Amateur Radio Quiz: Polar Pursuits


By H. Ward Silver, N0AX

The VP8ORK DXpedition has just concluded, with the Braveheart sailing back into Ushuaia, Argentina -- all hands safe and sound after crossing the Drake Passage! Polar expeditions and stations have been a big part of ham radio lore since the days of Admiral Perry and Ernst Krenkel. Now let’s see how much you learned about our globe’s southern pole while waiting for your chance to put the South Orkneys in your log!

1) Which CQ zone is not included in Antarctica?
a. 39
b. 29
c. 22
d. 13

2) Which Southern Hemisphere country does not possess an Antarctic territory (not including research stations)?
a. ZS
b. ZL
c. VK
d. CX

3) The southern oceans are referred to as the “Roaring” what?
a. 20s
b. 30s
c. 40s
d. 50s

4) The American McMurdo station is located next to what kind of body of water?
a. Fjord
b. Strait
c. Sound
d. Passage

5) Which Cape is the southernmost land not part of Antarctica?
a. Good Hope
b. Horn
c. Breton
d. Flattery

6) Who was the first European explorer to pass Cape Horn on his journey west?
a. Magellan
b. Vasco da Gama
c. Cartier
d. Leif Erickson

7) Which is the southernmost French possession north of 60 degrees south?
a. Maria Theresa Reef
b. Kerguelen Island
c. Amsterdam Island
d. Reunion Island

8) Bouvet Island is reached by sailing in what direction from South Africa?
a. southeast
b. south
c. southwest
d. west

9) What is the name of the Antarctic peninsula reaching north towards South America?
a. Ross
b. Larsen
c. Bellinghausen
d. Palmer

10) Which of the following island or island groups does not belong to New Zealand?
a. Auckland
b. Campfell
c. Chatham
d. Macquarie

11) What kind of aurora do you see at the South Pole?
a. Boreal
b. Borealis
c. Australis
d. Digitalis

12) On which of the following does the South Pole gets the least sunlight?
a. Solstice
b. Equinox
c. Perihelion
d. Syzygy

Bonus Question: Can you name this native son of the country that owns Peter I? He was the first explorer to reach the South Pole -- when did he get there?


1) c
2) d -- While the US, Great Britain, Chile, Norway, France, Australia, New Zealand, Argentina and Brazil all lay claim to parts of Antarctica, Uraguay does not.
3) c -- which refers to the latitude and the constant wind
4) c -- the McMurdo Sound
5) b -- the southern tip of South America
6) a -- in 1520
7) b
8) c
9) d
10) d -- It’s Australian, mate!
11) c -- Austral means “south”
12) a

Bonus Answer: Roald Amundsen in 1911