The Bouvet Island DXpedition – 3YØZ
Press Release # 10
December 29, 2017
We recently reached yet another milestone in our quest to activate Bouvet Island.
DAP, the Chilean company that owns and operates the M/V Betanzos and the helicopters, has satisfied the last contractual requirements prior to our departure. We submitted to them a “Fit for Purpose” checklist with 120 items as part of our contract. They have satisfied all the checklist items, and we will be transferring almost 1/2 million U.S. dollars to them in the next few days.
So, we are happy to report that we are on schedule for a January 13, 2018 departure to Bouvet Island, the World’s most isolated island and the number two most wanted DX entity. All team members will meet in Punta Arenas, Chile no later than January 10, 2018. We will attend a one and one-half day marine safety course, purchase last minute supplies and then fly across the Drake Passage to King George Island in the South Shetlands. There, we will board the newly refurbished Chilean vessel M/V Betanzos, and begin our 9 to 11-day voyage to Bouvet. The team feels confident knowing that the ship’s captain and many of the crew have been with the vessel for eight years, and have extensive Southern Ocean experience. The Captain reports he has previously been to Bouvet.
Sea ice has been reported along a direct route to Bouvet. This may dictate that we take a more northerly course before turning south to approach Bouvet. This may add day or two to our transit time.
Our two helicopters have completed their 100-hour inspections, and are ready for service. There has been a thorough review of landing procedures and shelter and antenna layouts. We have three alternative anchoring systems to secure the shelters and antennas to the ice on the surface of Bouvet.
So, the plan remains unchanged. We will have two stations on every open band whenever humanly possible, gain and directional antennas where possible, high power stations and a propagation-driven operation. The primary modes will be CW, SSB and RTTY. FT8 will be utilized if it is the only productive mode. Anyone preparing to utilize FT8 must read the 3YØZ FT8 protocol on the Band Plan page of the DXpedition website.
Complete information on band plans and frequencies, propagation predictions and QSL procedures are available on the DXpedition website: www.bouvetdx.org. You will find strategically placed “donate” buttons if you want to help with our substantial costs. I hope you share in the excitement of this great undertaking. We anxious to get underway!