UPDATE – It seems this is the story that keeps giving! Here we have another memory of 3Y1VC being contacted by Tomislav, 9A2AJ (ex-YU4VOJ)
This is a burnt QSL from a 1979 QSO with 3Y1VC. (My complete DXCC album with 317 confirmed DXCC and a new TS-830S burned in my house fire in 1984). At that time I had my first callsign which was YU4VOY. I used a TRIO TS-510 and GP antenna for 14MHz with four radials at five meters height. I remember well how I maintained a QSO with 3Y1VC after the first activation of 3Y in 1977; this time John LA1VC returned to the island with solid equipment. He had a weird way of working: namely, everyone in the gang from 14.000 to 14.050MHz was simply giving their callsign, and John would then pick up and down within that range answering the stations he heard, Hi! He heard me with 579/579. At the time of course I couldn’t know that in the future 3Y would be very difficult to contact. Actually, after 3Y1VC, it took me 21 years to make QSO with Bouvet Isl. again, this time with 3Y5X in 1990. As things stand at the moment, I feel we will hardly have another chance to hear 3Y again.
JULY 2, 2021 – Following on from the little story below dated March 10, we came across some more info about the small amount of QSOs made by 3Y1VC; specifically with Mas, JA3FYC (ex-JR6RRD) which is retold in his own words below:
On February 24th, 1977, a Norwegian research ship was around the ocean area of Bouvet Island to set a beacon transmitter on the island. The ship was staying on the West Wind beach, the northwest part of the island. In the afternoon of February 23rd, 10 crew members landed on the island. After setting the beacon, 3Y1VC (John LA1VC) was ready to operate. However, they had to leave for the ship due to a sudden change of weather.
On the 24th, bad weather continued, meaning the wind condition allowed the staff to land on the black sand beach of the southwest part of the island. Two hours later, 3Y1VC was ready to QRV around 15Z. However, propagation conditions were so bad, that contacts of only ZS5WT at 15:45Z and JR6RRD at 16:07Z were successful. Until 17:40Z, calling CQ, 3V1YC got 29 QSO mainly in Europe including W6ID.. and then returned to the boat. (3 stations made dupe QSOs).
Another landing was planned on February 25th, but was cancelled due to bad weather. In the end, only 26 stations made historical QSOs.
About my QSO with 3Y1VC: I found a CW CQ signal on 14.025MHz at 16Z. I tried several times, but no response. At last, I got a response on 14.028MHz at 16:07Z when I heard a CQ and tried to contact again. Yes!
The QSO was a usual one; exchanging RST, name and QTH. My first impression was that it’s only an unfamiliar station and no more than that. It seemed that no station in Japan or US could contact it, however when the 3Y1VC QSO list was later announced at a DX meeting, it was found to include one Japanese station and one US station. It was a big surprise! I got lots of inquiries from DX magazine editors saying JR6RRD was a fake station and QSO was a fake one too. They asked me to send a copy when the QSO card was confirmed. It was then I found out it was to be a big one. At the time, I didn’t know which country was valuable to me. And of course, I didn’t complete DXCC. Thereafter, I tried hard to stick to DXCC, and became an enthusiast of DX. Come to think of it, that was my destiny God gave me. QSO with 3Y1VC was the incredible event to me, as though I won the lottery of one hundred million yen!
*3Y1VC worked 26 stations from Bouvet Island in 1977. ZS5WT, JR6RRD, K6ID, OH2BH, SM3BZH, OE1ER, OZ1LO, OH2QV, SM3RL, LA2KD, SM3EVR, UL7LAW, OZ7HT, LA1KI, LA4HD, PY1HQ, SM3CXS, YU3DX, OH2BC, YU2RC, YU2RT, SM3AUW, 4X4FU, SM5AQB, YU2RCZ and OH2BGD.
PS: Ken LA7GIA also provided the original log of 3Y1VC.
MARCH 10, 2021 – Since today’s DX-World QSL of the Day is very rare, we thought a good idea to share what the provider (Joseph 4X6FU) also sent us. We’re sure it resonates with others:
I am sending you a picture of one of the many interesting QSL cards my father collected during his many years as an avid DX-er. My beloved father (4X4FU) passed away 24 years ago; he was the one who taught me ham radio and the passion for DXing. I remember as a teenager, in the early days of my ham radio hobby, how much he was happy he made a QSO with Bouvet Island after listening on the bands every day until he found them (no DX clusters in those days..). A few years ago and many years after his death, while surfing the web, I came across a site of a Japanese ham, that told the story of this Bouvet activity. The Japanese ham said he was so lucky to be one of the few 26 hams who made a QSO with that station! I didn’t know until then that my father was among such a small group of “chosen” ones. Tears came to my eyes..I miss him a lot.