Ranui Cove Coastwatchers Hut (WAP NZL-Ø9)

Ranui Station (aka North Hut-Ranui lookout hut) located at Port Ross on  Auckland Island at 50°32’3Ø” South, 166°15’4Ø” East was maintained by a Team of 4-5 men from 1941 until 3 June, 1945. The first recruits came from the NZ Post & Telegraph Service, but from 1942 scientists were included. Various scientific work took place from wildlife research to detailed meteorological observations. During 1944-45, a survey party led by Flight Commander Allan Eden undertook the first full topographical survey of the Auckland Island group. The complex, included a base hut, ancillary huts, long drops, radio masts, landing areas, and tracks hidden in the rata forest, out of sight from the sea. The hut itself is located just below the ridge above the base and provides a clear view of all the entrances to Port Ross. At first, private messages were restricted to bereavement or other urgent matters, but later each man was allowed to send and receive two personal messages annually. The only news of the outside world was that heard over standard domestic radio, and other morse code transmissions picked up by the radio operators.

The remains of the Old Ranui Station is located on the outer reaches of Port Ross, hidden in the back of a small cove.

ZL9/K8VIR  &  ZL9DX did operate from Ranui Cove (WAP NZL-Ø9)  in the year 1997 …. Maybe it’s time for some others DX-peditionners to try again, isn’t it?

Thanks and credit to:  Second World War lookout huts (doc.govt.nz)

A bit more of history;
During the Second World War, the New Zealand War Cabinet were concerned enemy ships might anchor in the subantarctic islands where each harbour could have been a potential refuge for enemy vessels,  and actioned the “Cape Expedition”.
The Cape Expedition program was to build three Stations to keep watch for enemy vessels; two on Auckland Island and one on Campbell Island. The coastwatchers were stationed at each for 12 months at a time and were to contact New Zealand by radio if any vessels were seen.  Prefabricated 3m square huts of weatherboard construction with bitumen roofs were shipped to the Auckland Island in 1941. One was built at Port Ross in the North and the other at Carnley Harbour on the South end of the island.
Radio contact was kept to a minimum to avoid detection, and transmissions were largely in morse code. Contact was made with the other stations and the Awarua mainland radio station every 24 hours. This was increased to two plus a weather schedule in 1942, and then four from 1943. If enemy ships were sighted personnel were to alert the mainland by radio, and retreat to emergency huts.

Philatourism; Arctic, Antarctica, Space … and more

Radio amateur’s passion is often linked to “Philately”, especially that which recalls the Arctic and Antarctica but also,  always in terms of radio contacts, also to the Space as in the case of the International Space Station RSØISS.
The soul and creator of this particular passion is Valery Ivanovich Sushkov RMØL who has been pursuing for years this important initiative with determination.
A hobby or a passion?
One thing is certain: collectors from all over the world are attracted by this trend, which contains cultural and scientific implications  .

On April 18, 2024 at the Ryazan Museum of Travelers  in Ryazan city,  a special cancellation solemn ceremony of postal issues in the “Great Russian Travelers” line took place. Under the press of philaturism was attended by signatories: outstanding Russian traveler, Honorary polar explorer, Mikhail Georgievich Malakhov Hero of Russia, Alexander Nikolaevich Kapitanov Director of the Ryazan Travelers Museum, author and director of the project “Great Russian Travelers”,  travel researcher, postal historian, winner of the “Geographical Oscar”, author of the term “philaturism” presented by “Bottle Mail”, “Traveller’s Mail” and “Polar Mail“, which include postcards, vignette stamps and a special postmark,  Valery Ivanovich Sushkov RMØL and students at one of the secondary schools in Ryazan.

Also, Valery Sushkov, in that ceremony, awarded Mikhail Georgievich Malakhov with a table medal named after Admiral Peter Ricord, associate and friend of Ryazan Vasily Golovnin, for his outstanding contribution to the development of the Far East in the field of studying and developing the recreational potential, historical, geographical, natural and cultural heritage of the Far East and the Arctic Russian Federation, as well as a certificate of honor from the project “Great Russian Travelers.

The purpose of the historical-geographical, scientific-educational, film-publishing, tourism-local history and memorial Project “Great Russian Travelers” is the revival of the traditions of Russian travelers in research and discovery, the popularization and promotion of tourism and postal business, highlighting their contribution to the economy of Russian society and the development of ties between the peoples of different countries.

Read more at: В г. Рязани прошла церемония спецгашения почтовых выпусков «Великие русские путешественники. Под призмой филатуризма: В.М. Головнин, М.И. Венюков и М.Г. Малахов» | Русское географическое общество (rgo.ru)

Petrel’s Chapel  has got light

Thanks to the efforts of the staff actually on Petrel Base (WAP ARG-17) , the small Chapel of “Santo Cura Brochero” has  been equiped with electricity.

The Chapel which was previously not equipped with a power line, is named after Jose Gabriel del Rosario Brochero (16 March 1840 – 26 January 1914), a Catholic priest who suffered leprosy throughout his life. He is known for his extensive work with the poor and the sick. He became affectionately known as “the Gaucho priest” and the “cowboy priest”.
He was beatified on 14 September 2013 after a healing was recognized as a miracle attributed to him. Cardinal Angelo Amato, on the behalf of Pope Francis, presided over the beatification.

Another miracle under investigation was approved in 2016 and a date for canonization was approved in a gathering of cardinals on 15 March 2016. 

Jose Gabriel del Rosario Brochero  was canonized as a Saint on 16 October 2016.

TM21AAW (WAP-353) another great goal by F8DVD

We must say that the 1st edition (2004) of the  Antarctic Activity Week  did see the participation of the first French station  TMØANT (WAP-ØØ8) a  Team operated by LYON DX GANG ASSOCIATION.

François Bergez F8DVD have never lost a single edition of the AAW since 2005 when he did sign TM8ANT (WAP-14)!  Now , the 21th  edition  (2024) of the AAW was again a lot of fun fot  with 6272 contacts in 153 DXCC countries, was the comment by  François (TM21AAW)  , who have just shown his new QSL printed for the event.

The picture on TM21AAW’s card, shows the Ukranian Antarctic Akademic Vernadsky Station (WAP UKR-Ø1) located at 65˚14′ South, 64˚15′ West, Marina Point on GalindezIsland in the Argentine islands Archipelago.  The Faraday British Research base was established there in 1947 and transferred to Ukraine in 1996.

QSL for TM21AAW is actually on print with Alfio IT9EJW; as soon as the cards will be ready, direct and buro requests will be mailed.
TNX François  F8DVD

What say? WAP congratulates François for his continuous presence in the AAWs and always for the great score of QSOs and again for his wonderful card!

Hovgaard Island Camp site (New entry on WAP WADA Directory as MNB-NEW)

Antarctica shows often some interesting “secrets” which we are pleased to reveal. This time we are discovering Hovgaard Island which is sometimes visited by groups or particular hikers who appreciate its beauty. On those occasions, a “Field Camp” is installed and who knows… maybe one day even an expedition of radio amateurs will give us the pleasure of this “New One“.

is an island 6 km (3 nmi) long, lying at 65°07’ South, 64°04’ West, off the northwest coast of Kyiv Peninsula, 2.8 km (1.5 nmi) southwest of Booth island  in Antarctica. Hovgaard  island that forms the western side of the Lemaire Channel  is part of the Wilhelm Archipelago

It was discovered and named “Krogmann-Insel” (Krogmann Island) by the German 1873–74 expedition under Eduard Dallmann, but the name Hovgaard, after Polar explorer and officer of the Danish Navy Andreas Hovgaard applied by the Belgian Antarctic Expedition 1897–99, under Gerlache, has overtaken the original name in usage. The name Krogmann Point has been given to the western extremity of Hovgaard Island.

Hovgaard Island is a popular location for camping in Antarctica among Expedition groups due to the presence of a relatively flat campsite along Penola Strait. Campers dig “snow graves” to sleep in. The holes offer protection from the wind.

The shoreline of Hovgaard can be a bit tough, but once on shore, the island is gently sloping smooth rock and snow.


On the island , there is  cache weighed down with heavy rocks and also anchored to the ground with cables. The cache is located up high on weathered stone where it is unlikely to be troubled by snow or ice during the winter. The cache contains emergency supplies  for trapped ship-wrecked expedition; inside will be timed food, fire supplies and  a tent.

For the meantime, Hovgaard Island Field  Camp , 65° 07’ South, 64° 04’ West,  Wilhelm Archipelago, Antarctic Peninsula has been add to the   as WAP MNB-NEW

Chilean Isla Gonzalo, WAP CHL-21

Gonzalo Island (56° 31’ 15” South, 68° 42’ 40” West), is a Sub-Antarctic island, uninhabited except for a Weather and Research Station (WAP CHL-21) operated by the Chilean Navy. With an area of 38 hectares (94 acres), Gonzalo is the second largest island of the Chilean Diego Ramirez Archipelago after Bartolomè island. The archipelago lies in the Drake Passage between the continents of South America and Antarctica.

The Diego Ramírez Archipelago is a group of small Chilean islands and islets, located about 100 km southwest of Cape Horn and 93 km SSW of the Ildefonso Islands, in the Drake Passage, about 790 km NNW of the South Shetland Islands (Antarctica). They comprise about 8 km. from north to south, reaching latitude 56º32.2′ South and can be considered the southernmost point of the American Continent, the land closest to the Antarctic Territory.

Gonzalo Island was activated  from 15 through 17 January 2021 by  CE9/PA3EXX  and CE9/VE3LYC


Approaching to the Chilean Antarctic territory is the Gonzalo island  Lighthouse (ARLHS CHI 020, CHI-020, CHI 020 , aka Diego Ramírez Islands Lighthouse), after the end of the American continent in one of the most important areas stormy of the world, projecting Chile towards Antarctica.

The Chilean lighthouses are the most important constructions of the national network of national navigation aids, which have the purpose of allowing safe and expeditious navigation of ships along authorized national routes.

This network is basically made up of 960 lighthouses and beacons, 135 buoys and 133 electronic equipment, installed from the maritime limit leading to Concordia, to the Chilean Antarctic Territory.

For operational, logistical and administrative purposes, it is administered at the national level by the “Maritime Signaling and Navigation Aids Service”, dependent on the General Directorate of the Maritime Territory and Merchant Navy, DIRECTEMAR. In turn, this network is served by five Zonal Maritime Signaling Centers, located in the ports of Iquique, Valparaíso, Talcahuano, Puerto Montt and Punta Arenas.

The important mission of the Diego Ramirez Island Lighthouse
Maritime signaling not only helps Chilean-flagged vessels, but also contributes to internationally navigated vessels being made by the endowment of lighthouse keepers who fulfill isolated periods of 6 months in those remote territories.
The Work of the lighthouse keepers is carried out in isolation and maintenance communication via satellite and radio, maintaining control tasks of maritime traffic and carrying out an important work of effective sovereignty in our national territory. 
Supporting Extreme temperatures, wind gusts of 200 kilometers per hour and a temporary constant, are part of the usual conditions, in which These men must perform their tasks between sea and solitude.
The Naval servers that fulfill these tasks have to be self-sufficient, highly prepared in state-of-the-art technology at the same time time they must learn to master cooking, maintenance and temperance, enduring the harsh isolation in that remote territory.
The Logistic support of the aforementioned distribution is organized from the Zonal Center of Maritime Signaling of Punta Arenas, where They prepare the elements and naval servers that are destined to the task, coordinating with surface and naval means of the Third Naval Zone for the development of refueling and relays of personnel.

TNX: Armada de Chile

India Post opens third post office in Antarctica

April 5th 2024, INDIA’s NCPOR 24th Foundation Day
India’s National Center for Polar and Ocean Research (NCPOR) did organize an engaging cultural program titled “From Labs to Stage.” This unique event showcased the diverse talents of NCPOR’s scientists and staff, bringing them together in a celebration of creativity and entertainment.

In this historic moment, as a part of the foundation day celebrations, the Indian Postal Services, in collaboration with NCPOR, inaugurated a new Branch Post Office at Bharati Station (WAP IND-Ø4) in Antarctica. April 5 was chosen because it marked the 24th Foundation Day of National Centre for Polar and Ocean Research (NCPOR), Goa.

Dr. Shailendra Saini, group director (Antarctic Operations), said: “This is a symbolic yet milestone effort. Our scientists do have access to modern means of communication including WhatsApp, albeit at slow speeds, so they do keep in contact with their families. But the souvenir value of receiving a letter stamped ‘Antarctica’  in an era when people have stopped writing letters altogether — holds great importance. We will collect the letters once a year and despatch them to our headquarters in Goa from where they will be mailed to the scientists’ families.”

Chief Postmaster General Mumbai, Shri K.K. Sharma, officiated the opening, unveiling a special Picture Postcard of Bharati Station that was released on the occasion with the presence  of Shri. R. P. Patil, Director Postal Services, Goa Region, Dr. Thamban Meloth, Director NCPOR, Dr. Rahul Mohan, Group Director and Scientist at NCPOR and the Team leaders of Maitri and Bharati Stations.

K K Sharma said the new venture “underscores the commitment of the postal fraternity to serve even the most remote corners of the globe. The department had earlier installed a post office at Dakshin Gangotri Station in 1984 and another at Maitri Station in 1990. He commended the efforts of all the people involved in making this launch possible and expressed confidence in the postmaster stationed at the Bharati Branch Post Office to facilitate meaningful connections through the exchange of letters with loved ones.

India’s first post office in Antarctica was setup in 1984 at the Dakshin Gangotri Station, which was the country’s first scientific base there, according to a report by Indian Express. Around 10,000 letters and mails had been posted and cancelled at the icy continent’s post office. Significance of post office with Indian address in Antarctica The Antarctica has 2 research stations – Maitri and Bharati – both are a part of the Goa postal division. 
Apart from senior postal department officials, a number of scientists working in Antarctica and was followed by the defacing of the stamps on the postcards by the first Branch Postmaster of Bharati Post Office, Shri. Sudhanshu.
Dr. Thamban Meloth, Director of NCPOR, highlighted the significance of having an Indian Branch Post Office in the icy continent of Antarctica.
Dr. Anand Kumar Singh presided over the function.

In the list taken from the dedicated Indian philately history of Abhai Mishra’s book (see http://www.waponline.it/antarctic-philately-by-abhay-mishra/). Among the Honorary Post Masters of India’s Antarctic Post Office from the 7th Indian Scientific Expedition to Antarctica (ISEA) through the 32nd ISEA, we found our good friend Bhagwati Prasad Semwal  (picture aside) Licensed Ham Radio operator , callsigns: VU3BPZ, Ex-AT10BP, VU3BPZ/P, ex-Antarctican participating the ISEAs XX, XXIV, XXIX and XXXII at Bharati as 8T2BH,  who was Post Master himself  at Maitri Station.

The first Indian Scientific Expedition to Antarctica was initiated in 1981.

In 1988-89, the Dakshin Gangotri Station (WAP IND-Ø1) was decommissioned as it was submerged in the continent’s ice and in January 26 1990, a new post office branch was built at the continent’s India Maitri Research Station (WAP IND-Ø3), according to the publication. For over 35 years since then, placed in blank envelopes, letters and postcards were sent to the Maitri station’s post office for cancellation. According to the publication, now, almost 40 years later, the letters which are to be sent to Antarctica, will now be having a new Pin Code – MH-1718.

Read more at: https://www.deccanherald.com/india/significance-of-the-indian-post-office-in-antarctica-with-a-new-pin-code-for-letters-postcards-2968404

TNX and credit NCPOR


RI1ANE Progress Base WAP RUS-11

Let’s congratulate Igor Taranenko (RQ8K ), operator at the Russian Progress  Base in Antarctica; Igor has begun his journey at Progress signing RI1ANE on last december 14th 2023 and is expected to be down there, till May 2025.

Igor is very active on all bands, Actually it’s easy to work him CW on 10 mts as conditions seems to be good on 28 MHz, but also 20 & 40 mts.

Progress is a Russian Research Station (WAP RUS-11) in Antarctica. It is located at the Larsemann Hills antarctic oasis on the shore of Prydz Bay. The station was established by the 33rd Soviet Antarctic Expedition on April 1, 1988 and was moved to another place on February 26, 1989 In 2000, work was temporarily halted but it reopened in 2003.
A landing field is located close to the station for air connection with other stations. From 1998-2001 works were performed to transfer transportation operations to Progress from the Mirny Station (WAP RUS-Ø7) and make it the main support base for Vostok Station (WAP RUS-13).

QSL for RI1ANE goes via RN3RQ, OQRS, direct, bureau, LOTW

One CW contact to get the certificate. Goal achievied!

It was a chance with profound symbolic value; losing it would have been a real shame.

March 30th and 31st, hours and hours of listening to look for at least one of the 8 active CW stations that would have given the possibility of receiving a dreamed certificate, that of the 97th anniversary of the 1st telegraph connection between Antarctica and the Southern American Continent, more precisely, between the Argentine Orcadas Base (WAP ARG-15) and the city of Ushuaia in Tierra del Fuego (WAP ARG-23) in Argentina.

The stations that would give radio amateurs the opportunity to obtain the certificate were: LU3IA, LU5WE, LU6EWR, LU8DAR, LU9MAH, LW1DPS, LW2DCJ and LW5DD.

A single contact to one of these stations was enough to get the certificate.

LW5DD finally came on 10 meters CW, the 31st of march 2024 on 28.026 at 16:18 GMT, with  loud signal so we exchanged a good 599 x 599.



Getting the certificate was easy, by accessing the  site QSLOG.AR – Bienvenidos!!! al Sitio Integrado de QSLOG.AR from where, smoothly I  downloaded the confirmation.

Thanks to the friends of the Servicio Auxiliar de Radioaficionados de la Armada (SARA) for having set this interesting venture!