES

#CallsignBasesIslandsCountryPolar ShipPolar InstituteTOTAL
1K4MZU201763135 1344
2GM3ITN 177 78
3134 320
3I1HYW 1808431231319
4W9DC1768330181308
5W5BOS1658129261302
6F5PFP161773029297
7OM3JW156773023286
8VE7IG1517030151267
9OM3-27707 (SWL)
151692811259
10OE6HVD139632827257

2019 ARCTIC CHALLENGE SCORES

#CallsignBasesIslandsCountryPolar ShipPolar InstituteTOTAL
1OM3JW1884451216661
2GM3ITN232 385
1119647
3OM3-27707 (SWL) 1653701119555
4W9DC19331312201539
5I1HYW163320916508
6RZ3EC149338115503
7W5BOS1812351321450
8OM5MF1402461016412
9VE7IG1651808141368
10F5PFP1212051119356

2019 POLAR TROPHY SCORES

#CallsignArcticAntarcticTOTAL
1GM3ITN647320967
2OM3JW661286947
3W9DC539308847
4I1HYW508319827
5OM3-27707 (SWL)555259814
6W5BOS450302752
7RZ3EC503169672
8F5PFP356297653
9OM5MF412239651
10VE7IG368267635

It’s a great emotion to see our great friend Reg Beck VE7IG (SK) on all the 3 lists; Reg was great man, great DXer, professional Radio operator and a good friend,  we will keep forever a great recall of him!

TNX Mehdi F5PFP

Mid Winter greetings from an Antarctic veteran

Never too late … Let’s once again join the guys in Antarctica in the celebration of Mid Winter!

Our friend and Antarctic veteran Volker Strecke , DL8JDX reports his experience when he did overwintering in Antarctica and wrote to his colleagues who did share that experience at the time: -It is still fascinating that now, after 28 years from our joint overwintering we are still well connected-

Also,  Volker recalls his friend Mikhail Fokin RW1AI who was at Novo Base (WAP RUS-Ø8) at the time and who is currently working at the Arctic Research Station Cape Baranov on Severnaya Zemlya.
Kindest regards to the people spending this particular time of the year in Antarctica! Stay healthy. Happy Midwinter Day
Yours, Gabi and Volker Strecke, DL8JDX

Antarctic Overwintering Expeditions:
1.AE Georg Forster 1988-1989 Y88POL (WAP DDR-Ø1)
4.AE Georg Forster 1990-1992 Y88POL (WAP DDR-Ø1)
13.AE Neumayer II 1992-1994 DPØGVN (WAP DEU-Ø2)
TNX Volker Strecke, DL8JDX

Mobile networks helping with Antarctic research

Mobile networks have been assisting scientists with Antarctic research. Scientists have been studying giant holes of open water in Antarctic ice, called polynyas (see below), in the Weddell Sea. A team from the University of Washington has been assisted with robots and seals with antennas attached to their heads. The robots and seals have used mobile networks to send data back to the scientists.
The scientists’ latest findings were published in the journal Nature
https://www.commsmea.com/technology/19729-mobile-networks-helping-with-antarctic-research

polynya is an area of open water surrounded by sea ice. It is now used as geographical term for an area of unfrozen sea within the ice pack.

It is a loanword from Russian which refers to a natural ice hole, and was adopted in the 19th century by polar explorers to describe navigable portions of the sea.

Mid Winter 2019 in Antarctica

We have chosen a couple of sites in Antarctica  (Concordia Station WAP MNB-Ø3,  and Bharati Base WAP IND-Ø4) were the personnel  have shared  the happiness of June 21, better known as Mid Winter Day.

Midwinter Day marks the halfway point through Antarctica’s cold and dark season.

The first Midwinter’s Day was celebrated in 1898 by the crew of the Belgica, a Belgian vessel that became stuck in pack ice and was forced to overwinter until it finally broke free in February 1899. Unprepared to spend a winter in Antarctica, many of the crew suffered from scurvy, which was only alleviated after the men began to eat seal and penguin meat that provided essential vitamins.

Mid Winter Day is marked with a feast and other activities.

Below, the Artigas Base (WAP URY-Ø1) on the longest night on the planet celebrated during the “Day of the Antarctic Confraternity”.

La Base Artigas en la noche más larga del planeta celebrada durante el "Día de la Confraternidad Antártica". Este día marca el inicio del invierno y tradicionalmente se realizan festejos entre las bases antárticas para motivarse a sortear el desafío del rigor de ese espacio geográfico.#Antártida #Antarctica #MidWinter

Pubblicato da Instituto Antártico Uruguayo su Venerdì 21 giugno 2019

This day marks the beginning of winter and festivities are traditionally held among the Antarctic bases  as “Mid Winter day” in order to motivate themselves to overcome the challenge of the rigor in this unique  geographical site!

Summer in the northern hemisphere, “Mid Winter” in Antarctica

June 21, in the northern hemisphere the sun will rise at 5.36 and set at 8.51, remaining in the sky for 15 hours and 15 minutes, while between the Arctic Circle and the North Pole it will not fade at all. The Northern hemisphere will  live the longest day of the year.

In the Southern hemisphere, will happen just the opposite, in other words they will experience what happens to us on December 21st: their night will be the longest of the year, while between the Antarctic Polar Circle and the South Pole the sun will never arise.

Happy summer to all of those living on the Boreal hemisphere, and happy winter to those living on the Austral one!

To our Antarctic friends, Happy Mid Winter Day!

The NSF-managed Antarctic Program is offering an opportunity to report from the field.

Professional news media invited to apply to visit jointly funded US and UK research on Antarctic Thwaites Glacier.The National Science Foundation (NSF) and the International Thwaites Glacier Collaboration (ITGC) are accepting written proposals from media professionals to visit a “deep-field” camp on the remote Thwaites Glacier in West Antarctica in December.

NSF, the UK’s Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), and the ITGC Science Coordination Office (SCO) will jointly select a very limited number of media personnel-no more than three people in total–to deploy initially to the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) Divide field camp, which will serve as the hub of the research being carried out at Thwaites Glacier. Media will be free to interview Thwaites research teams as they deploy through that camp. A visit to an additional Thwaites Glacier field camp will be highly dependent on weather and logistical variables, and, while possible, cannot be guaranteed.

There is also a separate opportunity for one person to report from the R/V Nathaniel B. Palmer when a team of ITGC scientists sails for Thwaites Glacier in February of 2020 for approximately 50 days.

Read more at:

https://www.nsf.gov/news/news_summ.jsp?cntn_id=298676&WT.mc_id=USNSF_51&WT.mc_ev=click

Thanks and Credit to NSF

Shaclketon Field Camp, a possible WAP “New One”

US Shackleton Field Camp  85°05’24” South,175° 19’ 48” West is a “Summer camp” opened in 2015.

Shackleton Field Camp,  459 Nautical Miles from McMurdo Station (WAP USA-22) is one of the seven field camps managed by USAP in Antarctica where field sites have resident staff to provide logistical and operational assistance to McMurdo and vessel-based researchers. Personnel (logistics, scientists and researchers)  normally leave McMurdo aboard a Hercues C-130 to reach the remote Shackleton Glacier field camp  (WAP USA-NEW).

The Shackleton glacier is a vast glacier that descends from the polar plateau through the chain of mountains of Queen Maud (Transantartic mountains) and then flows into the Ross platform. Recently, from this well-equipped “base camp”, the researchers went to an area along the McIntyre headland by a Twin Otter and over there, they discovered the oldest Antarctic forest so far known, plus a number of other fossil plants that grew in the undergrowth and collected ashes from as many as six volcanic eruptions. The ashes contain a variety of zircons which in turn contain uranium atoms: this allows the scientists to date the fossils (radiometric dating) and to establish precisely the age of the Glossopteris forests and to understand if these plants have survived the great extinction of mass of the Permian.

See more at: https://www.usap.gov/sciencesupport/scienceplanningsummaries/2016_2017/fieldcamps.cfm

A list of Antarctic field camps can be seen at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antarctic_field_camps

So far, nobody (radio amateurs)  has been active on the Ham bands from Shackleton Field Camp which of course is still a WAP USA-NEW one. Now we will add it on the WAP WADA Directory hoping someone to be active one day or another from there!

Edmonson Point Camp, Antarctica

Located at 74°20’South, 165°08’ EastEdmonson Point is a rounded, largely ice-free point lying below Mount Melbourne along the west side of Wood bay, Victoria land.
It was mapped by the US Geological Survey from surveys and from US Navy air photographs, in the years 1955–63, and was named by the Advisoy Committee on Antarctic names for Larry Edmonson, a satellite geodesy scientist at McMurdo, winter party 1966.

The point has been designated an Antarctic Specially Protected Area (ASPA 165) because of its terrestrial and freshwater ecosystem. The volcanic lithology and substrates are nutrient-enriched by colonies of Adelie penguins and south polar skuas. The site contains a diverse range of freshwater habitats ,terrestrial vegetation and  invertebrates are abundant. Weddell seals breed on the adjacent sea ice.

In December 1985, during the first Italian Antarctic expedition, the Italian party placed the first Italian remote camp (few tents) over the hills overlooking the Terra Nova Bay, looking for the best place to build a new station (named after “Mario ZucchelliWAP ITA-Ø1). The first automatic weather station (AWS) called Eneide was installed at the top of an hill by Andrea Pellegrini; the place was called Campo Meteo.

See also: http://www.era.gs/projects/edmonson/SienaWorkshopFinalReport.pdf

and http://www.climantartide.it/chisiamo/storia/index.php?lang=en

See a short video at: https://www.facebook.com/penguinecology/videos/493736021153979/  

Antarctica told in 20 years of Magazines

An old collection of Magazines (1971-1992) from Argentina, tells us the history and life of the White Continent. (pics aside show the covers of a couple of magazines)

A good friend, Ham radio operator: Pedro LU1JHF, wrote:
– Knowing your passion for Antarctica,  I’m pleased to share with you this collection of Magazines, which, I am sure will be of your appreciation!- 
’73, Pedro LU1JHF

 

Everyone can download one by one the Magazines; they are available on the website of the Argentine Chancellery.

 

Just for everyone pleasure, here below are  the links:

https://www.cancilleria.gob.ar/userfiles/ut/revantar01_0.pdf    December 1971

https://www.cancilleria.gob.ar/userfiles/ut/revantar02_0.pdf    December 1972

https://www.cancilleria.gob.ar/userfiles/ut/revantar03_0.pdf    May-June 1973

https://www.cancilleria.gob.ar/userfiles/ut/revantar04_0.pdf    April-May 1974

https://www.cancilleria.gob.ar/userfiles/ut/revantar05_0.pdf    December 1974

https://www.cancilleria.gob.ar/userfiles/ut/revantar06_0.pdf    June 1979

https://www.cancilleria.gob.ar/userfiles/ut/revantar07_0.pdf    September 1976

https://www.cancilleria.gob.ar/userfiles/ut/revantar08_0.pdf    December 1977

https://www.cancilleria.gob.ar/userfiles/ut/revantar09_0.pdf    July 1979

https://www.cancilleria.gob.ar/userfiles/ut/revantar10_0.pdf    March 1980

https://www.cancilleria.gob.ar/userfiles/ut/revantar11_0.pdf    February 1981

https://www.cancilleria.gob.ar/userfiles/ut/revantar12_0.pdf    May 1982

https://www.cancilleria.gob.ar/userfiles/ut/revantar13_0.pdf    February 1984

https://www.cancilleria.gob.ar/userfiles/ut/revantar14_0.pdf    December 1985

https://www.cancilleria.gob.ar/userfiles/ut/revantar15_0.pdf    June 1987

https://www.cancilleria.gob.ar/userfiles/ut/revantar16_0.pdf    August 1988

https://www.cancilleria.gob.ar/userfiles/ut/revantar17_0.pdf   December 1988

https://www.cancilleria.gob.ar/userfiles/ut/revantar18_0.pdf    October 1992

TNX Pedro Sarli, LU1JHF

Argentina reaffirms sovereignty over the Argentine Antarctic Sector extending between the 25th and 74th meridians of west longitude, south of the 60th parallel of south latitude.

Ever since the opening of the first scientific station (Orcadas Base WAP ARG-15) in Laurie Island, South Orkney Archipelago, on 22 February 1904, Argentina has been constantly and uninterruptedly present in Antarctica, which constitutes the longest continuous presence in such continent. Argentina has six Permanent Bases:
(Carlini WAP ARG-2Ø, Orcadas WAP ARG-15, Esperanza WAP ARG-Ø4, Marambio WAP ARG-21, San Martin WAP ARG-Ø8 and Belgrano II WAP ARG-Ø6) and seven Temporary Bases (Brown WAP ARG-Ø2, Primavera WAP ARG-Ø9, Decepción WAP ARG-12, Melchior WAP ARG-13, Matienzo WAP ARG-Ø1, Cámara WAP ARG-16 and Petrel WAP ARG-17).

Argentina is one of the twelve original signatories of the Antarctic Treaty signed in Washington on 1 December 1959. The Treaty sets forth that Antarctica is to be used exclusively for peaceful purposes and forbids any military activity, as well as the testing of any type of weapons. Furthermore, it properly protects the reaffirmation of Argentine sovereignty over Antarctica in the face of claims overlapping Argentina’s own. Hence, the geopolitical significance for Argentina of maintaining a strong and effective Antarctic Treaty System, which also ensures the existence of a large peace zone along our southern border.

Source: https://www.cancilleria.gob.ar/en/foreign-policy/antarctica

Auroras at Scott Base (WAP NZL-Ø1) and more …

Ross Island turned green in the weekend! This epic shot of an Aurora Australis captured by the winter Leader Jonny Harrison.

Scott Base, is located at Pram Point, Hut Point Peninsula, Ross Island in McMurdo Sound at

77 o 51′ South, 166 o 46′ East; it’s the New Zealand’s only Antarctic Research Station, perches on a low volcanic headland called Pram Point at the Southern End of Ross Island, 3500kms south of Dunedin and 1350 kms from the South Pole.

Actually ZL5A is active from Scott Base WAP NZL-Ø1 just on FT8 mode, no CW no SSB!

Read more on Scott Base (WAP NZL-Ø1) at: http://www.antarcticanz.govt.nz/scott-base/

 

Incredible auroras have also been recently seen at Syowa Base (WAP JPN-Ø3) pic on the left, and over Macquarie Station (WAP AUS-Ø8) pic to the right.

Italian Icebreaker named in honor of Laura Bassi

Now the news is official: Icebreaker “Laura Bassi”, former “Ernest Shackleton” of the British Antarctic Survey, is the new OGS ship that will work for PNRA to replace the glorious Italica!
A great result for the whole Italian scientific community, and in particular for the one that studies the poles. The National Institute of Oceanography and Experimental Geophysics – OGS, thanks to a funding received from the Ministry of Education, University and Research (MIUR), has purchased the icebreaker “Ernest Shackleton” of the Norwegian Rieber Shipping already used by the British Antarctic Survey.

Laura Bassi, formerly Polar Queen and RRS Ernest Shackleton, is an icebreaking research vessel,  primarily a logistics ship used for the resupply of scientific stations in the Antarctic.

The Icebreaker ship, is named in honor of the Italian scientist Laura Maria Caterina Bassi Veratti who, in 1700 became the first woman, Italian physicist and academic.She was the second woman graduate of Italy after the Venetian Elena Lucrezia Cornaro, the first to pursue an academic and scientific career and the first in the world to obtain a university chair. The N/R Laura Bassi now becomes the only Italian oceanographic research vessel capable of operating in polar seas, both in Antarctica and in the Arctic.

Launched in 1995 as MV Polar Queen for GC Rieber Shipping, she was operated in the Antarctic by other national programs. The British Antarctic Survey acquired her on a long-term bareboat charter in August 1999 and renamed her RRS Ernest Shackleton after the Anglo-Irish polar explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton. She replaced RSS Bransfield.
Icebreaker ‘Ernest Shackleton’ will return to Antarctic waters one day as ‘Laura Bassi’.

BAS (British Antarctic Survey) did say goodbye to their former workhorse which will now be operated by the Italian National Oceanographic Institute OGS.
BAS is preparing for arrival of RRS Sir David Attenborough

More at: https://www.inogs.it/it/content/nr-laura-bassi?fbclid=IwAR1O54qbdHHEljdbYi5olrk4x2l48Y6-laDa3H8eA78SMgofbpwW5Xik_o8

Our Lady of the Snows Shrine, Hut Point McMurdo

The Our Lady of the Snows shrine is one of the many memorials atop hills along McMurdo Sound to men who lost their lives in Antarctica; this one is farther up the trail from Hut Point. The Shrine is dedicated to Richard T. Williams, US Navy – Seabees, who lost his life at McMurdo Sound on January 6, 1956 during initial construction of McMurdo Station.

Seabee Construction Driver third class, USN, Richard T. Williams died when the D-8 bulldozer he was driving, broke through the ice and sank; his body was never recovered.

He was hauling cargo along a track from the ice edge east toward Cape Evans, when his tractor crashed through the ice into 100 fathoms of water about two miles west of Cape Royds. Plans at the time called for a land airstrip to be built between Cape Evans and Cape Royds to support future exploration and the construction of South Pole Station. Heavy ice prevented the convoy from getting close to Ross Island, prompting the need for a long and hazardous traverse. (Immediately after the accident, this project was abandoned, and aircraft facilities were developed on the ice at what would become the Williams Air Operating Facility).

The following year the Our Lady of the Snows Shrine was erected on Hut Point in memory of Williams. At the original dedication on 6 January 1957; chaplain Father Condit is playing the organ, which had been carried up the hill to the site. During the ceremony, David Grisez, a friend of Williams, played “Taps”. The monument has been repaired and restored more than once…most recently in 1995-96 the statue was refurbished and repainted by Carmelite nuns in Christchurch. It was returned during that season, along with a new plaque furnished by the CEC/Seabee Historical

For many years the statue had faced McMurdo Station, but after the rededication she was turned around to face north out over McMurdo Sound toward where Williams was lost.

Thanks and credit to: https://www.southpolestation.com/trivia/igy/willy.html

TNX Pat McCormick (Antarctic Veteran)

Argentina in Antarctica; another philatelic emission

Stamps issued by the Argentine Post Office whose vignettes have designs related with the thematic of the Argentine Antarctic and the Malvinas Islands  are always a source of great interest, whether it is a commemoration of special events, expeditions, scientific activities, Antarctic bases, Argentine ships that sail in the Antarctic waters.

Now, Correo Argentino pays tribute to Antarctica with two postal pieces. We have already seen the 1st one, celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the foundation of Base Marambio (WAP ARG-21).
The second block sheet, is an emission dedicated to the ARA Icebreaker “Almirante Irízar”, a ship that gives logistic support in the summer campaigns supplying the Antarctic Bases, in addition to performing scientific tasks in glaciology, meteorology, the survey of the submarine platform of the Icy Continent.

The print of this series, run in 20,000 copies of each theme and is now available for sale in the E-store or in any philatelic branch of Argentina.

Source: https://www.correoargentino.com.ar/

AAW 2019, TM16AAW by François Berger

Last Antarctic Activity Week (Febr.2019) has seen a great participation of Hams from several countries WW. Since 16 years, François  F8DVD, one of the most active Antarctic enthusiasts, takes part in the event with a special callsign as usual.

Last past AAW 16th edition, he got TM16AAW and now he shows the QSL that will confirm his QSOs.
QSL have been printed by the printing shop at IT9EJW company

The picture shows the Base O’Higgins (WAP CHL-Ø2) which is a Chilean station established in 1948. The O’Higgins Base is situated at Cape Legoupil on Trinity peninsula (63°19’ South,  57° 53’ West). The German Antarctic Receiving Station (GARS)   was established at O’Higgins in 1991 by the German Aerospace Center. It is a satellite ground station sited to enable reception of data from satellite-based sensors within the Southern Polar region.

TNX François  F8DVD, TM16AAW

Antarctic revealed in sharper 3D view

Europe’s dedicated polar-monitoring satellite has produced its sharpest view yet of the shape of Antarctica.
The Cryosat mission has been measuring height changes on the White Continent since 2010 using a radar altimeter instrument. ESA’s CryoSat mission is dedicated to precise monitoring of marine ice in the polar oceans and variations of ice sheets overlying Greenland and Antarctica.
And now its entire data archive has been reprocessed in a way that gives a tenfold improvement in resolution. Whereas Cryosat used to see features at the scale of 1km to 2km, it now sees them at 500m or less.
The new “swath” processing mode, as it’s called, will bring significant advantages in the study of those regions of Antarctica that traditionally have been especially hard for radars to sense. These include the craggy terrains where glaciers will be numerous but relatively small. “So, the benefit in the Antarctic Peninsula for example promises to be massive,” says Dr Noel Gourmelen from Edinburgh University and the UK Centre for Polar Observation and Modelling (CPOM).
“The peninsula is the region furthest away from the pole; it’s much warmer there and it’s where we’ve seen the acceleration of glaciers and the collapse of ice shelves.
“We can basically now measure all of the peninsula around the coast which is where the biggest changes have been taking place,”
he told BBC News.

Read more at:  https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-48279583

Philately: 50th Anniversary of Base Marambio

A new postal emission for the fiftieth anniversary of Marambio Base foundation 1969 – October 29 -2019 is now available to collectors!

Inside the  Antarctic Museum of the Marambio Foundation, there is the so-called Antarctic Philatelic Corner,  which exhibits philatelic postal pieces that certify various Antarctic events. The corner, bears the name of “Comodoro Salvador Alaimo”, who was a well-known collector of stamps, envelopes and postal marks related to the theme of Antarctica and  Malvinas Islands.

“Filatelia del Correo Argentino” has just issued a postal series in tribute to the 50th anniversary of the founding of Marambio Base (WAP ARG-21) in Antarctica Argentina (1969 – October 29 – 2019).

Marambio Foundation and  Filatelia del Correo Argentino, did provide graphic, historical material and reporting details about this event such as the design of high artistic quality that makes this emission a real great job. Here aside, the postmark of the 1st day emission

The postal series are available in all the Philatelic stores  Argentina and on the Internet since  April 29, 2019, while the official launching  is expected for the month of June, in commemoration of the Day of the Antarctic Confraternidad, 21 of June.

 

Read more at: http://www.marambio.aq/emisionpostal50.html
and also: http://marambio.aq/pdf/RESFIL1392.pdf 

Information on how to order or buy this new emission can be seen at: https://www.correoargentino.com.ar/

Bob Hawke a true Antarctican

Former Prime Minister Bob Hawke maintained that Antarctica was too important to the whole global ecosystem and that mining would always be catastrophically dangerous in that environment …

Its was a sad day in Australia with the loss of one of the true champions in the preservation of Antarctica. Bob Hawke lead the international push in 1989 which ultimately lead to the rejection of mining in Antarctica.
He instead put his weight behind promoting the frozen and fragile continent as a natural reserve devoted to peace and science.

Mr Hawke was Australia’s 23rd prime minister, dead at 89 on last May 16th 2019

RIP Bob Hawke, a true Antarctican …...

More at: http://www.antarctica.gov.au/…/20th-anniversary-of-the-hawk…

Doctor Guillermo Mann Base, WAP CHL-Ø8

Doctor Guillermo Mann Base (formerly Camp Shirreff) is the second of the three research Bases that INACH (Instituto Antartico Chileno) has in  Antarctica. It is located at 62º27’00″South, 60º47’00″West on the east side of Cape Shirreff on Joannes Paulus II peninsula on Livingston Island in the South Shetlands off the Antarctic peninsula.

It is near the  US Shirreff Base (WAP USA-NEW) administrated by the United States.

The Base (named after the Chilean zoologist, naturalist and ecologist Guillermo Mann, who participated in 1947 on the first Chilean Antarctic Expedition) , should not to be confused with the “old”  Doctor Guillermo Mann or Spring-INACH Base (WAP CHL-NEW) from 1973 that is located in the  Spring Point, Hughes Bay (today it’s not operational).
http://www.inach.cl/inach/?page_id=12694

Doctor Guillermo Mann Base (WAP CHL-Ø8) has allowed to generate knowledge in terrestrial and marine biology, and disciplines such as geology and glaciology.
Since the site is in a protected area, its access requires a special permit.

The base was inaugurated in 1991, it is equipped with communications HF radios, VHF radios and satellite telephony. Only CE9MFK has been active from Doctor Guillermo Mann Base in 1995 and 1999

Garden Cove, Macquarie Island, 11 May 2019

Over the weekend, brilliant auroras lit up the skies above Macquarie Island, (WAP AUS-Ø8)

“It was so ridiculously and beautifully bright that all the puddles around station and the ocean really did reflect green” said photographer and station medic Dr Kate Kloza.

“They were some of the brightest I have seen in my polar career, with reds visible to the naked eye” she add.

The Macquarie Island Station in the southern ocean, is a permanent Australian subantarctic Research Base commonly called Macca. The station lies at the base of Wireless Hill, between two bays on the isthmus at the northern end of the island and it’s managed by the Australian Antarctic Division (AAD).  

Let us share this amazing view among the WAP readers.

TNX and credit to Dr Kate Kloza, Macca doctor and Australian Antarctic Division

Shirreff Field Base, WAP USA-NEW

Shirreff Base (official name Cape Shirreff Field Station),is located at 62°28’12” South, 60°46’16” West,  on the East side of Cape Shirreff on Joannes Paulus II Peninsula on Livingston Island of the South Shetlands. It’s a seasonal field station operated by the United States,  opened in 1996 .

 

Every austral summer, the US AMLR Program conducts predator studies at Cape Shirreff field Station.
Each week, the field research team sends updates on their work.

 

Shirreff Field Station WAP USA-NEW and the nearby Chilean Base called Refuge Dr. Guillermo Mann, WAP CHL-NEW are few meters each other and so far no Ham radio operators have been active from there.  It’s a real shame, particularly if considering  that both locations are visited yearly and an operation from there could qualify both references!

When someone be active from there?

Belgrano I, Argentina’s Antarctic Base (WAP ARG-Ø5)

Base Antarctica Belgrano I  was located on Piedrabuena Bay on the Filchner Ice Shelf at  77°46’ South, 38°11’ West.  At the time of its inauguration in 1954 it became Argentina’s southernmost permanent base. It was shut down in 1980 over safety concerns due to it being built on increasingly unstable ice, which endangered both personnel and equipment.

A new, larger replacement base was established further south, and named Belgrano II (WAP ARG-Ø6) followed by Belgrano III (WAP ARG-Ø7) which became the southernmost of the three.

 

Brief history of Base General Belgrano I:
On 18 November 1954 the Antarctic Naval Task Force commanded by Capt. Alicio E. Ogara  (see picture below ) sailed from Buenos Aires with the objective of setting up a base on the Filchner Ice Shelf that would serve as a launch point for expeditions to the South Pole.
On 2 January 1955 the expedition sailed up to the southernmost point of the Weddell Sea at 78° 01′ South. At the time it was the highest austral latitude ever reached by boat, and a new world record was set.
The task force then sailed north along the ice wall, seeking for an anchoring place.

On 3 January 1955 Brig.Gen. Hernan Pujato, director of the Argentine Antarctic Institute, flew over the ice shelf area aboard a helicopter to choose a suitable place to mount the base, selecting a small cove where the high wall of ice sloped down to the sea. The unloading of the materials, equipment, tools, instruments and consumables was conducted from ARA General San Martín. The team built a main house, four quonset huts, food stores and hangar. They left on the new base enough fuel for three years.

Belgrano I (WAP ARG-Ø5) was shut down after 25 years of continuous service due to the fast deterioration of the ice barrier it was sitting on; new often hidden cracks and crevices endangered the on-duty personnel and material. The Base was closed on January 1980 and all of its staff and equipment were evacuated by helicopters operating from the Icebreaker ARA Almirante Irizar.

According to WAP-WACA Directory the following stations have been activre at Base Berlgrano I from 1959 through 1963: LU1ZT, LU1ZX, LU1ZW, LU2ZX, LU2ZRM, LU9ZX..Any further information about other stations active from there could be sent  to IK1GPG (see QRZ.com

A top Antarctic predator has switched what it eats

As the white continent warms, shrinking sea ice is changing life for Leopard seals. It was on the northern tip of a small rocky island at the bottom of the world where the solitary top predators suddenly started gathering.

Before 1996 around Livingston Island’s Cape Shirreff, across the windy Bransfield Strait from the Western Antarctic Peninsula, it was almost impossible to find a leopard seal, that sleek hunter with the body half the weight of a small Toyota. As far back as the 1800s, commercial fur sealers who’d slaughtered marine mammals for their pelts kept painstaking records of the animals they saw. Leopard seals, with their powerful jaws, upturned mouths and menacing teeth, weren’t among them.

In recent years, though, a half-dozen hungry leopard seals may bob and weave offshore at once. They often plop onto the cape and nap. As many as 60 or 80 may swing by in a season. Once, researchers saw 30 hauled out at the same time.

Read more at: https://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/2019/05/antarctica-leopard-seals-face-shrinking-prey-climate-change/