The Chief Pilot, EA5RM, reports that after the storm comes the calm and VP8SGI was able to go back to Husvik Bay and collect all their gear last Sunday afternoon. The full VP8SGI log was uploaded and OQRS is running. For VP8SGI log inquiries please contact KU9C at [email protected]
The Braveheart is sailing at full steam heading towards the Falklands Islands where VP8 team will arrive around next weekend. Delorme tracker is working so you can follow Braveheart progress here. More news about VP8IDX operation from Falkland Isl. will come later.
FEBRUARY 7 @ 14:00z — Last night they had a big storm and VP8SGI team members went back to Braveheart for security reasons. Everybody is OK and now they are waiting a weather change to dismount and pack everything. Last log file will be uploaded from Stanley, Falkland Is. VP8SGI is QRT. [tnx EA5RM]
February 6 — Today, EA5RM VP8STI/VP8SGI Chief Pilot was in contact with N6PSE from early morning. They exchanged a lot of messages while they are in the middle of a big storm with high winds and snow. It seems that South Georgia weather does not want to give them a rest.
ATNO (all time new one) plans are going to change due propagation is shifting day to day. Tomorrow, February 7th, they will be asking for ATNO contacts time to time on any band so please, follow operator instructions and respect to those for whom VP8SGI is still an All Time New One.
They did not speak about 6 meters but plans for this band is still the same, if there is an available radio during his afternoon-evening, Paul will call EA5RM via Iridium Satellite few minutes before to start to call on 50.110 MHz so check DX Cluster Network spots.
EA5RM asked them for an earlier 160 meters activity looking to Western Europe and also to take profit of Grey Line with East Coast and it seems they are going to be on the Top Band earlier than previous days.
In the last press release, it was stated that this project exceeds $215.000. Well, the VP8 project budget is $425.000, team members contributed with $210.000. They are very grateful to all sponsors and individual donors who will help them to cover remaining $215.000.
February 5 – Today is day 8 at VP8SGI. We are pushing forward to our goal of 80.000 contacts from South Georgia Islands. The ten and twelve meter bands are very good today. Our biggest challenges are the high winds which are destroying antennas and tents and the many out of turn callers that continually call while we are trying to work others.
We are particularly frustrated by those EU callers that continue to call as we are trying to work to Asia/Japan. Please let´s all show our best Ham Spirit over the next three days so that everyone has a chance to work VP8SGI.
On Sunday, we will be seeking ATNO contacts on 17 meters SSB. We will QRT on Monday morning. Best wishes from the Intrepid-DX Group VP8 Team
EA5RM – VP8STI/VP8SGI Chief Pilot further mentions that, at this point, he wants to remind everybody that VP8 team members left their homes on January 7th, and they expect to return around February 22nd. More than 45 days away, working and risking their lives in one of the hardest places in the World, trying to give us three new DXCC countries, two of them in the highest part on the most wanted list, in a project that exceeds $215.000. So please, lets help them to reach their aim following operator instructions and respecting other callers.
Paul will try to do first six meters QSO during their afternoon and evening time. Take a look to my spots on DX Cluster, he will call me by Sat phone few minutes before start to call on 50.110 Khz.
February 4 @ 15:40z – Right now, VP8SGI team is working on tents and antennas repairs. Due to the strong winds, they have lost two masts. Tri-bander antennas are on the ground and six meter antenna mast will be used to raise one of the tri-bander.
After antenna works, they will again be on the air pushing hard to get everyone in the log. N6PSE will try on six meters SSB today if he finally is able to find a pipe to install 6 meters antenna. New pictures will be posted later today on website.
@10:40z — Yesterday they had high winds and some antennas and tents were damaged. Today they will go QRT during 4 or 5 hours starting around 1PM local time, while they are repairing antennas and tents. More news later.
February 3 — EA5RM – VP8STI/VP8SGI Chief Pilot informs that today is day six on South Georgia Is. VP8SGI will do QRT at sunrise on February 8th. They are experiencing a G1 geomagnetic storm. This is greatly impacting the higher bands. However, VP8SGI team will continue to push forward.
The weather continues to be cold and windy. It is snowing and their noise level is higher than usual. Tonight they will continue their major effort on the low bands including 160 meters. They are planning to be QRV on 17 meters SSB during Sunday for those that need an ATNO contact with VP8SGI.
Due to the difficulties VK and ZL stations have to work South Georgia on RTTY tomorrow from 09:30 to 12:30zthey will be on 14.080 RTTY listening up only for VK/ZL and Oceania stations.
Today they will try again on six meters. Yesterday, EA3GP was able to listen VP8SGI signal on 50.110 SSB. Probably today they will try on 50.110 CW around 16:00 to 18:00z and once again around 20:00 to 22:00z. Since they have not a beacon system, I will try to post on the DX Cluster each time they will be calling CQ.
They are working very hard to work everyone and they hope to see you in the log. Best wishes from the Intrepid DX Group VP8SGI team.
February 1 – Today, they had a windy day, 60 knots, and some antennas have fallen down but they were able to fix afterwards. VP8SGI manager, KU9C, will not be able to change logs at this time. If your QSO is not in the VP8SGI log, work them again. In case you have not been able to repeat missing QSO, feel free to contact KU9C at [email protected] for log inquiries after VP8SGI goes QRT.
January 31 – Today, Chief Pilot EA5RM informs that VP8SGI team were running 6 stations at the same time. Paul, N6PSE describes South Georgia Is. as an amazing, very beautiful, windy and cold place. They are surrounded by Penguins and young Seal pups. Check their website for additional photos.
First Top Band QSO were not easy due CQWW Contest past night. Tonight they will be once again on 160 meters. Their phased verticals seem to work very well. Special effort will be done on Low Bands.
20SSB laptop was running out of time yesterday. Problem was located and they were working on this issue today.
N2OO, VP8STI manager, informs that any log inquires should be send to [email protected] . Non-log issues can continue to go to his regular email address.
Today is day 3 as VP8SGI and they will depart from South Georgia on February 8th.
The Intrepid DX Group VP8 team send you their best wishes from Husvik Bay, South Georgia Islands.
FIRST PICTURES FROM SOUTH GEORGIA
January 30 – Chief Pilot EA5RM informs that VP8SGI is running with five stations at the same time. Good reports are coming from EU and NA after first operation day. They are going to keep the five stations on the air as much as possible. Biggest problem for them today are the out of turn calls coming especially from EU and NA, so please, lets help them to run the pile-up. Tonight they will be QRV on 160 meters outside CQWW Contest.
January 29 @15:10z – VP8SGI_18130SSB_17UTC_2016_01_29
Shortly after 15:00z VP8SGI started operations from Husvik, South Georgia on 15m CW, then 17 SSB. Meanwhile, the full VP8STI log has been uploaded to Club Log. OQRS has been turned on. If anyone has a log enquiry, Bob N2OO asks that you hold off until this Monday, February 1 since he will be participating in the CQWW 160 CW Contest (from W2GD) this weekend and would appreciate if his email is kept clear until Monday.
@ 11:45z – Antonio EA5RM – VP8STI/VP8SGI Chief Pilot – informs that team VP8SGI arrived a few hours ago to South Georgia Is. They have very good weather and they started to work on antennas and shack set up. They expect to be on the air in two or three hours time.
January 28 – David K3LP, co-leader of the VP8STI/VP8SGI DXpedition, called yesterday via satphone to Bill Hein, AA7XT. Bill tells me that “David sounded tired but in good spirits“. David reported that they received two to three feet of snow to go along with the 70 mph winds. VP8STI final log will be uploaded from South Georgia. QSL manager N2OO, will turn on OQRS once we get those last log files and we make sure that the full log is complete. QSL updates will be posted on the VP8STI QRZ page.
January 27 @ 22:00z – After nearly 24 hours with almost no information from team VP8STI, today messages from Paul, N6PSE started to flow. They are in good shape but tired and excited while they soon approach South Georgia Is. The Final VP8STI log will be uploaded from South Georgia.
January 27 @ 10:00z – Antonio EA5RM – VP8STI/VP8SGI Chief Pilot – informs that finally, yesterday the team was able to collect all gear from Thule Is. All team members are OK and they are on the way to South Georgia where they will arrive after three days sailing. They will try to be on the air for eight days as VP8SGI. Delorme tracker is working – you can see the Braveheart progress here
January 25 @ 15:15z – Everybody is OK after the worst part of the storm passed. They made antenna repairs and will be on the air with up to four stations until tomorrow morning. Plans include 160m CW and 40m SSB tonight. Some of the Braveheart crew are ashore helping with station tear-down.
January 25 @ 21:20Z – Nigel Jolly, Braveheart owner, declared an emergency and ordered the VP8STI team to cease all operations and return to the ship. A large ice floe that had broken away due to last night’s storm starts to block the entrance to the Bay where they were camped. There was strong potential for the ice floe to prevent Braveheart reaching them.
The Team is now safely aboard the Braveheart and they are moving away from Southern Thule Is. All equipment and personal gear is still on the island. They hope to return to camp site during next good weather window. Once they retrieve their equipment they will make a determination as to whether they can proceed to South Georgia to do VP8SGI as planned – VP8STI QRT !
January 25 @ 12:00z – At 11:00z today, VP8LP spoke with an operator at VP8STI who reported that the intention is still to continue onto South Georgia to operate as planned. They plan to remain QRV on Thule island for as long as possible whilst packing up, and are as well as can be expected under the circumstances.
January 25 @ 07:20z – Last night two tents and most of the yagis were destroyed by high winds. Both of their main tents collapsed partially and the team worked very hard through the night to save them. The Braveheart recorded winds of 70 mph (112 Kph). They are running only on 40 meters due antenna damage. Once they can assess damage they can determine whether they can proceed to South Georgia or not. Right now they are doing last QSO as VP8STI – they have asked the Braveheart to extract them when it´s possible. They regret that they have fallen short of their plans , however the team and crew safety is most important.
Check weather – enter “Thule Island” in search bar.
January 19 – The team’s now working on the 80M antenna setup. A new storm is arriving so they hope to be able to finish the work on time and QRV on that band tonight. The 40M four square is working, with big signals being reported last night. They expect to raise the 160M phased verticals tomorrow.
Here’s the first pictures:
On January 18th, at 11:58z, VP8STI started operations from Thule Island, South Sandwich on 20m CW.
First CQs on SSB from VP8STI