Updates from the Peter I Team!

    NOTE: Daily updating from Antarctica is only possible through the generosity (and terrific technology) from Iridium Satellite, LLC

   


20 May 2008 We have confirmed 52,771 QSOs or 61% of all QSOs made by 3YX.  One large batch of bureau cards has been processed and should go out by mid-June.

09 May 2006 The first batch of QSLs is out!  Click HERE.

06 Mar 2006 1030UTC:  The Team landed safely in Punta Arenas at 1945 on Saturday evening and went immediately for the hotel, hot, stable showers and a late dinner.  It is great to be back in civilization and it is relatuively warm....55 degs F.

Sunday was spent either sleeping in and washing clothes or touring.  Most of the team was touring parts of Patagonia. Last night was another team dinner, while the team leaders had a final meeting to settle up with the DAP, the charter company.  Unfortunately, there were additional helicopter flying hours and days aboard the ship that had to be settled.  We traded some expedition equipment and cash to settle the account.  So the most expensive Dxpedition in history just got more expensive!

Today, Monday, is a travel day for most of the team with us all heading home...at last.  It has been 35 days since we all met here in Punta Arenas to begin this incredible adventure.  As we head home, we have with us some fantastic memories and some scenes indelibly imprinted on our minds.  We hope that you have been able to enjoy this, along with us, via the website.  Our objective was for you to see it, feel it and live it almost like we did!  I hope we succeeded!

73,
Bob K4UEE
Ralph KIR
and the Team!

04 Mar 2006 1630UTC:  Wheels up (finally) from KGI!  On the way to Punta Arenas and home!

73 from the Peter I Team!

03 Mar 2006 2000UTC:  It looks like the WX will permit us to fly tomorrow (Saturday) from KGI to PA about noon local time.  The odds are about 60%-40% so it's not a sure thing, but the weather reports look good!  Cross your fingers!

73 from the Peter I Team!

  1430UTC:  WX conditions were unsuitable for a flight last evening.  The team is beginning to feel the strain of being on the boat since Feb 19th. (this is because we left Peter I two days early to avoid an incoming storm and then that storm prevented us from retreiving all of our remaining stuff for another five days.)  However, the plane is fueled and sitting in the hanger in Punta Arenas waiting to have a WX opening to come get us.  That has made everyone feel better I think.  Lastly we showed a couple of funny movies last night, the first in a while and everyone felt better.

It is pretty obvious that we are not going anywhere today and probably tomorrow as there is a large, well organized low that must pass between us and PA.  It may be through by tomorow evening, but who knows.  The Captain has organized a zodiac trip to the penguin rookery this afternoon, and that will be a nice diversion.  Current WX conditions are: Low overcast and winds from the NE at 28-30 with gusts higher.

WE WAIT!

73 from the Peter I Team!

02 Mar 2006 1730UTC:  The next window for a flight has come and passed.  Conditions at the airport here at KGI are still unsuitable for an incoming fight.  The next window is in four hours or 1800 local time.  The Punta Arenas-based pilots will check with the WX people here at KGI and make a decision as to a night flight!

Meanwhile a group will be heading ashore in the zodiacs to activate the radio again at the Bellingshausen base!

We wait..

73 from the Peter I Team!

  1230UTC:  The WX this morning is overcast and raining with fog.  Temp is 3 degrees C.  The flight scheduled to pick us up has been scrubbed and we are awaiting news of an afternoon flight, but frankly it doesn't look good for leaving here today.  Maybe tomorrow.....we wait !

73 from the Peter I Team!

01 Mar 2006 Today, March 1st was a terrific day for the Peter I team. About half the team went ashore and were guests of the Chileans, Russians and the Chinese at their respective bases, all within walking distance of each other. About 1000 QSOs were handed out while operating from Bellingshausen from the station that usually signs R1ANF.

For the evening meal, several bottles of red wine appeared and Chefs Bob K4UEE and George N4GRN prepared a BarBQ complete with potato salad, slaw, sausages and beef.  We were joined by Oleg, the Russian base commander and Nikolai Litau shipper of the Russian sailboat, Apostol Andrei.  This vessel is 15 meters length overall and crewed by five men.  They are just completing their first circumnavigation of the Antarctic and their 3rd circumnavigation of the globe.  These fellows visited us while at Peter I also.  There are still intrepid explorers in this world and one of them was in our presence last evening.  Also yesterday, we made a QSO with the Intl Space Station and gave them their 104th DXCC country.  The Commander of the ISS sent his congratulations to the Peter I team for a "Job well done!"

73 from the Peter I Team!

28 Feb 2006 2030UTC:  We will reach our anchorage at King George Island at about 2100Z today, Feb. 28th.  Due to weather, the Dash-7 was unable to fly to KGI to pick us up and return us to Punta Arenas tonite, as hoped.  The next opportunity for a flight from KGI to Punta Arenas is Thursday morning, March 2nd.  Of course, as always...weather permitting.

Members of the DXpedition Team have taken over the boat's kitchen for the next two meals.  Hamburgers and french fries are planned for tonight and pancakes, fried eggs and bacon are planned for tomorrow morning.  Also, the breakfast time has been changed from 0800 to 0930 or so.

We are planning to visit some of the other nearby bases tomorrow by zodiac and possibly activate the station at Bellingshausen, R1ANF.  We will use XR9A as our callsign while there.

The Team has been aboard since Feb.19th and we're is getting a little stir-crazy.  The 4-5 days required at Peter I to retrieve those final loads of equipment have doubled the time aboard.  Spirits have continued high and we believe the new menus will help even more.  HI

We are hopeful for a Thursday departure back to civilization and warmer climes !

73 from the Peter I Team!

  1230UTC:  Spent last night anchored in Whalers Bay inside the caldera of Deception Island.  Team was up early for breakfast and then into the zodiacs to go ashore.  This is the site of an old whaling staion and the British scientific station destroyed by the eruption in 1969.  We walked and photographed everything that moved including large number of fur seals and a few penguins.  This is a favorite stop for cruise ships and the Polar Star pulled in while we were ashore.  When last seen the passengers were still having breakfast.

We will depart here for Fildes Bay at KGI.  We understand the WX has cleared there and we are hopeful of a flight to Punta Arenas tonight.  We shall see!

73 from the Peter I Team!

27 Feb 2006 2000UTC:  We are currently 170km SW of Deception Island with an ETA of 2400 local time or 0300Z.  We will anchor outside the entrance to the caldera until first light tomorrow morning and then enter the lagoon.  The plan is play tourist for 2-3 hours and then resume our sail to the Chilean Frei Base on King George Island.  We expect to arrive there about 1700 local (2000Z).  A Dash-7 charter flight is expected to meet us and, weather permitting, depart for Punta Arenas either tomorrow evening or early Wednesday morning.  After that, most of the Team will begin working their way home via several different routes.  It will be a sad good-bye for a Team that has been through a lot together and has grown very close.  Many of the Team are planning a reunion at the Dayton Hamvention, so we will be together again soon.

Weather is high overcast today with good visiability for 360 degrees.  We are travelling adjacent to the Antarctic penisula now and can see snow-capped mountains on the horizon.  Tonight a party is planned by the Captain and some gifts and speeches and toasts will be swapped.  Until tomorrow!

73 from the Peter I Team!

26 Feb 2006 2359UTC:  It now appears that there will be no radio operations from KGI.  The Team may have an opportunity to fly back to Punta Arenas shortly after arriving on KGI.  That would mean a flight the night of the 28th or the morning of March 1st.  We are all looking forward to the hotel experience in Punta Arenas....ie. Hot showers and nearby restaurants!

Seas today have been comfortable and it has been a good day with the team working again in the container and finishing up the packing.  Tonight, showing in the Salon will be The Eagles In Concert; admission free!

73 from the Peter I Team!

25 Feb 2006 2359UTC:  We are making 10 kts toward Deception Island ETA 0500 Tuesday, then on to KGI with an ETA of 1600.

Been foggy all day, thanks for the Radar!

73 from the Peter I Team!

24 Feb 2006 1859UTC:  The final helicopter load from the island is complete and the Captain advises we'll be underway to Deception Island within the hour!  The Team is jubilant and elated that the 2006 Peter I DXpedition was such a success. We're now on the final legs of this journey and eager to get home.

Several of the Team Members have indicated that they'd like to stay a day or so on King George Island (making contacts from the Bellinghausen station) before returning to Chile and home.  We'll keep you posted -- and there'll be more pictures uploaded to the website over the next few days.  Stay tuned!

73 from the Peter I Team!

23 Feb 2006 2330UTC:  No change...Island still socked in...we are just killing time till we can retrieve the remaining helo loads and then leave....maybe tomorrow.  In the meantime, lots of videos and sleeping.  Spirits are high!

73 from the Peter I Team!

22 Feb 2006 2200UTC:  We are now anchored 1.2 miles off the NW coast of the island in 68 meters of water.  We are experiencing 15ft seas and winds at 25 knts gusting higher.  It is a bit uncomfortable and the team has broken out their sea sickness medications.

We are awaiting another break in the WX to retrieve our final loads.  The WX forecast is not good for another few days, so we may be here awhile.  The decision to pull the team off the island a few days early is looking better all the time.  We are QRV as XR9A/mm during the evenings and mornings here!  The rig is a ICOM 756 Pro III and a Hustler 4BTV mounted on the stern rail.

Our time is split between various activities; for example, coniderable time is being spent collecting the 17,000 photo images that the team members have taken and compiling them.  Some of the fotos are absolutely stunning.

There is also a lounge with a TV and DVD player.  Typically about half the team can be found there watching movies or asleep in their chairs.  The other hangouts are the bridge, the dining room and the specially designed ham shack and now photo compilation room.  Otherwise their only option is their small room or bunk.  Hanging about outside is not an option.

Just waiting and watching!

73 from the Peter I Team!

  1650UTC:  As previously reported, during helicopter operations yesterday to remove the remaining equipment and shelters, heavy fog forced stoppage of helicopter operations.  We can now report that this resulted in four people having to remain on the island for approximately 19 hours.

Per our contingency planning for evacuation of the island, these individuals had the necessary food, supplies, and materials for a shelter to allow them to remain on the island for an extended time.  We were in continuous radio contact with the three members of the ship's crew and Charles Veley.  Although cold and wet, they were never in significant danger.

This morning at approximately 1100 UTC a helicopter flight was possible and these individuala are now safely back aboard the ship.

73 from the Peter I Team!

21 Feb 2006 2330UTC:  We awoke today to the sound of the helo beginning to make flights to the Island.  Although we moved the team off the island on the 19th in advance of a coming storm, we still had some equipment at our camp awaiting pickup.  The WX has been lousy   since our departure and yesterday, only four loads were retrieved. So hopes were high this morning for the final 6-7 loads to come off and we could be on our way home via Deception and King George Islands.

But the WX closed in again and only four loads were picked up.  The remainder of today has been spent watching the WX for an opening and repacking our shipping container in the ship's cargo hold.

We are anchored off Radiosletta plateau about 1¼ miles off the NE side of the island, in about 80 meters of water.  There is one station QRV as XR9A/mm and is busily handing out QSOs.  It seems we may miss the pileups but certainly not the WX conditions of being ashore.  Today was our scheduled departure date and so far at least, we are still on schedule.  But as you may imagine, we are all anxious to get on our way after "mission accomplished!"

73 from the Peter I Team!

20 Feb 2006 2000UTC:  The weather has worsened to the point that the helicopter cannot fly to pick up the remaining loads still on Peter I.  This means that the Team will be sitting on the ship, ofshore Peter I, until the weather improves.  This could be several days and the delay will definitely impact any plans to operate from King George. We'll keep you updated..

73 from the Peter I Team!

20 Feb 2006 0130UTC:  We're all aboard ship!  The last five of us were helicoptered back aboard the DAP Mares about 0000UTC today.  We've all showered (for the first time in two weeks) and are feeling very good about the whole Peter I experience.

Thuere are still 8-10 helicopter loads of gear and supplies awaiting transfer from the island to the ship tomorrow and, when that's all done and stowed, we'll be sailing for King George island.

Tentative plans are to visit Deception Island on the way back to King George Island and then to fly to Punta Arenas, Chile.  There may be radio operations from King George; more about that as plans firm up.

While the Peter I phase of the trip is over, we're still days away from home; we plan updates for you along the way.

Thanks for participating with us on this great adventure -- and being part of the 87K+ Qs from 3Y0X!

73 from the Peter I Team!

18 Feb 2006 19000UTC:  The weather cleared sufficiently to offload even more of the "ready to go" gear -- and four Team Members!  Gary K9SG, Carlos NP4IW, Wayne KU4V and Robert SP5XVY are all safely aboard the ship.  The rest of us are working in consolidating loads for the helicopter and trying to elevate the QSO count even higher than the 81.9K Qs uploaded as of 1400utc today.

Even though Gary K9SG (our Team physician) is no longer on the island, we were able to persuade him to leave the defibrillator behind (just in case)!

Our current best estimate for on-air QRT is 1200UTC Sunday Feb 19

73 from the Peter I Team!

18 Feb 2006 1530UTC:  This morning we've had clear blue skies on the island.  Interestingly, on the ship it's windy and drizzling; apparently the mountain is, for now, keeping the weather on the island clear.  The helicopter is flying and we've completely moved all the OP B infrastructure aboard ship.  Other antennas are being taken down systematically as we continue to operate from OP A.

We are working a plan to close down 3YX sometime on Sunday and plan to be completely off the island sometime on Monday and (hopefully) sailing for Punta Arenas on Tuesday.

All of these plans are weather-dependent as you know; we'll keep you updated as we get closer to departure.

73 from the Peter I Team!

17 Feb 2006 2300UTC:  Today began as a beautiful one; calm, warmer, blue sky and fluffy clouds -- a perfect day to dismantle Op B as was our plan.  The afternoon, however, the wx became steadily worse; at one point, when taking down antennas for that operating position, we had periods of 45 knot winds; not pleasant!

But OP B is now fully dismantled (shelter, equipment, supplies) and ready to airlift back to the ship.  This phase will take eight to ten helicopter flights -- and we were able to get exactly none done today.

We've consolidated now into OP A and are running now with six rigs and four-hour operating shifts.  We're proud of the 76K+ Qs in the log and are planning many more.

73 from the Peter I Team!

16 Feb 2006 2355UTC:  As we don't want to interfere with this weekend's ARRL CW contest, we've decided that we'll only work on the WARC bands on SSB and RTTY.

We are dismantling OP Shelter B and moving two stations into OP A; our intent is to move the OP B shelter and much equipment back abord the DAP Mares tomorrow.

Tonight is our last night on EME; we've made a very gratifiying thirty QSOS on moonbounce!

The WX forecast does not look good for early next week; it's already getting colder and more windy here now.  If the weather situation turns out as expected, we may be shutting down operations on Sunday; we'll have more information as we get closer to that date.

15 Feb 2006 2330UTC:  Today we crossed 60,000 Qs.  We also got six helicopter flights done today taking empty fuel, water and propane bottles back to the ship aling with some unused equipment, antennas and personal gear.  WX cleared about 2300UTC and we had our very first clear shot of the mountain with a beautiful sunset (or sun"dip", really, as it never completely sets) with beautiful colors.  Should have those photos up tomorrow.  This place is a constant contrast with several snow showers during the day and a beautiful ending!  Morale is good and the Qs are better!

73 from the Peter I Team!

14 Feb 2006 1930UTC:  If you haven't yet seen today's video, we encurage you to take a look HERE.  The video says it better than mere words!  The snow is very fine and is making its way inside all the shelters.  Sleeping bags are covered with a light dusting, etc.  It's one thing to anticipate an Antarctic blizzard (and we did) but experiencing one is something else altogether.

We've heard about a rumor that we're ceasing operations on Feb 17th.  Not only is that not true, we've not yet even discussed our exit strategy.  The only places for "good" 3YX information is from our Pilots or this website.  If you don't see it here, it isn't a fact.

We're glad we were able to get the logs uploaded correctly and caught up.  There are 48K Qs in the log now and we are presently hunkered down indoors with little to do but make contacts!

73 from the Peter I Team!

14 Feb 2006 0215UTC:  It's getting colder; temps now averaging in the 20s for the first time since we arrived on Peter I.  The ice is changing from slushy to crunchy which makes getting around easier, believe it or not.

We're all excited about our nine 2M EME contacts last night, especially because it's never been done before.  The Qs were widely celebrated by the whole Team!

We're now in what might be called "Normal DXpedition Routine" of sleeping, eating and operating (not necessarily in that order!)  We have seven stations on the air with the eighth being shared between HF and EME.

73 from the Peter I Team!

12 Feb 2006 2130UTC: The Team has spent the better part of the past 36 hours putting the gear that arrived yesterday on the air.  We are now up to seven active stations and we'll get the 8th up by daybreak tomorrow.  This is allowing operations on 12M and 10M while putting two stations on 40M.

We put up another 40M vertical today and all the SteppIRs are up now (both verticals and beams).

We can now man 30M virtually around the clock and we'll be watching for the LP European opening that occurs during the JA runs.

Because we've been so intent on getting the inter-station LAN up and running, we've been forced to neglect collecting the logs off each machine (or they would have been out of sync or worse, missing Qs on the website).  We found the network was also susceptible to RF and it took quite a few torriods (and time) to correct those issues.

Now that the network is running well, we can finally pull the logs and upload to N1DG which will be done sometime tonight.

We know the DX Community wants the online logs, but getting the Island network running was judged more important for putting QSOs into the logs than confirming ones already made.

We are about three days behind the island infrastructure plan due to the continuing challenges of bad weather.

Thanks for your patience,

73 from the Peter I Team!

12 Feb 2006 0110UTC:  Just to bring you up to date, yesterday morning at 0230UTC the helicopter began flying again and brought ashore 8-9 loads and our three orphaned Team Members.  Starting again at 0900UTC, he starting bringing the final 5-6 loads and finished around 1500UTC.  At that time we finally had a full complement of people, equipment and supplies.  In the last load was the Job Johnny (outhouse) which was very gratefully received!

Here's a rundown on the antennnas in operation now:

  • Battle Creek Special for 160
  • Force 12 Sigma 80 for 80
  • DX Engineering Peter I Special for 75
  • Two 40M verticals
  • 20M vertical
  • 17M two-element vertical
  • 30M vertical
  • Two SteppIR 2El yagis for 10-20M
Tomorrow we'll have another 30M vertical and the two remaining SteppIR 2el yagis up.

We presently have six stations on the air and tomorrow afternoon will have all eight.

Today we had beautiful views of the Mountain; hopefully the weather will continue to clear.

Note: We are presently adding the rest of the computers to the LAN so there will be some delay in getting the logs uploaded; please be patient with us.  The main web page always indicates the latest logs available so that should be your trigger to check to see if you're in it.

73 from the Peter I Team!

11 Feb 2006 1645UTC:  Good news!  The weather cooperated and we were (finally) able to get our other three Team Members ashore along with all our remaining supplies and gear!  We have all stations working and looking forward to an even higher QSO rate from now on.

Thanks to the internatlonal Ham community for your patience while we sorted out the weather problems.

73 from the Peter I Team!

11 Feb 2006 0030UTC:  Conditions are still as previously reported.  The skies were clear enough for the helicopter to take off, but the seas were still too rough to safely land back on the ship.  So no progress today on that front.  Maybe tomorrow..

Since the CQWW RTTY Contest is just starting, we plan to spend all of our time on SSB and CW and in the WARC bands while the contest is on.

Our spirits remain high but we're eager to have the rest of the Team with us (and the rest of our gear and supplies, too!)

10 Feb 2006 1830UTC:  Weather and visibility condx still the same. We've made 7400 Qs so far and some of the logs are already accessible via the website; more will come later today/tonight.  We now have four stations QRV 24/7 so the Q count should rise more quickly. We had a generator fail but we still have ample juice for the rigs.

Now if the weather would only cooperate...

9 Feb 2006 2330UTC:  The visability is still very poor and we were unable to fly the helicopter today.  We saw the ship from the island twice for a few seconds; that's how "socked in" we are.

Thankfully we're all drier today!

The helicopter is loaded for the next run and, hopefully tomorrow our remaining three Team Members will be able to join us.  The supplies we miss the most are ready to bring across: another generator, another radio, chairs and food.

Presently we're on the air with only three stations.  Fortunately today we were able to get the Battle Creek Special up so we'll be on 80 and 160 tonight.

Our spirits are good, but we're disappointed we only have a third of the planned stations on the air.  Hopefully we'll be at full strength by the weekend (both rigs and manpower).

Thanks to the National Science Foundation, the University of Wisconsin and Chuck NNHJ, here's a composite satellite image showing our "delightful" weather system:

8 Feb 2006 Update #2 - 2215UTC:  We're just about where we were yesterday with the weather being even worse.  Three Team Members (Carlos NP4IW, Al K3VN and George N4GRN) are still on the ship along with about 20% of our gear and supplies.  The winds today have been as high as 60 knots and now are 30-40 knots.  Temps are in the low 30s; it's raining (not snowing) and it makes tough going as we sink in about 6" into slush with every step.  The conditions are difficult to work in and Ralph KIR says it's worse than in 1994.  In 1994, firm ice was about 6' down; now it's only about 18".  The final shelter is up (Operations Shelter A, 12' x 24').  We're all wet and semi-miserable (and our chief cook, George N4GRN is still on the ship!)

We've made about 2,500 QSOs so far, about 60% on CW.  The Qs are about 1/3 Europe, 1/3 Japan and 1/3 US.  Tonight we'll have four stations on the air as the 30M and 40M verticals are now operational along with the two SteppIRs.  The 75 meter and 160M antennas will be worked on tomorrow.

We've been unable to transmit the logs for the website so far because the antennas to do that are (you guessed it) still on the ship.  Please be patient and bear with us.

  Update #1 - 0245UTC:  "The Eagle Has Landed"!  The first helicopter load landed on Peter I Island at 1830UTC 7 Feb.  All but three members of the Team are ashore; the last helicopter trip for the day was at 0230UTC.  80% of the gear has been transferred; the rest (and the remaining three Team members) will be flown ashore in the morning (local).  All the shelters are up except OP Shelter A.

Two SteppIR antennas are up along with a 40M vertical.  This is a beautiful place but visibility is presently poor.  We've seen the tops of volcanoes but only for a brief period.  The camp is located a bit north of the 1994 location, closer to the sea.  Snow is slushy and you sink in about 6" with every step; makes moving around tiring.  Temp is 30°, wind 30 knots and visibility is low.  We expect to have 8-9 stations on the air in the next 24 hours.

We plan to be on the air with two stations at around 0400UTC 8 Feb.

Let the fun begin!

7 Feb 2006 1045UTC:  We are still stuck on the ship.  The seas are calmer but the low cloud cover is worse than yesterday.  The wind has shifted so maybe it will clear soon.

We are staged and ready to deploy to the island as soon as the helocopter pilot, Aldo, feels it is safe to fly.  We must make at least five trips at the beginning to get enough supplies to the first landing group to be sheltered and sufficient in case the fog and clouds again suspend flights for any period of time.

Most of the team is catching up on rest - we will need it as soon as we are GO.  It will take 24 - 36 hours after this first GO to get any signals on the air.  It will take a lot of effort and energy.

Since everthing is packed up, we are NOT on the air at all.  After six days at sea we are iching to get on the air and make some noise on the bands.

Stay tuned...

6 Feb 2006 Update #4:
2100UTC:  We took a recon flight about 90 minutes ago and flew over the tip of the peninsula....the area where we want to camp is further toward the mountain and still socked in.  As we look now at that area, it is looking better.  When we can be sure of at least 5-6 helicopter loads we will go -- hopefully tonight!

Update #3:
1445UTC:  False Alarm!  Just after gasing up, the fog set in again.  We are on weather hold in the middle of a low pressure area.  The back-side of the Low just started over us.  Still having fun!!

Update #2:
1315UTC:  The helicopter engine has been started and the first guys are moving to the island!

Update #1:
1200UTC:  We're a mile and half offshore Peter I.  The helicopter is loaded for the first run and the first four of us to go (Erling LA6VM, Bob K4UEE, Ralph KIR and Bob N6OX) are primed and ready.  The seas are fairly calm, wind 15 knots, temp 35°F -- and the island completely shrouded in fog!  We are waiting for it to lift...

73's to all from The Peter I team!

5 Feb 2006 Update #2:
We have arrived at Peter I island and it is foggy and cold and very windy.  It popped out of the fog at 21:35 local when we were only 1.5 miles away and it is about 34°F the wind is 40 mph right now.  It is really cold out on the deck.  The Island is one of the spookiest sights we've ever seen and looks very forboding with the fog and the wind.  Huge rocks and glaciers are intermittantly visible.  We will need to wait for the weather to clear to go on.  It is now 10pm local time and if it clears we will begin going onto the island tomorrow morning.  Everything has gone very much according to plan and we are very happy.
Update#1:
We now have the email working too....just in time to QSY to the Island.....Peter I is on the radar at forty miles, so we will arrive in four hours or 21:00 local.  First flight is scheduled for 07:00 local tommorrow.  The container is unloaded and the first fifteen loads are queued on the deck, ready to go.  Wx is foggy and cold.  Hoping for it to clear tomorrow.  Fingers crossed!

73's to all from The Peter I team!

4 Feb 2006 We awoke to calm seas this morning and have enjoyed a pretty smooth ride since.  We now have over 2500 QSOs as XR9A/mm.  As we crossed the Antarctic circle today at 66°, 33' South, the Captain threw a party to celebrate.  He made a speech and welcomed us to an elite club.  We toasted with pisco sours (the official Chilean drink).  This was followed by lunch and then a safety briefing and walk-thru from the helicopter pilot.  His name is Aldo and he is assisted by two mechanics.  Gerard F2JD will also assist with the helo operations on the island, while Carlos NP4IW and Al K3VN will assist on the ship.  Tomorrow, Sunday, we will move the container contents to the 1st deck and stage for the helo flights.  First four men ashore will be Erling LA6VM, Bob K4UEE, Ralph KIR and Bob N6OX.  The plan is to set up OP B and make it self-sufficient before building the main camp.  This way if WX deteriorates, we will have a "foothold" on the island with two stations QRV.  If WX is OK, we will proceed with building the camp before going on the air.  Our current ETA at Peter I is Sunday, Feb 5 at 2300 hours.  Our first reconnaisance flight will be at first light on Monday morning about 0700Z weather permitting!

Current position at 2100 hours Feb 4th is 66deg, 52 mins S, 79 deg, 24 mins W.

73's to all from The Peter I team!

3 Feb 2006 Beginning yesterday afternoon we encountered long swells that gently raise and then lower the boat..  It was a fairly comfortable ride.  Today the seas have changed a bit and are averaging twelve feet.  The ride is a little more uncomfortable, but not a problem for most of the team.  We are experiencing winds speed of 33 knots with gusts higher..direction is from the SSW.  Outside air temperature is 36 deg F.  Current position is 65 deg 2 min S. Lat and 65 deg, 44 mins West at 1900Z on Feb 3rd.

We have almost 2,000 QSOs on two radios using an OCF Windom antenna and a 4-BTV.  Callsign is XR9A/MM.  The Team is in good spirits, only two are having trouble with sea sickness.  Training is continuing on the use of the Icom 756 Pro IIIs and Alpha 99 amps and with Writelog.  Last night after dinner we viewed a video and discussed once again how to erect the shelters.  Most of the team has hands-on experience with shelter erection from previous training, but six have not.  Tomorrow will be spent moving our equipment from the container on the lower deck to the main deck and staging for helicopter airlift!

Current ETA at Peter I is midnight, Sunday, Feb 5th.  This means the earliest we could begin setting up the camp would be the following morning on Monday.. weather permitting!

73s to all!

2 Feb 2006 We have been at sea since 0100UTC. Seas have varied between calm and rough and currently are 6 - 9 feet. We opened the container and began organizing our grear for landing on Peter I in a few days. We're currently on the air with one station at 100w and are working on getting a second station up along with two amplifiers. One antenna is up and, as soon as the wind dies down, the second will be up as well. Everyone is OK and in good spirits. At the time of this report we're 3 miles offshore Deception Island.

Present ETA is to be at Peter I on the mornign of February 5th, weather permitting; landing there is also a "weather permitting" issue.

1 Feb 2006 The Team flew to King George Island today and arrived at 1300UTC.  We had a short tour of the island and saw a variety of beach animals.  We also were fortunate to visit with Oleg R1ANF at Bellinghausen Station on King George.

The Team and supplies were ferried to the Dap Mares by Zodiac boat and the ship sailed for Peter I at 0100UTC Thursday. We're on our way!

30 Jan 2006 Half the Team is in Punta Arenas Chile with the rest coming in the next 3-6 hours.  We have two rigs on the air using XR9A, you can see the spots.  Everyone is having a BLAST!
29 Jan 2006 The entire Peter I Team is either on the ground in Chile or in the air!  Here are the last to fly to Chile from Atlanta this evening:  George N4GRN, Gary K9SG, Russ KI4NFF, Don N6JRL and Bob K4UEE

19 Jan 2006 Our 3YX DXpedition is honored to carry the Explorers Club flag to Peter I!  Click HERE for more information.


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