UPDATE – Interesting comments here and on Facebook so far. A kind of split in attitudes. Also good points raised by those who have been on the ship.
Some very much want to see the Braveheart belong in the hands of DXers / DX Groups, with others perhaps being more realistic, ie: the Braveheart is an old ship nowadays – even though the website selling the vessel suggests it’s in very good condition.
A couple of points:
- Mention was made about what the ship and crew would do while no DXpeditions took place. In theory, it could be chartered for other (scientific?) expeditions so no major money losses. Or, within a reasonable timescale, the actual charter diary begins to fill up with future planned DXpeditions, for example, around the Pacific Ocean. One DXpedition leads to the next one etc.
- The Braveheart came with a famous crew. Could that ever be replicated by another crew who knew exactly the needs of a DXpedition team?
Keep the comments coming to gauge further opinion. We might open an “Expressions of Interest” page whereby anyone who would like to see a ship, not just the Braveheart, become owned and managed by DXers / Consortium, can leave their name, call and a short message.
On the other hand, maybe we should stop dreaming and accept none of this is possible without proper backing, funding and managing.
[PREVIOUSLY] The RV Braveheart is now officially up for sale. It really does seem to be the end of an era. So many top DXpeditions to remote entities took place mainly due to the crew of the Braveheart, and the ship itself. Recent news about the cancellation of the 2023 3Y0J Bouvet Island DXpedition compounded the fact the charter vessel business worldwide has (until now) ground to a halt due to the Covid pandemic.
With the above in mind, we can’t help but think a group, DX consortium or even some foundations joining forces could perhaps buy the Braveheart. It may sound like madness, but with the right people literally steering the purchase of the ship, it might not be such a bad idea. We read elsewhere that it’s conceivable a few Braveheart’s could have been bought (by our worldwide ham radio community) for the amount of money thrown at recent failed / cancelled Bouvet DXpeditions, and we tend to agree. If, for example, 10000 hams each donated $50, then a ship can be bought. Is it really that simple? Can it be achieved?
We are very happy to set up a GoFundMe or JustGiving or equivalent funding page with a view that DXers and readers alike could try to gain control of a real DXpedition ship which we all know about. But, we would need your help. Big time help.
How could this be done? Who might come forward and organize or lead such a huge undertaking? Who has maritime background? Who has definitive knowledge of accounting and costs? Who has legal background with regards contracts etc? Who is the skipper? How much are running costs? So many specific roles and tasks required. But, we can at least start the ball rolling as equally keen radio ham DXers with a bit of forward-thinking.
While this piece is about the sad demise of the Braveheart, it’s entirely possible similar vessel(s) may also be going for sale soon. Could the above really be put into practice?
So the question is: Is it really the end of an era…or the start of something visionary?
Your input would be valued – please comment or leave feedback. Thanks!