[NEWS UPDATE]

Ken, LA7GIA writes:

We are working on making a roughly 30 minute long video, and have engaged an experienced person to do this job. The video will be available to everyone free of charge once finished. Below is a clip I put together – consider this done by an inexperienced person 🙂 It will give you a taste how the floating of equipment was done ashore. More videos to be released later, showing the operators and the camp.

[FEBRUARY 25 @ 2100Z]

On arrival Cape Town, the Marama and 3Y0J crew were met by local ZS hams. Pictures courtesy Ken LA7GIA:

Marama
Marama
Marama_Cape Town

[FEBRUARY 25 @ 1130Z]

It’s been 11 days already since 3Y0J went QRT and a full week since we last updated this particular post. In that time the team has sailed through some high seas after leaving Bouvet behind, but now the Marama is arriving Cape Town. Civilization beckons!

Cape Town in distance (pic by NP4G)

[FEBRUARY 17 @ 200Z]

With the Marama already ~300 miles north of Bouvet heading to Cape Town (ETA approx 6 days from now), a closer look at the Garmin tracking map shows some other rare DXCC entities way in the distance. We don’t know next plans for 3Y0J group but any one of these entities is welcomed! 🙂 Readers may also be interested to watch the video below of Axel DL6KVA making contact with another rare one!

[FEBRUARY 16 @ 1400Z]

Goodbye Bouvet! The anchor is up. The engine is on. Marama is sailing away from Bouvet and heading to Cape Town, South Africa. Six 3Y0J Team members bid the island farewell on deck. The rest are below deck in their bunks preparing for what is reported to be two days of rough seas.

[FEBRUARY 15 @ 1130Z by Ken LA7GIA]

We activated Bouvet Island in extremely difficult conditions! Now that we leave Bouvet with mixed feelings, we also know that we did what we could to get Bouvet on the air.

Four members went ashore at Bouvet on 31 January in good conditions to set up the climbing route and install an unmanned zodiac rope system between a buoy and the beach, so that we could land equipment also in rough surf. During the day the surf increased, and the extraction of the team members was aborted, and we were thus stranded on Bouvet late in the evening. During 3 nights we slept outdoors under the open sky in cold and difficult conditions with little or no supplies. We prepared a simple emergency shelter on the island where we stayed (tarp). During the second day we got some supplies in a risky zodiac operation in high swell. We lost several objects in the surf and punctured the zodiac. The conditions on the beach were terrible. Due to the coming storm, we evacuated back to Marama on day 4.

Despite this, we decided to go ahead and scale down DXped. We could not fight against Bouvet, but had to adjust to the weather and go ashore when Bouvet allowed us. We called it “Picolite DXped” as pictures will show you we operated with 100W from a single tent, no chairs and no table, 60m coax, no amp, simple antennas, small generator etc. Our 2 Elecraft K3 radios were stacked on top of a bucket turned upside down, and we sat on the ground operating. All our wet clothes were dried outdoor on the rocks, and we had very limited heating. We went through a storm of 55 knots, but our tent had no problem with the windforce! The spiderpoles and the DX Engineering antennas also survived the storm w/o any issue.

We only took the equipment we needed, 620 kg in total including supplies. All our supplies to the island were via a rope attached to a buoy 100 meters from shore to beach. All objects were hooked to the line and floated to shore by team members pulling the rope. We named it the gym. The team members also went ashore in survival suits hooked to the line and floating to shore. What an experience!!

Radio Operation: Pileup was difficult as our signals were weak. We had good reception and very often we called 3 to 5 times to log a qso. Many DXers called us but couldn’t hear us, how frustrating! We focused on fewer bands to maximize ATNO and looking at the stats we achieved 19,000 QSOs and 50% unique calls. And many dupes! Many are satisfied, but some are also disappointed by the performance of either the team or the DQRMers. We had issues with the FT8 due to we did not have any device to sync against, and our clock were 14 seconds off – which meant we at some time were TX odd, while we thought it was even.

As for Bouvet, there is no guarantee at all, whether you use two helicopters or zodiac! We could have wanted to make more contacts, but safety was and will always be more important than trying to push our limits in a risky environment. In the coming months, you will be invited to hear more of our stories at conventions and in articles. (Full videos later)

[FEBRUARY 14 @ 1700Z]

Ken LA7GIA updates with the following info:

We will start sailing tomorrow morning. We might take a tour around the island if wx is not too bad. All team is on board and equipment strapped for sailing to Cape Town. There are just some small items to strap inside the cabins. We might operate /MM. Our estimated ETA in Cape Town is 23 Feb. We plan to stay one night there and have a team dinner. ALL log checks should be directed to QSL Manager M0OXO. No team members have access to the log. They will not answer any requests.

[FEBRUARY 14 @ 1040Z]

Co-leaders Ken LA7GIA and Erwann LB1QI together with Mike AB5EB have just published some pictures on social media. With credit to both of them we re-publish here. Images were taken from Cape Fie, Bouvet showing the environment and conditions the team worked and operated in. 

[FEBRUARY 14 @ 0650Z]

Just before 0100z, the generator shut down. This would be the beginning of the end for 3Y0J operations. Shortly after 0300z – as announced previously – we got official word the DXpedition was QRT and the camp was being dismantled. Once the Bouvet ops arrive back on boat, hopefully later today, the laptops with FT8 QSOs should be uploaded to Club Log. It’s likely we will also see first pictures and videos emerge of the activity from the island and life inside the tent etc.

[FEBRUARY 13 @ 1520Z] 

NEW QRT DATE / TIME — 3Y0J will QRT on Tuesday, 14 February 2023 at 03:00 UTC. Team will then pull out and transport all equipment to Marama. The final log update will be made once they are on the Marama.

[FEBRUARY 12 @ 1700Z ]

3Y0J is to go QRT. After a team meeting they have decided not to bring any more gear to the island. Operations will continue until the fuel on the island runs out which is believed to be tomorrow (Monday) afternoon local. They will then begin to tear down camp and by Tuesday have everything removed from the island and back to the Marama. There is a problem with uploading the FT8 logs at this time. Please standby until team resolve this issue hopefully soon. 

[FEBRUARY 12 @ 1400Z]

3Y0J log update has been made – you can check it here. To this point 11K QSOs with 6.6K unique. QSL manager MoOXO mentions that the FT8 QSOs are not yet uploaded. They will be uploaded when the laptops get back to the boat from the island. Those who donated over $50 will also have received their LoTW credit.

[FEBRUARY 12 @ 0400Z]

Team aiming to come off island at 10am (local time) today and then to try resupply the camp with more essential items such as food, fuel, generator and antennas. This might proof tricky due to 3-4m waves, but there is a weather window opportunity they hope to take advantage of. Team have just one tent on the island, no tables or chairs, no heating; very primitive conditions. Listen to the full video update below:

[FEBRUARY 11 @ 1500Z]

[By Ken LA7GIA via Steve N2AJ]

The Team is OK and healthy. Conditions here are very difficult. Maintaining safety is a priority. We will continue to operate with the current equipment as long as possible. The weather conditions continue to be difficult. It is expected to improve between Monday and Tuesday. It looks like Sunday’s good weather window has unfortunately disappeared. The team remains on the air despite these challenges. At this time we are evaluating resupply and a change of operators. Please continue to monitor our 3Y0J Facebook group. You can help by reporting propagation to our pilots. We ask that if you have already worked Bouvet please do not work them on additional modes and bands. This will allow others to get the ATNO they need.

Credit: NP4G

Credit: NP4G

[FEBRUARY 9 @ 2315Z]

The 3Y0J Team is approaching the 7,000 QSO mark and continues to operate through the ongoing storm. They had a good night sleep. Last night 30m FT8 received great signals from JA and NA West coast. Unfortunately, some callers were not using Fox/Hound. Their QSOs were not logged. As stated previously, please remember that on FT8 mode 3Y0J will always be Fox/Hound. The weather in Bouvet was sunny skies and winds around 40 knots. We will continue to operate weather permitting. The 3Y0J Team wishes to thank the Amateur Radio community for their support.

[FEBRUARY 9 @ 0315Z]

Team have about 4 days worth of food left on the island. Good news is that they are ok from the storm which has been / still is impacting the island. Listen to the latest info in the video below:

Meanwhile, DX-World managed to record 3Y0J make a QSO with their QSL manager. Proof indeed this contact is good and in the log, hi. 

[FEBRUARY 8 @ 1350Z by co-leader LA7THA]

Marama has moved back to a position outside of Cap Fie for the incoming storm. The team is in good spirits despite difficult conditions. They get two warm meals a day plus snacks. They are working very hard. Today they started operating FT8 on 21.105 F/H. The team has made about 5,000 QSO’s in less than 48 hours of operation. Weather forecast says there will be high winds in the next 24 hours. We will need to secure the antennas. This may impact operation. The operation will remain on the air as long as possible weather permitting. REMINDER: If you have Bouvet on CW or SSB please do not work us on FT8. It may be the only chance the little pistols have to get their ATNO.

[FEBRUARY 8 @ 1140Z]

As the team continue to make safe their camp and hunker down with a storm approaching, here’s a recording of their 17m CW signal today without much QRM, thankfully. Is your callsign in there?

Meanwhile, team member Otis NP4G (on the Marama) informs and confirms that the station on 15m FT8 (~1100z) is running Fox/Hound, two streams. 

Bouvet is marked. Storm system to SW of island.

[FEBRUARY 7 @ 2010Z]

Everything is OK in the camp. The guys are good. We have a few antennas up. Running some pile ups and preparing for the storm which will arrive in a few hours and last until Thursday. The boat will pull away from the island a bit. The antennas and camp are being secured. The winds are expected to be 60 knots. 9 members will stay in the camp during the storm. They will try to run two bands this evening and tomorrow. They will take down one antenna. They will run 30m and 17m using the Spiderpole on 17 and the aluminum DX Engineering antenna on 30m.

The operation has proved to be extremely difficult. The most extreme expedition I’ve been to. Setting up the camp has been a lot of work. We will focus on CW and phone but there will be FT8. We have just discussed this today. We are running low power, only 100w. We have no amplifiers. We have three antennas set up. We are considering setting up 20m as well. So we will have 30, 20, 17, 15.

The beach landings were accomplished by holding onto a line attached to a buoy and floating 15 meters to the beach in our survival suits. This is quite extreme. We float in all the equipment as well. Then carry the equipment 800 feet up to the camp. We have videos of this. We spent a few days to set up the antennas and tent then prepared for the storm that is coming.

Everybody is in good shape. It’s quite hard to stay here. A lot of wind, but today was a quiet, nice, and sunny day. This will change, and there will be a lot of rain. The day we arrived was a lot of wind and rain. Activating Bouvet is not like activating an island in the Caribbean. It is really windy, cold, and exhausting to bring equipment up here. It’s a different DXpedition than we thought we should do. It’s a challenge, but we hope we can stay on the island for some more days.

Regarding dupes, please only call us if you hear us. We have very good receive here on Bouvet Island. We do not have any facility to upload the log on the island. We are saving on fuel and connection for this. When we get back to the vessel, we will likely upload. We don’t know when the first upload will be. Going to Marama is very time consuming project because of the procedure involved. The first upload may be in the weekend. Again, if you don’t hear us, don’t call us.

Nothing more to report. Hopefully people understand the complexity of this operation. Hopefully we will be able to stay another 7 to 10 days. We are working on plans for how to continue the operation despite the difficult weather conditions here at Bouvet.

[FEBRUARY 7 @ 1025z]

Ken LA7GIA has informed N2AJ that the 3Y0J Team has secured the campsite. They had a good night there last night. They will be running one station at night and two stations during the day. They will operate bands from 12m-30m. If you see a spot outside of those bands it’s a pirate. They will be operating CW & SSB at this time. Watch the DX Cluster for QSY information. If you already have Bouvet in your log please standby and let those operators who need Bouvet for an ATNO work us. There is a storm coming on Thursday that may affect operations. Please continue to watch for updates.

CAMP
« of 2 »

[FEBRUARY 6 @ 2115Z]

Using the aprs.fi data we can see exactly where the 3Y0J camp is set up.

Position: 54°26.66′ S 3°24.88′ E.

As of 2115z three bands have been used so far:  12, 15 and 30m. It’s understood more antennas are being built at time of this update.

[FEBRUARY 6 @ 1645Z]

At precisely 1642z, team member Otis NP4G announced that 3Y0J on Bouvet Island commenced operations on 15 SSB and 12 CW. Good luck! 

Steve N2AJ, Media Officer also reported:

The 3Y0J Team was able to land yesterday at the island. Eight operators plus Peter are on the island. They managed to secure the tent and camp. Due to the strong and challenging conditions, we are using two K3 radios running 100w, wire antennas, and a Honda generator. Please remember that the 3Y0J team will always be operating split. Never transmit on their frequency. We ask that people who have Bouvet already confirmed on some bands please do not work us again to allow an opportunity to many others to get Bouvet for an All Time New One. The team is thankful for all the support we have received in this adventure. Details to follow once the team finishes antenna and camp installations.

[FEBRUARY 4 @ 1014Z]

3Y0J Team Co-Leader Ken LA7GIA says:

“During the weekend the 3Y0J team have adjusted our plans. We are currently preparing this Sunday morning to land essential supplies to survive on the island, and build the camp to manage the upcoming storm predicted for Thursday. In addition, we will attempt to land radio equipment in a difficult operation during the most favorable time slots. This landing depends on the conditions at Bouvet which have proven to be very difficult. The setup is a small scale setup that, if we succeed, will possibly be extended. More info later.”

[FEBRUARY 4 @ 0800Z]

Picture courtesy Mike AB5EB who says the team’s waiting for a second zodiac run.

[FEBRUARY 3 @ 2000Z] 

First pictures from Bouvet, courtesy of Mike AB5EB have just arrived. What a scene !

Meanwhile, here is the latest update direct from the team:

4 team members have spent 4 days on the island under difficult conditions. All team members are now back on the vessel and everyone is safe. Bouvet has proved to be a difficult destination to activate, and the team is now adjusting our plans before we return to the island. The wx forecast for the weekend indicates a storm with 60 knot wind Sunday/Monday and depending on this storm we will assess the situation and go onshore when conditions are good. This will not be a fullscale operation as planned but a smaller setup. We have a good overview of the camp and the possibilities, and will attempt to continue building the camp. We have infrastructure on the island including access to the camp.

[FEBRUARY 3 @ 0400Z] 

Steve, N2AJ (Media Officer) reports the 3Y0J team is very busy working in extreme and difficult conditions to transfer all the equipment and supplies from Marama to Bouvet Island.

The materials must then be carried or hoisted up to their campsite at a higher elevation.

The Starlink internet terminal has been disconnected. Internet communications with team members will not be possible again until the camp is established and Starlink set up.

Team Co-Leader Ken LA7GIA has asked that we be patient while they work.

The satellite radios are being used to coordinate activities between the camp and the boat and must be kept open for that purpose. 

[FEBRUARY 2 @ 1130z]

Location of Marama according APRS @ 1123z
Location of Marama according APRS @ 1123z
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At 1130z today we have no news update. We can only go on the assumption – as you would expect – the team is very busy setting up tents, stations, climbing, carrying, using zodiacs and staying safe. The Garmin tracker on Adrian’s KO8SCA possession shows it’s now on Bouvet, and the APRS tracker shows the Marama anchored just off Cape Fie.

As soon we get more info from Media Officer N2AJ we will update immediately, but for the moment it’s a good idea to bookmark the official 3Y0J Facebook page for any further info. 

PLEASE NOTE: DX-World website is receiving a large amount of visitor traffic obviously due to 3Y0J. To keep levels at a good rate we also suggest you visit the following pages for more information on the Bouvet DXpedition. Often these pages have fresh info: 

 

[FEBRUARY 1 @ 0700Z]

This morning (local Bouvet time) the Marama was clearly noticed just offshore Cape Fie using APRS data. This corresponds with the team unloading the vessel and going ashore.

[JANUARY 31 @ 2000Z]

The time has come to start a brand new page for the 3Y0J DXpedition. Part I was all about the team leaving home, flying to UK then to VP8, then packing the Marama before finally setting sail for nearly 2 weeks. Today we have learned some of the team managed to land Bouvet and further equipment and team will be landed tomorrow, weather permitting.

For part II of the DXpedition we will be focusing on the landing,  setting up and finally the main event – radio operations ! Without further ado, please follow this page for future (DX-World) 3Y0J updates. The old page (part I) will not be updated from now on but rather stay in place for historical purposes. 

[BREAKING NEWS, JANAURY 31 @ 1900Z] 

Team members of 3Y0J have landed on Bouvet!  AB5EB, LA7GIA, WD5COV and cameraman Peter landed. It was a very difficult landing.

They will return to the boat overnight then spend approximately 10 hours working away tomorrow unloading gear on to the island. Watch the video of N2AJ and LA7GIA giving full info so far. Congrats !! 

 

3Y0J BOUVET PART 1 HERE