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3Y0Z Bouvet Island Team: We’ll Be Back


Now safely home in the wake of their ill-fated DXpedition attempt to Bouvet Island, the members of the 3Y0Z Bouvet Island team hope to try again to mount an operation from what’s been described as the most remote place on Earth. The subantarctic Bouvet — a Norwegian dependency — stands as the second most-wanted DXCC entity.

“[W]e are not the kind of people to give up,” DXpedition co-leader Bob Allphin, K4UEE, said in a statement released over the weekend. “The same thing happened when we were trying to activate Peter I Island in 2005. We came back the following year and…we got it done.” The 2006 3Y0X operation subsequently was judged the “DXpedition of the Decade.”

All told, the 3Y0Z team spent a month aboard MV Betanzos, the vessel that transported them from Chile to less than a mile off Bouvet to Cape Town, South Africa. Now back home for about 2 weeks, the team has had a little time to reflect.

“We have been to Bouvet Island, and as a result, we have a better appreciation for the challenges we face,” Allphin said. “It is a dark, dismal, and dangerous place. Yet, when the sun shines, it is magnificent.”

The most difficult memory for the team, Allphin said, is the team’s final day off the coast of Bouvet, “when we saw the island, crystal clear in calm winds, less than a mile away. The conditions were perfect for our first reconnaissance flight and possible landing of men and camp infrastructure. But, during the violent night before, the captain had made the decision to abort. In retrospect, his call was clairvoyant. The mechanical propulsion failure on the ship that occurred would have brought disaster if it resulted in some of our men being stranded ashore.”

Allphin said the 3Y0Z Bouvet team is optimistic that it will get at least some of its money back from DAP, the Chilean company that owns the vessel. “That money [with] what we still have in the bank will allow us to begin making plans to try again,” he said. “We have begun the difficult task of looking for a suitable vessel, and would hope to go back to Bouvet in the next year or two.” He said no contributors have asked for their donations back, and several have urged the team to roll over their contributions to help fund the next attempt to activate Bouvet.

“So, if we can pull all the moving parts together, we are going to try it again, hopefully, this time, with a different outcome,” Allphin concluded.

Allphin, Ralph Fedor, K0IR, and Erling Wiig, LA6VM, have served as co-leaders of the 3Y0Z effort. The 2018 3Y0Z team totals 20 radio amateurs, including the co-leaders, from eight different nations and includes some of the world’s top operators.



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