Gable Island, WAP ARG-23

Gable Island (Isla Gable) is an Argentine island belonging to the Ushuaia Department of Tierra del Fuego Province of, Antarctica and the South Atlantic Islands in Argentina.

The island is located on the northern side of east-west Beagle Channel less than 300 metres (980 ft) from Tierra del Fuego island and about 1.5 kilometres (0.93 mi) from Chilean Navarino Island (WAP CHL-13) . The island has an irregular shape with many shoal banks extending into bays and open channel.

It is located at 54° 54′ South, 67° 29′ West, and as an approximate area of 22 km and its population is 50 inhabitants The islands surface is mostly covered by Magallanic forest.

Arbitration of 1977 (followed the one of 1971) awarded the Gable Islands to Argentina and delimited their adjacent waters, but was declared void by this country, although accepted by Chile.

Finally, the 1984 Treaty of Peace and Friendship definitively recognized Argentine sovereignty over these islands.

Gable and the other surrounbding islands are all comprised in WAP ARG-23

DPØPOL/MM will join the 60th Anniversary of the Antarctic Treaty Signature

The German Research Icebreaker Polarstern with the Call DPØPOL/MM (Op: Andreas, DL3LRM) will be active again in November/December 2021, still on time to join the 60th Anniversary of the Antarctic Treaty Signature. DPØPOL/MM will be WAP-317 and the chasers will get a nice oportunity to collect another brand new WAP reference

So far, the following references has already been given to the Stations who have got the special callsign by the authorities in their Countries:
Germany         DR6ØANT                WAP-314

Austria            OE6ØANT                 WAP-315

Germany         DQ6ØANT                WAP-316

Germany         DPØPOL/MM           WAP-317

Other Countries, like Bulgaria, Chile, Italy,  UK, USA and Russia have promised to join the event and are actually planning the request for a special callsign.
As soon as we have more info, we will issue to each one a related WAP-reference.

WAP asks those interested to participate in the event with a SES , to send a mail to:

Volker DL8JDX (info@strecke.de) or to

Gianni I1HYW (varettos@tin.it) in order to pre-register the eventual participation and issuing the WAP Reference number, related to the Special Callsign.

The Fifth Ocean

Update your atlas: Southern Ocean recognised as world’s fifth ocean by Nat Geo cartographers
Earth comprises 71 per cent of water and those familiar with geography know that there are four oceans surrounding the landmass. Four? No, now there are five oceans. The National Geography cartographers have now identified the Southern Ocean as the fifth ocean on the planet.

The development comes on the occasion of World Oceans Day which was marked on June 8. The new ocean has been identified by the National Geography Society which has been making maps since 1915 and had so far recognised the Atlantic, Pacific, Indian, and Arctic oceans.

Thanks and credit to:  https://www.indiatoday.in/science/story/southern-ocean-recognised-as-world-s-fifth-ocean-by-nat-geo-1812850-2021-06-09

Royal Society Base,  Halley Bay, Halley I Research Station, 3 names for the same site (WAP GBR-15)

Bill Ashley KF5BRB has sent a very rare QSL of VP8CI, active from Royal Society Base built at 75° 31′ South, 26° 36′ at Halley Bay, West Weddell Sea on January 6th 1956

 

Let’s retrace a bit of history

Beginning with its dispatch of Halley on his geomagnetic cruise of 1699 to 1700, the Royal Society has played a sporadic, ad hoc, but nevertheless considerable role in the scientific investigation of the South Polar regions. In three ventures: Ross’s geomagnetic survey of 1839 to 1843, the first Scott expedition of 1901 to 1904 and the British contribution to the International Geophysical Year of 1957 to 1958, made major contributions to the planning and support of Antarctic scientific programs. Throughout, it has given backing to polar expeditions but has been consistent in putting science before geographical discovery. It has numbered some 20 Antarctic scientists among its Fellows.

The original Royal Society Base was founded on 6 January 1956 by an expedition of the Royal Society as part of International Geophysical Year (IGY) 1957–58. The bay where the expedition decided to set up their base was named Halley after the astronomer and Fellow of the Royal Society, Edmond Halley. The year 1956 also marked the tercentenary of Halley’s birth. In 1977, the name of the base was amended from Halley Bay to Halley as the original bay had disappeared due to changes in the ice shelf.

The original station, Royal Society Base, was founded in 1956 for the IGY by an expedition from the British Royal Society. The bay where the expedition set up their base was named Halley Bay, after the astronomer Edmond Halley. It was a traditional hut with a pitched roof. FIDS (Falkland Islands Dependencies Survey)   took over the operation of the station on 14 January 1959 when  the Royal Society Base  was renamed into Halley Bay or Halley I Research Station (referenced by WAP as GBR-15). A new main hut and dog kennels were built close to the original IGY buildings in February 1961, by which time the latter were completely covered by snow. It was closed early 1968.

Picture of  Halley Bay Station (see above)  shows a view of snowed up station complex taken from the met mast, Jan 1957. (Photographer: George Hemmen; Archives ref: AD6/19/3/C/Z6).

 

The date shown on VP8CI’s QSL is Aug. 17th 1957. Also VP8CR did operate from Royal Society Base in 1957  

 

TNX Bill Ashley KF5BRB

Thanks and credit  to BAS (British Antarctic Survey)

Polar Awards, what a passion!

Recently, Volker, DL8JDX did achieve two new Polar Awards.

The North Pole &  South Pole – DX Trophy (NSP).

Rules and conditions here below:

DX TROPHY AWARDS GROUP gives out the trophy “NORTH & SOUTH POLE TROPHY”

for two-way QSO’s / SWL ‘s at various stations in Antarctica below 66°South and the Arctic above 66° North, for any period of time on any bands.
To get  the trophy, the requirement is:

Arctic:  30 different stations   including at least 20  different islands and 5 nations (e.g.: Russia, Denmark, Norway, Canada, Sweden, USA/Alaska ..) located above 66 degrees

Antarctica: 20 different stations including at least 10 different bases and 5 nations (for example: Russia, China, Argentina, Chile, USA), located above 66 degrees.

For those with connections from the North and South Geographic Poles: (for example: КС4AAA and  RØPOL) there will be a special sticker.

Awards can be requested with different modes:

CW, SSB, DIGI, MIX (CW/SSB), ALL (CW/SSB / DIGI)

Free-form application: CALL – DATE- BAND- MODE-QTH.

Confirmation: QSL or LOTW / Сlublog scans.

The trophy is made of glass 2.5D printing, size 250 x 200 mm.
Information about fee and delivery  and other details can be requested by e-mail at:

mydxtrophy@gmail.com

Another one jut received  by Volker DL8JDX is  the Russian Antarctic Bases Award (RABA), issued by the famous  Russian Robinson Club.

The  Awards program  of RRC (http://www.rdxc.org/rrc/awards_e.htm) foresees  several choices of different and interesting  certificates and plaques  related to the passions of each radio amateur. To get more, check: http://www.rdxc.org/rrc/AWARDS/raba_e.htm

TNX DL8JDX

Heritage Expeditions – MS Hanseatic  former “ Grande Dame”  of Polar Exploration

 is excited to announce the world-renowned Polar exploration vessel formerly known as MS Hanseatic and Society Adventurer will be joining the fleet from May 2022.

Rechristened Heritage Adventurer, this iconic and beloved expedition ship will see Heritage Expeditions forging new ground while taking the experiential exploration as synonymous with to stylish new heights

Here a  Press release that announce the program: «Heritage Adventurer, with its legendary history of Polar exploration firsts and superior ice capabilities, will take centre stage as our new flagship effortlessly adding new levels of comfort and sophistication to the authentic, intimate small group expeditions Heritage Expeditions was founded on.

The vessel’s rechristening to Heritage Adventurer marries the history of this incredible vessel with the legacy of HMS Adventure’s explorations alongside the HMS Resolution during Captain Cook’s second expedition of the Pacific.

Work is about to begin to get the vessel ‘Heritage ready’ and over the coming months we will be working closely with the owners to co-ordinate an overhaul and refurbishment in preparation of Heritage Adventurer joining our fleet.

Built in 1991 at Finland’s Rauma shipyard and specifically designed for Polar exploration, Heritage Adventurer is 124-metres long, boasts a 1A Super ice class and an impressive history of Polar and remote region exploration.

Originally designed to accommodate 184 guests, we plan to operate Heritage Adventurer with a maximum of just 140 guests to create a spacious, comfortable on board experience and continuation of the exceptional, personalised expedition experience Heritage Expeditions is renowned for. While a fleet of 14 Zodiacs ensures all guests are able to maximise their expedition experience.

Our first season with Heritage Adventurer‘s will begin in the Russian Far East, including Wrangel Island, in May 2022, before venturing south through the South Pacific to New Zealand, the Subantarctic Islands and down into the heart of Antarctica, the Ross Sea».

6Ø Years of the Antarctic Treaty System (ATS). First Special Call OE6ØANT assigned by Austria to OE3DMA

The Antarctic Treaty System (ATS) was entered into force in 1961. So this year it’s the 60th Anniversary

WAP (www.waponline.it)  wish to promote the participation of the Ham Radio world to mark the celebration.  

The idea is that at least all the 12 original signatory countries (or even more) would initiate an activation with one or more SES ( as for example  EA6ØANT, CE60ANT, PYxANT,  YV6ØITS, LU6ØANT, KC6ØATS, etc.) for a limited timeframe in autumn this year 2021, similar to what we do for the Antarctic Activity Week»

The event will be open worldwide to the Hams who would like to join. Proposed run is October 1st, through December 31st 2021, but this lapse is not mandatory.  Participants with special callsign will get a related WAP-Reference  number.

A free ATS 6Ø online Award will be issued to mark the participation. An invite to draw one or more specific Awards for this particular event, is still open  to Clubs, printers or individuals.

So far, Hams from the following Countries: Germany, Bulgaria, Chile, UK, Italy have the special callsigns in the “Application Process”, waiting for confirmation. Hams from other Countries are also planning their participation and gradually they will let us know  
Chile , thanks to  Ricardo Velazquez  CE3HDI, President Radio Club Aeronautico – Chile – CE3RAC has requested  CE6ØANT, GMØGAV has requested GB6ØANT. Currently Germany has 2 Special Calls waiting for confirmation.

OE3DMA Alex Wagner have just received from the authorities his  OE6ØANT and his operating period will be July 1st to dec.31st 2021. WAP special reference to OE6ØANT has been issued as WAP-315. Congrats Alex, great shot!

WAP asks those interested to participate in the event with a SES , to send a mail to:
Volker DL8JDX (info@strecke.de) or to
Gianni I1HYW (varettos@tin.it) in order to pre-register the eventual participation and issuing the WAP Reference number, related to the Special Callsign.

Information and updates will coming in due course, Join the event, join the 60th Anniversary of ATS!
While looking forward to having a successful event, WAP wish everyone to enjoy Antarctica as much as we do 

KC4USW Ellsworth Mountains Camp WAP USA-46,   New Entry on WAP-WADA  

Thanks to Jim Reisert AD1C  and  Alan Jubb 5B4AHJ for their continuous research and help, WAP has just issued a new Reference to the US Ellsworth Mountains Camp referred to the activity of KC4USW.

 First of all, Ellsworth Mountains Camp (WAP USA-NEW) has not to be confused with Ellsworth Station (WAP USA-31) and Ellsworth Base (WAP ARG-14)

KC4USW was QRV from McMurdo Station, Ross Island (WAP USA-22), in 1957  before moving to Ellsworth Mountains Camp, from where he was QRV until February 1959. CQ May 1959 gives the last day of operation from Ellsworth Station as 1959,Febr.1st  (letter from W8LIO).

MARIST Archives & Special Collections has available a recording of an interview with Antarctic explorer Captain Finn Ronne from amateur radio station KC4USW, Weddel Sea, Antarctica, dated 1957, Nov.11.
For sure,  QSL of that date (pic on the Left) is a genuine one for Ellsworth Mountains Camp at 79°07’00” South,  85°39’00” West, on Ellswort Mountains, Weddell Sea area (The Weddell Sea is part of the Southern Ocean and contains the Weddell Gyre. Its land boundaries are defined by the bay formed from the coasts of Coats Land and the Antarctic Peninsula. The easternmost point is Cape Norway at Princess Martha Coast, Queen Maud Land. To the east of Cape Norway is the King Haakon VII Sea. Much of the southern part of the sea is covered by a permanent, massive Ice Shelf field, the Filchner Ronne Ice Shelf).

Ellsworth station, the one we know after 1957-1959, was another entity built later , that’s why  KC4USW has been used when  QRV from Ellsworth Station in 1979-80, and why CQ January 1996 reports KC4USW as QRV from Ellsworth. 1979-80 QSL (tnx ND4V): Note that the 1979/80 QSL shown in Club Log says “Ellsworth Mts (Mountains)”. (See pic on the Right here below)

A bit of history

(Ellsworth Mountains Camp mistakenly called Ellsworth Station) was built by US Navy Seabees under the command of Capt. Finn Ronne with the support of the Icebreackers USS Staten Island and USS Wyandot.

The originally planned site for the station was Cape Adams, but when the terrain proved impractical due to huge ice cliffs, an alternate location on Gould Bay was selected, on the western coast of the Wededell Sea over the Filchner Ice Shelf, and close to the Argentinean Belgrano I Base (WAP ARG-Ø5).

Part of the scheduled agenda for the IGY, Ellsworth Station was commissioned on 11 February 1957 and less than two years later, on 17 January 1959, was handed over to the Argentinean Antarctic Institute. Along with the handover, the United States government gave all the buildings, facilities, and existing food supplies while Argentina provided the logistical and administrative services necessary for the continued operation of the station. It was agreed that scientists of both countries would work together at the place in technical studies and scientific research.

Feasibility of the station came into question when structural problems caused by the unstable ice had the base half-sunken during most of the spring. To protect personnel and equipment, Ellsworth Mountains Camp (mistakenly called Ellsworth Base) was closed and all of its staff and equipment were evacuated on 30 December 1962, during the 1962–63 Antarctic summer campaign. It continued to be inspected periodically by Argentinean exploration teams: it was eventually covered by snow and ice. The Filchner Shelf sector where it was located as split off a giant iceberg, and then it drifted through the Southern Ocean, where the base’s remains have been lost at sea.

So, it looks like the Ellsworth Station (WAP-USA-31) and Ellsworth Base (WAP ARG-14) both at  77° 39’ S, 41° 05’ W were the same one. The 1st,  the one managed by US, the 2nd  managed by LU when it was turned over to Argentina.

Ellsworth Mountain Camp  (WAP-USA-NEW) was located at 79°07’S, 85°39’W and it was in activity only  from 1957 through 1959.

The ones reported active from 1979-80 and 1996 are referred to Ellsworth Station 77° 39’ S, 41° 05’ W, so,  2 different locations which may confuse a bit.

Following the KC4USW  QSL dated 1957, WAP is issuing WAP USA-46  reference to Ellsworth Mountain Camp,  79°07’S, 85°39’W on Ellswort Mountains, Weddell Sea area

 TNX Jim AD1C and Alan 5B4AHJ.  Note and info on KC4USW have been updated the in Club Log  at: https://clublog.org/test.php?call=KC4USW

NZ Scott Base rebuilding plan

A budget plan includes $344 million New Zealand dollars (US $247 million) to rebuild Scott Base (WAP NZL-Ø1) in Antarctica, which has been used by scientists since it first built in 1957 . The outdated buildings and facilities that keep the residents alive in the coldest, driest, windiest place on earth have deteriorated,” Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta said. “Doing nothing would eventually lead to the closure of the base.” (Pic aside show the actul Scott Base settlement)

The project would involve demolishing the existing 12 buildings, which were built in the early 1980s, and replacing them with three large, interconnected buildings. The rebuilt base could accommodate up to 100 people at a time. One of the new buildings would be used for accommodation and dining, one for science, and one for engineering and storage. A windfarm that produces renewable electricity would be overhauled.

The 2021 Budget held some great news for Antarctic scientists and researchers at the University of Canterbury. This project will replace the existing base and Ross Island Wind Farm, achieving the goal of a sustainable and long-term presence in Antarctica

Read more at:  https://www.miragenews.com/antarctic-researchers-react-to-budgets-scott-563507/  and  https://www.voanews.com/east-asia-pacific/new-zealand-spending-plan-includes-rebuilding-antarctic-base#:~:text=The%20budget%20plan%20includes%20%24344,it%20first%20built%20in%201957.

Antarctic veteran, Andy Stillinger (WA2DKJ/KC4) SK

Sad to recently learn that Andy Stillinger (WA2DKJ/KC4) died suddenly of natural causes this pass February 23, 2021
Andy performed the maintenance and critical repairs required to keep foundation’s sensitive research and monitoring equipment located in Antarctica.
He spent 8 seasons from November through the end of January in Antarctica operating from McMurdo Station (KC4USV) WAP USA-22, South Pole Station (KC4AAA) WAP USA-21 and further inland at AGO 4 (WA2DKJ/KC4) WAP USA-38.
«I feel incredibly fortunate to have known Andy» said Bob K4MZU.
WAP expresses the most sincere condolences to Andy’s family

Researchers call for immediate emissions reduction to limit Sea level rise

Scientists from Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington’s Te Puna PātiotioAntarctic Research Centre (ARC) have contributed to a major international study that has found sea level rise from melting glaciers and ice sheets could be halved this century if the Paris Agreement target of limiting warming to 15°C is met.

But meeting this target, the authors warn, will require deep and immediate emissions cuts.  The study, led by Dr Tamsin Edwards of King’s College London, was published in the science journal Nature. It involved 80 scientists from around the world, including Professor Nicholas Golledge and Associate Professor Brian Anderson, both from the ARC, and Dr Dan Lowry, ARC adjunct research fellow.

The study uses computer models and statistical techniques to make predictions based on a range of socio-economic scenarios. The results will inform the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Sixth Assessment Report, which will be published later this year.

The research predicts that if global warming is limited to 1.5°C, rather than the 3°C that global governmental emissions pledges currently commit us to, the contribution to sea level rise from melting ice could be cut from around 25cm to 13cm by 2100. This would greatly reduce the costs and impacts of coastal flooding around the world, including in New Zealand.

The study underlines the importance of making swift and decisive climate action at all scales.
Read more at: https://indiaeducationdiary.in/researchers-call-for-immediate-emissions-reduction-to-limit-sea-level-rise/

Station “P”. Field camp at Hannah Point, Livingston Island

Station “P” was a British base camp at the head of Mateev Cove on the east side of Hannah Point, 62°39’16”South, 60°36’48” West on Livingston Island in the South Shetland Islands, Antarctica that supported survey, geology and biology field work, from 29 December 1957 until 15 March 1958. It was a temporary, mobile camp for use by field parties on Livingston Island. It has not been the practice to assign letters to field camps, so the letter “P” was used as the intention had been to erect a Hut. RRS Shackleton was holed when transporting the Hut, parts of which were used to repair the ship.

The Camp was occupied by a six-member team led by Hugh Simpson.

Hannah Point forms the east side of the entrance to Walker Bay and the west side of the entrance to South Bay. Surmounted by Ustra peak to the north, with Liverpool Beach extending between the peak and the tip of Hannah Point with an ice-free area ca. 122 hectares (300 acres).

Hannah Point (the Point) is a narrow peninsula undulating upward to knife-edged ridges and vertical cliff edges 30-50 metres above sea level. There is loose scree on higher slopes and ridges, evidence of rock falls, and a Jaspar mineral vein. Ash-covered slopes link the Point to the flat open beach area of Walker Bay. (Pic aside show Hannah Point landing beach)

(British mapping in 1821, 1962 and 1968, Argentine in 1959 and 1980, Chilean in 1971, Spanish in 1991, and Bulgarian in 2005 and 2009).

Station “P” or Fileld Camp do not exist anymore, actually the area has high concentration of diverse wildlife: nesting gentoo, chinstrap, and a small number of macaroni penguins; nesting southern giant petrels; southern elephant seals.

WAP is going to launch the 6Ø years of the Antarctic Treaty System’s celebration

The Antarctic Treaty System is the whole complex of arrangements made for the purpose of regulating relations among states in the Antarctic. At its heart is the Antarctic Treaty itself. The original Parties to the Treaty were the 12 nations active in the Antarctic during the International Geophysical Year of 1957-58.

As you know the Antarctic Treaty System (ATS) was entered into force in 1961. So this year it’s the 60th Anniversary

See https://www.ats.aq/e/antarctictreaty.html and   https://www.ats.aq/devAS/Parties?lang=e

WAP shares DL8JDX’s idea to promote the participation of the Ham Radio world to mark the celebration.  

DL8JDX Volker wrote: «I would like to organize one (or even more than one) special event calls in Germany. The idea is that at least all the 12 original signatory countries (or even more) would initiate an activation with one or more SES for a limited timeframe maybe in autumn this year 2021, similar to the AAW»

The event will be open worldwide,  to the Hams who would like to join. Proposed time is June 1st 2021, through December 31st 2021

Even special ATS 6Ø online Awards would be a good attraction to the HAM community (invite to create the Award is open to clubs, printers or individuals).  Of course, participants with special callsign will get a related WAP-Reference  number.

Let’s launch the 60th ATS event:

WAP asks to those interested in the event, to send a mail to:

Volker DL8JDX (info@strecke.de) or to

Gianni I1HYW (varettos@tin.it) or to

Max IK1GPG (wap_info@virgilio.it) to pre-register the eventual participation.

If the number of participants will be such as to guarantee a certain level of adhesion and give the right emphasis to the initiative, then it will be possible to launch the 60th ATS event

While looking forward to having a successful event, WAP wish everyone to enjoy Antarctica as much as we do.  More details and update,  will come later-

Extra-Terrestrial Particles Discovered in Antarctica

Research led by the University of Kent’s School of Physical Sciences has found new evidence of a low-altitude meteoritic touchdown event reaching the Antarctic ice sheet 430,000 years ago.

A research team of international space scientists, led by Dr. Matthias van Ginneken from the School of Physical Sciences‘ Centre for Astronomy and Planetary Science, has found new evidence of a low-altitude meteoritic touchdown event reaching the Antarctic ice sheet 430,000 years ago.

Extra-terrestrial particles (condensation spherules) recovered on the summit of Walnumfjellet (WN) within the Sør Rondane Mountains, Queen Maud Land, East Antarctica, indicate an unusual touchdown event where a jet of melted and vaporized meteoritic material resulting from the atmospheric entry of an asteroid at least 100 m in size reached the surface at high velocity.

This type of explosion caused by a single-asteroid impact is described as intermediate, as it is larger than an airburst, but smaller than an impact cratering event.

Read more at: https://scitechdaily.com/extra-terrestrial-particles-discovered-in-antarctica-reveal-ancient-meteoritic-impact-430000-years-ago/

Argentinean Rifugio Elefante WAP ARG-NEW

Rifugio Elefante is an Antarctic refuge located in the ice-free area at the foot of Fourcade glacier (62° 15’ 18″ South, 58° 37′ 56″ West) is located about 1000 mts from Punta Stranger,on the Potter peninsula of King George Island.

The refuge is a construction of 25 m², used from March to October by research groups as a resting point.

Recently,  members of the Solar Energy Department (CNEA) stepped on the Antarctic, did install on the site, an autonomous system that would provide energy to the “Elephant Refuge” located 2.6 km northwest of Carlini Base (WAP ARG-2Ø) of the Argentine Antarctic Institute.

Being Rifugio Elefante  WAP ARG-NEW, we hope someone in the near future can activate it on Ham radio HF bands!

VU2UR Manohar Arasu is “Silent Key”

Sad news forwarded  by Bhagwati VU3BPZ (8T2BH-AT1ØBPR).

VU2UR Manohar Arasu (82 yrs old) was a Life member of Amateur Radio Society  of India (ARSI) and was the Frequency Monitor for several years filing intrusion reports with the IARU-R3 representing ARSI. He was a well known Amateur radio enthusiast with around 46 years of experience (has been on the air since 1967). VU2UR has won many certificates for being No 1 in India and some for being No 1 in the continent. All in all, he has won more then 1200  certificates and plaques included and recognition from organizations across the globe.

 

VU2UR did join the 3rd WAP Antarctic Activity Week (2006) with his special callsign AT3ANT WAP-Ø21. We keep a great recall of him.

Retired from the Indian Railways in 1997,  VU2UR had settled down in the outskirts of Bangalore City, in Kengeri Satellite Town.

WAP express sincere condolences to his family to bear this loss and bring them comfort. May our prayers ease the pain and  his soul rest in peace.

Looking for OR4OR QSL card with an eye on Polar & Marconi Philately

Dr. Eddy De Busschere is the Secretary of the Belgian Polar Exploration Society (BPES).

For many years, Belgian and Dutch Antarctic teams carried mail from collectors during the involvement of the Antarctic programs  often in cooperation with other nations. The scientists and expeditioners  did their utmost to take care of the philatelic mails and BPES, through Eddy, has done  great efforts to  set and forward  boxes of self addressed envelopes  to the various Bases and Camps as well to polar ships starting their Antarctic campaigns in order to have the precious covers with Base leader’s signature mailed in the polar regions  or as near as possible. If many of the Antarctic philatelic collectors (including myself) have some or many of these rare envelopes,  have to thank Eddy and BPES for the service!

Recently I have received a mail from Eddy. He states: «Polar philately is nearly not existing this season because of Corona. I am offering a collection of stamps and covers related to Marconi. May be one of your Radio amateur friends is interested?  Exchange is also possible against Antarctic QSL cards».

In addition to this, Eddy sent a scan of the old QSL card  of OR4OR Gene (Jean Hooghewys). That is really a rare one! Eddy is still looking to have one of this card for his collection.

He said:  « Jean Hooghewys OR4OR is no longer with us and I cannot contact his family to find out if any cards are left. It is the only card I am still missing from the Belgian Antarctic base 1957-1967. I think I have all the others. The only person that has such a card is Ghis Penny (ON5NT). May be there is someone able to offer me such a card. I keep my fingers crossed.

Now, if someone could be interested in exchanging Antarctic QSL cards with  Marconi’s stamps and covers (see some in pics attached) or having a card of OR4OR can eventually write to me:

Eddy De Busschere

Kriekenstraat 5

BE-8310 Assebroek, BELGIUM – Belgique

email: pole@telenet.be

Dr. Eddy De Busschere  sent greetings to the passionate collectors and Polar lovers and  hopes Polar Philately and Ham Radio activity from Antarctica will soon resume.

TNX Eddy De Busschere @ BPES

26th Ukrainian Antarctic Expedition

The 26th Ukrainian Antarctic Expedition left for the Vernadsky Research Base (WAP UKR-Ø1) on March 24. Researchers will spend approximately 13 months in Antarctica,” the National Antarctic Science Center press office informs.

Bohdan Havryliuk, a geophysicist from Kharkiv, is the team’s leader. This is the ninth annual expedition for him. Before that, the maximum number of winters spent at the base by one person had not exceeded eight. Bohdan is also the oldest team member and he will celebrate his 49th birthday at the station.

In total, the expedition includes 12 participants: 7 scientists, a doctor, a cook, a diesel engineer, a system mechanic and a system administrator. Of these, 11 men and one woman, a biologist Oksana Savenko, is going to the Base for the second time. This is also a record as no other woman had wintered twice before.

Polar explorers will study the climate, living organisms, the structure of glaciers, the formation of precipitation and monitor the level of ozone in the air. The team also plans to explore the “languages” and “dialects” of whales, recorded using hydrophones.

Thanks and credit to: http://kharkivobserver.com/kharkiv-geophysicist-leads-ukrainian-expedition-to-antarctica/

With regret, Ham radio community worldwide chasing DX and collect QSLs from Antarctic Bases, will miss to contact Vernadsky Station  WAP UKR-Ø1 on HF! As far as we know, no Ham radio operators are this year among the Team!

South Pole Atmospheric Research Observatory (ARO)

The Atmospheric Research Observatory (ARO) at the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station (WAP USA-21)  is a National Science Foundation (NSF) facility located near the geographic South Pole. The NSF has allocated ARO to a long-term research program conducted by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Global Monitoring Division (NOAA/OAR/ESRL/GMD).

ARO is located approximately four hundred meters grid east-northeast of the main station, physically separated and on the edge of a designated area called the Clean Air Sector. Due to local meteorology, winds at South Pole are very consistent, hence the designation of the Clean Air Sector. By positioning on the edge of this sector, ARO remains upwind of the local pollution inherent around the daily industrial operations of Amundsen-Scott Station. This clean upwind air is representative of the true mixed background atmosphere over Antarctica, and by sampling this air, ARO can establish an accurate long-term climate record of the continent. The mission of ARO is to measure long-term trends of important trace gases, aerosols, and solar radiation and to investigate the influence of these gases and aerosols on the Earth’s climate.

Thanks and credit to NOAA

Read more at: https://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/obop/spo/observatory.html

TENIENTE MATIENZO AIR BASE – Antarctic Campaign 1970/71

Matienzo Base  64° 50’ South, 60° 07’ West (Base Aérea Teniente Benjamín Matienzo)  WAP ARG-Ø1 is one of the Argentine Antarctic Base and scientific research Stations named after Lieutenant Benjamin Matienzo, an Argentine aviation pioneer. The Base is located in Larsen Nunatak one of the Foca Nunataks, in Graham land , Antarctic Peninsula. Matienzo is one of 13 research bases in Antarctica operated by Argentina.

From 1961 to 1985 it served as a permanent base; since then it is open during the summer season only. The Ham Radio Callsign was LU1ZAB

WAP-WADA Antarctic Directory,  lists almost all of the Bases,  Camps, Huts and Refuges known in Antarctica and on the Peri-Antarctic regions.

WAP-WACA Directory lists about 4,500 callsigns used in Antarctica since 1945.

TENIENTE MATIENZO AIR BASE – Antarctic Campaign 1970/71

Reported by Jorge Canova

After the kitchen, the Radio Station was our second meeting place. While in the first one we met to fraternize, make comments, tell jokes and have a few bitter ones enjoying the occurrences of our cook, the Radio Station was the obligatory point of attendance to listen and find out the latest news and communicate through the networks established to make official links and also to get in touch with our loved ones.

Who were neophytes in this discipline and specialty, did learn the secrets and tricks that the responsible  of the Radio room used to secure the connections fighting with the noises of the ether and band openings according to the time of the day, the distances between correspondents and the geographical location of the chasers and Dxers, taking advantage of the technical virtuosity of those, that among the Team  were operating  radio equipments,  we could hopefully listen to some Argentine and foreign radio stations, thus learning about the news of the day and how the world worked.

Thanks Jorge Canova

In the 80s,  thanks to these great guys, we could work almost all the  Argentine Antarctic Station  on HF bands, then decades after decades  with the  advent of new technologies such as satellite,  internet and digimodes, the emotion of a DX contact in SSB  and CW with Antarctica,  has became a rare event …

ON4TX (ex OR4TX) in memory of an Antarctic veteran

Sad news, received yesterday from Ghis ON5NT.

Roger Vanmarcke, ON4TX (ex-OR4TX Antarctica) died of  Covid on April 2nd . He was 82.

Roger did operate  OR4TX from the Belgian King Baudouin Antarctic station (WAP BEL-Ø1) in 1960.

Ghis ON5NT  thinks  that  Roger’s XYL  also died a few days later of Covid.

Several pictures of Roger Vanmarcke can be found at: www.on5jv.com

Pic aside shows Roger ON4TX/OR4TX to the left with ON5NT Ghis
Today, in this sad circumstance, WAP and the Ham community express Roger’s family and friends the most deepest sympathy .

May the earth be light to you Roger.

Up there in the heaven we have another special person that we will carry in our memories.

King Baudouin Base Station (1960-1961) The King Baudouin Base in Antarctica is located approximately at 70 ° 25 ’53 “South and 24 ° 18′ 38” East. Roger ON4TX participated in 1960 (wintering 1960-1961) to the Belgian scientific expedition as electronics engineer and also as a radio operator. The meteorologist ON4TZ dealing more particularly with atmospheric electricity, as well as Roger. ON4KR

Regarding radio equipment, they were: Two Rhombic antennas, one large diamond-shaped 110m side 27m above the ground, while the other Rhombic was used for reception and was located 4 mts from the ground with which duplex with Belgium was commonly done. The transmitter was a Marconi delivering 1Kw equipped with Xtal frequencies and a VFO, also used on the amateur bands. As receivers for AM and CW traffic they used two Collins 51J4 equipped with the famous mechanical filters The 2 reserve receivers were RCA AR88 sometimes used for diversity reception with the two Rhombic antennas, but this on an experimental basis.

29th Bulgarian Antarctic Expedition successfully completed

Six Bulgarian polar explorersYordan Todorov, Petar Sapundzhiev, Emil Ivanov, Nikolay Nikolov, Kamen Nedkov and the doctor Dr. Atanas Peltekov, after about a month of delay, on April 14 2021,  left the Antarctic region and, by  a Uruguayan military plane arrived in the southernmost Chilean city of Punta Arenas.

The adventure of the 29th Bulgarian  Antarctic Expedition started late due to a sequence of facts: The Spanish ship Esperides, which was scheduled to arrive at Livingston Island, did not sail from Spain at all, due to cases of Covid-19 of some of the crew. After twenty days of strict quarantine in Punta Arenas (each of the six Bulgarian guys was alone in a hotel room with food delivered to the door), the other Spanish ship, the Sarmiento de Gamboa, carried the group before the closure of the Spanish Base Juan Carlos I (WAP ESP-Ø1). The Chilean icebreaker Aquilez, which was scheduled to carry the Bulgarians from Livingstone Island at the end of March, was also quarantined due to Covid testing positive for some of the crew.

At the end of the season, before the onset of polar winter, there were practically no ships in the area of the South Shetland Islands. Prof. Pimpirev (doyen of the Bulgarian Antarctic Program) made contact with the Chilean Antarctic Institute, the polar ship Lautaro  went to take the group, threatened them with hibernation, without supplies of food and fuel, to the largest island in the area, King George, where there are several year-round bases and an airport. “Despite logistical problems, the expedition was able to complete all planned activities. Damage to facilities and buildings on the base caused by high winds during the time when no one was on the base was repaired and it was conserved for the coming winter. The site was prepared for the construction of the new laboratory block, a special hangar was built for the incinerator, which burns the waste ecologically, and all the data were taken from the year-round scientific equipment, which records climatic, seismic, mareographic and glaciological events, in the area when the base is not inhabited”  said Prof. Dr. Hristo Pimpirev, head of all Bulgarian polar expeditions and director of the Bulgarian Antarctic Institute.

In Punta Arenas the  polar explorers have not been under quarantine, their return to Bulgaria is expected on April 19.

Prof. Hristo Pimpirev,  together with Javier Cacho, a Spanish scientist physicist , recently received the “Unifier of Cultures” award in the eighth “Worlds and Colors” contest, organized by the Association of Spanish speaking Journalists in Bulgaria. (pic to the left)

Javier Cacho is one of the first researchers of the ozone hole. He was the base commander of the Spanish polar Station “Juan Carlos I” on Livingston island. He is also a famous writer and several of his Antarctica books have been translated into Bulgarian. The “Worlds and Colours” awards are given to journalists, artists and intellectuals for their overall contribution to the rapprochement between the cultures of Bulgaria and the Spanish-speaking world. Due to the epidemiological situation, the award will be held as an online event until the end of April.

Text taken from the original article   at: https://bnr.bg/hristobotev/post/101453437

TNX Dr. Volker Strecke DL8JDX

Ukrainian polar explorers have been honoured by State Awards

The Hams worldwide, thanks Dr. Pavlo Tarasovych UT1KY, Antarctic veteran for issuing a special Award to the radio amateurs who worked the special callsign EM25VER, issued to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the Ukrainian Research Station Akademik Vernadsky (WAP UKR-Ø1) in Antarctica.  Hams wishing to get the Award could write to Pavlo (ut1ky@ukr.net)

Last February 2021, on the day of the 25th  Anniversary of Akademik Vernadsky Station, Ukrainian polar explorers received State Awards from the President Volodymyr Zelensky, who  awarded State decorations to those who made a significant contribution to the development of polar research in Ukraine. In particular, to all the participants of the Ukrainian Antarctic expeditions, who have been conducting year-round research at Akademik Vernadsky Station for 6 years or more.

The award ceremony took place at the President’s Office, last February 6, 2021,  on the day of the 25th  Anniversary of Akademik Vernadsky Station (WAP UKR-Ø1).

«Every great story means, first of all, the people who made it possible. I would like to thank the representatives of the Ukrainian polar community present here, as well as everyone who worked at Akademik Vernadsky Station in different years.

I believe and am convinced that the history of Vernadsky, the history of “Ukrainian Antarctica” will continue and will be successful. I thank our male and female polar explorers for their work, contribution to science and strengthening the authority of Ukraine»,   Volodymyr Zelensky emphasized.

Thanks and credit to: http://uac.gov.ua/en/on-the-day-of-the-25th-anniversary-of-akademik-vernadsky-station-ukrainian-polar-explorers-received-state-awards-from-the-president/

TNX Pavlo UT1KY (aka EM1KY) pics above.

Union Glacier Camp (WAP MNB-NEW)

Ale Antarctic Logistics & Expeditions manage several sites in Antarctica. One of those, is Union Glacier Camp at 79˚46’South,  82˚52’West, located in Ellsworth Land in Antarctica.

The camp is the only private seasonally occupied camp which sites in the Heritage Range, below the Ellsworth Mountains, on the broad expanse of Union Glacier, that gives the camp its name.

Union Glacier Camp is only accessible by air and lies on the broad expanse of Union Glacier in the Southern Ellsworth Mountains.

Union Glacier Camp is the only facility of its kind in Antarctica. Full-service private camp operates during the Antarctic summer (November through January) and is dismantled at the end of each season. The camp does not only provides accommodations to guests on guided experiences, but also serves as a logistics hub, supporting private expeditions and National Antarctic Programs.

Find more at: https://antarctic-logistics.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/Compress_Union_Glacier_Camp-1-compressed.pdf

Antarctic Logistics & Expeditions LLC (ALE) offers air transportation, logistic support, and guided experiences for those venturing to the interior of Antarctica. In 1985, our predecessor, Adventure Network International (ANI), pioneered private flights to Antarctica for an ascent of Mount Vinson. More than 30 years later, ALE remain the most experienced private operator on the continent with an impeccable safety record, a strong environmental ethic, and a desire to share the white continent with other passionate explorers.

WAP and Radio amateurs WW,  hope that some day  an HF Radio room and antennas could be set down there, to give more opportunities to the eventual HAMs wishing to travel in this fantastic and spectacular site!

For now,  Union Glacier Camp has been add to the WAP-WADA Directory and referred as  (WAP MNB-NEW)

Revitalizing an Earthquake-Ravaged Cathedral

Christchurch in the Southern Island of New Zealand is an outpost, an ideal location to jump down South, in Antarctica. WAP wish to recall that in 2011, a 6,3 magnitude earthquake struck Christchurch. The quake caused considerable destruction, and the Christ Church Cathedral suffered major damage to its facade, western porch, and adjacent walls. Its 118-foot tower and 88-foot spire also collapsed.

It took 40 years to build the Christ Church Cathedral; the cornerstone was laid in 1864 and construction completed in 1904. The building has served as a historic place of heritage, a sacred place of worship, and a civic place of gathering. With its demise, the cathedral signified a broken city.

10 years after quacke Christ Church Cathedral finally rising.
Read more at: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/feb/22/healing-the-heart-of-the-city-the-battle-to-restore-christchurchs-cathedral

Christchurch, New Zealand is an Antarctic Gateway City, one of only five in the world.

The role of the Christchurch Antarctic Office is to co-ordinate the opportunities presented by Christchurch’s Antarctic Gateway status and to explore our historic and modern connections with the icy continent.

As Sir Edmund Hillary noted: «Much of the history of Antarctic exploration has flowed through Christchurch, starting over 100 years ago with the “Heroic Era” explorations of Captain Robert Falcon Scott and Sir Ernest Shackleton, who both used Christchurch as a base camp for their Antarctic expeditions».

Actually, around 100 direct flights a year leave from Christchurch airport, carrying more than 5,500 passengers and 1,400 tons of cargo, including fresh food.

Nobody owns Antarctica. The Antarctic Treaty was signed on 1 December 1959 by 12 countries (now 49 nations) designating the Continent as a natural resource devoted to peace and science.

“Dome A” entering on WAP-WADA Antarctic Directory as WAP MNB-NEW

A research team led by Prof. Shang Zhaohui from National Astronomical Observatories of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (NAOC) has proved that Dome A (short for Dome Argus)  in Antarctica is the best site for optical astronomical observation on Earth.

Seeing reflects the atmospheric turbulence that makes stars twinkle or smears star images observed by telescopes. At an observatory with good seeing, weak turbulence results in a smaller seeing value and sharper images. This is especially good for viewing faint objects. A small-aperture telescope at such a site can compete with a larger one at other sites.

Due to the geographic and atmospheric properties at Dome A, atmosphere turbulence usually resides in the near-ground, shallow boundary layer, above which is the very stable free atmosphere with superb seeing.

Read more at: https://scitechdaily.com/dome-a-in-antarctica-is-the-best-site-for-optical-astronomical-observation-on-earth/

and also:

https://web.archive.org/web/20100324134431/http://mcba11.phys.unsw.edu.au/~plato/plato.html

Dome A nearest Base is the Chinese. Kunlun Station located at 80° 25’ 01”South, 77° 06’ 58” East (WAP CHN-NEW), the only Base there around.

Dome A (aka Dome Argus) 80°22′ South77°22′ East is the highest place on the polar ice cap in East Antarctica, with an altitude of 4093. It is also one of the least-known places on the globe. An automatic weather station provides data from this remote site,  was set up over there, as part of an Australian-Chinese collaboration in January 2005. No ground-based scientific investigation had been made at this site before the arrival of the Chinese over-snow traverse team.

TNX and credit to: https://www.antarctica.gov.au/antarctic-operations/stations/other-locations/dome-a/

Dome A will be add to the WAP-WADA Directory under Multinational Base as WAP MNB-NEW

DT8A starts to be active, while DP0POL/MM is on the way to Germany

DT8A, KING SEJONG Antarctic Scientific Base (WAP KOR-Ø1)

In a recent mail (April 2 2021) Lee Sang Hon (DS4MNJ) informs that antenna for 80m~10m is installed and now he is ready for FT8 and CW. SSB is possible but it is only for contest or request.

Several spots have been put on the Cluster, so it’s a good time to stay tuned! Lee  has promised to send WAP some pictures and stories.

The King Sejong Station (WAP KOR-Ø1) was established and inaugurated on King George Island in February 1988.

QSL for DT8A is via DS5TOS

TNX DS4MNJ/DT8A

Research vessel Polarstern leaves the Falkland Islands.

The return journey of  R/V Polarstern from Stanley on the Falkland Islands to the home port of Bremerhaven begins last, Friday, April 2,
2021. The German research icebreaker is expected to arrive there on April 29th.
The current Polarstern voyage has the official abbreviation PS 125. On the Falkland Islands there has been an extensive change of crew and scientists. In order to achieve a safe exchange with regard to the pandemic situation, all new crew members from Germany as well as the representative of the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar Research (AW) and two employees of the German Weather Service (DWD) were previously in a two-week quarantine.
Among them is Felix, DL5XL, who has been very active on the bands in the past few months under DP0GNV from the Neumayer III Research Station (WAP DEU-Ø8)  and under DP0POL/MM from on board the Polarstern. Together with Theresa, DC1TH, he made it possible for many radio amateurs to have very special radio contact via QO-100 or on shortwave in his limited free time; we reported several times.
Addendum: Polarstern started its voyage to Europe on Friday evening at 1849 UTC. On the night of April 3, DP0POL/MM was already active again in the 40 m band in CW. Radio amateur on board is Andreas, DL3LRM.
Read more at: https://www.funkamateur.de/nachrichtendetails/items/PS125.html
TNX Info AWI and DL1AX

 

Happy Easter

While the situation is slightly different today, the celebrations will also change in the pandemic. But that does not mean one cannot spread positivity and warmth on this day.

 

WAP Staff wish our companions and friends as well as all the lovers of Antarctica the kind of Easter that touches your heart like a prayer and blesses your life with the gift of amazing grace. 

Best wishes for a joyous Easter!

February 16 to March 7, 2016, M/V N.G. Orion travelled Antarctica

The voyage of the National Geographic Orion from February 16, to March 7, 2016, followed the map counterclockwise. The purpose of the trip was exploration of the Antarctic Peninsula by ship and on land, and commemoration of the 100th anniversary of Earnest Shackleton’s near disastrous voyage to Antarctica and ultimate rescue, 1914 — 1917.

Orion reached 67.2°South along the Antarctic Peninsula. The ship then travelled to Elephant Island where Shackleton and crew arrived by dinghies following the wreck of their ship Endeavour in pack ice. The crew remained there for 137 days while Shackleton and S others sailed 800 miles (1300km) to South Georgia in a dinghy. He and a crew member hiked without maps for 2 days across glaciers to reach Stromness and arranged for rescue of the crew. Remarkably, no one was lost. Our voyagers hiked a long portion of Shackleton’s trek and visited his grave at Grytviken.

Buzz  W3EMD (VP8DPC/MM and C6AMD/MM)said:   «C6AMD/MM was used for our Bahamas registered ship in international waters; VP8DPC/MM was for operation from the ship at South Georgia and the Falklands. Equipment was Elecraft K3. 100W, CW & SSB and 53ft (16M) end fed wire with 1:9 unun. About 300 QSOs world-wide on 15M – 30M were made operating from the ship’s library just below the antenna deck».

Bob Hines K4MZU is now the QSL manager for this operation

M/V Orion is listed on WAP-WACA Directory therefore is valid for WAP Awards

German R/V Polarstern @ Falklands

The german research icebreaker Polarstern is currently anchoring at Port Stanley, Falkland Islands, South Atlantic.

See https://www.marinetraffic.com/en/ais/home/shipid:130195/zoom:10

The former Neumayer 3 wintering and summer Team is going to fly home from there.

Before the Polarstern did go back to the shelf ice coast near Neumayer 3 (WAP DEU-Ø8),  the ship took a deeper investigation of the big iceberg A-74 near the British Halley 6a Base (WAP GBR-4Ø).

Thanks and credit to:  https://www.awi.de/en/about-us/service/press/single-view/polarstern-expedition-erkundet-abgebrochenen-rieseneisberg.html

and  https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-56404142

TNX Dr. Volker Strecke DL8JDX

Turkey plans its own Antarctic Station

The planned Turkish Antarctic Research Station (TARS) is to be built in the southern part of the Antarctic Peninsula on Horseshoe Island. Between 24 and 50 people are to be accommodated in the station, which is to operate all year round. The graphic shows the various buildings and structures planned. (picture aside)

Horseshoe Island which is almost 12 km long and 6 km wide  is located  at 67°51’South, 67°12’ West, in the southern part of the Antarctic Peninsula in Marguerite Bay, well below the Arctic Circle. Nearby are the British station Rothera (WAP GBR-12), the Argentine station San Martin (WAP ARG-Ø8) and at 67°48’30”South, 67°17’39” West,  the old Station Y also known as Horseshoe Base (WAP GBR-14), an inactive but relatively unaltered and completely equipped British research Refuge  of the late 1950s. It includes ‘Blaiklock’, a nearby Refuge Hut (WAP GBR-NEW), been designated a Historic Site or Monument (HSM 63), following a proposal by the United Kingdom to the Antarctic Treaty Consulttive Meeting.

According to the Turkish Polar Institute TUBITAK MAM PRI, which is responsible for the management and operation of the station, the TARS (Turkish Antarctic Research Station) should be able to accommodate up to 50 people after completion. After a two-year trial run during the Antarctic summers, it will be eventually operated year-round and will advance the national Antarctic research program. Research areas include climate and ice science, atmospheric and space sciences, biological and earth sciences, and the impact of human activities on Antarctica. These research branches are part of the Turkish Polar Research Program, which has been in force in Antarctica since 2017.

The planned station will be built with prefabricated components produced in Turkey. Within two years of receiving the green light, the station should be ready for operation. Currently, only containers for eight people are available on Horseshoe Island to serve as a summer research camp.

Turkey is one of the youngest Antarctic nations and is hitting the accelerator. A first Antarctic expedition with Turkish participation was launched in 2016 together with Ukraine.

After Turkey ratified the Madrid Protocol on the Environment in 2017, the way was clear for its own expeditions. Just one year later, the temporary research camp was set up on Horseshoe Island. This is now to be replaced by the new Station.

Read more at: https://polarjournal.ch/en/2021/02/25/turkey-plans-its-own-antarctic-station/?fbclid=IwAR0swBe8obRVjWKH_AWq4njql4H7YoF9xeDE8Sgrehw5Eh0YwthxlZfUfF4

Edgeworth David Base (WAP AUS-NEW)

Located at 66°14’59” South, 100°36’12” EastEdgeworth David is a summer-only Station, a research outpost named after Sir Edgeworth David.

The Base is sited in Northen Bunger Hill (aka Bunger Lakes or Bunger Oasis), a coastal range on the Knox Coast in Wilkes Land, Antarctica, consisting of a group of moderately low, rounded coastal hills, overlain by morainic drift and notably ice free throughout the year, lying south of the Highjump Archipelago. The reasoning behind the minute amount of ice in the area is still relatively unknown and remains under intense debate amongst scientists today. It was opened in 1986 by the Australian Antarctic Division. It is temporary visited during the summer season and used for geological, geophisical, geomorphologogical and biological research.

Edgeworth David summer Base lies about 7 kilometres (4.3 mi) from WNW of  Polish Antoni Dobrowolski Station (WAP POL-NEW), at 66°15′South, 100°36′ East. Australia has maintained this  summer-only station  since 1986.

So far, WAP does not have reports of  HF activity by any Hams from this site

Pakistan eager to revive Antarctic expedition

Pakistani researchers are keen to revive scientific exploration in the Antarctic region. Officials have expressed a desire to revitalize expeditions in Antarctica by Pakistani scientists in collaboration with friendly countries.

During 1991 and 1993, Pakistan established two scientific research stations: Jinnah Antarctic Station I and II (WAP PAK-NEW), and an automatic weather station called Iqbal Observatory on Sor Rondane Mountain. This achievement earned Pakistan the associate membership of Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR) in 1992. More recently, Pakistani scientists have also participated in Chinese expeditions in Antarctica.


Pakistan’s Antarctic Program started nearly three decades back after the country sent its first expedition to the South Pole, backed by the National Institute of Oceanography (NIO) that was established in 1981 by the Ministry of Science and Technology. In the early 1990s,.

No independent expedition was sent by Pakistan after 1993 reportedly due to lack of funds and the government’s attention. “Scientific research in Antarctica is a future investment for any government that offers manifold opportunities and benefits technologically, economically and even diplomatically” explained Dr Hina Saeed Baig, Director General of NIO. “Pakistan’s Antarctic Programme is more than just a national achievement as it offers long-term benefits, elevates the country’s status and helps improve local expertise and technology.”

Jinnah Antarctic Station (JAS) – (WAP PAK-NEW) is an Antarctic scientific research Station operated by the Pakistan -Antarctic Programme. Pakistan signed the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR) in 1991.
Location: Sør Rondane Mountains, Queen Maud Land, in Eastern Antarctica
Established: 1991 Launch: National Institute of Oceanography
Led: Pakistan Navy Support: Ministry of Science & Technology
2001: Data operational system was linked to the Badr-B satellite
2002: SUPARCO scientists installed supercomputer-equipped Facility
2005: Pakistan Air Force engineers and scientists built a small airstrip and a control room to monitor Flights to and From Pakistan
2010: Pakistan’s government approved a plan to expand the JAS Facility into a permanent operational Base

More info at: https://gulfnews.com/world/asia/pakistan/pakistan-eager-to-revive-antarctic-expedition-1.74813273

Hope one day some Pakistani Ham radio will  performing HF activity from there!

Iceberg A74: German ship squeezes through narrow ice channel

The German Research Vessel Polarstern has made a remarkable circumnavigation of Antarctica’s latest mega-iceberg. It was an opportunity too good to miss for the research icebreaker, which is operated by the Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI) in Bremerhaven.

The ship sailed a complete circuit of the 1,290-sq-km (500 sq miles) frozen block, known as A74, at the weekend.

To do so, R/V Polarstern had to navigate the very narrow channel that separates A74 from the Brunt Ice Shelf – the frozen floating platform from which the berg broke two weeks ago. The vessel was already working nearby on a pre-planned expedition, so it was easy enough to divert and conduct some serendipitous science.

The EU’s Sentinel-2 satellite managed to image the ship in the process.

Read more at:  https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-56404142

K4MZU, QSL manager for VP8DCP/MM (m) and C6AMD/MM

Bob, K4MZU has just received all the logs from Buzz W3EMD (pic aside on his operation site when aboard),  for  the activity as VP8DPC/m and C6AMD/mm.

The reason he used VP8DPC/m  (instead of /MM, according to his thinking) is because he was right off shore in South Georgia territorial waters. In a way, he is correct as here in the US you can only use /MM  in international waters. «In this case,  we know he was /MM off shore from South Georgia»  said Bob K4MZU.

Buzz did operate from febr/16 – march/11 2016 aboard the Antarctic M/V Orion, cruising around South Georgia Island and the Falkland Islands.

M/V Orion  is listed on WAP-WACA Directory (under call VP8DPC/MM), therefore is valid for WAP Awards. Callsign C6AMD/MM will be add accordingly on the Directory.

QSL(s) is now to be requested through Bob K4MZU at:

ROBERT HINES,  1978 SNAPPING SHOALS RD, MC DONOUGH, GA 30252, USA

Soviet Oazis Station – Bunger Oasis Station (WAP RUS-NEW)

Starting October 15, 1956, the Soviet Union built a Scientific Station by the name of Oazis (Оазис) at the shore of the Algae (Figurnoje) Lake in the center of Bunger Lakes or Bunger Oasis’s area.  The Oazis Base located at 66° 16′ 29″ South, 100° 44′ 49″ East, consisting of two wooden houses ca. 20 m2 each and a few smaller buildings, was able to accommodate  eight people. The station was handed over by the Soviet Accademy of Sciences to Poland on January 23, 1959, and was renamed Antoni  B. Dobrowolski Station. It continued to be occupied for a few weeks only thereafter.

The still in place magnetic observatory building (“Oasis Station Observatory”), along with a plaque commemorating the establishment of Oasis Station in 1956, has been designated a Historic Site or Monument (HSM 10) following a proposal by Russia to the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting (ATCM).

WAP does not have evidence of any Ham Radio activity from there so, the Soviet Union’s  Oazis Station (aka Bunger Oasis Station) at  66° 16′ 29″ South, 100° 44′ 49″ East, remains unnumbered as WAP RUS-NEW.

Refuge Jorge Boonen Rivera (WAP CHL-NEW)

The Base,  63°33’07” South, 57°22’40”West (a small Chilean Antarctic Refuge located in Duse bay, Trinity Peninsula, Antarctic Peninsula.)  is a cabin with a machine house, bathroom and storage. It is located about 36 km away from another Chilean base, General Bernardo O’Higgins Riquelme Station (WAP CHL-Ø2) on which it heavily depends.

Currently the installation is regularly maintained by Chile, for use as an emergency shelter, allowing 8 people to survive in it for 20 days in the event of an accident. Initially it was the British “Station V”, erected as a satellite base of the “Station D” located in Hope bay (WAP GBR-Ø4).

Station D was then assigned to Uruguay in 1997 and renamed Ruperto Elichiribethy Station (WAP URY-NEW).

As part of a plan to remove or transfer abandoned facilities, in cooperation with the Antarctic Treaty System, on July 29, 1996, Station V was transferred to Chile, which renamed it General Ramon Cans Montalva Sub Base who later became Jorge Boonen Rivera.

The refuge consists of a hut enabled as a room and a second machine house, bathroom and storage. Currently the installation is regularly maintained by Chile, for use as an emergency shelter, allowing 8 people to survive in it for 20 days in the event of an accident. For this purpose, the station has an electric generator, as well as fuel, food, water and gas. In September 2005 three soldiers of the Chilean Army died in the vicinity of the Refuge, when their snowmobile fell into a crevasse.

Nuestra Señora de Loreto  enthroned  at Base Aerea Vicecomodoro Marambio

Pilots of the Argentine Air Force have a great devotion to Our Lady of Loreto, She is their patroness! Not only in Italy but the worldwide devotion of the aeronauts is something that involves the world of pilots and flight-related personnel.
Here is a testimony told by Jorge Canova, pilot of the Argentine Air Force who is sharing the image of Nuestra Señora de Loreto  enthroned at Matienzo Base during the 1970/71 Antarctic campaign.

This is the Image of Our Lady of Loreto, Patroness of the Argentine Air Force, which we had enthroned at our beloved Matienzo Base (WAP ARG-Ø1) in Antarctica. This celestial being was a witness to our efforts, our problems and the alternatives of our life in those places surrounded by ice.

Her holy imagine engraved on medals screwed on the boards of our planes accompanied us on our flights as a crew member who did not appear in the passengers’ list, but left in our hearts the evidence of his permanent presence and protection in the Antarctic skies.

Fifty years ago we had to experience two dramatic circumstances during a landing at the Petrel Naval Air Force Detachment and a take-off at the Marambio Base where our lives were in danger.

In the quiet of my home, I look back remembering those moments where four people were protagonists flying the P-03, saving our lives by the Grace of Heaven.

TNX Jorge Canova

The 18th week of Antarctic activity was successfully archived.

It was February 2004 when WAP did launch the idea of an Antarctic Activity Week. From that time, every year several Hams and Clubs, join the annual 8-day event, which purpose  is to recognize and bring attention to the scientific communities and the work they do in the Antarctic.

Here below, just some of the comments coming from participants:

From  KØANT- Antenna Club in Johnson County, Overland Park, Kansas-USA

This is the 18th year of the annual happening, and the 11th year that The Kansas Antenna Club in Johnson County has supported this event.
Club founder and call sign Trustee, Jim KB­­­ØMZF did send a message to the Club members: «Unfortunately, due to COVID-19 protocols, the Kansas City authority  has indicated that are not currently allowing groups such as ours, to conduct events in our headquarters. So, our AAW outing to there, will not be available as an activity. We are disappointed, because it has always been a fun way to share HAM radio with the public, but we do of course understand their need for that policy this year.  However, if you are a Member in good standing, you still have permission to use our KØANT Club call sign to make contacts from your home station at any time during the 8-day event.  You are invited to participate and help our Club support»

From K4A, PHILIP W FINKLE, K6EID from Marietta, Georgia-USA

Just completed this years AAW, made 696 QSOS all on digital FT4 and FT8.

Here’s my annual stats since 2007: This year we had bad solar activity for 3 days that pretty much killed most propagation.

Year      QSOs
2021      696
2020      737
2019      952
2018      457
2017      776
2016      340
2015      338
2014      545
2013      473
2012      783
2011      916
2010      635
2009      699
2008      712
2007     1101
I have already reserved K4A for 2022, said Phil!

From Volker DL8JDX, Altötting, Germany

Thanks again for organizing the AAW 2021. It was fun again working many AAW Special Event Stations. During this AAW and during this Antarctic Summer Season, I could work following stations:
12 WAP SES Stations:
EH3ANT              WAP-292
EM25VER            WAP-312
IB2ANT                WAP-308
II2ANT                 WAP-030
II5ANT                 WAP-025
II8WAP                WAP-297
IR1ANT                WAP-002
K4A                       WAP-073
LZ18ANT              WAP-311
OE18AAW           WAP-309
PF88ANT             WAP-307
TM18AAW          WAP-310

7 Antarctic/Sub-Antarctic Stations:
RI01ANT              RUS-11
LU1ZG                 ARG-06
VP8LP                 GBR-25
VP8NO                GBR-25
VP8/SQ1SGB      GBR-40
ZS7ANF              MNB-12
DP1POL              DEU-08

2 Antarctic Research Ships:
RX6A/mm           Akademik Tryoshnikov
DP0POL/mm      Polarstern
Looking forward to the next upcoming season, said Volker!

Congrats to everyone who did join the 18th AAW, and don’t forget to aplly the “free” 18th AAW Award,  available online (TNX IK3GER)
See: http://www.waponline.it/antarctic-activity-week/aaw-2021/

Nicaragua’s flag in Antarctica

Javier Ramírez had only seen penguins on TV. That changed at 34 years old, on January 24, 2021, when he arrived on Deception Island, Antarctica. Upon landing on the frozen continent, some penguins would be the hosts, an image, which added to the sensation of -12 degrees Celsius of ambient temperature, will never forget.

This 34-year-old is the first Nicaraguan at the “Gabriel de Castilla Base” (WAP ESP-Ø2), one of the two Spanish bases located on Decepción Island in the South Shetland Islands Archipelago, in Antarctica. There he saw how the Spanish military placed the flag of Nicaragua on the flagpole, along with that of Spain, a gesture that shocked him and filled him with pride.

Ramírez was part of the XXXIV Spanish Antarctic Campaign along with 17 other people, including soldiers and scientists. The mission, which is scheduled annually during the summer in that area of ​​the world, was coordinated by Dr. Manuel Berrocoso Domínguez, who has visited the continent since the first campaigns and is director of the Astronomy Laboratory of the University of Cádiz, of Spain, the place where the Nicaraguan is doing his doctorate in Computer Engineering.

Thanks and credit to : https://confidencial.com.ni/nacion/

Read the whole report at:  https://confidencial.com.ni/nacion/un-nicaraguense-en-mision-cientifica-en-la-antartida/?fbclid=IwAR0W6_PkGgIJLqqdLgQKGV3HPbl1npOw9NCRKaCRoRdSxhXOQqxH3AkK0KY

New £2 Coin to Commemorate 60th Anniversary of Antarctic Treaty

An agreement was originally signed on December 1, 1959, in Washington by the 12 nations that were active in Antarctic science at the time.
The Treaty came into force on June 23, 1961. It has since been acceded to by many other nations, and there are now 54 Parties to the Treaty.

The entry into force of the Antarctic Treaty is recognized as one of the most successful international agreements, setting an example of peaceful cooperation,  designated as a “natural reserve, devoted to peace and science”.

Now, the Pobjoy Mint is delighted to announce the release of a beautiful new £2 coin on behalf of the British Antarctic Territory to commemorate this anniversary.

The coin is offered on behalf of the Government of the British Antarctic Territory, with full recognition of Article IV of the Antarctic Treaty.

The design on the coin features a map of Antarctica with four emperor penguins standing on the land. The obverse of the coin features an effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II produced exclusively by Pobjoy Mint.

More details at: https://coinweek.com/world-coins/antarctic-treaty-60th-anniversary-commemorated-on-new-2-coin/

1925 Macmillan/Byrd Arctic Vessel WNP-WAP

Sometimes, as in this case, Arctic and Antarctica are joined together in the bound by the invisible wire of radio waves . That WNP-WAP printed on a very old QSL card intrigues me a lot.

WNT-WAP of 1925 is something rare, nothing to do with WAP (Worldwide Antarctic Program) but it is still part of the passion that join the North and South Pole. This is why such an interesting info deserves to be published. The story shown here below, recalls the commitment of men and women as well as of institutions in  exploring, studying and researching the secrets of our immeasurable planet.

We have to thank Mr. Terry Denton (carefreedentons@cox.net) who send us a QSL card which he has from the 1925 expedition.

Terry wrote: «This was in my late father’s collection. He worked in a small radio store in 1925 in Whitesboro, Texas.  The card was addressed to his boss J.C. Bass at 106 Charter Street Whitesboro, Texas.  My father would have been 17 years of age at that time and his Ham activity is summarized as follows: The American Radio Relay League Amateur  5AFD 12/7/1925 to 12/31/1926 (his old QSL card on the right), then  W5AFD 1/8/1932 to 1/7/1933 and W6KQX6 1/7/1946 to 6/7/1951. Later he was N6AHY»

Theo “Ted” Denton was born in 1908 in Whitesboro, Texas.  As a boy, like most of us, he became attracted to radio and what makes it work.  The idea of having his own station empowered him to overcome the lack of any money or materials and he became successfully licensed as 5AFD about 1923.  Like all radio amateurs of the day, he built his own equipment.

By 1928 he updated his exciter to a three stage Meissner design achieving contacts all around the U.S.  His station became well known to locals and he was talked about and bragged about.  As my grandmother relates: “Everyone who was anyone bragged about my Ted”.

By checking N6AHY on QRZ.com you can read all about Theo “Ted” Denton, a real pioneer on Ham radio. It’s always  very nice to recall our colleagues who a century ago really were pioneers.

Arctic Expedition 1925. The card was issued from contact at Etah, Greenland, but based upon the postage stamp it was mailed in Canada.

Here a bit of history: 1925 Macmillan/Byrd Arctic Vessel WNP-WAP  

The objectives supported by the Navy and the National Geographic Society were to determine the full capabilities of radio North of the auroral belt and to explore the Northern reaches by air. In the summer of 1925 the Bowdoin, captained by MacMillan led the Peary, a minesweeper enlisted as transport and captained by Zenith president Eugene F. McDonald, to a bay again near Etah in northern Greenland. Three amphibious aircraft were assembled on site and directed by Richard E. Byrd. Severely limited by weather and mechanical problems, the aircraft only accomplished some seven missions within their limited range, and did not actually fly over the pole. The outstanding accomplishment of the expedition was in the sphere of radio. Utilizing short waves, the expedition was in consistent contact with the outside world throughout the journey, to the delight of the amateurs who were able to work them. The phenomenal success proved to the Navy that short waves were definitely superior to the long and ultra long waves on which the fleets had been relying.

Etah (see pic aside) is an abandoned settlement in the Qaasuitsup municipality in northern Greenland. It was was used in the past as a base camp for several Arctic expeditions, including Knud Rasmussen’s expeditions to the northern coast of Greenland and a starting point of discovery expeditions to the North Pole.

Etah was also the landing site of the last migration of the Inuit from the Canadian Arctic. The village was located on the shores of Foulk Fjord near Reindeer Point. The huts of the former village are still standing. Today, Etah is seldom visited

Spain – Don Bosco in Antarctica as Patron of “Army Specialist Corps”

How far and wide does Don Bosco go? Certainly up to the more than 130 countries on the five continents where the Salesians are present today. What if you wanted to go even further?
Well, if we were to go to Antarctica, we’d also find a small image of Don Bosco there too. This photo was taken 15,073 kilometers from Spain as Don Bosco is present as patron of the military contingent that accompanies environmental researchers on the Antarctic Continent.

The Spanish Antarctic Station Gabriel de Castilla (latitude 62º 55’ S and longitude 60º 37’ W) WAP ESP-Ø2 is located on Deception Island, in the archipelago of the Southern Shetlands . The station is managed by the operations Bureau of the Army General Staff, which organises and directs the operation of the Station. During the the refuge “Gabriel de Castilla” was set on Deception Island, during the Spanish Antarctic campaign of 1988 and being officially inaugurated in 1989 as a military refuge to support research and topographical surveys.

Since its installation, this refuge has been managed by the Army, in close collaboration with the UTM-CSIC. In 1998 the refuge was classified as an Antarctic Station, and in 1999 as a ICTS. Since then it has undergone various periods of remodelling, the most important in the year 2009. This station is designed to carry out singular, cutting-edge scientific activities, and its results are valuable for polar research. Due to its singular nature, it is at the disposal of the national and international scientific communities, hosting studies concerning volcano monitoring, astrobiology, geology, and ecology.

According to the Spanish Military Association (AME), he is the patron saint of the Specialist Corps of the Ground Army and of the fundamental specialties of this corp: Electronics and Telecommunications, Maintenance and Assembly of Equipment, Electricity, IT, Automotive, Aircraft Maintenance, Maintenance of Weapons and Materials, Maintenance of Vehicles, Electronic and Telecommunication Maintenance, Welding, Electricity and Assembly of Equipment.

How did this initiative come about?

The first seminar on the Corps of Specialists was held at the Navacerrada Residence (Madrid) on 27 and 28 November, 1998. Among other things, the convenience and the need to have a specific Patron who could serve as an element of unity and generator of the spirit of the Corps was demonstrated; hence, for the elections, the existing traditions were reviewed and, taking care to preserve the ones with which the majority of the staff members of the Corps of Specialists identified, most having been students of the Professional Institutes, centers that very often venerated St John Bosco, On January 24, 2000, in a communication from the Army Chief of Staff,  St. John Bosco was officially designated as Patron of the Specialist Corps of the Ground Army, after his approval in the corresponding act, issued by the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, and sanctioned by Msgr. José Manuel Estepa Llaurens, then Military Ordinary of Spain.

Every year the Specialists of the Ground Army celebrate Don Bosco on February 1st.

Source: https://www.infoans.org/sezioni/notizie/item/9561-spagna-don-bosco-in-antartide-patrono-del-corpo-degli-specialisti-dell-esercito-di-terra

ZS7ANF regularly on 10115 +/- from 19:00 UTC

For those who had not yet  the luck to work Oleg, ZS7ANF from the Wolf´s Fang Runway, would be useful to know that he is almost every day in the evening hours on 10115 (+/-)  in CW.

Wolf’s Fang Runway,  WAP MNB-12,  is located at  71° 31′ South, 08° 48′ East , 1127mts  AMSL,  3000mts  long track strip on the the ice.
See  http://white-desert.com/wolfsfang-runway-logistics/ and you will get more.

Oleg ZS7ANF is expected to be also active from Whichaway Oasis Camp, WAP MNB-11 in a little while.

Thanks to Dr. Volker Strecke DL8JDX who did provide few pics of  a detail that many of the chasers  may have missed!

It is particularly worthy of note that the WhichAway Camp (built in 2010) is in the Schirmacher Oasis at the Lake Podprudnoje at  70° 45′ 49″ South, 11° 36′59″ East,   exactly at the same position where the Georg Forster Hut  (at 70°46′ South,   11°37′ East)  was until 1993.

Pictures to the Left and to the Right show how the place looked in 1989 (L) , and on the right a picture of 1991

And below, how the Whichaway Oasis Camp looks today:

TNX Dr. Volker Strecke, DL8JDX operator at:

1988-1989  Y88POL  Georg Forster Base  Schirmacher Oasis  WAP DDR-Ø1

1990-1992  Y88POL  Georg Forster Base  Schirmacher Oasis  WAP DDR-Ø1

1992-1994  DPØGVN  Neumayer II Base  Ekstroem Shelf Ice  WAP DEU-Ø2

How many people live in Antarctica?

Antarctica is the highest, driest, coldest, and windiest continent on earth. So perhaps unsurprisingly, it spent the last 35 million years in relative isolation. People only discovered Antarctica in 1820, and it took another 100 years for people to reach the pole. But,  how many people live in Antarctica now?

Antarctica has no real permanent residents — just Research Stations and Field camps staffed either seasonally or year-round. Yet in the summer season, if the weather is favorable, Antarctica usually hosts up to 5,000 people. When the summer fades into winter, many stations get completely depopulated, and the ones with a permanent mission keep much smaller crews to keep the stations running. During the wintertime, Antarctica’s population goes down to around 1,000 people.

Currently, scientists, staff, and whoever else might happen to be in Antarctica stay in one of 70 even more  Bases (40 of which are year-round). Over 30 nationalities are usually represented on the continent.

More at: https://www.zmescience.com/other/pieces/how-many-people-live-in-antarctica-and-other-things-you-wish-you-knew-about-the-frozen-continent/

An Ice Chapel … not only in Antarctica

The news reporting the build of an “Ice Chapel” outside St. Albert The Great Parish on Michigan Tech’s campus,  (see picture aside) reminds us the Ice chapel carved into the ice at the Argentine Base of Belgrano II (WAP ARG-Ø6) in Antarctica!

HOUGHTON, Mich. – On Saturday afternoon, at least 40 people gathered in a student-made ice chapel outside St. Albert The Great Parish on Michigan Tech’s campus. Every person was required to wear a mask during services.

«This is the 6th consecutive year ice masses were held with 200-250 total people attending overall». Father Ben Hasse says holding prayers in the outdoor venue is something special.

«Every year, we’ll see guests and visitors from the area» Hasse said. «Often, students will bring their parents, and we get to meet their parents. Students will bring their friends. It’s been a great opportunity to welcome people, to meet them, and to pray with them.”

Hasse looks forward to having more people at ice mass during the next winter carnival and also hopes for new architectural additions to the chapel.

Thanks and credit to: https://www.uppermichiganssource.com/2021/02/07/michigan-tech-holds-annual-ice-mass-2/

Antarctica– The Chapel of  “Nuestra Señora de las Nieves” (Our Lady of the Snows) is the southernmost place of worship in the world, 800 miles from the South Pole. It serves as a permanent Catholic church for those that reside on Belgrano II (WAP ARG-Ø6) throughout the year.  Although it’s located in Antarctica, it falls under the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Bahía Blanca in Buenos Aires,   Argentina with Guillermo José Garlatti as their Archbishop.

In 1959, the first Belgrano Base (WAP ARG-Ø5) was built by the Argentinians and included a chapel. However, the ice that the base was built on was unstable forcing them to relocate. Despite Antarctica being covered almost 98% by ice, they found ice-free land close to the original to construct a new base. Nearby the newly built Belgrano II  Base,  a system of tunnels and caves was dug out of ice that eventually included the new chapel that remains today in permanent ice. (see picture aside)

Argentina has four churches on the Icy Continent;.

Chapel of Our Lady of the Snows – Belgrano II Base, Bertrab Nunatak, built 1979
San Francisco de Asis Chapel – Esperanza Base, Hope Bay, built 1976
Chapel of Santisima Virgen de Lujan – Marambio Base, Marambio Island, built 1996
Chapel of Santa María Reina de la Paz – Villa Las Estrellas, King George Island

VP8AR Leith Harbour, South Georgia,WAP-WADA New Entry

Thanks to Mehdi F5PFP for having shown an old QSL card of VP8AR who did operate from Leith Haurbour in 1950,  WAP is happy to issue a reference number for this unreferenced Brithish station in the South Georgia islands.

Leith Harbour, Britain’s abandoned whale hunting stations is now WAP GBR-41. The New reference  will be add to WAP-WADA Directory on its next release (June 2021).

Between 1909 and 1965, the whaling station of Leith Harbour on South Georgia was one of the busiest whaling stations in the world, with more than 48,000 whales processed into oil for margarine, bone meal for fertiliser and other products. A film crew was granted access to the abandoned whaling stations, and a new BBC4 documentary shows the remains of whaling life, and the wildlife that is re-colonising Leith Harbour.

Leith Harbour whaling station and Stromness Bay, in South Georgia, is part of British overseas territory in the southern Atlantic Ocean. The station was established in 1909, and finally abandoned for good in 1965. It is now off-limits to visitors due to dangerous buildings and high levels of asbestos. At its peak Leith Harbour housed 500 men and was the biggest whaling station in the world. A steam-saw on the bone loft used for cutting up the skulls and spines of whales, which were boiled to extract oil. Up to 29 tonnes of oil could be extracted from each whale by putting its blubber, meat and bone through different industrial processes. In 1933, 37% of the fat in British margarines was from whales.
WAP has actually  no evidence that, other than VP8AR in 1950 someone else did operate Ham Radio from there. So far, it looks like no one operated from Leith Harbour after this one. (Pic aside shows an aerial view of Leith harbour)

Read more and watch the nice pics to “The Guardian” site, to which we say Thanks and credit: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/gallery/2014/jun/10/britains-whale-hunters-in-pictures

Leith Harbour WAP GBR-41 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.

Read also: https://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-27734930?piano-modal

ARA Francisco De Gurruchaga a Polar Ship  in WAP Directories

Thanks to Joe De Gasperin I2YDX a keen Dxer and Antarctic Chaser for submitting a rare and old QSL of the Polar ship ARA Francisco De Gurruchaga worked way back in jan 15th 1976. LU8ENT/MM is listed in WAP-WACA Directory under the Polar Ship section, therefore valid for WAP Awards.

A brief profile of this Polar ship:

Francisco de Gurruchaga (previous name; USS Luiseno) is an auxiliary ship of the Argentine Navy.

In service since 1975, she worked in the tasks of  support to Antarctic campaigns, and rescue. In 1976 she set out from Ushuaia to the South Shtetland Islands to rescue the crew of the sinister M/V ARA Zapiola. That same year, Francisco de Gurruchaga supported the oceanographic vessel ARA El Austral and later the ARA Diaguita, both with a waterway. During the Malvinas War she operated from the Isla de los Estados, being the protagonist of the rescue of 390 men from the sinking of the ARA General Belgrano cruiser. In 1985 she captured the Japanese fishing vessels Fuki Maru 51 and Dae-Wang, opening fire on the former for disobedience. She repeated catches in 1986 with the Chidori Marú and Ainnia fishing vessels. In 1999 she was part of the first combined exercise with the United Kingdom after the Falklands War, called “Millenium” .

In 2010 she was assigned to Ushuaia as a new seat, from there she began new functions such as search and rescue, and resupply of Control Posts and Maritime Traffic around the Isla de los Estados. In a difficult mission, she rescued the shipwrecked from the Polish sailboat Nashachata, seriously damaged in Sloggett Bay, having to withstand winds of 100 km/h and waves of 6 meters high during the operation. In December 2011 she helped injured kayakers on the Isla de Los Estados, then in May 2013, the veteran ship was again assigned to the Puerto Belgrano Naval Base, where it received important maintenance tasks.

ARA Francisco De Gurruchaga is listed  in the all major auxiliary ships transports, colliers, tankers, scientific vessels, tugs, in service with the Argentine Navy

EM25VER WAP-312. Special celebration for 25 years of Ukrainian Vernadsky Station

25 years ago, February 6th  1996, Ukraine took over the operation at Base Faraday (or Base F), WAP GBR-Ø7 of the United Kingdom which was sold by the UK for a symbolic one pound. The cost of disassembling the base with good environmental practices and standards would have been too costly.

The  National Antarctic Scientific Center of Ukraine did a great job to renew the Base which is one of the most active in Antarctica, Over there,   research programs are performed all year round in several fields:  of meteorology, upper atmospheric physics, geomagnetism, ozone, seismology, glaciology, ecology, biology and physiology .

Vernadsky Station (WAP UKR-Ø1) is located at the marine tip of Galindez Island in the group of Argentine islands of the Wilhelm Archipelago.

The base has a wonderful Orthodox Chapel inside, the St. Volodymyr Chapel (properly Grand Prince St. Vladimir, equal to the Apostles) a small Eastern church which serves the Vernadsky Research Base.

To celebrate the event,  a special callsign  EM25VER (WAP-312) has been issued and in addition, a special free digital certificate Award, “25th Anniversary of the Ukrainian Antarctic Station Akademik Vernadsky” will also be issued. It can be requested by sending an email to Pavlo Tarasovych UT1KY at ut1ky@ukr.net after having had at least one contact with EM25VER, which will be on air , all bands, all modes also during the Antarctic Activity Week.

QSL direct or via Bureau to UT1KY