Bouvet Island DXpeditions Are in Planning Stages for 2021, 2022, and 2023
From ARRL de WD1CKS@VERT/WLARB to QST on Tue Aug 10 20:12:28 2021
Parallel planning is under way by three entities for DXpeditions to Bouvet Island in 2021, 2022, and 2023. The remote volcanic, glacial sub-Antarctic island in the South Atlantic is the second-most-wanted DXCC entity, according to Club Log. In June, the Intrepid-DX Group canceled its 3Y0J DXpedition, planned for 2023, after the RV Bravehart was put up for sale. Not long after, the Intrepid-DX Group revived its plans and was seeking a suitable vessel.
On August 8, a DXpedition using the 3Y0J call sign announced the signing of a contract with the expedition vessel Marama, a 101-foot sailing ketch with "a proven track record and experienced polar crew." Co-leaders for the November 2022 effort are Ken Opskar, LA7GIA; Rune Oye, LA7THA, and Erwann Merrien, LB1QI. Opskar, who holds the 3Y0J license, split from the Intrepid-DX Group DXpedition effort he headed with co-leader Paul Ewing, N6PSE.
In a brief announcement on August 3, Ewing had said that a Bouvet DXpedition team under "revised leadership" had found "a suitable/affordable vessel willing to take us to Bouvet," and was negotiating the terms of that charter contract. Ewing's co-leaders would be David Jorgensen, WD5COV, and Kevin Rowett, K6TD. The Intrepid-DX Group now must secure a new license and landing permission from the Norwegian Polar Institute.
Meanwhile, Polish radio amateur Dom Grzyb, 3Z9DX, says planning continues for a second expedition on Bouvet Island in late 2021, using the call sign 3Y0I. "As you probably know, our first attempt to reach the island of Bouvet in March 2019 failed," Grzyb says on the DXpedition's website. "We were so close - just 63 nautical miles off the shore of Bouvet Island!"
The reconstituted 3Y0J group under the LA7GIA/LA7THA/LB1QI triumvirate said in its August 8 announcement that it planned to begin fundraising "immediately." It would field a team of 12 operators for a 20-day stay "around Bouvet." They would set up at Cape Fie at the southeastern part of the island, which is called "the only feasible part where a DXpedition can safely set up camp on rocky ground; we will not set [up] camp on the glacier."
The Intrepid-DX Group's Paul Ewing, N6PSE, had no comment regarding the 3Y0J release of August 8.