Wilkes Station 1957-1959 “New entry” as WAP MNB-17

From Jan 1957 through 6 February 1959 Wilkes was a Multinational Base (WAP MNB-NEW) managed by USA & Australia, then,  after a hand-over ceremony held on 7 February 1959, Wilkes Station became Australian (WAP AUS-Ø5).

In January 1957, Wilkes Station was established on the Clark Peninsula by the United States as part of their International Geophisical Yera (IGY) program. Antarctica was recognised as an area of major scientific importance during IGY, with 12 nations participating with programs.

US Navy personnel constructed the main part of Wilkes in 16 days, unloading 11,000 tons of material and supplies. It took a crew of over 100 to erect the station, which housed 24 naval personnel and scientists for the next 18 months. At the closure of IGY, the United States offered use of Wilkes to Australia.

Wilkes was seen to be strategically located because of its proximity to the south magnetic pole. Under an agreement with the United States, Australia was permitted to use the station stores and supplies that remained, on condition that nothing was removed and that Australia through reported annually on consumption of stores and supplies.

QSL of KC4USK 1957-1958 is qualify for  a Nerw Entry as WAP MNB-17.

TNX Olivier F6EPN (aka Spratley Woody on Facebook pages) for his great help in finding OLD QSL!

From Jan 1957 through 6 February 1959 Wilkes was a Multinational Base (WAP MNB-NEW) managed by USA & Australia, then,  after a hand-over ceremony held on 7 February 1959, Wilkes Station became Australian (WAP AUS-Ø5).

As Wilkes had originally been built as a temporary station, rapid deterioration occurred in the extreme Antarctic environment. By 1964, the buildings had become a fire hazard due to fuel seepage, and the constant drift snow buried structures for most of the year. The deteriorated wooden buildings needed constant repair.

A plan to realise a new station Casey Repstat  (Replacement station) was developed on the other side of the bay. Repstat was commissioned in 1969 and Wilkes was closed.

Wilkes station is now almost permanently frozen in ice and is only occasionally revealed every 4 or 5 years during a big thaw.

Many objects remain embedded in the ice. Visitors are often able to see the remains of the station through the ice, seemingly exactly as it was left.

What remains at Wilkes are a number of barracks buildings known as Clements huts. There are also the remnants of the semi-cylindrical canvas store buildings known as Jamesway huts.

Information taken from: Wilkes station – Australian Antarctic Program (antarctica.gov.au)

 

21th DCI,  19th WAP  & 13th IFFA  Meetings

Mondovì Section of the Italian Radio Amateurs Association, with the contribution of the Cassa di Risparmio di Savigliano Bank and with the patronage of the Presidency of the Regional Council of Piedmont, the Province of Cuneo, the City of Mondovì, the Municipality of Roccaforte Mondovì,  the A.R.I. National and C.R.P.V.A. has organized for the 21st consecutive year, an important international event aimed at highlighting the aspects related to Amateur Radio and the extraordinary historical, artistic and naturalistic heritage of the Italian territory.

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DCI (Italian Castles Award), IFFA (Italian Flora and  Fauna Award) and WAP (Worldwide Antarctic Program), are 3 programs  much followed by the vast audience of OM all over the world, did gathered on last 17-18 september , over 120  Hams , some coming from Italy, Austria, Belgium and Switzerland, all joining the meeting held in the frame of the beautiful , Borgata Norea of Roccaforte Mondovì, where participants have been booking  at the Hotel Restaurant  Commercio,  in where,  all the works did take place.

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For WAP section, this year,  IK1GPG Max has got the pleasure to show some of the last Antarctic articles published on the most prestigious  international Magazines  and showed the audience a video shot taken in Antarctica by  Lt Danilo Collino IZ1KHY who did participate as Army scout in the operations of the Italian Antarctic campaign 2021-2022.

 

TNX Max,  IK1GPG & Betty IK1QFM.

Broadcast  PNRA’s XXX Scientific Expedition on TV

In a special program by Oliviero Bergamini, the Italian National  TV did broadcast an interesting report . More than an hour has been  dedicated to PNRA’s  XXX scientific Expedition and Antarctica

Check at min 24,30 to see  Paride Legovini IAØ/IZ3SUS who has been active at Concordia Station  and gave several Hams Wolrd Wide a chance to work WAP MNB-Ø3 from dec 6th 2013 through nov. 2nd 2014

TNX Gabry IK1NEG

SKY-HI Camp KC4AAE, a “New Entry” in WAP-WADA Directory as WAP USA-49

WAP must thanks immensely our friend Olivier Dymala F6EPN, for his kind help in finding several interesting and unknown  details of the past Ham Radio activity. This time our attention is focused on a 61 years old QSL card: KC4AAE operated at Sky-Hi Camp 75° 15’ South, 77°10’ West  in a short window (Dec. 1961-Febr.1962).

A clear description on the rear side of KC4AAE card, says:

The Sky-Hi Station was constructed by five civilians: Floyd Johnson, Gordon Angus, Pat Caywood, Chuck Nuner and Steve Barnes. After we put a roof of a fashion over our heads, we constructed the ionosphere and magnetic buildings, installed the scientific equipment and finally set up the ham rig (no doubt many hams feel this should have been in reverse order!) Because this is a remote QTH (650 miles from Byrd, 1300 miles from McMurdo) it is probable that this immediate area had not been visited previously.  Certainly no station had been established here before. This station was the southern end of a high latitude, magnetically conjugate point program with the Northern end in Canada. Simultaneous  ionospheric and magnetic measurements were carefully made during the Antarctic Summer from early December 1961 until February 1962. In addition, interesting meteorological observations were recorded.

Based on this evidence,  KC4AAE, operated from early December 1961, until February 1962 from Sky-Hi Camp at Ellsworth Land,  75° 15’ South, 77°10’ West , is eligible for a new WAP reference.  It has been given as WAP USA-49 which will entry on the next release of WAP-WADA Directory of January 2023.

The actual Eights Station WAP USA Ø7 on WAP WADA Directory, listed a “Eights Station (Sky Hi Camp)”, will be though spitted into  Eights Station WAP USA-Ø7 and Sky-Hi Camp WAP USA-49 and KC4AAE listed on WAP-WACA Directory of Antarctic callsigns, under  WAP USA-49

TNX Olivier F6EPN

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Eights Station  derives his name  from the United States Antarctic Research Program (USARP) project Sky-Hi, in which Camp Sky-Hi (later designated Eight Station) set up in Ellsworth Land in November 1961 as a conjugate point station to carry on simultaneous measurements of the earth’s magnetic field and of the ionosphere.

Eights Station (WAP USA-Ø7) was established  as permanent exploration base from January 1963 to November 1965,in what was the Sky –Hi Camp  located on Ellsworth Land about 1100 km from Byrd Station (WAP USA-19) and 2400 km from McMurdo (WAP USA-22) The station consisted of 11 prefabricated buildings that were brought in via planes and located on the site of the former “Sky-Hi” airlift project temporary scientific camp. The station was named for James Eights who was the first American Naturalist who visited Antarctica at the beginning of the 19th Century. The station was initially supported by 6 scientists and 5 Armed Forces attendants and included observations on meteorology, the ionosphere, geomagnetism, aurora and radio waves. At its peak, Eights Station hosted 27 personnel,  including individuals from the U.S. Antarctic Research Program Summer Party

Indian Post Office Away From India

India does have the strongest and the largest postal network in the world. India also has a post office at the southernmost tip of the world in the continent of Antarctica.

Established at the scientific base station of  Dakshin Gangotri  (WAP IND-Ø1) during the third Indian Expedition to Antarctica. It was first became operational on February 24, 1984 which was later brought under the Department of Post at Goa on January 26, 1988.

This post office was established with the name the Dakshin Gangotri PO and comes under the Department of Post of Goa. Scientist G. Sudhakar Rao was appointed as the first Honorary Postmaster.

The post office at Dakshin Gangotri was part of multiple support systems, which also includes an ice-melting plant, laboratories, storage, accommodation, recreation facilities, a clinic and a bank counter.

However, when the base submerged, the post office was decommissioned in the year of 1990. Later in,  with the establishment of the Maitri Base (WAP-IND- Ø3) a post office was also established named Maitri S.O.

A special postage stamp of  Rs. 1.00 was issued in 1989 commemorating the PO building in its ice-bound surroundings in Antarctica.

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TNX VU3BPZ Bhagwati

Working a Station in Antarctica is always a Great Experience (CQ Magazine, Sept. 2022 issue)

This month, the prestigious American CQ Magazine dedicates a couple of pages about the fondness,  of the most rare DX in the career of a Radio Amateur: connecting Scientific Bases in Antarctica!
The report is written by our great friend Bob Hines K4MZU with a foreword by another “Big Ham”, N2OO Robert W Schenck

 

N2OO (pic on the right) writes:  
«As I have often related, chasing DX isn’t always about the DXCC or CQ DX Awards. Sometimes, the chase is for a more specific goal. In this case, I have passed the keyboard over to Bob Hines, K4MZU, who will give you a little insight into amateur radio activity in Antarctica over the years and a look at the Worldwide Antarctic Program (WAP). Working Antarctica stations has always been exciting for me, although I never chased a particular award for doing so. But I always tried to get a QSL card from every station I could work. I hope you enjoy Bob’s article this month! – 73 de N2OO»

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Working a Station in Antarctica is always a Great Experience

By Bob Hines, K4MZU (on the pic below)

Logging stations operating from Antarctica has been the best DX many can wish for. Several Hams, particularly the old timers, have progressed far but just a few of them have over 200 Antarctic bases in their logs.
This takes years and years of continuous monitoring, setting skeds, following Antarctic expeditions and scientific seasons, all with only one goal; to work a new one. Bases, camps, huts, refuges, and rare scientific sites are the rewards of ample research done by these Antarctic DX hounds. Currently, there are many different Antarctic DX programs and awards available from Argentina, Australia, France, Italy, Poland, Russia, and Ukraine. Two sought-after Antarctic awards are sponsored by the Worldwide Antarctic Program from Italy, with Gianni, I1HYW, and Massimo, IK1GPG, at the helm; and the Polar DX Group managed by Mehdi, F5PFP. Among those meticulous Antarctic hunters is yours truly, Bob, K4MZU. I have achieved the popular WAP Top Honor Roll, top of W.A.P. Worldwide Antarctic Program, WADA Award, 202 Antarctic Bases and WACA Award, with 513 Antarctic stations’ callsigns. I have also achieved the top Antarctic Challenge 2022 Award with 203 Antarctic/sub-Antarctic bases and refuges. Please visit my Antarctic website at www.k4mzu.net to see my Antarctic QSL collection.

Here’s a look back at my long devotion to chasing stations in Antarctica. After getting licensed in 1959 (age 16), I immediately started working DX (no problem with a SFI of 270-290).

Then, I snagged my first Antarctic contact, VP8EH … and I was hooked. Working stations like KC4USE/mm (USCGS Eastwind), KC4AAA/mm (USCGS Eltanin), KC4USR/mm (USS Arnet) and KC4USG/mm (USS Glacier), all late night with polar flutter and often the only signals on the band, was a genuine delight. Later on, from 1970 to 1995 with a much-improved station, I would team up with Larry, K1IED (SK). He would handle phone patches (No satellite phones for personal use then) for KC4USV (McMurdo Station), KC4AAA (South Pole Station), and KC4AAC (Palmer Station). I would do the same for many of the smaller remote sites such as KC4USB (Byrd Surface Camp), KC4USX (Williams Field), KC4AAF (Upstream Bravo Camp), KC4AAG (Terra Nova Bay Camp), and renowned Mr. Henry Perk, VEØHSS/am, who I often claimed would fly from one Antarctic camp to the next in his Twin Otter like I might visit the 7/11 down the street. All during the period from 1959 until now, I have been fortunate to log numerous Antarctic stations from different countries that are signatories of the Antarctic Treaty. Some were quite rare at the time: LU3ZY (South Sandwich Argentinian Station), ATØA (Dakshin Gangotri Indian Station), VKØVK (Australian Wilkes Station), 3YØC (Norwegian Research Station Bouvet), R1ANH (Russkaya Russian Station), and Astronaut Owen Garriott, KC4/W5LFL (SK) at Multi National Patriot Hills Station. Being a passionate Antarctic DX Chaser, one feels compelled to help with QSL responsibilities. Accordingly, over the years I gladly became QSL Manager for LU1ZC (now QSL via LU2CN), VP8AWU, VP8MS, VP8DPC/mm, VP8SIX, C6AMD/mm, R1ANW (op. Henry), KC4/KH6JNF, KC4/KA7DHE, KC4/KC7GJJ, KC4AAF (ops. Sarah, Henry, and Ted), KC4AAG (op. Oriel), KC4/VEØHSS, KC4AAC (op. Janet), (currently KC4AAC, KC4AAA, and KC4USV all are QSL via K7MT), KC4USX (op. Henry), and KC4/KL7RL. I’m 79 years young now and would love to have operated from the ice. Nevertheless, the reality that I have acquired many friendships with those fortunate enough to travel there, along with my fellow Antarctic DX chasers is, most gratifying.

TNX Gabry IK1NEG

South Africa’s Borga Base, WAP ZAF-Ø8

Established in May 1969  at 72°57’54.18″ South, -3°47’47.25 West,  Borga Base was a  semi-permanent scientific research base operated by South Africa in Antarctica (1969-1976) located 350 kilometers (220 mi) south of South Africa’s primary Antarctic research station SANAE I

Borga Base was created with the support of Belgian aircraft during the International Geophisical Year and was inaugurated in 1969. Its main building was a Parcoll hut, a long hut with a semicircular frame resembling half a cylinder.

In the years of its operation (the main research activities of Borga Base were geological surveying and weather monitoring), expedition teams would attempt the traverse from SANAE to Borga Base using specialized tractors, though they were not always successful. In 1969, mechanic Gordon Mackie was the first casualty of South African Antarctic research when he fell to his death on the traverse between the two bases. In 1970, mechanical and weather difficulties forced the team to abandon their attempt to reach Borga. In 1971, mechanical issues once again prevented the team from reaching Borga Base so they created , another semi-permanent station (Grunehogna Base WAP ZAF-NEW), using a prefabricated hut.

WAP thanks immensely our friend Oliver F6EPN  who,  with the pubblication of the old QSL of ZS1AMB active  from Borga Base in 1969, allowed us to complete the story of this Base been on the air, thanks to Chris Muir ZS6BCT (radio operator of the Borga Team expedition),

 

South Africa’s  Borga Base operate by ZS1AMB Nov. 1969. (QSL via ZS6BBK) is listed  on WAP-WADA Directory as WAP ZAF-Ø8.

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TNX Olivier F6EPN for his great help

 

ANTARCTIC News Bulletin, pubblished by New Zealand Antarctic Society   March, 1970 at page 387-388 reports:

Good use was made of South Africa’s new Borga Base, erected last year with the aid of Belgian aircraft during the joint summer expedition. The new base enables geologists to explore new areas and makes it possible to undertake research over a far greater area.

 

Borga Base, a 4-man wintering-over station, was established during May 1969 near Huldreslottet Nunatak (72° 50’S, 3° 48’W), some 350 km. due south of SANAE. The detailed geological investigation of the Kirwan Escarpment, particularly the Tunga region, was completed during the post-winter field-season and Antarctic history was made when the hitherto virgin region of the Escarpment between 5° and 7°W, was mapped during mid-summer 1969/70. The field parties progressed up to the south easternmost continuation of the Escarpment and could clearly see in the distance Heimefrontfjella where British geologists mapped in previous years. The inland base has proved to be a great success and Anton Aucamp and Leon Wolmarans (geologists), Chris Muir (radio operator) and Wilfred Hodsdon (leader and veteran of three expeditions) survived the wintering over extremely well.

11th Expedition geologists and support personnel have already taken over the Base for the 1970-season, during which it is hoped to complete the detailed mapping of the Basement rocks exposed along the Escarpment and in the Juletoppane (72° 30’S, 06°W).

The 11th Expedition will also establish a safe route across the Pencksokka from Borga Base on to the Polar Plateau. This will be used as the first stage of a 600-km over snow traverse from SANAE via Borga up to the northernmost turning point of the U.S. South Pole-Queen Maud Land Traverse. It is anticipated that this geophysical-glaciological traverse will take place after the winter of 1971.

COASTAL SURVEY

Captain K. T. McNish, master M.V. R.S.A., repeated his 1964-radar survey of more than 350 km. of ice front in the King Haakon VII Sea. Significant changes in the configuration of the ice front have been recorded during the intervening five years. The most important change is the calving of nearly two-thirds (ca 1800km2) of Trolltunga, the more than 120 km. long ice tongue along the Greenwich Meridian. This event is undoubtedly of major glaciological and cartographic significance. Off-shore echo soundings have also indicated that the break-away point of the continental shelf lies at approximately 700 fathoms and that the continental slope is a very steep (1:4), linear feature. It was planned to extend the coastal survey during the present relief but close pack ice has thus far prevented any further penetration to the East.

 TRAGEDY

1969 ended tragically with the unex-pected death of Gordon Mackie, Mechanic of SANAE 10. Three expedition members, including the late Mr. Mackie, left SANAE for Borga Base to collect a broken down tractor and make magnetic observations. On December 3, 1969, having completed the observations for the day, Mr. Mackie went to look at a windscoop, fell into it and was killed instantly. He is the first member of a South African team to be killed in the Antarctic. The burial will take place at East London, Cape Province after the RSA has returned from the Antarctic.

NEW TEAM

SANAE II, comprising 18 members, left Cape Town on January 10. 1970, for the Antarctic. The journey was uneventful and the transfer of the four expedition members to Borga Base, approximately 2 km. southeast of SANAE. The existing base at SANAE was erected at the beginning of 1962 and will be replaced by a new base at the beginning of 1971. A new power shack was also erected by the PWD team.

BUILDINGS

Planning the new main base is progressing well, and it is hoped to have it erected during January-February, 1971. The old buildings, erected in 1962, arc now 35 feet under snow and ice, and are still withstanding all stresses and strains.

 References: Vol.5, No.9, March 1970 page 387-388

Mmymtmmx* a N E W S B U L L E T I N – DocsLib

 

 

KC4USY Ross Island Field Camp “New entry” in WAP-WADA Directory

Anthony W Delprato, WA4JQS is an Antarctic veteran (WA4JQS – Callsign Lookup by QRZ Ham Radio )  and lots more … Thanks to his  precious help, we are now in a position to add another piece to the Antarctic history listed  in the pages of the WAP-WADA Directory.

Radio amateurs have been and currently are,  a primary help since the birth of WAP. Thanks to them we have been able to put in the Directory, many Antarctic sites brought “On Air” by radio amateurs.

This is confirmed today by this new entry KC4USY Ross Island Field Camp (aka McMurdo Sound) at 77°50’North, 166°40’East.

On the rear side of KC4USY’s QSL, we can read a note reported by Richard F Przywitowski WAØSHZ ,  Ski (WAØSHZ) was the operator of KC4USY:

KC4USY, on Ross Island, was active from March to October 1968.

Near this QTH is McMurdo Station and Mt. Erebus, one of the few active volcanoes in Antarctica. Adelie and Emperor penguins, seals and skua gulls are the only wildlife in the area. Temperatures range from plus 30° to minus 40° F. over the year; high winds being common to the QTH, our highest of the year was recorded at 101 knots.

The purpose of the site was to monitor and record geophysical phenomena which are associated with the upper atmosphere. Areas of interest were optical emissions of the sky, aurora study, ultra-low frequency recording and Doppler shift detection of known RF sources.

Antarctica being an unique location for these studies, thus our being there. Only 469 contacts were made by KC4USY, power generally being less 75 watts.

Mny tnx to all who gave a shout, 73.

Rickard F. PrzywilownSKI” WAØSZH, ex – KC4USN ’66.

 

And here, is the comment from Tony (WA4JQS)

They were on Ross Island some distance (about 3 to 6 miles)  from McMurdo Station (77°50’53” North,166°40’06” East). They were only there for a short time,  back then they would go out and set up summer camps for a month or two. Then break them down.

I was in a QSO with Willy Field one night when a crew member came into the shack and told the op to come outside. A penguin had walking into camp and Willy Field was 200 miles from the water. They backtracked his tracks and found another set of tracks just outside the camp that went around the camp. They followed them and found the lone penguin .  Both were put on a C 54 and flown out to the coast later that week. 73 Tony WA4JQS

 

At the light of these evidences, we are entering Ross Island Field Camp (aka McMurdo Sound)  at 77°50’North, 166°40’East on WAP-WADA Directory  as WAP USA-48.

 

TNX Tony WA4JQS (https://www.qrz.com/db/WA4JQS)  &  Ski WAØSHZ  (11619 Billings Ave, Lafayette, CO 80026-9647, USA)

David FT4YM will join the 2022-2023 French Antarctic campaign in Antarctica

David FT4YM (FT4YM) will be QRV again from Antarctica during the next summer campaign  (December 2022 to March 2023).
Pic aside show David FT4YM and Danilo IZ1KHY, last season at Concordia Station

Although it’s too early to know his exact calendar, David is on the list as driver-mechanic for one of the three convoys that will connect Cap Prud’homme  (WAP MNB-NEW) to Little Dome C (WAP MNB-15) via Concordia  (WAP MNB-Ø3) on both ways.

During the period, activity is forseen  from the following bases: 

FT4YM: Base Dumont d’Urville, Petrels island. (WAP FRA-Ø1)

FT4YM/P: Base Concordia.

FT4YM/P: Base Little Dome C.

FT4YM/P: Robert Guillard Station at Cap Prud’homme (aka Base Cape Prud’homme).

As soon as David FT4YM/P will be on air from this brand new Base, a new WAP reference will be issue.

The French radio amateur Polar Team, provides a complete station to take part in the Odyssey on the air. It comprises a Huttenberg HT2000 generator, a Yaesu FT891 transceiver, an Alinco DM330 power supplì. This year,  an Icom IC2KL amplifier, a fibr glass mast, a 20/40m wire vertical antenna and other supplies, will be part of David’s set up in Antarctica.

TNX Mehdi, F5PFP

Cape Prud’homme (Cape Prud’Homme  WAP MNB-NEW – W.A.P. (waponline.it)) is a French-Italian Station managed by the (French Polar Institute Paul-Emile Victor (IPEV) and the Programma Nazionale di Ricerche in Antartide (PNRA). Cape Prud’homme is acually WAP MNB-NEW  on WAP-WADA Directory. Located on the Antarctic coast, Cap Prud’Homme houses the small Robert Guillard Station, capable of accommodating up to a maximum of 18 people, the tunnels where the tractors and machinery necessary for the traverse are housed and, of course, the material destined for Concordia, which arrives in Antarctica with the Polar French ship Astrolabe, near the French station Dumont D’Urville, which is just 5 km away.

More about Cap Prud’homme

On the mainland, 5 km from the Island of Petrels, DDU (Dumont D’Urville) is articulated to a third place, Robert Guillard (Cap Prud’homme), the basic element of a system whose main objective is to organize, depending on the year, in addition to scientific expeditions, two or three raids to supply fuel and equipment to the Franco-Italian station Concordia.

Prud’homme is a small unit, from 10 to 20 people depending on the moment, and which is defined as “a village”, administered by an “elder”, named with a touch of humor, the “mayor”. An unelected mayor, without specific status, but simply considered, thanks to his experience, as responsible for the coordination of a team of men and women.

The village is composed mainly of mechanics in charge of preparing and accompanying the raid, a real physical feat, 20 days of crossing round trip across the icy continent, in tractors pulling containers mounted on skis, loaded with tanks of fuel and equipment. It is a real umbilical cord without which Concordia built at 3,200 meters above sea level and 1,200 km from the coast could not live.

Read more at: A human community in the heart of the Antarctic ice (theconversation.com)

TM6ØANT & TM19AAW  by F8DVD

François Bergez F8DVD  informs WAP  that his last activity’s QSLs have been printed and now are ready to confirm all the QSOs made.  

While sending the preview of both cards, François wrote :
Just received  print of  QSLs for my last two activations.

TM6ØANT (WAP-318) in commemoration of the 6Øth  Anniversary of the signing of the Antarctic Treaty.

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TM19AAW (WAP-344) for the 19th Antarctic Activity Week.

The picture shows the elevated dormitories used as housing for summer and winter personnel at the US Amundsen Scott – South Pole Station (WAP USA-21). The structure is raised on stilts to allow drifting snow to blow under it.

Thanks to Alfio IT9EJW for printing.  Direct QSL are posted to day

TNX F8DVD, congrats for such a  geat job!

Special QSLs could be requested Direct to:

F8DVD François BERGEZ
6, rue de la Liberte. 71000 MACON, France

Argentina will build three new multidisciplinary laboratories and two Refuges  in Antarctica

Three new multidisciplinary laboratories for the Esperanza, San Martín and Orcadas bases, together with new shelters on the Vega and Cerro Nevado islands,  near the Marambio Base will be built during 2023 by Argentina in its Antarctic territory, based on an agreement signed last wee by the Ministers of Science, Daniel Filmus, of Defense, Jorge Taiana, and Foreign Affairs, Santiago Cafiero.

The initiative was presented at the headquarters of the Ministry of Defense, where officials confirmed that the buildings were designed by engineers of the Argentine Army who hope to complete their construction during the next Antarctic summer campaign in 2023. The Ministry of Science will finance them with 200 million pesos within the framework of the Federal Program Build Science program.

These three new laboratories and the two refuges are part of the first stage of the “Multidisciplinary Antarctic Laboratories” project, promoted by the Ministry of Science, the Argentine Antarctic Institute (IAA), the Joint Antarctic Command (Cocoantar) and the General Manuel N. Savio Foundation.

These three laboratories of 120 square meters and the two shelters of 20 square meters represent a great advance of the scientific capacities of Argentina since it allows to improve the scientific-technological work in Argentine Antarctic bases that until now concentrated much of their scientific activity in the summer months, it was officially reported.

Read more at:  https://www.telam.com.ar/notas/202208/601168-nuevos-laboratorios-refugios-antartida.html

TNX IK1NEG Gabry

As soon as these new sites will be open, and a name for each one will be given (probaly the refuges will be called the Vega Island Refuge  and Cerro Nevado Island Refuge, they will be incuded  in the list of  WAP-WADA Directory as WAP ARG-NEW.

WAP remains in stand by for the Laboratories at  Esperanza (WAP ARG-Ø4), San Martín (WAP ARG-Ø8) and Orcadas (WAP ARG-15)  Bases, to see if they will be part of the Bases or if they will be located away of them.

Polympics, the annual Antarctic Games among the overwinterings

The Polies have just join the now-annual Polympics, that have involved the other Antarctic stations in the 2022 Antarctic Games. 

The friends form Arctowsky Polish Antarctic Station (WAP POL-Ø1) did join the 2022 edition as well!
Winter is the time when Antarctic stations of different countries undertake various forms of cooperation and competition among themselves. Contrary to the intensive summer period, there is a little more time for this in winter. In July, the crew of the Henry Arctowski Station took part in the “Antarctic Games” sports competition organized by the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station (WAP USA-21 and/or WAP USA-36). The joint initiative provided sports emotions, joy and the feeling that we are not alone in Antarctica.

Hope the WAP followers have already seen  the previous post, the one regarding the WIFFA (Winter International Film Festival of Antarctica) pubblished few days ago.  Well, Arctowsky is one of the several Stations that  intended  to partecipate.

Still follow film festival website https://www.wiffa.aq and enjoy it! It’s a nice oportunity to see how is the life in Antarctica on winter time!

 

TNX Arctowski Station

Winter International Film Festival of Antarctic

Winter International Film Festival of Antarctica (WIFFA) is an annual film festival open exclusively to those who spend the entire winter in Antarctica or in Subantarctic areas.
The festival was held for the first time in McMurdo (WAP USA-22) & Scott Base (WAP NZL-Ø1) in 2006 and 2007 where is started the competition for the 48hr films locally at the two bases.
In 2008 eight stations participated, and for every year since then, both interest in the festival and the number of participants has grown.
The festival is for short movies, within 5 minutes of duration, and has two categories:

48-hour filming – usually takes place in the first week of August; on the day of the start of the competition the participating stations receive a list of the five elements that must be included; the film must be ready to be screened within the following 48 hours.

The five topics of the 48 Hrs are usually represented by a sound, an object, a character, an action and a quote. Five bases then choose within each of these general topics a specific element which will be communicated to all stations and which must be represented in the film (for example the sound could be the sound of an animal, the object a bottle, etc.).
Once the short films have been shot, they are sent and viewed by all the participating bases, which give a vote, thus deciding the best film for both categories, the best actor / actress, the best soundtrack, the best costumes and so on.

Watch the festival website and enjoy the past and recent  films at:  https://www.wiffa.aq

While waiting to see which one will be the best of the 2022 edition, WAP wish all the stations’s partecipants,  a wonderful game!

SQ1SGB Sebastian Gleich, ready for the new Halley season 2022-2023

In a recent contact, Seba SQ1SGB has confirmed that his 4th season at Halley VI-a  (WAP GBR-4Ø) is coming.  

Seba wants to prepare himself to this season and he’s looking for some light Digital converter fitting to his FT857 RTX, to be on Digi other than the usual SSB.

For this Antarctic season,  Seba has finally got permission (after 3 years) to use the station’s antenna, which he had already used for a short time last year.  With that large multiband , the signal will certainly perform better,  as no amplifier is allowed down there!

We have also talked about callsign; Seba said that  probably he can apply for VPØHAL, if not VP8/SQ1SGB.

In particular, about VPØHAL callsign, Seba said: “I’ve not heard anything, but have been meaning to contact them. I have just send an email to the BAT government to ask if there is any new info.

Response from BAT government: “I’m afraid we still aren’t yet in a position to be able to issue BAT amateur radio licences. We received a number of responses to the consultation which raised several issues that we need to consider for the new legislation and the process for issuing of licences.

We hope to make progress this year and to be in a position to be able to issue licences soon.”

So VPØHAL seems to be still possible and again, if not, VP8/SQ1SGB will be the call.

TNX Sebastian Gleich SQ1SGB
76-039 Biesiekierz 65
Biesiekierz 76-039, Poland

60 years of the Antarctic Treaty. History and celebration in radio waves

A very interesting pubblication, signed by Dr. Volker Strecke, DL8JDX,   Antarctic veteran has been recentry pubblished on the  german journal “Polarforschung“.
(The journal “Polarforschung” (Polar Research) is being published jointly by the DGP and the Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI). Contributions of all disciplines of polar research are published).

The newest scientific article by Dr. Volker Strecke,  retrace the evolution history  of the Antarctic Treaty, its impact on the scientific activities in Antarctica since its born till today, with particular reference to the Hamadio activities carried out in 60 years, up to the celebrations of the 60th Anniversary,  which involved radio amateurs from all over the world.

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The whole article, can be downloaded at:  https://polf.copernicus.org/articles/90/13/2022/.

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Congrats to Volker DL8JDX and thanks for having shared his research and his long experience with WAP.

Chat Live with Scientists in Antarctica

Live from Palmer Station

August 11, 2022 7:00 PM  to 
August 11, 2022 8:00 PM
Zoom

On August 11 at 7pm EST, join ecologist Kim Bernard and her team live from Palmer Station (WAP USA-23), Antarctica for an event in honor of the first ever World Krill Day. In this live Zoom event, learn how researchers study krill, small crustaceans that play an important role in the marine food web, and why they are so important to the health of the ocean.

Register today for the event online at: https://nsf.zoomgov.com/webinar/register/WN_XChkj5FSQj-t553stzvdFw

You can also learn more about Dr. Bernard and her research on the lab website.

Meeting Type  Webcast

Contacts Sara R. Eckert, email:seckert@nsf.gov

NSF Related Organizations
NSF-Wide
Office of Polar Programs

 

TNX NSF ( US National Science Foundation)

Hamradio will be improved at the Argentinean  Bases in the White Continent

In a meeting between Enacom (Ente Nacional de Comunicaciones ) and the Antarctic Department, an interestring decision has been made:  -Personnel  who does not have an Amateur radio license,  joining  the 2023 Argentine Antarctic campaign,  will be trained in intensive course Hamradio technics. Th training will start in october 2022-. 

The  meeting took place last week between ENACOM, represented by Professor Marcos Lafón Fariña from the Stations and Services Registration Area (Amateur Radio), and authorities from the Joint Antarctic Command. They have made analisys  about the situation of the Antarctic operators which, in some cases, show up on Hamradio bands,  from the different Argentinean bases, without the enabling license.

It was decided to give an intensive course next October  2022, to obtain the amateur radio license for all the operators that will integrate the different crews in the 2023 campaign to the white continent.

The purpose is that they can go on the air with the callsigns of each base and communicate with Hamradio colleagues from all over the world. In the case of the Bases that already have operators with a radio amateur license, the activity in the different enabled bands will continue normally.

 

WAP congratulate both ENACOM  and  Comando Antartico Argentino for such a great decision. Many thanks for your sensitivity and attention to the HF  Radio activity and Radio amateurs.

TNX to Carlos Almirón LU7DSY for sharing this information

Look for LU4ZS & LU8AEU/MM on air

Activity of Argentine amateur radio stations in Antarctica, in addition to maintaining a reliable  communications service, useful and important  in regions like these, contribute to the diffusion of HF activities and promotion of Argentine sovereignty in the region. These activations have several purposes and objectives  beside the usual DX activations.

Marambio Base is Argentina’s gateway to the white continent, as it has an operational runway throughout the year for aircraft with conventional gear (wheels). The C-130 Hercules planes make flights to Marambio at any time of the year.

Likewise, Marambio owns a DHC-6 Twin Otter aircraft from the Águila Flight Antarctic Squadron, which maintains a passenger, cargo and correspondence transport service with other Argentine Bases, and performs tasks of scientific support, international cooperation and sanitary evacuation.

Marambio Base will be active till the end of July. Pay attention to LU4ZS. It  continue to be active on HF, throughout the month of July, LU4ZS, the official radio station of Marambio Base (WAP ARG-21) in Antarctica, will be on the air mainly on 20 and 40 meters  SSB.

QSL via LU4DXU

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LU8AEU/MMFragata FRLI  A.R.A. Libertad is frequently active  on 20 & 40 mts SSB. The ship is valid for WAP-WACA & Polar DX Challenge.

QSL via LU2CN

Maudheim Multinational Base – New Entry on WAP-WADA Directory as WAP-MNB-16

The Maudheim Research Station  (Maudheim , which Norwegian translates as house Maud) was the Base camp of the Swedish-British-Norwegian Antarctic Expedition including members of Australia and Canada between 1949 and 1952 .

At the time of the operation, the Norwegian Polar Institute did announce that, with the permission of King Haakon, the winter base of the joint British-Scandinavian Expedition in the Antarctic has been named Maudheim, in memory of Norway’s late Queen Maud. The name localizes the station as situated in Queen Maud Land.

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Egil Rogstad LA4QC was the operators at Maudheim Station  as shown on the QSL below, dated November 7th 1950

 

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The Maudheim Research Station  was inaugurated on February 20, 1950 at the Ice Barrier Jelbart  in Norsel Bay of Princess Martha Coast , 3 km from the open sea, where a landing was established. The thickness of the ice shelf at the site, was 180-200 m.

The facilities comprised two wooden huts, one of which had lounges, and the other housed the radio station, a meteorological laboratory, and a medical unit. The electric generator, the drilling unit and a serological block were in three small sheds. There was also a magnetic laboratory and a workshop. All the rooms were interconnected by a corridor made of wooden boxes.

On January 15, 1952, the Maudheim Base was abandoned. In 1960 it was visited by a Norwegian Antarctic expedition who observed that it was covered by snow and only a 2-foot-long fragment of the 10-m-high meteorological tower was visible. 

 

The Swedish QST Magazine of Dec. 1950, reports:

QRK LA4QC?

The British-Norwegian-Swedish South Pole expedition in Maudheim has the call sign LA4QC.The station shouts every Saturday at19.30 Swedish time calling  CQ LA on 14300 kc and listens for answers only on 14020 CW.Heard the station in question on 28 October with RST 559. LA7Y, who answered, was also heard in Stockholm, but he did not get in touch at that time.

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Thanks to Mehdi F5PFP for showing the rare QSL of LA4QC on Polar DX Group’s page on FacebooK.

 

At the light of this evidence, WAP has given MNB-16  “New  reference”  to LA4QC at Maudheim Research Station 

K4MZU Bob Hines a DXer  and Antarctic chaser over the top

For an Hamradio operator, working someone from Antarctica, have always been a goal, a great goal!

Logging a station operating from/in Antarctica has always been one of the best DX even wished.  Several  Hams, particularly the Old Timers are far above  but just few of them can have over 200 Antarctic Bases on their logs!  Years of years of continuous  monitoring, setting skeds, follow Antarctic expeditions and scientific seasons, with the only goal to work a new one.

Bases, Camps, Huts, Refuges and rare scientific sites are the loots of the painstaking research of these DX hounds.

Well, among those incredible Antarctic Hunters, Bob K4MZU from MC Donough, Georgia, USA is certainly the best. Bob, who have the best WAP Top Honor Rolls, has recently update his WAP-WACA & WAP-WADA score: TOP of W.A.P. Worldwide Antarctic Program:  WAP WADA Award, 202 Antarctic Bases. WAP-WACA Award,513 Antarctic Stations

Bob has also achieved the TOP of the Antarctic Challenge 2020 Award with 203 Antarctic/Sub Antarctic Bases and Refuges.

Visit Bob’s Antarctic Web Site at: www.k4mzu.net (Antarctic QSL collection) and his  Antennas & Ham Shack Pics Web Page: http://www.k4mzu.net/hamshack.htm

Last but not least,  the other Bob’s hobbies: Author, Antique Bookbinding: www.oldbibles.net and Firearms.

Bob Hines, K4MZU did retire in 2001: 1981-1985 Field Engineer Metro Mobile Cellular, Inc. Greenville, S.C. 1985-1987 Operations Manager Cellular One Chattanooga. 1987-1991 East Tenn Division Operations Manager Cellular One Corporation.1991-2001 RF Engineer BellSouth Cellular Corporation Atlanta.

Congrats Bob, Super Antarctic Score!  

Poland’s rebuilt Antarctic research station to open in 2023

The Henryk Arctowski Polish Antarctic Station was established in 1977 and is now in need of serious improvement works. The Ministry of Science and Higher Education (MNiSW) is to grant new funds to the Henryk Arctowski Polish Antarctic Station to rebuild its infrastructure. “It can be stated firmly that the Polish Antarctic Station is our unofficial embassy in Antarctica. Every year it is visited by official international delegations, representatives of Antarctic programs of other states, as well as tourists from all around the world”, Minister for Science and Higher Education Jarosław Gowin announced on Wednesday,  “However, this is not the most important for us”, he added. “The most important are the broad research capabilities which the station provides to Polish scientists.”

The Henryk Arctowski Polish Antarctic Station  (WAP POL-Ø1) is situated on King George’s Island in the South Pacific and has been in use since the 1970s. It is managed by the Institute of Biophysics and Biochemistry at the Polish Academy of Sciences and operated by eight scientists residing there year-round (called the “winter group”), with five more arriving for a seven-month period (the “‘summer group”), and three additional workers providing continuity to the station’s functioning.
Poland, as a signatory of the Antarctic Treaty, belongs to a group of 29 countries which can decide on human activity on the Antarctic territory. It is allowed to do so as it fulfills the condition of having a research station and sending scientific expeditions to Antarctica, for which an agreement of the other members of the Treaty is required.

 

The reconstructed Henryk Arctowski Polish Antarctic Station is expected to start operation in 2023, Agnieszka Kruszewska from the Institute of Biophysics and Biochemistry at the Polish Academy of Sciences (IBB PAN), the station’s managing institution, has told. The rebuilding of the infrastructure and a new main hall of the Polar Research Station in the Antarctic will cost PLN 88 million (EUR 20.4 million) and will be financed with Poland’s science ministry’s grant, she added.

Scientists have been raising the alarm over its poor state for years, arising from the position of the station’s main building. When it was established 40 years ago, it was over a dozen metres from the sea. Now, during high tide, it is less than a metre away. Scientists claim that at any moment a storm could force part of the building to be taken out of use.

The station’s new hall has been designed the Kurylowicz & Associates Studio. Its layout will be tripartite and the floor plan will resemble a three-pointed star. There will be a common leisure space in the centre of the station.

The structure has been pre-assembled in Poland, likely at the beginning of 2021. Kruszewska said. “We decided to take such a step to avoid unforeseen events that could affect the timely implementation of this investment” .

In the second half of 2021 all prefabricated elements have been transported to the Antarctic and assembled there. In 2022, finishing works are planned. In 2023, the facility is to be put into use.

The new building will be located 100 metres from the shoreline, on a stable surface. It will have foundations so its position will be permanent. The reconstructed station will accommodate up to 40 people.

Read more at:  Poland’s rebuilt Antarctic research station to open in 2023 – The First News

Antarctic microbe produces potential cancer-fighting drug

Researchers map the genetic machinery behind a natural anti-cancer compound from Antarctica for the first time

Scientists have identified the bacterium that produces palmerolide, a compound discovered in sea squirts living in Antarctic coastal waters that could potentially treat human melanoma, the most dangerous form of skin cancer.

Researchers first isolated palmerolide  in 2006 from a sea squirt living on the ocean floor near Palmer Station (WAP USA-23) on the Antarctic Peninsula. They suspected the compound must be produced by symbiotic microbes living in the sea squirt’s tissues but couldn’t identify the specific microorganism that was producing it.

By sequencing DNA from all the microbes inhabiting that sea squirt species, scientists have now identified the organism that makes palmerolide. It’s a previously unstudied bacterial species called Candidatus Synoicihabitans palmerolidicus that has yet to be cultured in a lab.

The researchers also mapped the specific genes within that microbe’s DNA carrying the instructions for making palmerolide. It’s the first time scientists have identified the genes responsible for making a known natural product found in Antarctica.

Thanks and Credit to: The Antarctic Sun Magazine

Read more at:  https://antarcticsun.usap.gov/science/4719/?fbclid=IwAR371tv4Sfn-24U82hwhPZJrCLjcH8x894K4VWXLQ90_TKKv6p1rlBO_qnA

WAP-WACA & WAP-WADA, last release 1.40 Directories  available to download

21st Edition of WAP-WACA and WAP-WADA Directories release 1.40 of last June 1st 2022, have been loaded  at WAP website, together with IK6CAC program (File 39) to manage WAP Awards.

Everything is ready to download toh ave the last version on hands.

Check http://www.waponline.it/wap-awards_download-rules/

 

All WAP-WACA & WAP-WADA Awards issued  as well as the WAP Ranking have also been loaded on the portal. Check  http://www.waponline.it/wap-awards/

 

Many thanks to the thousands Hams and Chasers  WW who are following and supporting  WAP Worldwide Antarctic Program

TNX IK1GPG & IK1QFM for the great management  of WAP Awards

The 65th anniversary of the International Geophysical Year

2022 is the 65th anniversary of the International Geophysical Year, or IGY, a collaborative, worldwide effort among 60 countries, 10,000 scientists and multiple scientific fields to study the Earth and sun. Today we celebrate the amazing contributions made possible by one of the most successful international scientific efforts in history.

An 18-month-long effort, the IGY took place from July 1, 1957, to Dec. 31, 1958. It launched a new era of scientific discovery that has fundamentally changed the way researchers understand the planet.

Coinciding with the peak of the 11-year solar cycle where the sun’s magnetic field flips, the IGY was timed so scientists could study sunspots and observe the sun’s corona during a solar eclipse. Scientists designed and built instruments to study the atmosphere and near space environment, deployed seismic equipment to study earthquakes and ice sheets and used newly constructed radio and astronomical observatories to observe the sun and stars. For their research, scientists adapted many technologies first developed during World War II.

The U.S. National Science Foundation, which had been established just seven years earlier, was instrumental in supportingand coordinating IGY research by U.S. Scientists. NSF began planning for the IGY and issuing grants to researchers in 1955, a massive undertaking that required building infrastructure to house and support scientists in some the most remote and harsh environments on the planet.

 

Read more at: Celebrating the 65th anniversary of the International Geophysical Year | Beta site for NSF – National Science Foundation

Thanks and Credit to the U-S.  NSF

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

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

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!

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)

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)

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.

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