2002-2022, 20 Years of International Polar Foundation

Founded by Belgian polar explorer Alain Hubert, Prof. Hugo Decleir and Prof. André Berger in 2002, the Brussels-based International Polar Foundation provides a novel interface between science and society, and was recognised by Belgian Royal Statute as a foundation for the public good in 2002. HM King Philippe is the International Polar Foundation’s honorary President.

The Foundation seeks to bring about a keener appreciation of the role of science, particularly research in the Polar Regions, through a re-examination of the planet’s interconnections, its fragility, the impact of human actions on the environment, and the evolution of millennial climate cycles.

The International Polar Foundation supports polar scientific research for the advancement of knowledge, the promotion of informed action on climate change, and the development of a sustainable society.


“We established the International Polar Foundation 20 years ago to educate the public about the importance of polar research in understanding climate change and what each individual can do to live more sustainably,” said Alain Hubert, chairman and founder of the International Polar Foundation, in a press release.

Home – International Polar Foundation

 

TNX Eddy De Busschere @ Belgian Polar Expedition Society for the commemorative special issued envelope and stamp

India will host the 10th SCAR Open Science Conference

The SCAR Open Science Conference that will take place from 1 to 10 August 2022, is SCAR’s flagship event that brings together researchers to engage with one another, exchanging the latest scientific findings in the Antarctic and the Southern Ocean while those outside of the field of research come to find out about what SCAR does in and for the Antarctic. Considering circumstances surrounding the pandemic as well as SCAR’s effort to reduce carbon footprint the organizing committee decided to move the meeting online. Following the SCAR OSC 2020 in Hobart, the OSC 2022 will be hosted in Hyderabad, India in an online format.

 

The National Centre for Polar and Ocean Research (NCPOR), an autonomous organization under the Ministry oh Earth Science (MoES), Government of India, takes pride and pleasure in hosting the 2022 SCAR Meetings. The SCAR Open Science Conference, established 20 years ago, has in many ways become the premier activity of SCAR that supports its mission to promote and facilitate international Antarctic and Southern Ocean science. These biennial meetings have become fertile ground for the exchange of the latest and highest profile Antarctic research outcomes and a place where future collaborations are born. The structure and format for the conference has evolved over the years to enhance attendees’ experiences and optimize impact. Recent global events have required innovation and a re-thinking of the delivery and format for the Conference as most of the world’s meeting places went online. At the same time, SCAR has committed to ensuring that its activities are conducted in a manner that minimizes its carbon footprint by example as a lead scientific advisor on global climate change. To this end this year’s conference will once again be online.

Check also: https://scar2022.org/registration/

Source: SCAR 2022 | Virtual

Antarctic Overwinterer Meeting at HAMRADIO 2022

Friedrichshafen , Germany, Saturday,  June 25, 2022.

Our good friend and Antarctic veteran Dr. Volker Strecke DL8JDX, has sent WAP  some nice pictures of  a great meeting held at HAMRADIO in Friedrichshafen.

There was an interesting Antarctic presentation about DPØGVN activities by Felix DL5XL, Theresa DC1TH and Andreas DL3LRM and a cool meeting of Antarctic Overwinterers..

Picture on the Right: From right to left:

Andreas, DL3LRM, DPØGVN

Theresa, DC1TH, DPØGVN

Felix, DL5XL, DPØGVN, DP1POL

Volker, DL8JDX, DPØGVN, Y88POL

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DL5XL Felix Riess (Pic on the left) during his presentation.

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TNX everyone involved and special thanks to DL8JDX Volker, for the pics

Happy Midwinter 2022 to the Antarcticians

Midwinter’s Day has been observed in Antarctica since the ‘heroic age’ of Antarctic exploration and is a highpoint in the winter season for all those who endure the extreme conditions and twenty-four-hour darkness in the name of scientific research.

On the day of the winter solstice in the Southern Hemisphere, the Sun’s vertical overhead rays progress to their northernmost position, the Tropic of Cancer (23°27′ N). Earth’s orbit around the Sun. At the June and December solstices, the Sun is overhead at the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn, respectively.

 

WAP wish all the personnel operating in the Icy Continent a wonderful and peaceful time while waiting the first sunlight  of the season and Happy Midwinter 2022  to the Antarctic chasers friends all over the world

Wishing everyone Hams a new season with more HF activity from the southern Peri & Sub Antarctic sites and the Antarctic Continent.

Almirante Brown, WAP ARG-Ø2, a rare Argentine scientific Station in Antarctica

Almirante Brown 64º 53’ South,  62º 53’ West  is an Argentine Antarctic Base (WAP ARG-Ø2)  and Scientific Research Station named after Admiral William Brown, the father of the  Argentine Navy. It is located on Sanaviron Peninsula along Paradise Harbor, Danco Coast, in Graham Land, Antarctic Peninsula.

WAP has been asked by an Antarctic Hunter’s Ham to have some information about this rare Base, in particular if this can be worked on HF in the near future. Unfortunately we have to say that year by year the Ham radio in Antarctica is getting down and it’s almost a rarity to catch someone on the classic HF modes CW/SSB, but never say never….

Brown Station  was inaugurated as a Naval Detachment on April 6, 1951, and closed in the 1959-60 campaign. Since then it was ceded to the Argentine Antarctic Institute, which reconditioned it to function as a temporary Scientific Station, restarting its activities on February 17, 1965.

As of 2014 Brown is one of 13 research Bases in Antarctica operated by Argentina. From 1951 to 1984 it served as a permanent base; since then it is open during the summer season only.

Not so many Ham radio activities has been made from this Base so that Brown remains one of the most rare Argentine Base sto log . WAP-WACA Directory has only 3 stations operating from  Almirante Brown listed as WAP ARG-Ø2:

LU1ZB 1970

LU1ZE 1970 through 2007

LU/FT5YJ by Mehdi F5PFP who did operate from there on 1st & 2nd march 2009

See also: Almirante Brown, Argentine Station at Paradise Bay – W.A.P. (waponline.it)

Huts of Casey

Alan Lee, is a very sympathetic person who spent some summer campaign in Antarctica. Al is  also the director of Alinga Constructions Pty Ltd which was incorporated in 1996 and still operates to the present day.

Al’s favorite part of his job at Casey Base (WAP AUS-Ø2) is getting a smile from the expeditioners when they see and experience the finished product.

While describing his Casey experience, Al said: Working in the red shed, the smell of the bread baking always has my mouth water. The hiss of the ski slicing across the snow, sometimes the smell of sea side salty fresh air drifting in, as I travel around the ski loop. From penguin pass in the early evening, as the light slips away and the stars begin to twinkle, Casey/our home beacons, it’s cosy, friendly, there’s a warm dinner waiting and inside things to do. Let’s go then.  

We are often asked how we spend our free time, and do we get out and about from the station. The answer is yes we do! As much as time and weather allows. One of the best activities is to go to one of four huts in our station operating area. The four huts are in order from north to south: Jack’s, Wilkes, Robbo’s and Browning’s.

 

All these Huts & Refuges are listed in WAP-WADA Antarctic Directory, the most complete book WW to have surveyed all (or almost all) the Antarctic, Sub Antarctic and Peri Antarctic sites, such as Bases, Cammps, Huts, Shelters and Refuges. WAP-WADA Directory is updated twice a year.

Everyone can download the WAP-WADA Directory from: http://www.waponline.it/wap-awards_download-rules/wap-wada__wap-waca_directories/, it’s free! 

 

Jack’s Donga

Jack’s is the smallest and sits on a rocky outcrop overlooking the Swain Island group. The hut sleeps four, and is very snug fit. It also has a detached toilet with a great view which often blizzes in with snow. Jack’s is about 16km by GPS route and is a perfect vantage point to watch the sunrise and sunset.

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Wilkes Hilton

Wilkes Hilton (Picture to the Right) is the oldest hut in our area and comes with the heritage of being originally part of the US Station before Australia took it over in 1959. The huts lies across Newcomb Bay from Casey and is about 10km by GPS route. The hut is the old radio shack, is by far the biggest hut and sleeps eight. The hut also still has a pot belly stove which makes it quite comfortable to stay in.

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Robinson Ridge Hut

Robbo’s (pic to the Left) is the only hut with a deck which makes it hard to beat on a nice day. It overlooks Sparkes Bay and Odbert Island which has one of the area’s largest Adélie penguin colony. It sleeps 5–6 and is about 18km from Casey to the south.

 

 

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Browning Peninsula Hut

Browning’s is the furthest of our huts at about 60km from station by GPS route. The area around Browning’s is spectacular with lots of hills, rocks and lakes. The area is also where we find elephant seals at different times of year. The hut can sleep 6 but the table is really made for 4 or 5 so it’s quite a squeeze, but it works.

 

TNX  Alan Lee, from Perth, Western Australia for sharing his experience  and for the pics of the Casey Huts/Refuges.

Source: This week at Casey: 16 August 2019 – Australian Antarctic Program (antarctica.gov.au)

 

Thanks Alan Lee and credit to  Australian Antarctic Program

16th Giacomo Bove Day, tribute to the italian explorer

Giacomo Bove (23 April 1852 – 9 August 1887) was an Italian explorer. He sailed with Adolf Erik Nordenskiold on the first voyage through the North-East passage, and later explored Tierra del Fuego . Giacomo Bove was born in Maranzana, Asti, Piedmont, on 23 April 1852 to Francesco Bove and Antonia Garbarino. He was the eldest of five brothers. His family owned a vineyard and made wine for sale. He went to primary school in Maranzana and then in Acqui Terme, before being admitted to the Naval Academy in Genoa. He graduated with honors, and was able to serve as a midshipman on the scientific expedition of the Governolo to the Far East.       

June 16th 2022 at 17,00 local (15,00 UTC)
Online seminar

Giacomo Bove. Research of the Northwest Passage, by Maria Teresa Scarrone

Scientific research carried out during the Vega expedition, by Salvatore Puro

If anybody wish to join, please send the request to info@giacomobove.it  to get a reservation

June 19th at Maranzana (Asti) Italy,

The Municipality of Maranzana, the Province of Asti, the Giacomo Bove House’s Museum, UNI-ASTISS University, Higher studies Pole, with the patronage of the Piedmont Region, present

1852-2022: 170th ANNIVERSARY of the birth of Giacomo Bove

Program:

10.30 – Free guided tour of the Giacomo Bove House’s  Museum

2.45 pm – Meeting at the “La Maranzana” winery

Tribute to the explorer’s tomb

Conferences at the “LA MARANZANA” Social Winery

Introduction: Sergio Conti,  Professor Emeritus of the State University of Turin

Insights on: Giacomo Bove: Man and Explorer

Prof. Francesco Scalfari , Anthropologist, President of UNIASTISS

VEGA SHIP Model Presentation / Features by Gian Mario Regge-Medical Doctor

Followed by a toast party, offered by the winery “La Maranzana

New german Stamp with Antarctic theme

At June 2, 2022 the german Deutsche Post did issue a new stamp in the series “For Environmental Protection” with an Antarctic motive and the respective message: Protecting Unique Things Together. Environmental protection, as an abstract concept, is strongly associated with the protection of scenically outstanding areas and unique animal species. Antarctica, a natural ecosystem still largely unaffected by man, is virtually emblematic of these two aspects: It has outstanding aesthetic value, but is very obviously affected by climate change. At the same time, many characteristic and iconic animal species are native to Antarctica and depend on this unique habitat.

One species that represents Antarctica and its fragile balance like no other is the emperor penguin. It is therefore at the center of the stamp motif. It is still represented in strong populations, but scientists can already foresee that the emperor penguin will become an endangered species in the next few years – especially due to the effects of climate change: It depends on stable sea ice to breed. Moreover, if the sea ice disappears too soon, the young will not have enough time to develop waterproof plumage and risk drowning. Like other Antarctic species, the emperor penguin is also threatened by fishing and other human interventions.

These new Antarctic stamps, a first day cover and a decorative Antarctic leaflet can be ordered online.

See:

https://www.deutsche-briefmarken-zeitung.de/2022/06/02/neuheiten-juni-2022-umwelt-und-politik-medizin-und-luftaufnahmen/

https://shop.deutschepost.de/antarktis-gemeinsam-einzigartiges-schuetzen-briefmarke-zu-0-85-plus-0-40-eur-10er-bogen

https://shop.deutschepost.de/ersttagsbrief-mit-dem-plus-fuer-den-umweltschutz-antarktis-gemeinsam-einzigartiges-erleben

https://shop.deutschepost.de/schmuckblatt-antarktis

TNX Dr. Volker Strecke, DL8JDX

Too many names for a unique site? Chilean Refuge (s) near Gabriel Gonzáles Videla Antarctic Base

Chile’s Gonzales Videla Antarctic Base (WAP CHL-Ø6) is located at Waterboat Point, the low westernmost termination of the peninsula between Paradise Harbot and Andvoy Bay on the west coast of Graham Land. This feature has “island” characteristics, but it is only separated from the mainland at high water and it’s more usefully described as a “point”.

Now there is a Refuge, maybe more than one in the vicinity, but there is a bit of confusion about its name. WAP did try to have an help on this matter by the Chileam Antarctic Institute, INACH – Instituto Antártico Chileno but so far nothing is comng.

Going back to the name of this or these refuges or shelters we found:

Gabriel González Videla Refuge,  built in 1950 near the Gabriel González Videla Base(WAP CHL-Ø6). It  was designated as Antarctica Historic Site and Monument in 1972 as HSM-30 under the proposal of Chile.

Paradise Harbor shelter erected in 1950 near the Chilean base “Gabriel Gonzalez Videla” to honor Gabriel Gonzalez Videla, the first head of state to visit the Antarctic. The shelter is a representative example of pre-IGY activity and constitutes an important national commemoration. 64° 49′ 00 ″ South,  62° 51′ 00 ″ West.

Evidently,  Gabriel González Videla Refuge and Paradise Harbor shelter  are the same  site with two different names.  They are not yet listed on WAP-WADA Directory.

Another one, not listed on WAP-WADA Directory,  is  Refuge Casa de Botes (aka Waterboat Point Hut)

The coast in this vicinity was first roughly surveyed by the Belgian Antarctic Expedition in 1898. The point was surveyed and given its name by Thomas W. Bagshawe and Maxime C. Lester who lived here, in a Hut improvised from a water boat, from January 1921 until January 1922. Although only the base of the boat, foundations of doorposts and an outline of the hut and extension still exist,

Refuge Casa de Botes (aka Waterboat Point Hut), is found at 64º 49′ 25″ South,  62º 51′ 26″ West,  Danco Coast, Antarctic Peninsula. This Hut, situated close to the Chilean station President Gabriel Gonzáles Videla (WAP CHL-Ø6) was occupied by the UK two-man expedition of Thomas W. Bagshawe and Maxime C. Lester in 1921-22. At the beginning, only the base of the boat, foundations of doorposts, an outline of the hut and extension did exist. The remains and immediate environs have been designated a Historic Site or Monument (HSM 56),  following a proposal by Chile and the United Kingdom to the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting. Chile and UK Parties undertaking management. Original proposing Party:

atcm35_ww003_e.pdf (ats.aq)  Siti e monumenti storici in Antartide – Historic Sites and Monuments in Antarctica – www.no-regime.com

Time ago, WAP did receive a postcard, clearly showing Casa de Bote Hut, near Gabriel Gonzáles Videla Base. At the light of what discovered and reported , we are still asking which one of those mentioned above, could be the one shown on the picture. Not certainly Waterboat Point Hut coinsidering that documents say: “only foundations of doorposts, an outline of the hut and extension did exist. The remains and immediate environs have been designated a Historic Site or Monument (HSM 56)

WAP will be grateful if someone can help us to solve this issue, while, in any case both HSM-30 and HSM-56 Huts will be shortly listed on WAP Direcotry under WAP CHL-NEW

Just to complete de puzzle, there is another Casa de bote Hut in Antarctica but this belongs to Argentina! Casa de Bote Marambio Hut (Marambio Boat house)  see http://www.waponline.it/?s=Casa+de+Botes

The history of Dragon of Valparaiso, and the first landing on Antarctic Peninsula

INACH is a technical body dependent on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs with full autonomy in everything related to Antarctic affairs and one of its missions is to encourage the development of scientific, technological and innovation research in Antarctica, the strengthening of Magallanes as a gateway of entry to the White Continent and promote knowledge of Antarctic matters to citizens.

On last weekend  of May 2022, about two hundred people, the vast majority with their families, visited the Chilean Antarctic Institute (INACH) in front of the Benjamín Muñoz Gamero Plaza de Armas in Punta Arenas, as part of the activity held on Saturday 28 for Heritage Day. A great cultural festival that was celebrated at a national level and that brought together various public and private institutions.

For this opportunity, the Polar Institute delivered one copy per family of the children’s book “The Adventures of Isa and Miguel: The Dragon of Valparaíso discovers Antarctica” after delivery of a drawing related to the White Continent made with free technique. Some boys and girls with great enthusiasm attended with their drawing in hand to make the exchange for the story and in other cases they sat with their mothers and fathers at the tables that were set up to draw. When they finished, the participants could paste their works on the entrance door of the INACH building.

Read more at: Magellanic families learned about the history of the Dragon of Valparaíso and the first landing on the Antarctic Peninsula – INACH

Thanks and credit to INACH

India’s role in North & South Pole

The Government of India tabled The Indian Antarctic Bill, 2022 on the floor of the Lok Sabha on last April 1, 2022. (The Lok Sabha, constitutionally the House of the People, is the lower house of India’s bicameral Parliament,)

The Bill is introduced to “provide for the national measures for protecting the Antarctic environment and dependent and associated ecosystems and to give effect to the Antarctic Treaty, the Convention on the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources and to the Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto”.

While the Lok Sabha has passed the Bill, it will now be tabled in the Council of the States for passing.

India signed the Antarctic Treaty on August 19, 1983, and was soon granted the observer status on September 12, 1983. The protocol entered into force for India on January 14, 1998. India has active research stations Maitri (WAP IND-Ø3) at Schirmacher Hills, Bharati (WAP IND-Ø4) at Larsemann Hills as well as Himadri station in the Arctic — and it now belongs to the elite group of nations that have multiple research stations within the Polar Region.

Though there is no Arctic Bill, for the simple reason that there is no Arctic Treaty, India did roll out its Arctic Policy in January 2021. There are currently five states from Asia that enjoy the status of ‘Observer’ in the Arctic Council. These states are China, Japan, India, South Korea and Singapore, and all of them joined the Arctic Council in 2013.

 

Indian Antarctic Bill 2022: Key Points 

1-The Bill passed by the Lok Sabha earlier this month seeks to protect the Antarctic environment, and also regulate activities in the region.
2-The provisions will apply to any person, vessel or aircraft part of an Indian expedition to Antarctica under a permit issued under the Bill.
3-There will be a central committee on Antarctic Governance and Environmental Protection, which will be chaired by the secretary, Earth Sciences, and have 10 members, not below the rank of joint secretary, from ministries and organisations such as defence, external affairs, National Centre for Polar and Ocean Research, and National Security Council Secretariat. Two experts from Antarctic environment and geo-political fields will also be part of the panel that will grant permits for various activities, implement and ensure compliance of relevant international laws for protection of Antarctic environment, and negotiate fees/charges with other parties for activities in Antarctica, among other functions.

4-The Bill prohibits nuclear explosion or disposal of radioactive wastes in Antarctica, introduction of non-sterile soil, and discharge of garbage, plastic or other substances into the sea that are harmful to the marine environment.
5-The Bill specifies penalties for violation of its provisions.

Read more at: What Is Indian Antarctic Bill 2022 And What Its Provisions Aim To Achieve In North And South Poles (abplive.com)

Long night begins: Antarctica goes dark as the Sun sets for four months

During the long winter, no supplies or people can be flown in and the high altitude causes the crew to experience chronic hypobaric hypoxia or lack of oxygen in the brain.
After months of preparation, a crew of 12 scientists, explorers, and staff at Europe’s Concordia Research Station in Antarctica (WAP MNB-Ø3) are braced for long winter nights as Antarctica goes dark for four months. The Antarctic night and the winter will be a goldmine for research as the European Space Agency (ESA) commences living and working in isolation for six months on the frigid continent.

The penultimate sunset at Concordia research station marked the beginning of the long night, where no sunlight will be seen on the continent as it submerges in complete darkness. ESA said that medical doctor Hannes Hagson and his crew are ready, “finally embarking on their ‘real’ mission in Antarctica: living and working in isolation for six months in the name of spaceflight research.”
While the world experiences four major seasons, Antarctica has just two, summers and winters as it remains covered in thick ice. The region has six months of daylight in its summer and six months of darkness in its winter.

Read more at: https://www.indiatoday.in/science/story/long-night-begins-antarctica-goes-dark-as-the-sun-sets-for-four-months-1949938-2022-05-16
TNX Bhagwati Prasad Semwal (VU3BPZ ,Ex-AT10BP & 8T2BH)

The Italian-French outpost Concordia is located 3233 m above sea level where temperatures can drop to –80°C in the complete frozen darkness outside.  This image above, was taken by Hannes Hagson on 3 May. The last full sunset took place the day after but appeared only as a thin sliver in the sky.

For this reason, Hannes is facilitating biomedical experiments on himself and his crewmates to understand how humans cope with living in extreme isolation. From sleep studies to gut health measurements to mindful practices, the crew are poked and prodded to help researchers understand and overcome the challenges extreme environments, like space, pose to present and future explorers.

Follow Hannes during his winter-over on the Chronicles from Concordia blog.

 TNX Volker Strecke DL8JDX

I/B ‘Laura Bassi’ is back home after 6 months in Antarctica

The mission of the I/B Laura Bassi (ex I/B Ernest Shackleton) , owned by the Italian  National Institute of Oceanography and Applied Geophysics (OGS), began on October 21st, 2021 when she left the port of Ravenna-Italy to reach Lyttelton in New Zealand after about 40 days of navigation.

Before leaving for Antarctica, the research vessel completed the loading of supplies and  material:  about 30 containers, and fuel, about 300 cubic meters, embarking 25 people including technicians and researchers of the PNRA, and 21 sailors of the ship crew, then she did head to Mario  Zucchelli Station (WAP ITA-Ø1)

I/B Reserach Vessel  Laura Bassi, did complete all the experiments and researches on the Antarctic waters before sayling home.

Today, after 42 days of navigation,  I/B Laura Bassi, which set sail from the port of Lytttleton on  April 11th 2022, arrived at the home port of Ravenna Italy where personnel will start downloading the scientific samples of the PNRA projects.

15-16th May 2022, Antarctic Lunar Eclipse

The first Lunar Eclipse of the year occurred a week ago, so stargazers were glued to their telescopes.  This Lunar Eclipse did occur shortly after the year’s first partial solar eclipse. Around the world, millions of people saw this week’s lunar eclipse. Only a handful saw it from Antarctica.

On May 15th, Thomas Leps tooks a break to go outside and photograph the lunar eclipse  from the geographic South Pole.  Leps operates the international BICEP array at the Amundsen–Scott South Pole Station (WAP USA-36). “We examine the polarization of the cosmic microwave background to look for evidence of gravity waves and primordial black holes in the early universe,” he explains.

“I was taking a time-lapse of the eclipse, but my camera shut off in the cold, the temperature was about -80F with 15 knots of wind” says Leps. “When I got it running again, a very bright aurora appeared in a single band across the entire sky, intersecting the Milky Way and passing over the eclipsed moon. I set up my camera as quickly as I could. Setting the camera can be tricky at these temperatures because the rear screen tends to freeze up after a little over a minute outside. In this case it all came together to make a great picture to remember the day by when I’m up North again.”

Source: http://www.spaceweather.com

TNX Dr. Volker Strecke DL8JDX

Aimee Sharpe VK2ANT,  going to visit Antarctica in memory of his father John Sharpe (VK2FR)

Aimee Sharpe, is the daughter of John Sharpe VK2FR (aka VK2ANT) (picture aside).
She recently sent WAP a touched mail : «I want to thank you for the beautiful post you did after my father died. It meant a lot to me and to know how much he was loved and respected in the HAM radio community, and especially WAP  &  Antarctica»
VK2FR passed away on, january 12,  2021 at the age of 65 ,  (see http://www.waponline.it/john-sidney-sharp-vk2fr-sk/)  and his memory always alive among us, Antarctic followers!

Aimee Sharpe, would like to keep his father’s  call sign VK2ANT (WAP-232) and this decision make us at WAP, very proud and happy!

Aimee wrote: «My father’s original call sign VK2FR has recently been taken over by a new person, which I didn’t realize and I am so upset. It is my fault though, I didn’t see the emails to renew. So now  I want to make sure I can keep VK2ANT .

I am also travelling to Antarctica from 4 – 13 January 2023 to scatter my father’s ashes in the sea. He always wanted to visit Antarctica together but we didn’t get to do this, so I will be going there in his memory to honor him»

What a noble gesture!

Aimee said: «I will be in the Antarctic Peninsula and South Shetland Islands (King George, Deception and Half Moon) so I am hoping to visit some of the bases in this area that he made contact with.».

She would like to get  in touch with some Hams at the Bases down there.  It would be an honor to meet and introduce myself to some of the Antarctic HAMS – she said- and eventually anyone interested to know more  or maybe  wishing to contact me can send me a mail (aimee.el.sharpe@gmail.com.

Aimee  said that the plan  is very exciting: « I can’t wait to see Antarctica. It will be an emotional experience, but very meaningful and I know my dad will be there with me in spirit. It will depend on the weather as to which islands/bays we can stop at, but potentially British Port Lockroy, Chinese Great Wall, Argentine Esperanza and Argentine Almirante Brown. However this is a very loose plan that may change. I think I will just have to be flexible and see when we get there».

VK2ANT Aimee Sharpe hope this post on WAP website  will help start some conversations with Hams,  so anyone who knew my dad John or who will be in Antarctica during January could be able to contact me and arrange for a meeting.

John Sharpe’s logbook  have been  downloaded as an .adi file for anyone interested can pay a visit (Check ADI File Extension – What is an .adi file and how do I open it? (fileinfo.com))

TNX Aimee Sharpe VK2ANT for sending us some pics of his father John, a great Ham who we will never forget!

Anzhelika Hanchuk, meteorologist, carrying out vital climate research in Antarctica

A Ukrainian scientist has told Sky News of her heartbreak at leaving behind loved ones in a war zone while she carries out vital climate research 10,000 miles away in Antarctica.

Anzhelika Hanchuk, a meteorologist, is part of a 12-strong team of scientists and support staff who will spend the next year on the country’s remote Vernadsky Research Base (WAP UKR-Ø1)

During the fast-approaching Antarctic winter, the base is cut off from the outside world by thick sea ice, with no route in or out. Communication with friends and family back home is limited.

“Sometimes when nobody sees I can cry a little bit at how I miss them,” she said. “When you go far away and your family is in a country with war, it really breaks your heart.

Thanks and credit to Sky News. Read more at: Ukrainian scientist tells of heartbreak at leaving family behind in war zone to carry out vital climate research in Antarctica | Climate News | Sky News

EM1U is the Club Station callsign at  Antarctic Station Academik  Vernadsky, on  Galindez Isl.. Last active from there (February  to April 2022) has been Sergiy UT9UX

Ice shards in Antarctic clouds let more solar energy reach Earth’s surface

Clouds come in myriad shapes, sizes and types, which control their effects on climate. New research led by the University of Washington shows that the splintering of frozen liquid droplets to form ice shards inside Southern Ocean clouds dramatically affects the clouds’ ability to reflect sunlight back to space.

The paper, published in AGU Advances, shows that including this ice-splintering process improves the ability of high-resolution global models to simulate clouds over the Southern Ocean — and thus the models’ ability to simulate Earth’s climate. The research was funded by the US. National Science Foundation

“There’s much of interest in this paper, not only the surprising effect of ice splintering on clouds but the combination of high-res modeling with real-world data from satellites and an airplane,” said Eric DeWeaver, a program director in NSF’s Division of Atmospheric and Geospace Sciences “It will be interesting to see what more happens with this toolkit.”

Thanks and credit NSF (US. National Science Foundation)
Read more at: Ice shards in Antarctic clouds let more solar energy reach Earth’s surface | NSF – National Science Foundation

HD9A/CE8 Punta Arenas Chile- WAP CHL-13

In Febr. 2014,  Josè V Jaramillo (HC3TAC) has been active for 2 days from Punta Arenas-Chile  (8 & 9 february 2014).

Josè made not so many QSO operating SSB from there and according to him, he was not familiar in QSLing. Some of the friends did ask suggestions and info to WAP, on how to get this card.

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We have been lucky to catch Jose HC3TAC in Italy so we organized the best way to confirm the contacts with those OM  who made QSO with him when he was down South.

That was a great goal and today,  Gus OE3SGA has finally received the card!

Gus wrote:

«Many thanks for your info abt Josè HC3TAC. Today received the QSL that I was wait since 2014 … »

Sincerely ,Gus OE3SGA

TNX to  Jose V Jaramillo (HC3TAC-HD9A/CE8) for having  been so kind!

Hidden undreground water reservoir discovered in Antarctica

Scientists have for the first time managed to get a glimpse of a vast reserve of water hiding under the Antarctic ice sheet.

In what could be a game-changing discovery, scientists have detected vast quantities of water hiding in the sediments beneath an Antarctic ice stream that could boost our understanding of how it might affect sea levels across the world. The new discovery confirms what researchers had already suspected.
The Team managed to image just one such ice stream on the frigid world, but suspect there are many more that can shed light on how the system works and how it changes over time in response to climate.

Electromagnetic techniques have been used to image shallow groundwater in the upper 100 to 200 meters (328 to 656 feet) beneath some thin glaciers and permanently frozen areas. This time the Team used the technology to measure about 800 meters at the Whillans Ice Stream. “This technique typically hasn’t been used in polar environments.

Read more at: https://www.indiatoday.in/science/story/water-reserve-hiding-under-antarctica-discovered-enough-to-submerge-statue-of-unity-1946162-2022-05-06

1957-58, Fuchs-Hillary expedition

Sir Vivian Ernest Fuchs (11 February 1908 – 11 November 1999) was an English  explorer.  Fuchs is best known as the leader of the Commonwealth Trans-Antarctic Expedition, a Commonwealth-sponsored expedition that completed the first overland crossing of Antarctica via the South Pole in 1958

Planning for the expedition began in 1953, and envisioned the use of Snow Cat tractors to cross the continent in 100 days, starting at the Weddell Sea, ending at the Ross Sea, and crossing theSouth Pole.

Fuchs and his party arrived in Antarctica in January 1957 after camp had been set up. The party departed from Shackleton Base on 24 November 1957. During the trek, a variety of scientific data were collected from seismic soundings and gravimeteric readings. Scientists established the thickness of ice at the pole, and the existence of a land mass beneath the ice. On 2 March 1958, Fuchs and company completed the 100-day trip by reaching Scott Base, having travelled 2,158 miles.

In 1958, Fuchs was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II.  He co-wrote, with Sir Edmund Hillary The Crossing of Antarctica. In 1959 he was awarded the Hans Edge Medal by the Royal Danish Geographical Society.

The Commonwealth Trans-Antarctic Expedition (CTAE) of 1955–1958 was the first expedition to reach the South Pole overland for 46 years, preceded only by Amundsen’s expedition and Scott’s expedition in 1911 and 1912.

Read more at: Sir Vivian ‘Bunny’ Fuchs · CAPTAIN ANTARCTICA

The Liebig cards,  italian edition “L’ANTARTICO” 

Something interesting about Antarctica,  are certainly the illustrated cards which has become a rarity for collectors. The “fashion” of advertising one’s products spread by giving buyers different types of gadgets has been followed a lot and the Liebig cards are a typical  example.

A friend, sent WAP a set of small illustrated cards with Antarctica theme. We made some investigation and discovered that this one,  came out in 1936 published by Liebig. This company, did print  1871 series of small cards with different subjects, most of which consisted of six juxtaposed images. This collection of advertising trading cards consists of the colored lithographed cards found on the packaging of the products. The production of these cards started in 1870 and ended in 1975, spanning more than 11,000 different types of cards. The last lithographed series were released in 1939, but series were edited and reproduced through the 1970s. The cards were divided into subjects that nearly always made up a set of six or twelve.

The series of cards were produced in multiple countries, therefore the cards can be found in a multitude of languages. Belgium, France, United Kingdom, Spain, Germany, and Italy are just some of the countries in which these were produced.

Birth and history of Liebig cards

Liebig cards originate around the middle of the 19th century. In this period in France the “fashion” of advertising one’s products spread by giving buyers different types of gadgets – mostly of the cards, were printed in black and white or in color using the lithographic technique.

Usually these stickers represent the most varied scenes and at the same time promote a certain product, either directly in the cartoon, or on the back with written or direct advertising messages. At that time, very few companies could afford such a form of advertising. Baron Justus Von Liebig chooses to adopt the small cards system himself to promote his meat extract, first giving them to customers and then distributing them through a real point collection.

On the rear side of each of this cards, there is the description of the subject, do we have:
Erebus and Terror vulcanoes and elephant seals

Crushing of the ice at Cape Crozier

Icebergs in the Weddell Sea and Weddell seals

The Devil glacier

Cockburn Island

Cape Renard to the Bay of Flanders

TNX Mr. Polato of the Salesian School in the town of Lombriasco –Turin, Italy-

Professor Arif Herekar the first ever  Pakistani to camp on the Antarctic Continent

Professor Arif Herekar,  Professor of Neurology together with excelling in his professional duties is a passionate traveller and globe trotter. He happens to be one of the few Pakistanis to step on to the Antarctic soil, probably the only Pakistani certified as an Antarctic naval seal camping on the Antarctic continent has made this beautiful country Pakistan proud by hoisting the national flag on the Antarctic soil.

These achievements were made during his coveted expedition with a group of Polar explorers between the end of year 2015 and first week of year 2016.

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April 25th World Penguin Day

While on April 25th the world  celebrates the penguins, it’s also a time to think about saving them. Many penguin colonies have been lost to climate change and it’s estimated that half the population of emperor penguins will vanish by the end of this century.

Penguins are some of the most adorable, lovable and impressive creatures in the animal kingdom, so why not dedicate a day to these flightless birds?

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World Penguin Day is a celebratory and educative initiative that encourages people to learn more about penguins and their environment, how important they are to our ecosystems and the threats they face. Interested in learning more about this day?

Read more at:  It’s World Penguin Day! » Explorersweb

HamSphere, a virtual way to be on air … also from Antarctica!

WAP has recently got a  mail from Frank, FØDUW :

Hello, congratulation for your WAP website. I am on HamSphere 4.0 and we have Antarctica operators but this is virtual via internet. If you know an operator in antarctica who like to be on HamSphere 4.0 please give him the information.

73 de Frank FØDUW who was FT3/FØDUW on French Antarctica

The QSLs attached to the mail (see pictures  aside) did capture my attention, there were Antarctic QSLs for calls we never heard on the air!

So, I did ask Frank FØDUW more information about, and here is the answer:

Only amateur radio operator with a call sign can work a remote on HamSphere 4.

The TX and antenna are for exemple, located in Antarctica but the operator is, for exemple, in Paris. The propagation in Antarctica will be the same of real Amateur Radio. We have dirctional antenna and 100 watts.

Operators who are on HS like 14HS10 they can also work from Antarctica with  RM1 call sign. (See the picture). So this is virtual but realy like amateur radio. Just no need to travel on the frozen Continent!

73, Frank FØDUW

We personally didn’t know that,  and now we understood that HamSphere is a subscription-based internet service which simulates Amteur Radio communication over the Internet as designed by Kelly Lindman, 5B4AIT.

The simulator allows licensed radio amateurs and unlicensed enthusiasts to communicate with one another using a simulated ionosphere.

The system allows realistic worldwide connections between amateur radio operators as well as radio enthusiasts. In general it is similar to otherVoIP applications (such as Skype), but with the unique addition of characteristics such as channel selection by tuning, modulation, noise effects and shortwave propagation simulation.

We did also ask Mario Fontanella IK4HAQ (ex IK3HAQ) about a strange QSL, forwarded us by Frank FDUW.  Mario, kindly reply  with his comment:

I used to live in Venice, when I was IK3HAQ.  Now I live in Bologna and, there is no way to  install antennas from this QTH, I have been looking for solutions to keep my passion for radio communications active and I found HamSphere,  a web platform that simulates the HF propagation conditions according to the VOACAP indications, allowing radio amateurs and “radio enthusiasts” to get practice to listening to and virtually,  connecting other stations present, both physically and /or remotely, in various locations around the world.

These activities are not connected to the real Ham radio activity. Hamsphere is a system that uses Internet to connect to radio equipment through the ionosphere. It’s only a simulation, even if very well done.

Among the various active virtual stations,  there are some that operate remotely from the (simulated) positions of the Antarctic Bases and/or  the Antarctic islands.

It is, -I repeat-  only a simulation, not a real communications, therefore they are not valid for purposes such as Awards or recognition from the radio world, but only among the participants of the Hamsphere platform.

73’s Mario Fontanella IK4HAQ (ex IK3HAQ)

To our understanding and convinction, Ham Radio should not be a trick or a virtual game; a real DX contact, a real QSO especially with Antarctica must be struggled and perhaps suffered with a real radio, with a real antenna and not only with a PC or the desire to feel himself a virtual OM!

A motto says: The world is beautiful because it is varied!  OK…  varied, not spoiled!

India’s 35-year-old research station Maitri needs urgent upgrades

India has two operational research stations at the South Pole: Maitri (WAP IND-Ø3) and Bharati (WAP IND-Ø4).

Dakshin Gangotri (WAP IND-Ø1), the first station built before 1985, is now operating as a base transit camp mainly for supplying goods.

One of India’s research stations in Antarctica, Maitri, which has been operational for over 35 years, needs urgent upgradation, work towards which is being done by the National Centre for Polar and Ocean Research (NCPOR), Mirza Javed Beg, the centre’s Director said.

Every year, NCPOR-coordinated voyages with Indian scientists, meteorologists and researchers are sent to Antarctica. They spend anywhere between a month and a year across seasons gathering in-situ samples, maintaining equipment and taking up other scientific activities.

“There is an urgent need for the revamping of the Maitri station, which is more than 35 years old. The NCPOR is focusing on the same” Beg told The Indian Express via email, on the occasion of Earth Day which is observed on April 22.

Built during 1988-1989 to operate for a period of ten years, Maitri is an important Station that allows scientists to collect geological, meteorological and geophysical data. This data is useful in understanding and drawing timely inferences about climate change and other scientific areas. Thus, continuing its operations holds key.

According to the proposed plan by the Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES), the process of identifying a more favourbale and an environment-friendly site is underway. Once the revamping of the station is complete, it will be a green facility capable of housing more scientists, both during summer and winter. With harsh weather and greater research possibilities needing international collaborations, Beg said that building the third research station was not viable.

Read more at: India’s 35-year-old research station in Antarctica needs urgent upgrades, says polar centre’s director | Cities News,The Indian Express

Antartida Argentina Plaque  by DX Trophy, issued to DL8JDX

Volker Strecke DL8JDX has just received the Antartida Argentina Plaque and the RG6ØANT special QSL Card on the occasion of the 60th Anniversary of the Antarctic Treaty entering into force.
Volker (Ex-Callsigns: DM3LTG, Y43UG, Y24LN, Y88POL, DPØGF, DPØGVN) is happy to share this great achievement with the Antarctic hunters!

TNX to DL8JDX  & Oleg UA6GG @ DX Trophy!

 

Argentine Antarctica is a part of Antarctica claimed by Argentina  as part of its national territory. This claim overlaps with British and Chilean claims in Antarctica.

Argentine Antarctica is a department of the Province of Tierra del Fuego, Antarctica and South Atlantic Islands.

The Argentine exploration to the continent started early in the 20th Century. José María Sobral was the first Argentine to set foot on Antarctica in 1901. He spent  two seasons with the Swedish Antarctic Expedition of Doctor Otto Nordenskiöld.

In 1904, the Orcadas Base was fully working. Years later other bases were made. The first Argentine expedition to reach the South Pole was the 1965 Operación 90.

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Argentine actions in Antarctica are coordinated by the Instituto Antartico Argentino

LU1ZD Base General San Martin (WAP ARG-Ø8) “On Air”

Carlos Almirón (LU7DSY) informs that Claudio Daniel Karner LU3DCK, actually on board of I/B Almirante Irizar will plan to operate from Friday 15 april,   to monday 18 april 2022,  at the Argentine Base Gen. San Martin, WAP ARG-Ø8.

 

Here the message from Carlos LU7DSY:
From friday to Monday, Antarctic Base General San Martín  (LU1ZD)  will be on the air operated by Claudio Karner LU3DCK, one of the crew members of the ARA Icebreaker “Almirante Irizar” that will make a 4 day stop at the base.

The icebreaker ARA “Almirante Irizar”, which is sailing in the Antarctic Continent, plans to anchor in the next few hours in front of  San Martin Base. From there, by helicopter and landing craft, the personnel will go to the base facilities.

Argentine Base San Martin  is located on Barry Islet (68º 07′ South, 67º 08′ West), in the heart of the Antarctic Peninsula.  Barry Islet (Sanaviron Cove, Mottet Pass) is part of the Debenham Islets (Margarita Bay, Fallieres Coast), located near the Bellinhaussen Sea. Operation will last until Monday 18 inclusive.

TNX Carlos Almirón, LU7DSY.

40 years ago “Idus de Marzo”  sailed Antarctica. A nice Diploma is available to Hams

This year, 2022,  marks  the 40th Anniversary of the first Spanish expedition to Antarctica, carried out aboard the schooner “Idus de Marzo”, organized with the aim of ensuring that Spain meets the requirements for joining the Antarctic Treaty as a full member.

Over more than 10,000 miles, the schooner –which officially left the port of Candás (Asturias) on December 15, 1982–  did  travel through the islands of the Antarctic Peninsula, visiting its Scientific Bases, ending its journey in Punta Arenas (Chile), on March 29, 1983, although the “Idus de March” did not touch Cadiz, Spanish, until June 8, 1983.

Just one contact with EA1FDD is sufficient to get the Commemorative Award (See pic above), which has to be requested through qsl@limaoscar.com .   This diploma, which reflects the first mobile maritime QSL in its background, aims to be a memory of those who made the journey possible.

TNX Gabry IK1NEG

A brief story:

The Ides de Marzo  is a schooner that carried the first Spanish scientific expedition to the Antarctic Continent. On December 14, 1982, the schooner departed from the port of Candàs,Asturias, initially with a crew of eight members at the head of which was Captain Javier Babé and Santiago Cañedo, who had the presence of a journalist and two biologists. After stops in Vigo, Las Palmas and Tenerife, from where they sailed south.

On February 20, Ides de Marzo  arrived in Punta Arenas, a port where eight other expeditionaries embarked. After stocking up the schooner left for Puerto Williams in Tierra del Fuego,  then passed through Cape Horn and Drake Passage, arriving on March 4 at the South Shetland Islands in Antarctica. The schooner toured other places on the continent such as Deception Island, Yankee Bay, Foster Bay, visiting several Polar Bases.

The expedition also suffered the meteorological rigors that were expected in an area with a climate as harsh as the Antarctic, having to face winds of great intensity and vague sea, after traveling more than 17,000 miles, touched land in the port of Cadiz on June 9, 1983.

Read more at: The varied odyssey of the schooner Idus de Marzo | Spanish Geographical Society (sge.org)

Polar Philately – A recall of “Scotia” and it’s Antarctic epic

An old copy of “Il Collezionista”  an Italian  Philatelic Magazine  (Jan. 1967) reports a bit of story of the famous  Ship Scotia  which was depicted on a stamp issued by the  Falkland Islands,  Scotia was also depicted on two stamps issued by the British Antarctic Territory.

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Scotia was a barque ( built in 1872 as the Norwegian whaler Hekla). She was purchased in 1902 by William Speirs Bruce, a natural scientist and former medical student from University of Edinburg who organised and led  the Scottish National Antarctic Expedition (SNAE) from 1902 to1904 on board of Scotia which  was refitted as a research vessel for that specific use.

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Scotia sailed on 2 November 1902 for the Antarctic. She arrived at the Falkland islands on 6 January 1903,  She then sailed to Laurie island, South Orkneys where she arrived on 25 March.

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Scotia overwintered in Scotia Bay where she was frozen in for eight months. She departed for the Falkland Islands on 27 November en route for Buenos Aires, Argentina where she underwent a refit. Scotia returned to Laurie Island on 14 February 1904, sailing eight days later for the Weddel Sea. She departed from the Antarctic on 21 March. Calling at Saint Helena in June, she arrived at Millport, Cumbrae, Ayrishire on 21 July, and was escorted by a number of ships to her final destination of  Gourock Renfrewshire.

After the expedition, Scotia served as a sealer, patrol vessel and collier, she was destroyed by fire in January 1916.

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TNX Gabry IK1NEG

Captain Fliess Refuge, WAP ARG-NEW

Captain Fliess Refuge (64°50’41” South, 62°31’48” West) is an Argentine Refuge in Antarctica located in Neko Harbour in the Andvord Bay on the Danco Coast, on western side of the Antarctic Peninsula. The refuge was opened on April 4, 1949 and it is managed by the Argentine Navy.

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It was inaugurated together with the Penguin Observatory and the Rescue Station under the name of Refugio Neko. His name pays tribute to the Lieutenant of the ship Felipe Fleiss of the Corvette Uruguay who rescued the Swedish Antarctic Expedition headed by the polar explorer  Otto Nordenskjold (1901-1904).

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It has been enabled and supplied by the icebreaker ARA Almirante Irizar and the ship ARA Bahía Aguirre in various Antarctic campaigns.

The refuge was destroyed by a storm in 2009, was then rebuilt in 2011 during the 2011-2012 Antarctic summer campaign.

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Maintenance, repair and conservation of facilities were carried out to be used as support for scientific research.
WAP has no evidence of any Ham radio activity from Captain Fliess Refuge, therefore this site remain unnumbered.

Another Great Goal by the Russian Robinson Club

On WAP website, we are normally reporting about Antarctica, but today, we wish to join our friend Yuri Zaruba UA9OBA, President of the Russian Robinson Club, to express our thanks to the operators involved in such an hard and dangerous operation at Rykacheva Island in the Arctic.

The Russian Robinson Club  has often been active from many Antarctic sites as well,  and the wonderful QSLs received, show the stories of this exceptional Club and their professional Ham radio operators.

The polar snowmobile expedition R15ØWS from the “Legends of the Arctic”, which activated the rare Rykachev Island in the Kara Sea, finished at the end of March in the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug. The expedition was dedicated to the 15Øth Anniversary of the creation of the Russian Weather Service

The Team,  included Igor Znamensky UA9KDF (Tarko-Sale, YNAO), Andrey Korobeinikov UA9LDD (Tyumen), Andrey Moiseev UAØBA (Norilsk), Viktor Kuzyakin RWØBG (Norilsk), Alexey Bystrov RT9K (Dudinka) and Andrey Prudnikov RT9K (Surgut) did travel 2980 km on snowmobiles to the island and back. During four days of work on air R15ØWS made 5635 QSOs. Of these: CW – 3294, SSB – 1323, FT8 – 1018, 20m – 2878, 30m – 609, 40m – 489, 15m – 570, 12m – 8, 17m – 1072.

69 Countries WW were worked , a real great goal!

On the Island,  a commemorative plaque was installed as a perennial recall of  Mikhail Aleksandrovich Rykachev, Director of the main geophysical observatory, in honor of the 150th anniversary of the creation of the Russian weather service,

The route of the expedition was difficult and ran through the snows of Yamal and Taimyr, frozen rivers and lakes, and the ice of the Kara Sea. Temperatures was -30*C and below. The Team spent the night in the tundra and on the ice, piercing wind while riding snowmobiles. Victor Kuzyakin RWØ0BG got frostbite of fingers of the second degree, Andrey Moiseev UAØBA fell on the ice from a snowfield, split his helmet as a result of a concussion and a bruise sternum. Traveler Aleksey Bystrov was injured on the way home, 150 km from Sopochnaya Karga. They, together with Andrei Korobeinikov UA9LDD, fell into a ravine, managed to jump off the snowmobiles, but Alexei was hit by an overturned sled. As a result, the shoulder joint was knocked out, a fracture of the humerus. In this state, he drove for almost 200 km more. Now Aleksey is in a hospital in Dudinka. We wish him  a speedy recovery! Brave guys!

Congratulations to the polar “Russian Robinsons” on completing the expedition and returning home. We will wait for the creation of a documentary about how the extreme journey “Legends of the Arctic 2022” took place.

73! Yuri Zaruba UA9OBA,

President of the Russian Robinson Club

TNX Oleg UA6GG for sending the story and pictures of this expedition!

Macquarie: A remote home renovation is underway

Australian Antarctic Division (AAD) has completed a massive resupply of Macquarie Island research station following two weeks of intense efforts by RSV Nuyina and station teams.

AAD Strategic Infrastructure Manager Adrian Young said good weather had been the helping hand needed get the job done. 350 tonnes of cargo has been delivered to renovate the station.

Macquarie Island Station (WAP AUS-Ø8) is 74 years old. Buildings will be modified, some decommissioned while field huts will be fixed up. Getting supplies onto the Island is a tricky task.

The overall renovation will include:

-Consolidating the station area and reducing the total number of buildings on the island from the existing 48 buildings

-Renovating core buildings in the station to ensure ongoing year-round operation of station and field-based research activities

-Decommissioning older redundant buildings

-Refurbishing three of the six field huts

-Assessing ways of protecting the station from ocean inundation

-Removing asbestos from all buildings.

More cargo, including new fuel tanks, will need to be delivered in the years ahead. A new Team of expeditioners now has the keys to the Station.

Read more at: Macquarie Island research station modernisation – Australian Antarctic Program (antarctica.gov.au)

Uruguay and Spain, jointly in Antarctica

The scientific projects have completed their tasks, and the equipment from Spain used by researchers who have come from that Country, to whom we offer our cooperation in terms of accommodation and use of facilities, given its volume and weight, must return to their country by sea transport.

For this reason, the Oceanographic vessel “Hesperides” belonging to the Spanish Navy, has come to collect this scientific equipments on the eve of returning to their Country.
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Thanks to Instituto Antarctico Uruguayo for sharing images of the operation in conjunction with the staff of the Artigas Antarctic Scientific Base (WAP URY-Ø1)

Unprecedent  heatwave in Antarctica

This event is completely unprecedented and upended our expectations about the Antarctic climate system,’ one expert said

The average high temperature in Vostok Station (WAP RUS-14)— at the center of the eastern ice sheet — is around minus-63 (minus-53 Celsius) in March. But on Friday, the temperature leaped to zero (minus-17.7 Celsius), the warmest it’s been there during March since record keeping began 65 years ago. It broke the previous monthly record by a staggering 27 degrees (15 Celsius).

“In about 65 record years in Vostok Station, between March and October, values ​​above -30°C were never observed,” wrote Di Battista in an email.

Vostok, a Russian meteorological observatory, is about 808 miles from the South Pole and sits 11,444 feet above sea level. It’s famous for holding the lowest temperature ever observed on Earth: minus-128.6 degrees (minus-89.2 Celsius), set on July 21, 1983.

Eastern Antarctica’s Concordia Research Station (WAP MNB-Ø2), operated by France and Italy and about 350 miles from Vostok, climbed to 10 degrees (minus-12.2 Celsius), its highest temperature on record for any month of the year. Average high temperatures in March are around minus-56 (minus-48.7 Celsius).

Read more at: Un’anomala ondata di caldo in Antartide – Il Post

Māori May Have Reached Antarctica 1,000 Years Before Europeans

The Journal of The Royal Society of New Zealand published a paper by scientists from the University of Otago proving that New Zealand’s original inhabitants, the Maori, discovered Antarctica at least a thousand years before Europeans arrived there in the early 19th century. For this sensational conclusion, New Zealand researchers have studied Aboriginal oral history, as well as all sorts of documents and reports published by various organizations that do not have common academic or commercial channels. It turns out that the Polynesian leader Hui Te Rangior, together with his team, swam into the waters of the Antarctic back in the 7th century and, perhaps, was the first person to set foot on the White Continent.

Read more at:  https://thetimeshub.in/battle-for-antarctica-why-scientists-believe-that-the-apocalypse-may-break-out-on-the-white-continent

and  Battle for Antarctica. Why scientists believe that the Apocalypse may break out on the white continent – The Times Hub

Base T.Te Matienzo (WAP ARG-Ø1),  Happy 61 years!

This scientific station, is one of the Argentinean transient Bases on the white continent. Its name is in honor of Benjamín Matienzo, a pioneer of Argentine aviation. In 2009 it became the only Argentine base to have been inhabited exclusively by women.

Base  T.Te Benjamin Matienzo  (WAP ARG-Ø1) is located at 64° 58’ South and 60° 08’ West, in the Larsen Nunatak, belonging to the Foca group, on the eastern side of the Peninsula on the Weddell Sea, 186 km southwest of Marambio Base (WAP ARG-21), from where all personnel and cargo transfers are currently made.

The area where the Base is located, was immersed in the Larsen “A” Ice Shelf, completely disintegrated in 1995. Since then, with annual variations, wide sea surfaces with debris and floating icebergs have been exposed.  The facilities of the Base occupy a discontinuous strip of about 300 meters in length, at the eastern and narrower end of the nunatak. It was inaugurated on March 15, 1961, located on the old San Antonio Refuge. 

It was the first Antarctic detachment created jointly between the Argentinean  Army and the Air Force, becoming totally dependent on the latter in 1964, with the new name of Teniente Matienzo Air Base, maintaining an endowment of two single-engine Beaver aircraft, operating from the glacier adjacent to the nunatak.

Various scientific activities and historical events of international significance were developed at Matienzo. Extensive meteorological and climatological observation programmes were carried out; the glaciological status of the Matienzo-Esperanza route and the coastal channel between Robertson Island to the South was studied; topographic and aerophotographic surveys of the Larsen Ice Shelf were carried out as well.

Pic to the Left,  shows an old  QSL of LU1ZAB  dated 1961, the year of the inauguration of Matienzo Base (TNX LU2YH)

In 1965, two Argentine Gamma Centauro rockets, of national manufacture, were launched along with two balloons probes from Matienzo for X-ray measurement. They moved to the place by means of a transport plane piloted by Commander Mario Luis Olezza. That operation, placed Argentina not only among the small number of countries that built rockets in the 1960s for scientific research, but also carried out launches from Antarctica.

In addition, that same year the Matienzo Base constituted the first stop and the fulcrum of Operation South, the first Argentine Transpolar Flight. Four years later, it was also the base of operations for the creation of the Marambio Base.

In 1972,  Matienzo was deactivated as a permanent station and since then it was reopened during most of the summer campaigns to perform tasks of flight support, maintenance of facilities, refueling, meteorological observation and support for scientific activity.

In Matienzo,  there is an Antarctic Museum, that has been restored in 2018 and exhibits objects, Antarctic accessories and photographs that recall the history of the base.

In the Antarctic Summer Campaign 2008/2009, Matienzo’s staff was made up entirely of women from the Air Force, constituting a historical fact in Antarctica.

The last reopening of Matienzo was during the  2018 Antarctic Summer Campaign, being operated by a group of ten people, including military and civilians of the Air Force, fulfilling various tasks of maintenance of the facilities and preservation of the environment.

LU1ZAB  on air …

After more than 10 years of being inactive, LU1ZAB Matienzo  Ham radio Station was activated, which even provided services, as in the old days, for private communications between crew members and their families.
Pic aside  and below shows a couple of the last QSLs of LU1ZAB  dated  1970 & 1996 (TNX I1UP & I1HYW )

LU1ZAB service, was used as a bridge to make the first radio contacts, later expanded through the phone-patch service, linking  the radio equipment with the telephone line, through the Marambio Base.

Thus, the service focuses on the use of radio, in HF bands,  historically provided by amateur radio stations could be used directly by those who carry out tasks in Antarctica, as was done so many times in the past.

LU1ZAB amateur radio station’s set up,   had several antennas, which allowed testing capabilities and performance, one of the essential functions of this alternative communication service.

Antarctic Activity Week 2022- Comments and sidelines of the19th AAW

23 Special Event Stations did join the 19th edition of the International Antarctic Activity Week that last february 2022, has celebrated Antarctica.

Bands conditions were very strange  with atmospherical background noise,  and short DX openings on 10, 15 and 20 mts. 40 meters was the most usable band.

Here below some notes from lucky and unlucky participants:

 

From Cap. Eduardo Abril de Fontcuberta EA4GKV/EO4HAG WAP-242

«I am sorry to tell you that my wife is ill from COVID, not just positive, and I am quarantined.

I won’t be able to reliably operate the 2022, AAW.

Now I am more or less ok but I expect that to change very soon just as it happened with my wife».
Eduardo EA4GKV (pic aside) is now feeling better and we hope to have him aboard next week!

From Alex OE3DMA/OE19AAW WAP-341

Some results of the OE19AAW activity:

«814 QSOs on 3 bands. – 160, 80 and 17 meters. Unfortunatelly a series of storms killed my antenna system, a few days before start.  Even the Activity Week was stormy itself.

The rotator is broken, the ultrabeam UB-50 is broken (again), so I was only able to use 17 meters with the ultrabeam. The dipole did well. I made most contacts on 80 and 160 meters. I missed 40 meters this time, so the QSO rates were much lower than usual.

From Gianni I1HYW/IR1ANT WAP ØØ2

Nearly 750 QSOs on 20 & 40 mts.

From 18,00 UTC , 14MHz were practically dead even if some short but nice openings allowed QSOs with  USA, Alaska and Australia. Most of the contacts has been made within Europe.  Lots of Scandinavian stations ( OH, LA and SM as well as ES and YL)  are on the log.

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From the other side, many of the participants have already got the special online free Award to recall the 19th AAW, issued by Paolo IK3GER that, in spite of the misfortune that struck him for the loss of his wife, he dedicated his time to make and send the diploma to many Hams who did request it.

TNX Paolo IK3GER

Lt.Danilo Collino IZ1KHY visit the “Chapel of the Snows” at US  McMurdo Station (WAP USA-22)

Thanks to Lt.Danilo Collino IZ1KHY who was recently involved in the 37th Italian Antarctic Season (October 2021 trough February 2022), we have got some recent pictures of the “Chapel of the Snow”, the church been visited by Danilo on his brief stay at McMurdo Station (WAP USA-22).

Situated at the end of town, McMurdo Station’s small, blue and white “Chapel of the Snows” stands out against the comparatively drab shipping container-like structures surrounding it. Visitors who step inside the wooden building enter a cozy sanctuary, complete with shelves full of hymnals, musical instruments at the back of the room, and a stained glass window above the pulpit. Other than the black and white penguin embedded in the stained glass, it looks much like any small church around the world.

Chaplain Arthur “Tom” Paine said: “This multi-denominational  chapel is for everybody. Months-long deployments away from home can be difficult for many, and the station’s chapel is there to provide a place for people to find personal support and guidance if they need it.”

Knowing the campaign that Gianni I1HYW together with the friends of WAP is conducting about a small chapel to be built at the Italian Base MZS (WAP-ITA-Ø1) , Danilo IZ1KHY found the time to take some photos, outside and inside of the “Chapel of the Snows”. Today we have the pleasure to share this holy site with the readers of our Antarctic site.

We still hope that some day, also the italians at MZS can find a site for a Chapel   … we have been suggesting it for over 20 years!

 

TNX Lt.Danilo Collino IZ1KHY

Endurance: Shackleton’s lost ship has been  found in Antarctic waters

The Icebreaker SA Agulhas II left Cape Town on 5 February, but the search with a mini-submarine began on the 17th, already in the Weddell Sea. In the final stretch of the expedition (on Friday they announced that they could not stay more than six days in the area), it has worked!

More than a century after its sinking, a scientific expedition “Endurance22” has found the remains of the shipwreck of the Antarctic Explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton (1874-1922), the “Endurance”.

The ship was crushed by sea-ice and sank in 1915, forcing Shackleton and his men to make an astonishing escape on foot and in small boats.

Video of the remains show Endurance to be in remarkable condition, even though it has been sitting in 3km (10,000ft) of water for over a century, it looks just like it did on the November day it went down.

A team of adventurers, marine archaeologists and technicians located the wreck at the bottom of the Weddell Sea, east of the Antarctic Peninsula, using undersea drones. Battling sea ice and freezing temperatures, the team had been searching for more than two weeks in a 150-square-mile area around where the ship went down in 1915. The lost vessel was found at the weekend at the bottom of the Weddell Sea. Scientists have filmed the greatest ever undiscovered shipwrecks 107 years after it sank.

Mensun Bound, the expedition’s exploration director and a marine archaeologist who has discovered many shipwrecks, said that Endurance was the finest he had ever seen. It is upright, clear of the seabed and “in a brilliant state of preservation,” he said.

Pic on the Left shows as the stern of Endurance looked in dry dock in 1914 before departure to Antarctica

Under the terms of the Antarctic Treaty, the six-decade-old pact intended to protect the region, the wreck is considered a historical monument. The submersibles did not touch it; the images and scans will be used as the basis for educational materials and museum exhibits. A documentary is planned, as well.

The Weddell Sea still remains far icier than other Antarctic waters, though in recent years ice conditions have been lighter than usual. That was the situation this year, and it helped the expedition reach the search site more easily and remain there safely. The icebreaker, Agulhas II, left the search area on Tuesday for the 11-day voyage back to Cape Town.

In addition to the expedition Team, several ice researchers were on board, including Stefanie Arndt of the Alfred Wegener Institute in Germany.

Below are some link to see about Endurance and its founding in the Antarctic Weddel Sea:
Thanks and credit to: https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-60662541

and to: https://www.nytimes.com/2022/03/09/climate/endurance-wreck-found-shackleton.html?fbclid=IwAR03NXFgZoHIllyZ4XxmYlisFM25BKpqAkuqwd4R5zQoIVukZL9y2SXIJQ4

and to: https://endurance22.org/expedition-blog

Pics on the links above, are from Falklands Maritime Heritage Trust / National Geographic

Happy International Women’s Day from King Edward Point (WAP GBR-24)

KEP  (King EdwardPoint WAP GBR-24)  is funded by Government of South Georgia & the South Sandwich Islands & run by BAS. Together, they  carry out critical marine and fisheries research to help manage the South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands Marine Protected Area, and the sustainable fisheries in the area.

Becky (station Doctor), Meghan (Fisheries Scientist), Kate (Higher Predator Scientist), Vicky (South Georgia Heritage Trust Senior Museum Assistant), Sally (GSGSSI Invasive Plant team) and Sarah (Station Leader) make up half of the fantastic KEP team this season.

Antarctic Search for Meteorites program (ANSMET)

The Antarctic Search for Meteorites program (ANSMET) is a US-led field-based science project that recovers meteorite specimens from Antarctica. Since 1976 we have recovered more than 22,000 specimens from meteorite stranding surfaces along the Transantarctic Mountains. These specimens are a reliable, continuous source of new, non-microscopic extraterrestrial material and support thousands of scientists from around the globs as they seek essential “ground-truth” concerning the materials that make up the asteroids, planets and other bodies of our solar system. The study of ANSMET meteorites has greatly extended our knowledge of the materials and conditions in the primeval nebula from which our solar system was born, revealed the complex and exotic geologic nature of asteroids, and proved, against the conventional wisdom, that some specimens represent planetary materials, delivered to us from the Moon and Mars, free of charge.

300,000 meteorites are hiding across Antarctica as per a  “Treasure map” created by artificial intelligence.
Although meteorites are known to fall all over the world, the environment and unique processes in Antarctica make them somewhat easier to find on the pristine, snowy landscape. Still, collecting meteorites in  Antarctica is physically grueling and hazardous work.
Recently published “Universe Today”‘,  the study has been conducted by scientists from the Delft University of Technology in The Netherlands
Read amore at :
https://www.wionews.com/science/30000-meteorites-are-hiding-across-antarctica-as-per-this-treasure-map-created-by-artificial-intelligence-451559

and also at:  https://www.sciencealert.com/treasure-map-predicts-the-hiding-places-of-300-000-meteorites-across-antarctica

FAST SEAS RISE BECAUSE OF MELTING ANTARCTICA’S ICE

A Team of Thirty-two scientists are sailing to “the place in the world that’s the hardest to get to” so they can better figure out how much and how fast seas will rise because of global warming eating away at Antarctica’s ice.
The Team did start a more than two-month mission aboard an American research ship to investigate the crucial area where the massive but melting Thwaites glacier faces the Amundsen Sea and may eventually lose large amounts of ice because of warm water. The Florida-sized glacier has gotten the nickname the “doomsday glacier” because of how much ice it has and how much seas could rise if it all melts — more than two feet (65 centimeters) over hundreds of years.
Because of its importance, the United States and the United Kingdom are in the midst of a joint $50 million mission to study Thwaites, the widest glacier in the world by land and sea. Not near any of the continent’s research stations, Thwaites is on Antarctica’s western half, east of the jutting Antarctic Peninsula, which used to be the area scientists worried most about.

Thwaites is putting about 50 billion tons of ice into the water a year. The British Antarctic Survey says the glacier is responsible for four percent of global sea rise, and the conditions leading to it to lose more ice are accelerating, University of Colorado ice scientist Ted Scambos said from the McMurdo land station last month.
Read more at: Scientists set out to explore Thwaites glacier to find out how fast seas will rise because of melting Antarctica’s ice (firstpost.com)

Untold Stories of Antarctica by UKAHT

Marking International Women’s Day, Antarctic experts will share extraordinary untold stories from the icy continent’s past. Join UK Antarctic Heritage Trust on Tuesday 8th March for Untold Stories of Antarctica

Shining a light on the tales of women who have broken the ice ceiling of Antarctic science and exploration, they will offer new perspectives on the history of human endeavour in the region, and ask why their narratives and achievements have been largely overlooked and under reported until now.

Morag Seag, a PhD candidate at the University of Cambridge, will  tell  the story of women’s integration into Antarctic field science in the mid-twentieth century.  Amelia Urry, also a PhD candidate at the University of Cambridge, will share stories of the women behind Antarctic mapping in the 1950s.

Antarctica in Sight: Live is a series of online talks, bringing together explorers, scientists, artists and historians with a unique understanding of the icy continent. Antarctica In Sight: Live will delve into the lesser-known stories from Antarctica’s past, discuss the major technological innovations of the present, and look ahead to the continent’s role in the future of our planet

Read more at: UKAHT – Antarctica In Sight: Live! | Talks Series

German postage stamp newspaper – Deutsche Briefmarken-Zeitung

Deutsche Briefmarken-Zeitung (DBZ) is a German philatelic trade journal that has been published since 1925 .On February issue of DBZ,  Harald Kuhl, DL1AX has pubblished an interesting article about the summer italian Station WAP ITA-Ø1, MZS (named after Mario Zucchelli) in Antarctica, from which has recently operated  Lt. Danilo Collino IAØ/IZ1KHY .

The article includes a copy of Danilo’s QSL and the stamp  dedicated to the Italian scientist Mario Zucchelli (1944 – 2003), for years a reference figure for the Italian Antarctic Program.

Issued by TAAF (Terres Australes et Antarctiques Françaises)  in 2019   the stamp  did  celebrate the important contribution of Mario Zucchelli  to the realization of the French-Italian Concordia Station (WAP MNB-Ø3), depicted in the stamp along with the portrait of Zucchelli on a tricolor background.

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In addition, DBZ magazine shows the special stamps issued to recall  on the 100st Anniversary of the death of Ernest Shackleton who, at age of 47, made a final mission to Antarctica, but would sadly pass away on the island of South Georgia on January 4th, 1922.

January 4th, 2022 did mark 100 years since his passing.

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TNX Volker DL8JDX

Turkey  Sientific Research Base (WAP TUR-NEW) on  Horseshoe Island.

Daily Sabah, reports that a Team of Turkish researchers begin work in Antarctica. On Monday Febr. 14th, they did launch field studies  as part of Turkey’s sixth National Antarctic Science Expedition.
The team arrived on Horseshoe Island (67°49’40” South, 67°12’08” West), where a temporary Turkish science base is located on the world’s coldest continent, and will move on to Dismal Island where a Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) station operated by Turkey is located.

The 20 strong Team reached the island following a 21 days journey, including a weeklong sail from Chile, as they left Istanbul late last January to conduct scientific research. The team carrying over 2 tons of logistics materials has already begun their fieldwork.

More at: https://www.dailysabah.com/turkey/turkish-researchers-begin-work-in-antarctica/news

According to the evidence received, Turkey  Scientific Research Base (67°49’40” South, 67°12’08” West) on Horseshoe Island will enter pm WAP-WADA Directory as WAP TUR-NEW.

CALLING ANTARCTICA 2022 , a free diploma for the 19th AAW by IK3GER

Every year, in the month of February, a special radio activity called ‘ANTARCTIC ACTIVITY WEEK ‘ take places on the Ham radio bands. This year, the 19th AAW will be held from February 21st to the 27th, 2022.

Our good friend Paolo Corsetti IK3GER from Venice Italy, has set a free diploma which available to OM and SWL at the end of the Event.  Just few very simple rules have to be followed as shown below:

All WAP (WORLDWIDE ANTARCTIC PROGRAM) stations have a special WAP reference number that will be passed during the QSO. This reference must be included for each QSO in the WAP Ref. column of your application form.

The diploma is issued to OM/SWL in 2 classes:

  1. Basic” minimum of 5 QSO/HRD with different WAP references,
  2. First Class” 10 or more QSO/HRD with different WAP references.

Only QSO/HRD made between February 21st and 27th, 2022 are valid for this diploma.

Hams may download the application form in Excel here

QSL cards are not needed. Endorsement is available for band and mode. The award is free, and sent out via email as a PDF file (JPG on request). Send your application via email to the award manager IK3GER, Paolo, at  corsetti.paolo@libero.it

EXAMPLE OF APPLICATION can be found on the pdf file here aside –> Rules for Diploma AAW 2022

N.B. – WAP reference is mandatory in your application

TNX Paolo IK3GER

Antarctic Activity Week on the French HamLab

While the 19th edition of the just started  Antarctic Activity Week is involving thousands of radio amateurs looking for the several Special Event Stations that are active this whole week on the Ham bands ,    Yoann Daniel F4IGV,   the founding President and webmaster  of HamLab Association in France, has just pubblish an article for promote  this year’s edition of the Antarctic Activity Week on HamLab  website. See:  https://hamlab.eu/19th-antarctic-activity-weekend/

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Pay a visit, it’s a very interesting page which can eventually be translated in your own language by using the availability of Google translator.  HamLab website (www.hamlab.eu ) is  very attractive, a great source of informations for Hams.

TNX F4IGV

ARGENTINA ANTARCTICA DAY

February 22; next Tuesday, is the “Argentina Antarctica Day” and marks the 118th Anniversary of Argentina’s uninterrupted presence in Antarctica.

On that day,  in 1904, the Argentine flag waved for the first time on Laurie Island in the Orkney Islands group, where the Orkney Base (WAP ARG-15) currently operates.

Marambio Foundation writes: «Argentina Antarctica Day was instituted by Law No. 20,827/74, on February 22 of each year, determining that on that day,  the Argentine national flag will be hoisted to the top in the public buildings of the Nation and acts alluding to our inalienable rights of sovereignty over Argentine Antarctica in all educational institutions.

More information on February 22 – Argentine Antarctica Day, at:  www.marambio.aq/es/diaantartida2022redes.html

Marambio Foundations www.marambio.aq/redessociales.html –  Pay a visit to: www.marambio.aq

Several years ago, almost all the Argentine Bases in Antarctica, used to be on air on Febr. 22nd to celebrate the National event and a special QSL-Award used to be issued to the Hams who made contact with this Bases. Above one of this QSL-Award issud on 22 febr. 1983 for a contact with LU1ZG at Base General Belgrano II (WAP ARG-Ø6)

In conjunction with Argentina Antarctica Day, WAP is yearly running the Antarctic Activity  Week, an international event,  now in its 19th edition which will be held in the week from 21 to 27 February 2022.

See: http://www.waponline.it/antarctic-activity-week/aaw-2022/

Join us and enjoy Antarctica

K4A joining  the Antarctic Activity Week 2022

The 19th edition of the Antarctic Activity Week launched by WAP (Worldwide Antarctic Program) in the year 2002, is almost ready to start. The official date this year will be 21 to 27 February 2022. So far, 21 Special Event Stations have confirmed their participation to the 2022 edition of the AAW .

Congrats to Phil Finkle K6EID from Marietta GA, USA for being one of the most present Ham into the Antarctica Activity Week with his special call K4A WAP-Ø73, since the beginning.

First licensed as KN6EID in October 1957 while residing in Burbank, California,  Phil was upgraded to Extra Class in May 1984 (at Long Beach FCC Field Office before VECs started).

Here’s Phil AAW annual stats for K4A

2021, 696 QSOS all on digital FT4 and FT8

2020, 737 QSOs

2019, 952 QSOs

2018, 457 QSOs

2017, 776 QSOs

2016, 340 QSOs

2015, 338 QSOs

2014, 545 QSOs

2013, 473 QSOs

2012, 783 QSOs

2011, 916 QSOs

2010, 635 QSOs

2009, 699 QSOs

2008, 712 QSOs

2007, 1101 QSOs

The Worldwide Antarctic Program (sponsor of WAP Antarctic awards) assigned Phil the special WAP-Ø73 which is eligible for WAP awards during this operation.  Phil has a special QSL available for those making a QSO with K4A during those AAW periods, which have to be requested  via the bureau  or direct  to K6EID home address: Philip W. Finkle, 3353 Forest Creek Dr, Marietta, GA 30064 USA, with SASE, current IRC, or two green stamps for direct return.

Phil will shortly 82! WAP wish him a great happy Birthday

TNX Phil K6EID