The structure of the chapel is made of steel and is used for Catholic worship by the various Argentine staff members at the station (as well as visitors). The chapel has a bell tower and a cross. In the chapel there is a replica of the Virgin of Luján solemnly moved from her sanctuary in Buenos Aires before its inauguration.
It was blessed and inaugurated on April 15, 1996 by Norberto Eugenio Martina, a military bishop of Argentina, on whom the Argentine Antarctic chaplain depends. Currently the chapel at Orcadas Base (WAP ARG-15) is the southernmost Catholic temple in Argentina, and one of the southernmost on the planet.
The first Holy Mass of the Catholic Church, celebrated in Antarctica, was officiated by Jesuit Felipe Lérida on February 20th , 1946 right here in the at Stella Maris chapel at the Orcadas del Sud Observatory. An 8-meter cross was erected and on that occasion, and a communication by telegraph., was set to tsend a message to the Pope Pio XII in Rome. More infos about the Argentine Chapels in Antarctica can be seen at: https://es.aleteia.org/2015/07/31/conoce-las-capillas-catolicas-de-la-antartida/
For the first time in 20 years, an Italian Air Force aircraft landed on the frozen pack in Antarctica to support the Italian 2019-2020 research campaign of the National Research Program (PNRA) on the Icy Continent , after the collaboration agreement signed between the Armed Forces and the ENEA (National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development) to ensure air transport to the XXXV Italian Antarctic Expedition.
A C-130J military transport aircraft of the 46th Air Force Pisa Air Brigade, landed on the ice pack with crews trained to operate in extreme climatic and environmental conditions, for example on icy slopes (landing on the pack), was deployed in Antarctica for the transport of passengers and materials according to the needs represented by ENEA, guaranteeing air connections between Christchurch airport, in New Zealand and Antarctica, both at the Italian Station “Mario Zucchelli” (WAP ITA-Ø1) at Terra Nova Bay and at the US station of McMurdo (WAP USA-22).
Speaking about the 46th Air Force Pisa Air Brigade, WAP cannot forget the wonderful hospitality, we did receive from the Base Commander and his personnel when, on the year 2009 a group of Antarctic enthusiasts led by IK2IWU Carlo and some friends of Cameri Air Force, went to visit Pisa Air Force Base and operate from there a special callsign II5AM (WAP-160) in the frame of the 6th Antarctic Activity Week. We awarded the Base Commanders with WAP certificates in sign of our long friendship.
We still greatly thanks Gen. Vincenzo Camporini of the Italian Air Force Chief of Staff who did grant the permission for this amazing experience!
TNX IK2IWU, IZ1GJK, IK1GPG & IK1QFM and ARI Mondovì
Antarctica is actually in full swing; Reserchers in transit to the Icy Continent, others already in site, and others that are preparing to reach the Bases of destination. It is normal that program can change as well as changes in callsign for Ham radio operators.
In a mail sent yesterday (oct.24) to Gabry IK1NEG, Seba SQ1SGB has informed that his callsign when at Halley VI (WAP GBR-37) will be VP8HAL instead of the previously announced CE9/SQ1SGB as pubblished in last oct. 10th.
The 35th Italian Scientific Expedition in Antarctica has started with the opening of the Italian Station “Mario Zucchelli” (MZS) WAP ITA-Ø1 on the promontory of Baia Terra Nova.
MZS Base was reopened by a group of 20 people, composed of the expedition leader Gianluca Bianchi Fasani, specialized logistic personnel of ENEA, employees of the Armed Forces operations room, helicopter pilots, a doctor and a cook.
The summer campaign will last 4 months and will host 250 Italian and foreign technicians and researchers, supporting 45 research projects, some of which will be performed at other Antarctic Bases. This coming year 2020, the base will close for the first time, on March 20, to allow, after the departure of the scientific staff, the execution of some important renovation works.
Financed by the Italian Ministry of Education, University and Research (MIUR) in the framework of the National Antarctic Research Program (PNRA), Italian expeditions are managed by ENEA for planning and logistic organization and by CNR for scientific coordination. As far as we know, there are no Hams among the 35th IAE Team to put MZS (WAP ITA-Ø1) on the air.
The next operator at DPØGVN for the wintering season 2020 will be Roman, HB9HCF. He plans to be active on QO-100 satellite; not sure about HF yet.
Roman is a new operator, he has taken his license so that he can use QO-100 setup at Neumayer III. Felix (DL5XL) will introduce him to HF for sure, and even if he has no experience at all, let’s hope he will find amusement and interest in Ham Radio activity from Antarctica!
Felix Riess DL5XL (pic aside) will also be active as DP1POL in January and February 2020, mainly HF CW with some digimodes and QO-100 activity.
No other activities from rare locations nearby are preview for this season but … never say never!
Oleg Sakharov (UA1PBA, RI1ANF, RI1ANX, etc,) a great Antarctic veteran is leaving to Antarctica again tomorrow (Oct.21st 2019) via Punta Arenas, Chile.
He will be signing ZS7ANF managing the Wolf’s Fang Camp (WAP MNB-12) and be QRV from there. QSL will be probably managed by RK1PWA
We actually don’t know what are the plans for this new season but for sure, Oleg will be QRV from some of the sites he did activate last year! Several hunters have missed them … let’s hope this year we can recover what lost on last Oleg’s operation
Oleg was active last year from that area, signing RI1ANX from Dec. 2018 through Jan. 2019: He did activate 4 new WAP references: WAP MNB-Ø9, WAP MNB-11, WAP MNB-12 and WAP MNB-13 as shown on the table below.
On Mid December a group of Italian Researchers will be on the way to Concordia Station. Two of them have Ham License: Marco IK5SQX will stop for a while at Cape Prud’Homme (pic aside) before joining a traverse to Concordia while Nicola IZ7ZNZ will fly to Concordia via MZS (WAP ITA-Ø1)
The plan for Marco IK5SQX (aka DK5SQX) preview a departure from Hobart (Tasmania) on December 30th 2019 aboard the new French icebreaker L’Astrolabe, heading Dumont D’Urville (WAP FRA-Ø1) where they should arrive about January 5th 2020.
Weather permitting, Marco will move almost immediately to Cape Prud’Homme (WAP MNB-NEW) and fromm there, to Concordia (WAP MNB-Ø3), so the time to stay at Cape Prud’HommeStation is influenced by the weather and in any case limited, but Marco will look for a chance to operate from there and activate this brand new Antarctic site.
Indicatively they should be active from Concordia a few days after Jan. 5th but obviously dates are uncertain as subjected by several factors.
Ham radio activity is related to the professional work that await our Italian researchers, which evidently takes priority over everything else.
Marco IK5SQX will leave Concordia on Febr. 3rd , that means a time window of a month to operate from Concordia Station (WAP MNB-Ø3) and if things go as they hope, they should be able to dedicate enough time to the radio mostly 20 mts SSB; Nicola IZ7ZNZ will stay little longer. Nothing sure about the callsign they are going to use from there, maybe IAØDC … let’s keep our finger crossed.
WAP is in permanent contact with Marco, so any information will be spread out real time on the Cluster and on the Antarctica list.
Of course the Antarctic Ham radio Community wish all the best to Marco IK5SQX and Nicola IZ7ZNZ to their 1st Antarctic Adventure; being scientists and researcher in the Icy Continent is a great commitment and we’re sure they will succeed!
François F8DVD informs that at the beginning of 2020, he will use 2 special calls relating to Antarctic and Sub-Antarctic activities as follow:
TM7ØTAAF (WAP-3Ø1) from 12 to 26 January 2020 . That call will commemorate 7Øth anniversary of first ham radio contacts with French Southern and Antarctic Territories in early 1950 (it was with Saint Paul Amsterdam island, Kerguelen island and Adelie Land)
TM17AAW (WAP-3Ø2) from 3 to 17 February joining the 17th Antarctic Activity Week.
Cape Prud’Homme located at 66°41’28” South, 139°53’44”East is an Italian-French camp, opened in 1994, managed by the (French Polar Institute Paul-Emile Victor (IPEV) and the Programma Nazionale di Ricerche in Antartide (PNRA). It is located on the coast of the Antarctic Ice sheet, in Adélie Land, about 5 km from Petrel Island, where the French Dumont d’Urville Station is. All the supplies and equipment for the Italian-French Concordia Station (aka Dome C, WAP MNB-Ø3) are transported by a combined convoy of up to 7 Caterpillar tractors from Cap Prud’Homme , with Kassbohrer trailblazers and a team of up to 9 people; each convoy transports an average of 150 tons of payload..
There is no ice free area around the station as well as there is no protected area in the immediate vicinity. The station is built on a rock near the coast but its surroundings are entirely covered by ice or snow. No signs of fauna or flora.
The joint French-Italian station Cape Prud’homme (WAP MNB-NEW) forms an integral part of the Concordia project. It offers a gateway to Concordia for the transport of heavy tools and equipment, following delivery by the resupply vessel L’Astrolabe to Dumont d’Urville Station (WAP FRA-Ø1). In this context, and because Dumont d’Urville station is not on the continent itself, Cape Prud’homme was established for the development and maintenance of the traverse equipment (tractors, trailers, accommodation caravans), its winter storage, and preparation of transport convoys. The site was selected because it was used from 1955 as Antarctica Gateway for French expeditions.
The station is open in summer only. The staff is mainly composed of technicians working on the maintenance of the traverse equipment, as well as drivers in charge of the 3 convoys per year.
Hans DL6JGN has recently received a VP8CTRQSL via DL5EBE.
Hans wrote: – The QSO was in spring this year (2019) from Wordie Hut on Winter Island, but there is no reference or note on the card about WAP. Any reason for missing that?-
73, Hans DL6JGN
Well, James Wordie Hut is WAP GBR-Ø7 and it is listed on WAP-WADA, while VP8CTR as a callsign, is listed on WAP-WACA Directory. We don’t know the reason of why there is no mention about WAP reference on the card, perhaps the operator does not know that could be useful for the hunters having the reference on his QSL!
Wordie Hut established on 7 January 1947, is an early British scientific research Station which was mainly used for meteorology research. It was named in honor of Sir James Wordie the chief scientist on Shackleton’s Trans-Imperial Antarctic Expedition of 1914-1917, The Hut, set on Winter Island (65° 15’ South, 64° 16’ West), an island 900 m (980 yd) long, lying 200 m (220 yd) north of Skua Island in the Argentine Islands, Wilhelm Archipelago, off the west coast of Graham Land, Antarctica was named a Historic Site and Monument in 1955 and is today maintained by the UK Antarctic Heritage Trust.
The hut stands on the foundations of an earlier building, used by the British Graham Land Expedition from 1935–36. The original hut was destroyed in 1946; possibly by a tsunami. It consists of the kitchen and living room, generator shed, office, dog room and toilet, and a number of original artefacts are still found on site.
A nice video shows and explains more about James Wordie Hut (WAP GBR-Ø7) on Winter Island, Antarctica
Seba SQ1SGB has informed to leave on mid December 2019 to Antarctica. He will sign CE9/SQ1SGB and will stay at Halley VI Base (WAP GBR-37).
Seba has an Icom IC-706 given by SP8SIW (TNX to him for the support); he still doesn’t know how to hang an antenna (probably an Invert V) but for sure he will try to be active on SSB. 20m and 40m plus DIGI (FT8 and JT65) all depends how the antenna and propagation will perform and of SWR conditions Seba will travel with a friend (electronic engineer) who have an amateur callsign. This companion will stay at Arctowski Station (WAP POL-Ø1) which is equipped with radios and antennas , not hanged yet as the mast (actually in a warehouse) is taken down during the winter time.
To summarize from Mid December 2019 to the end of February 2020: HFØANT from Arctowsky station (WAP POL-Ø1) and CE9/SQ1SGB from Halley VI Base (WAP GBR-37).
There is a very nice video about Arctowski which has recently won 48 hour Antarctic Film Festival
WAP wish all the best to the member of the 2019-2020 Polish scientific Antarctic Season
HI folks, due to an hacker attack, WAP website crashed a week ago! We desperately had to work hard to recover the whole WAP archive , including Galleries and the huge amount of news and information hosted on this site. Personally I would never have been able to recover all the material and the first reaction was to quit. It is painful to see how an hacker can destroy years of work and, above all, vandalize a non-profit site, born only to promote love and passion for a continent, Antarctica, which deserves our deepest respect! Thanks to Gianluigi IZ8EWB, a young engineer who have carried on hours and hours of work, WAP website is again online.
We would never be grateful enough to Gianluigi (pic aside: IZ8EWB Gianluigi to the right and IK2IWU in the left) for the tremendous work done. Thanks so much Gianluigi, you’re simply GREAT!