A few readers have asked for the 3Y0J band plan. You can find that here. Also check out the DR2W Propagation tool for 3Y0J.
There’s also been a request put out to Elon Musk to slightly adjust Starlink so Bouvet island has internet coverage. Might be worth you retweet this to @elonmusk or send your own tweet to him. You never know!
[JANUARY 26 @ 1110z] – 3Y0J Team Member Adrian KO8SCA reported to Steve, N2AJ that Marama is now 780 nautical miles from Bouvet Island. If they maintain their current speed of 8 mph they hope to arrive at Bouvet in four days time.
[JANUARY 25 @ 1845Z] – Great progress is being made. Using the Garmin tracker we can now see the Marama and Bouvet together in the one image. In an audio clip, Otis NP4G/MM mentions the seas are about 5m high with an estimated 900 miles to go before approaching Bouvet in approx 5-6 days time.
[JANUARY24 @ 1900Z] – Credit to Media Officer, Steve N2AJ for the latest update and video. Good work, Steve !
[JANUARY 24] – A week ago today the 3Y0J team set off for Bouvet in one of the most anticipated DXpeditions ever. This is how far they have sailed so far (as at 0730z).
[JANUARY 24 @ 2045z] – Originally 3Y0J announced that there would be no /MM operation on the way to Bouvet. Amazing how a few days sitting on a sailboat with no HF radio to operate can change your mind! Today at around 19:23 UTC the callsign LA7GIA/MM was heard from the yacht Marama. Adrian KO8SCA told Steve N2AJ a few minutes ago that four different operators from the team had operated /MM at that point. Have fun working them! (audio recordings welcome – send here – thanks.)
[JANUARY 22 @ 2230z by Media Officer, N2AJ] – I just had a very nice satellite radio meeting with 3Y0J Co-Leader Rune LA7THA. 3Y0J Chief Pilot Morten LA3MHA was in the talk group as well. The Marama is passing just to the south of South Georgia Island. They will not be stopping at South Georgia. In order to get a better copy Rube was on the deck. He said it was rainy and cold. He said everything is fine. They are sailing in a very calm sea and low visibility due to the rain at the moment. I asked if he had an estimated date if arrival at Bouvet. He said that he thought it is still a bit early to know but he suspected that it would be close to the end of the month. I asked him how the team was feeling. Rune said he thinks the team members are all doing great. He thinks all the team members are very happy with the journey. They all have slept a lot and are well rested.
I heard from 3Y0J Team Co-Leader Ken LA7GIA earlier. I had asked him if donations made now will count towards early confirmations. His response was “I don’t have access to PayPal so I don’t know if people are donating or not. The rules said in order to get that you needed to donate upfront. If people still donate they will get the QSL. I assume OQRS we be open early March.”
Ken also said, “Not much news here. We saw an iceberg and are changing the route to a more northern one. This will add one half day but is more safe. The route is assessed by a professional navigator working onshore. He advises the Captain what route to choose. He provides us with the waypoints we should go to. The guys are chilling, sleeping, eating and discussing. It’s about 1,500 nautical miles to 3Y.” Ken also thinks they will arrive at Bouvet around January 30th.
Someone asked if there were enough bunks on board Marama for everyone or do they need to sleep in shifts. I asked 3Y0J Team Member Adrian KO8SCA about that. He said, “Captain and crew have their own bunks.” I also asked Adrian how he was passing his time on Marama. He said, “Passing time by reading and chatting. Weather is nice, calm ocean but low temperatures, not too windy. No other ships spotted so far.” This was before it started raining.
The 3Y0J Team lost Starlink Internet Service a couple of days ago. So we are very fortunate to be able to communicate with them via the Icom SAT100 satellite radios and the garmin device. No photos though.
I would like to remind the group that there are two other 3Y0J Official Sources for news. These are the folks who do this every day for you covering many other DXpeditions and amateur radio events. Please check out what they have to offer at their sites listed below.
[JANUARY 22 @ 0800Z] – Team sailed well over 200 miles yesterday. Average yacht speed approx 8 mph. Latest wind speed weather maps suggest they will be entering waters soon (south of South Georgia) with winds in the region of 20-25 mph. We can see it’s taken 5 days to get this far, so a loose assumption would be at least another 5-7 days at sea before approaching Bouvet, but this is really only a rough estimate, and not confirmed by the team.
[JANUARY 21 @ 0730Z] – Boat has been making good progress recently. Up to 15kts (17mph) at times. Prevailing wind has been increasing the closer they sail by South Georgia. DX-World understands they do not intend to stop off at VP8/SG. Couple of recent charts below:
Plotted chart against Garmin reporting points.
WX satellite chart @ 0600Z, January 21
[JANUARY 21 @ 0320Z] – The Marama continues to make steady progress towards Bouvet. The boat’s speed has been anywhere from 7-9 mph. Unfortunately, they are no longer receiving Starlink internet service and they don’t know if or when they will be able to receive it again during travel. Team still have two other means of communication including the Icom Satellite Radios.
Cezar VE3LYC gave Steve N2AJ (media officer) an update on the team’s condition two days ago. He wrote again yesterday and said it’s about the same. Most of the team still feeling the effects of seasickness despite having taken various medicines for it. Only Peter and Cezar did not take the medicine and therefore don’t have the dizziness that seems to be associated with taking it. Bill, Axel and Mike seem to suffer the least. The rest prefer to lay down rather than eat dinner. They are hoping the situation improves over the next couple of days so the rest of the voyage will be more pleasant for the entire team.
(0600z) Marama now approaching half-way point to South Georgia.
[JANUARY 19 @ 0630Z] – You might think – after making a speedy start – the boat has stalled somewhat. This is deliberate as the skipper wants to see out the remains of a recent storm at South Geogia before going full sail there. Keep an eye on the tracker.
Couple of beautiful sunset pictures of the South Atlantic, courtesy LA7GIA.
[JANUARY 18 @ 1245Z] – By Mike AB5EB aboard the vessel Marama.
We are having fair seas and wind. We are somewhere about 200 miles south east of the Falklands. Crew is holding up good, a few cases of seasickness but mostly doing well.
And here’s a video from the deck of the Marama courtesy of co-leader Ken LA7GIA, who says: “puked just the once so far!”
[JANUARY 18 @ 0540z] – Since leaving port yesterday, the team look to be making good progress towards South Georgia.
As at 0540z, January 18th
[JANUARY 17 @ 1730Z] – Shortly after 1715z (2.15pm local time) the Marama lifted anchor. Team 3Y0J are on the way to Bouvet!
[JANUARY 17 @ 0445Z] – Gales are abating soon at South Georgia so with the team set to depart for Bouvet about 12pm local time, here’s the latest info from Ken LA7GIA.
Technically speaking we have departed Stanley as the ropes came off at 22:56 local time (01:56 UTC). We will stay anchored and then continue to Bouvet on the 17th local late morning. WX forecast is 4 days with calm seas to South Georgia.”
As can be seen above a storm system is now moving away from South Georgia. As Ken says, the forecast is looking decent for the next few days ahead while the Marama sails towards VP8/SG.
A reminder of the tracker which is in the possession of Adrian KO8SCA. Plus, the latest summary via media officer N2AJ over on Facebook.
[JANUARY 15 @ 2330Z] – Video taken by co-leader Erwann LB1QI showing the Marama is now loaded and all items secured. We wish again the team the best of winds, fair sailing and above all else do keep safe.
[JANUARY 16 @ 1925Z] – In a carbon copy of the RAF flight which brought the team to the Falkland islands a few days ago (documented below), this particular plane arriving VP8 is a very special one! It’s carrying the missing items the team definitely require for Bouvet – see previous update regarding that:
[JANUARY 16 @ 1445Z by LA7GIA] – It’s a GREEN for GO tomorrow morning late local (17th).
We will receive the three missing amplifiers, some important sailing gear, some important climbing and safety rescue gear, and some other items today with the military flight from the UK. We expect to depart tomorrow morning according to the latest wx forecast. Will have an update later today. Vessel is loaded, all gear strapped and double checked ready for a tough ride. Team spirit is high! All VP8 hams have been very helpful assisting us in any way. Local hams, VP8KCA and VP8YLJ will bring the equipment from the airport to the sailboat for us”
[JANUARY 16 @ 0700Z] – On the IOTA-chasers forum, team member Cezar VE3LYC gave a little update, re-posted here:
We worked very hard for the past three days to unload the container, add many new components to the list, and then load everything onto the boat. It went much longer than we originally expected, mostly because we had to build a lot of wooden frames to secure many heavy components, such as generators (4x 160kg), diesel tanks (1x 1000L plus 3x 400L), the paraffin canisters (400L). In any case, we are all packed up now. Tomorrow morning (16th) we scheduled the border formalities for leaving VP8, and in the meantime we’ll continue strapping all sorts of long components, including masts, antennas, wood planks, heavy poles for the tents, etc. Despite the delay, the spirit remains upbeat, and there is a good chemistry among the team. We’ll have to see how we will be all affected by the long sea voyage in the sub-Antarctic waters below 50°S.
[JANUARY 15 @ 2235Z] – Good news! The Marama is now loaded with 3Y0J equipment. Pictures courtesy Media Officer, N2AJ:
[JANUARY @ 1730Z] – Info by Mike N2AJ: The team is almost finished loading Marama; will complete today in a few hours. If the delayed equipment does not arrive (on next flight to VP8) team will depart after customs clearance on Monday morning local time. If the equipment does arrive, they will depart Tuesday approx 06:00 local.
Short video taken by Mike AB5EB showing the last barrel being loaded. Another video by LA7GIA giving a deck tour of the Marama. With thanks to AB5EB & LB1QI for images.