Capitán Cobbett Naval Refuge (WAP ARG-NEW)

On 23 January 1954, Argentine Navy personnel did inaugurate the Cabo Primavera Refuge (now Capitán Cobbett Naval Refuge) on a rocky promontory on Cape Primavera. Over many years this building was used by Argentine exploration expeditions to the area  to collect Meteorology  and Biology  data.

On March 3, 1977, the Antarctic Command of the Argentine Army did inaugurate Base Primavera  (see picture below)   following the works to the Refuge and the construction of new buildings.
The Summer Capitán Cobbett Naval Refuge that serves Base Primavera, (WAP ARG-Ø9),    is a small building that currently has the function of a laboratory; it has two rooms and a bathroom, and has supplies for three men for three months. The refuge was renovated, in March 2017, by a task force of the transport ship ARA Bahia San Blas

A bit of history
The Naval Refuge  “Cabo Primavera” has been established 70 years ago, (January 23, 1954), within the Argentine Antarctic sector, Costa Danco, Tierra de San Martín.
Located in Cierva Cove, in the Antarctic Peninsula at 64°9’17” South, 60°54’21” West, the  Navy Refuge currently called “Capitán Cobbett”, in memory of the Navy Captain Enrique Cobbett, who lost his life in the shipwreck of the frigate Buenos Aires off Cape Horn, in August 1826. It happened when he was preparing to reinforce Admiral Brown’s squadron in combat with the imperial forces of Brazil.

At the light of the last information collected,  Capitan Cobbett Refuge (aka Cabo Primavera Refuge) will be add to the WAP-WADA Directory as , in the waiting of a possible activation!

Antarctic Activity Week: TM1ANT WAP-Ø37 by F5SIH & F4HWS

Eric F5SIH is re-joining the Antarctic Activity Week after years of non-presence. Eric will operate as TM1ANT, WAP-Ø37,  in tandem with Tom F4HWS
Eric wrote: «I’ will be active again with TM1ANT during the next 21st AAW. Just got the license. Two operators, Eric F5SIH ans Tom F4HWS» .
73, TM1ANT, F5SIH Eric.

Eric sent  us a preview of the new QSL  of TM1ANT expressly designed for the 2024’s AAW .

The image on the QSL,  comes  from a photograph taken by David Brunet F4FKT/FT4YM when he was in Antarctica. It’s a tribute and at the same time, a recognition of the emotions that David FT4YM was able to give us during his missions (2021-2023) from some rare Bases and remote sites  following the scientific French-Italian expeditions on the Antarctic plateau.
TNX Eric F5SIH & Tom F4HWS, welcome on board!

We just remind the Worldwide Ham radio operators  the date of the 21st AAW which will be held from 18th through the 25th of February 2024 (Check: ) . Don’t forget to join the event,  it will be our small contribution to the conservation of Antarctica as a land of study and peace.

More on Ernst Krenkel, a Polar scientist who travelled in the Arctic and  Antarctica

In the summer of 1924 Ernst Krenkel went to Leningrad with what little money he had saved, hoping to find employment as the radio operator on any ship undertaking a long voyage. At that time, only specially designated Soviet vessels went on long voyages, and in Leningrad there were already qualified naval radio operators without work. Just when Krenkel had given up all hope of finding work he was told that the hydrographic management bureau was in urgent need of a radio operator prepared to go on any expedition, to any island in the Arctic ocean. There was little interest because the pay was poor and it was necessary to be away for the whole year, living in ‘hellish’ conditions.

Ernst rushed around for an interview, and was offered a post. With a small advance on his salary, and wearing his new naval uniform he set off by train to Arkhangelsk (Archangel). On arrival he was assigned to the “ Yugorski Shar “ which was preparing to take the relief crew to the first Soviet polar observatory “Matochkin Shar”, constructed the year before on the northern coast of the Matochkin Shar strait of the Novaya Zemlya archipelago.

After returning to Moscow the following year he was enlisted in the Red Army and served in the radiotelegraphic battalion in Vladimir. At around this time the USSR government decided to allow ‘private radio stations’ on the short-waves. Ham radio was born in the USSR and Ernst Krenkel was delighted. Soon he was on-air using homebrew equipment, with the callsign EU2EQ (later U3AA).

This is just a brief anticipation of what is well reported in the detailed article available with lots of historic pictures which tell of the heroic deeds of Ernst Krenkel RAEM.

Read the whole history at:

But Ernst Krenkel  traveled also to Antarctica and operated under the call RAEM/MM in 1968/1969. Thanks to Oleg UA6GG for providing WAP few historical QSLs shown above, which confirm Krenkel’s radio operations activity in Antarctica


Spanish Polar Ship BO Sarmiento de Gamboa

The Oceanographic Vessel (B/O) Sarmiento de Gamboa is a multidisciplinary research vessel with a global non-polar scope. Its instrumentation and laboratories allow it to carry out studies of global ocean circulation, marine biodiversity, fishery resources and climate change; It is also used to perform work in geology, marine geophysics, hydrography, physical and chemical oceanography, marine biology, resource estimation (fisheries), ocean monitoring with remotely operated vehicles (ROVs, AUVs, submarines, etc.), and deployment of underwater observatories (OBSEA, GEOSTAR)

The research carried out there is fundamentally directed and financed by the National Plan for R+D+i.

It also has the most advanced technologies in terms of navigation systems (for example, dynamic positioning) and is the first Spanish oceanographic vessel that can work with high-depth ROVs (Remote Operated Vehicles) and AUVs (Autonomous Underwater Vehicle).

The B/O Sarmiento de Gamboa belongs to the CSIC and is based in Vigo, where it was launched in 2006. The Marine Technology Unit (UTM) of the CSIC is responsible for the management of the vessel as well as the maintenance of the scientific equipment and provides the technical staff to carry out the oceanographic campaigns.

One day or another On Air? ….

Kottas Field Camp , New entry on WAP WADA Directory

Kottas camp (74°12′ South, 9°44′ West) is a German Field Camp at Dronning Maud Land, Antarctica has been add to WAP-WADA Directory .

The German contribution to the ITASE programme was carried out during 5 years (2004-2008) , mainly in the frame of the EPICA pre-site survey in Dronning Maud land, along the traverse route from Neumayer Station  across Ritscherflya and Kottasberge, Heimefronfjella to Amindsen.
The traverse were carried out by Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research, Bremenhaven (AWI).

Stake readings for accumulation studies across Ekstromsen and Ritcherflya was carried out each field seson. The 460km long stake line comprises approximately 950 stakes . It starts 10 km South of Neumayes  at 70°41.83’ South, 8°26’24” West  and ends after the crossing of Kottasberge at 74° 30’00” South, 9°13,09’ West.

Source: Snowpack properties in Dronning Maud Land, Antarctica, compared to Envisat ASAR and Scatterometer measurements | EPIC (

Attached map shows the Kottas-traverse route, connecting the German Base Neumayer (70°39′ South, 08°15′ West) and Kottas camp (74°12′ South, 9°44′ West) as well as snow pit and firn core sampling sites.

1899-2024, 125th Anniversary of S/Y Belgica return from Antarctica

The Belgian Antarctic Expedition of 1897–1899 was the first expedition to winter in the Antarctic region. Led by Adrien de Gerlache de Gomery, it was the first Belgian Antarctic expedition and is considered the first expedition of the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration. Among its members were Frederick Cook and Roald Amundsen, explorers who would later attempt the respective conquests of the North and South Poles.

To celebrate the 125th Anniversary of the return of S/Y Belgica to Antwerp (5 november 1899) a special post card and stamps have been issued.

TNX Dr. Eddy de Busschere  of the Belgian Polar Expedition Society for sending us one of this special card.

S/Y Belgica did remain trapped  in the ice for a long Antarctic winter.
The crew  disliked the penguin and seal meat that had been stored and initially tried to ban its consumption, but Signs of scurvy  began to show in some of the men. Gerlache and Captain Lecointe became so ill they wrote their wills. Two of the crew started to show signs of mental illness and morale in general was extremely poor. Lieutenant Danco fell ill from a heart condition and died on 5 June. Danco Island was named in his honor.
Cook and Amundsen took command as Gerlache and Lecointe were unable to fulfill their roles due to scurvy. The true cause of scurvy as a deficiency of Vitamin C was not discovered until the 1920s, but Cook was convinced that raw meat was a possible cure for scurvy due to his experiences with Robert Peary in the Arctic. He retrieved the frozen penguin and seal meat and insisted that each man eat some each day. Even Gerlache began to eat the meat and slowly the men recovered their health. It is now known that raw meat and organs contain a small amount of Vitamin C.
Several months of hardship followed. Even as spring and summer arrived, attempts to free the ship and its crew from the grip of the ice failed. By January 1899, Belgica was still trapped in ice about seven feet (2.1 m) thick and the possibility of another winter in the ice seemed real. Open water was visible about half a mile away and Cook suggested that trenches be cut to the open water to allow Belgica to escape the ice. The weakened crew used the explosive “tonite” and various tools to create the channel. Finally, on 15 February 1899, they managed to start slowly down the channel they had cleared during the weeks before. It took them nearly a month to cover seven miles (11 km), and on 14 March, they cleared the ice. The expedition returned to Antwerp on 5 November 1899. Though the circumstances were severe, the expedition had nevertheless managed to collect scientific data, including a full year of meteorological observations.


Edgeworth David Field Camp (WAP AUS-1Ø)

Edgeworth David  Fied Camp (aka Edgeworth David Base) was established as a summer camp in 1986. Located at  66°14’59” South, 100°36’12” East , in the Northen Bunger Hills, Edgeworth David summer Base lies about 7 kilometres (4.3 mi) from WNW of  Polish Antoni Dobrowolski Station (WAP POL-NEW),  approximately 440 km west of Casey Research Station (WAP AUS-Ø2)and 85 km inland from the Shackleton Ice Shelf in the Bunger Hills region, Wilkes Land.

Edgeworth David is a summer-only Station, a research outpost named after Sir Edgeworth David, opened in 1986 by the Australian Antarctic Division (AAD), it is temporary visited during the summer season and used for Geological, Geophysical, Geomorphological and Biological research.


Edgeworth David Field Camp has been “On Air” on last dec. 25 & 26 2023 signing VKØAI, operated by  N E “Norbert” Trupp (VK5MQ).
Norbert was deployed to Edgeworth David;  weather delayed the return flight to Casey Station, allowing Norbert a brief period of operating on the 25th and 26th December 2023. Daytime propogation was poor and bands only opened in the evening, with all contacts FT8. Camp power is supplied by generator while operating times and satellite comminications are limited.

At the light of this evidence and a copy of QSL provided by Olivier F6EPN (Spratley Woody), we have given Edgeworth David Field Camp a reference as WAP AUS-1Ø.

The “New Refrence” will appear on next WAP-WADA and WAP-WADA  Directories (Release of June 2024).
TNX Olivier F6EPN

New WAP-WACA & WAP WADA Directories just released

The twenty third edition (release 1.43) of WAP WACA & WADA Directories are available to download.  From the main page of WAP website,  just go to the “Download Section” and select WAP-WACA & WAP-WADA Directories  and feel free to save them both on your PC.

WACA Directory contains a list of more than 4362 callsigns used in Antarctica & Sub Antarctic territories since 1945.

WADA Directory lists 1005 Bases, Camps, Huts, Refuges and  Stations in Antarctica since 1945.

Also a new release of the Antarctic & Peri Antarctic Lighthouses has been issued on January 1st 2024 and it’s available to download as well; just go to the Lighthouse page.

Enjoy Antarctica!

73 from WAP Staff

8 people of  Czech Antarctic Foundation on the way to Antarctica

Few days ago, the Czech members of the Antarctic Expedition to Nelson Island were in Punta Arenas, Chile, waiting for a Brazilian ship to take them to their destination. That  morning the host of Studio 6, expedition leader Václav Pavel, described in a live broadcast,  what awaits them on Nelson Island.

Dr. Vaška Pavel from the Czech Antarctic Foundation, remind the followers  that yesterday,  the  Team: 8 members (1 woman and 7 men, including 3 scientists from the Faculty of Science of Masaryk University and 2 from the Ukrainian National Program) boarded the Polar Ship Ary Rongel of the Brazilian Antarctic Program, which will set sail this afternoon Jan 2nd 2024, heading Antarctica.

If you missed the report,  from expedition leader Václav Pavel , you can watch it by clicking on the link, here below:

Expedice na antarktickou stanici Eco-Nelson – 29. prosinec 2023 – Studio 6 | Česká televize (

While wishing them the best numbers for the new year, WAP wish the Team a good trip and a good stay down there… Weare radioamateurs and our real wish is that … some days, berore too long   Echo Nelson Base WAP CZE-Ø1 and Johan Gregor Mendel Station (WAP CZE-NEW) could be heard  on air!


A video from Mendel Station  (WAP CZE-NEW) show  how is the Base … perhaps the only thing missed is a radio operator to put on Ham bands, this rare and never worked  Czech Antarctic Base!