VP8STI is Battling the Elements and the Pileups on South Sandwich Islands


VP8 DXpedition Co-Leader Paul Ewing, N6PSE, said the VP8STI team is been on the air from Southern Thule Island with three stations, and he expects more to be ready soon. The DXpeditioners arrived on January 17, not without complications. As expected, the pileups have been hectic.

“Our landing yesterday was very difficult,” he reports. “The initial team on the island had to wear wetsuits and go onto the rocks to establish safety ropes for the team and equipment. One team member and one generator went into the ocean. The team member is recovering. The generator is not.”

The 14-member team will activate South Sandwich and South Georgia over the course of its adventure. South Sandwich has been the #3 most-wanted DXCC entity, while South Georgia is the 8th most-wanted, according to the ClubLog Most Wanted DXCC List. The VP8STI/VP8SGI team plans to spend 10 days on each island, including setup and teardown.

Ewing said very rough seas are endangering the process of transporting supplies to the South Thule Island, which is experiencing high winds and some snow. The VP8STI operators are now working through several critical issues, he said, including voltage sags on the three generators, which are causing problems for the K3 transceivers is down to a single 6 kW generator until the Braveheart can bring a back-up unit. The team also is missing parts to some critical antennas.

“We are still actively raising antennas, and we hope to be QRV on 30, 40, and possibly 80 meters tonight [January 18],” he added. The team plans to upload logs to ClubLog each day, starting on January 19.

“Please know that we are doing our best under very difficult conditions, and we hope to see you in our logs,” he concluded.