Over 15,000 QSOs from LU1ZV Base Esperanza (WAP ARG-Ø3)

WAP has received some notes sent by Alejandro LU8YD the operator at Esperanza Base (WAP ARG-Ø4)  in February and March 2023 and at LU4ZS Marambio Base  (WAP ARG-21) in April 2023.


Alejandro wrote: In the austral summer of 2023 at Esperanza Base (WAP ARG-Ø4) we did operate LU1ZV  on all  bands (160 trough 6 meters) on SSB, CW, FM, FT8, FT4 and Opera,  together with Juan Carlos Benavente LU8DBS and Juan Pablo Arena LU6DX .

According to the information in our hands,  the 2023’s Ham radio activity would have been the largest operation from Antarctica in bands and modes with extraordinary results on 6 meters and perhaps the first to operate on FT8, FT4 and FM on 29 MHz in addition to the new 60 meter band. All the hamradio operation are performed from inside the building of LRA36  Radio Nacional Arcangel San Gabriel, using its rombic antenna  

On the other hand, we have participated in two international competitions; the South American Lighthouse Weekend and extensive research work on Antarctic radio propagation. We left a 6m radio beacon running 24/7 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week) to study propagation. The LU1ZV February – March operation reached the approximate amount  of 13,000 QSOs.  April 2023 operation, add other  2500 QSOs.

Currently and for a few more months,  LU1ZV is only operated by LU8DBS, Juan C. Benavente  on SSB and FT8. The LU1ZV activations have the support of the “Uniendo Voces” a project of the National University of Quilmes (Buenos Aires province).

Just about LU4ZS, LU1HCQ operates for the remainder of the year 2023.

My professional assignment in Antarctica Argentina, says Alejandro,  was to work on the improvement of LRA36 station and to assist in the maintenance of Antarctic radio communications of these two Argentine bases.

Just to remind the Readers and Antarctic hunters the LU1ZV/B 50 MHz radio beacon, in its CW & FT8 multimode modality at 50.313 MHz.

TNX Alejandro Daniel Alvarez LU8YD

WAP NOR-14, Reference issued to 3YØJ

Kapp Fie , 54° 27′ South,  3° 28′ East, at the  South East side of Bouvetøya (Bouvet Island), has been issued a reference  NOR-14 on WAP-WADA Directory.

QSL Manager MØOXO is busy to send the cards  which are now coming on the mail.

The Expedition set his Camp at  Cape Fie (aka Kapp Fie),  at the South East part of Bouvet island  the only the only moderately safe place to stay . Those who have followed the vicissitudes of such a difficult expedition will certainly have lived with the operators the most dangerous moments of this adventure which will remain in the annals of WW DX-peditions

Cape Fie almost certainly won’t be repeated, so whoever has had the ability and luck to work 3Y0J, can be sure of having hit the mark

WAP wishes to express a sincere thanks to the daring Operators of this dangerous and at the same time fascinating adventure.

Bulgarian Polar Research Vessel “Sv. Sv. Kiril i Metodiy (RSV-421)”

The Bulgarian Polar Research Vessel “Sv. Sv. Kiril i Metodiy (RSV-421)” is owned by a consortium consisting of the Naval Academy, the St Kliment Ohridski University of Sofia and the Bulgarian Antarctic Institute. The Sv. Sv. Kiril i Metodii was ceremoniously christened and commissioned into the Bulgarian Navy inventory on July 27, 2021.

Before the ship’s first polar mission, it was repaired, modernised and refitted in Varna. On December 27, 2022, RSV 421 set sail from Varna Marine Station, marking the beginning of the 31st Bulgarian Antarctic Expedition to the Bulgarian Polar Base on Livingston Island, part of the South Shetland Islands. The ship was loaded with building materials and equipment needed for the construction of a laboratory as part of the Bulgarian Base.

After a 127-day voyage to the Bulgarian base on Livingston Island and back, the first Bulgarian naval research vessel Sv. Sv. Kiril i Metodii (RSV 421) returned home, docking Tuesday May 2nd 2023 at the Varna Marine Station.

 In the way back home, the Bulgarian naval Research Vessel Sv. Sv. Kiril i Metodii (RSV 421) crossed the Ionian Sea along its southern boundary with the Mediterranean, sailing eastwards, in the evening hours of April 23, 2023.

Now the Polar ship is docked at   Bulgarian port city of Varna (on the Black Sea) after fully completing its participation in the 31st Bulgarian Antarctic Expedition to Livingston Island, Antarctica

With the sailing of the first military Research Vessel Sv. Sv. Kiril i Metodii (RSV 421) to Antarctica, Bulgaria has proven itself to be a Maritime and Polar Nation, said Prof. Hristo Pimpirev last Tuesday, May 2nd, in Varna, when at the local Marine Station he did wait to meet the returning RSV 421 which docked at 10 a.m. After the ship docks, scientists will take the samples collected during the expedition and start examining them.

Thanks and Credit: Bulgarian Research Vessel RSV 421 Returns Home After 127-Day Voyage to Antarctica (spa.gov.sa)

and: BTA :: Voyage of RSV 421 Proved Bulgaria Is “a Sea-faring, Polar Nation” – Antarctic Research Professor

Antonio Huneeus Gana Summer Base, WAP CHL-15

Antonio Huneeus Gana Summer Base was a semi-permanent  Chilean Antarctic Camp, located in the Chilen Antarctic Territory, in charge of the Chilean Antarctic Institute (INACH).

The Base is located at 80°18’ South, 81°20’ West, just  1 km from the Patriot Hills Camp (WAP MNB-Ø2)  of the private company Adventure Network International at 80°18’07” South, 81°20’39” West,

The station takes his name from Don Antonio Huneeus Gana (1870-1951), Chilean Minister of Foreign Affairs , the first to think about  Chile’s scientific interest in the Antarctic regions. On July 1906, Don Antonio Huneeus Gana asks the Minister of the Navy to prepare an expedition to  Elephant Islands, New Orkney New Shetland and the Antarctic Continent”. in order to verify a reconnaissance of lands and seas and to carry out scientific research, especially magnetic, according to the communication.

On January 2009 , Adam Brown K2ARB was operating from Antonio Huneeus Gana Base as CE9/K2ARB qualifying the issue the reference   WAP CHL-15 on WAP-WADA Directory.

WAP doesn’t have evidence of any other Hamrdio operation from  Antonio Huneeus Gana Base before Adam Brown K2ARB, so CE9/K2ARB remains the unique one so far toh ave operated from that rare Chilean Base, unless we will find some other old one!

Prof. Lyubomir Ivanov-Antarctic map with 95 Bulgarian names

Prof. Lyubomir Ivanov is the National Representative of Bulgaria  to SCAR SCAGI and Chairman of the Antarctic Place-names Commission at Ministry of Foreign Affairs-Republic of Bulgaria. Lyubo is Chairman, Toponymic Board at National Centre for Polar Studies as well.

WAP readers might be interested to know of a recently published Bulgarian map of Bowles Ridge and Tangra Mountains on Livingston Island, South Shetlands (SCAR Map # 15864). 

Livingston Island was discovered on 19 February 1819 by the Briton William Smith and was the first land now governed by the international Antarctic Treaty system. The first inhabitants of the island were American and British seal hunters, and their are the early geographical discoveries and toponyms in the area. Seal hunters today are inherited by scientists, as well as fishermen, among whose pioneers last century are the Bulgarians from Ocean Fishing – Burgas. Today, Bulgaria is connected to the island through annual expeditions and scientific research, as well as the responsibility to map the region for the needs of all human activities related to the exploration of Antarctica and the exploitation of its resources.

Prof. Ivanov said: «The map is an early example of mapping based on the Reference Elevation Model of Antarctica (REMA) developed by The Ohio State University and the University of Minnesota, a rather promising approach indeed».

Hard copies of the map could be purchased from  Librum(see an electronic version of the map hereby aside sent by our friend Lyubo).


We did ask Prof Ivanov about Ham operators at the Bulgarian Base St Kliment Ohridski (WAP BUL-Ø1)or if any activity is planned from there on next summer Antarctic Campaign … maybe some Ham radio operator can put the Bulgarian Base on the air after nearly 20 years!!!  Last one active was VP8/LZ1UQ in 2006 and before LZØA on 1995.

Lyubomir replied: «I do not think there will be any Ham operator at the Bulgarian base in the next season, nor on our Antarctic naval Research Ship “Sv. sv. Kiril i Metodiy” (English: Sts. Cyril and Methodius) for that matter, but if I find out otherwise, I would let you know»



TNX Prof. Lyubomir Ivanov and congrats for you continuous and invaluable work.

Chapel of  St. Dismas, the first  chapel at McMurdo

Year 1956. The first Chapel at McMurdo Station was built in 1956 by pious U.S. Navy Seabees.  On May 6,1956, the Chapel was consecrated to Our Lady of the Snows and the bell consecrated to Saint Dismas, the good thief.(see Our Lady of the Snow … Old memories by Patrick McCormick, a proud Antarctic veteran – W.A.P. (waponline.it).

At the beginning, it was also known as Chapel of St. Dismas (see the life od St. Dismas at the bottom of this page) after the good thief. Originally there were neither plans nor materials requisitioned to build a chapel, so, they “found” extra materials and built it on their own time. Father Ron O’Gorman of the Christchurch Diocese traveled on an icebreaker and was the first New Zealand priest to celebrate Mass in Antarctica, Dec. 25, 1957.

In preparation for Antarctic research to be conducted during the International Geophysical Year (1957-1958), U.S. Naval Construction Battalion personnel (Seabees) began building McMurdo Station during the 1955-1956 austral summer. The original plans for the station did not include a chapel; instead, religious services were to be held in the station mess hall.

However, according Admiral George Dufek, who commanded Deep Freeze I, “As the construction of the buildings at McMurdo progressed a mysterious pile of lumber, planks, nails, Quonset hut sections, and assorted materials began to accumulate on a knoll overlooking the camp.” Just few years later the Chapel was renamend as Chapel of the Snow (aka Blue Chapel .  Picture aside show how the Chapel was in 1963 and Blue Chapel 1968.

The Chaplain, Father John C. Condit, and volunteers from the construction battalion gradually gathered enough materials to build what was to become the first church ever erected in Antarctica. All of the work was done by volunteers after their daily duties were finished. Admiral Dufek also observed that “The men, after a hard day’s work, would drift over to the church site. Before the main camp was finished a tidy neat church with a steeple was to stand on a ridge overlooking the camp. Later it even had a bell, procured from a small gasoline tanker.” When the Chapel was completed, Father Condit had the world’s most southern parish.

The Chapel of the Snows at McMurdo Station was destroyed by fire on 22 August 1978. No one was injured, but the chapel and almost all its contents were a total loss. For 22 years this simple building provided a place of worship for personnel not only at McMurdo Station (WAP USA-22) but also from nearby Scott Base (WAP NZL-Ø1). 

Year 1979. On Easter Sunday 1979, the second Chapel or the Temporary Chapel was dedicated.
Here some details: A refurbishing of McMurdo Station was planned by the National Science Foundation, and a new chapel was included in the design. To replace the burned Chapel, volunteers converted a quonset Hut near the station’s main building. While they worked to complete this temporary Chapel, the Chalet served as the site for the community’s religious services. However, this building, which normally houses NSF and contractor offices, could not accommodate both Sunday morning services and daily administrative activities during the summer season.

The Temporary chapel built by the community was left abandoned until it too, suffered a fiery demise during a condition 1 storm on 18 May 1991. It caught fire and was totally destroyed. 

Year 1989. The third chapel was designed to replace the previous temporary one in use as such after the 1978 fire until. The new building was dedicated in 1989.
Although the original chapel and the temporary building were built entirely by volunteers, the new building was constructed as part of the National Science Foundation’s plan to refurbish the McMurdo Station. The 2,016-square-foot wood structure contains office space, a central worship area that normally seats 63, and McMurdo’s only organ. Materials to complete the building were salvaged from older structures that were ripped down during the several-year rebuilding of the station.

McMurdo Station once again has a permanent place of worship. To commemorate this occasion, approximately 80 people gathered on Sunday, 29 January 1989 to dedicate the new Chapel of the Snows, which is the third chapel to be raised at the station.

The current Capel, the Chapel of the Snows, is the third in the history of McMurdo. It is the southernmost house of worship in the world.

See also: Churches in Antarctica (oceanwide-expeditions.com)

The Life of Saint Dismas
We don’t know much about the life of Dismas. Most of it is the subject of legend. A popular medieval legend surrounding Dismas’ life is:

While the Holy Family was fleeing to Egypt, they stopped to spend the night in a cave. Living in the cave was a family with a son about the same age as Jesus. Sadly, the infant had leprosy, which was a painful and contagious disease. Mary told the mother of the child to bathe him in the water she had just used to wash our Savior. The mother did as Mary instructed and instantly cured the child. The two boys grew up and learned the trade of their fathers. Jesus preached and went about His ministry. While the other became a thief, like his father. The two men met again on Calvary. One of the thieves, traditionally called Gestas, mocked Jesus claiming if He really was the Son of God he could save Himself and them as well.

But Dismas rebuked him saying that they were thieves and received their punishment justly but Jesus was falsely accused. Then turning to Jesus he apologized and asked, ” Lord, please remember me when you go into your kingdom.” Jesus replied, “Today you will be with Me in Paradise.”
Dismas died around 33 in the year of Our Lord.
Saint Dismas’ Feast Day is March 25 and he is the patron of prisoners (especially condemned) and repentant thieves.


Castaway depots on the NZ Sub Antarctic sites

What follows is an abstract of a most complete past  history of Castaway Depots (Huts)  in the remote Sub Antarctic Islands of New Zealand. Most of the Huts and Depots in these islands are listed on the WAP WADA Directory and they just need to be visited by Hams to put such  rare ones on the air.

The Snares Islands in particular (The Snares consist of the main North East Island WAP NZL-10 and the smaller Broughton island as well as the Western Chain Islands) , but also Antipodes Islands (The island group consists of one main island, Antipodes Island WAP NZL-11, Bollons Island to the North, and numerous small islets and stacks), and some never activated islands in the Aucklands Group (Auckland Island WAP NZL-Ø4 & NZL-Ø9 is surrounded by smaller Adams Island, Enderby Island WAP NZL-Ø8, Disappointment Island, Ewing Island, Rose Island, Dundas Island, and Green Island).

Also known as Castaway Huts, Castaway depots were small shelters strategically placed on isolated islands by governments or maritime organisations and equipped with basic supplies and tools to people who survived shipwrecked and found themselves stranded. These little isolated huts tell legendary stories of bravery, adventure and loss, passed down for generations, but was has become of them? Are there any left?

Picture aside: Snares Island Castaway Depot & Research Hut first built by the New Zealand government in the 1880s, is now maintained as an historic site by the Department of Conservation. The use of Castaway depots began in the 19th Century and continued into the 20th Century and typically contained items such as food, water, medical supplies, and other essential items that could help stranded seafarers survive until escape or rescue. The idea was started by the New Zealand government in the 19th century when it erected several depots scattered across the Chatham, Kermadec, and the Subantarctic Islands. One particular island, Disappointment Island, had been named as such due to the frequent occurrence of shipwrecks on the island and its extreme lack of resources. The small hut-like structures could withstand high winds and hurricanes as best as possible for as long as possible in the hopes of saving the lives of potentially shipwrecked men.

There are at least five notable shipwrecks that occurred on the Auckland Islands in which all or most of the crew was saved by the provisions left in castaway depots. The last shipwrecked crew to survive as castaways was the crew of the French barque President Felix Faure that was wrecked off the North Cape of Antipodes Island in 1908. The entire crew made it to shore close to a castaway depot. When all the supplies had been depleted, the crew hunted albatross, penguins, and a single calf; the sole remnant of the cattle that had been set ashore with other supplies by the Hinemoa, a New Zealand government service steamer that serviced and patrolled New Zealand territorial waters. The crew of was rescued by the HMS Pegasus and eventually made a successful return journey to France via Sydney.
Thanks and credit:  A Shipwrecked Sailor’s Guide to Castaway Depots (messynessychic.com)