Press Release #8 – September 21, 2017
Our team meeting in Atlanta, GA from Sept. 7th through the 10th was a great success. Eighteen of our 20 operators were present, coming from as far away as Japan and representing 7 of the 8 home countries of our team members.
Our meetings began with a review of our goals, the challenges we have met, and those we have yet to encounter. We had a Skype conference with the CEO of our transportation company in Punta Arenas, Chile, and then discussed safety, our shelter deployment plans, antennas, transceivers and amplifiers, propagation, medical and emergency issues, operating practices, scheduling, and propagation.
We spent many hours unpacking and then staging our equipment. We inventoried everything and then began moving it from temporary storage to our 40-foot sea container. We also prepared our customs documentation which included the 6,000 items on our inventory. We ran a tank of gas through each of our eight 6.5 KW generators, drained the oil from them, and readied them for shipment. There were many of trips to local stores for more shipping cases, duct tape, nuts and bolts, electrical supplies, fuel cans, etc.
Our EME team needed to be certain there were no problems with their complex station and antenna system. They worked until 4:30 AM assembling their 2-meter station and antenna array and were rewarded by completing a QSO off the moon with PA2CHR, our EME pilot station. The station works!
Our sea container leaves Atlanta the first few days of October. It will be placed aboard a ship bound for Punta Arenas, Chile. We are hopeful that it will there no later than December 1st. Our team members have all purchased their airline tickets to Punta Arenas for a couple days of meetings and orientation. Then we will fly across the Drake Passage on the morning of January 13th to board our ship at King George Island in the South Shetland Islands. We plan to sail for Bouvet that same afternoon. We will arrive at Bouvet sometime between January 23rd and 25th. Our actual landing date is weather dependent. We will be lucky to be on the air within a few days.
Every detail of our landing sequence, shelter construction, antenna layout, equipment setup and radio operations is well thought out. Also, our emergency evacuation routes and plans have been identified.
We are humbled by the support of the DX community. Over 100 clubs and foundations and over 1550 individuals have supported us financially. If you have already supported us, we thank you. But, please ask your fellow DXers to join you. If you have yet to contribute, we ask for your consideration. While our operators are prepared to dig deeper into their pockets to make this DXpedition happen, your continued support would make our faces, as well as our antennas…beam.
Counting the days,