Team Antipodes would like to thank all of you who have already joined our project and provided us with invaluable financial support. The list of donors can be viewed on the expedition website.
Since our project was approved by the Department of Conservation of NZ as a partnership, we have been working very hard to prepare all the logistics and build in the necessary contingencies for the very difficult tasks ahead. In the following I would like to share with you briefly some of the aspects involved:
- The team will meet in Invercargill on Jan 2 and spend the evening/night treating all their clothing, boots, sleeping bags, backpacks, etc. with an antibacterial and disinfectant approved by DoC for quarantine.
- A comprehensive quarantine is scheduled on Jan 3, which will additional include a careful spraying and treatment of all equipment (which we must bring and carry in waterproof pelican cases).
- All food provisions must be purchased from a specially approved DoC quarantine depot to comply with their regulations.
- Following the quarantine, we will rent a van and drive to Dunedin on Jan 4, where we will board the boat.
- It will take 3 days to sail to the Antipodes. Landing is only possible in cold, southerly winds. There are only two landing spots, both of them involving wet landing, one more dangerous than the other.
- Unless the sea conditions are perfect, landing can only be done away from the vertical cliffs on top of which the research hut is located, and will involve more than a couple of miles of steep hiking through boulders and slippery terrain.
- All equipment, personal effects and provisions will have to be carried out by our backs. It will take several trips back and forth to finish this work.
- We expect rainy, misty and foggy weather, with temperatures of 13-14C, hopefully with some sunny breaks. Same time last year, the DoC team was hit after landing by a strong hailstorm while the temperature plummeted to 3C.
- Please keep in mind that delays can occur at any step of this project!
We regret to inform that we have already incurred additional expenses as a result of higher cost of plane tickets over the holidays, baggage surcharges, and quarantine requirements. Any delays will obviously lead to yet additional costs.
Over the last few days we received several messages in which IOTA chasers expressed doubts that they will be able to make it through, either because of the propagation path (western EU), the anticipated pile-ups (ZL9 being a relatively rare DXCC), etc. While we cannot possibly guarantee that we will be able to log every single station which will be calling us, we wish to assure the IOTA chasers that our operators are familiar with the IOTA community, and that we will do every possible effort to provide it with a satisfactory service world-wide.
Meanwhile, as we continue to look for financial support from the amateur radio community, we will have to divide our attention to satisfy the needs and expectations of all groups and individuals who will step in and support this project. We would like to use this opportunity to ask once again the IOTA chasers who haven’t yet committed to this project to come on board!
We do need your help now, so please, please support our team at http://iotahunter.org/donate/!
Thank you and best regards,