From Cezar VE3LYC;
We are pleased to announce that an IOTA expedition to Escondida Island (SA-096) is scheduled to take place in early January 2013 under the auspices of the Radioclub de Puerto Madryn. A team of four operators, including Cezar/VE3LYC, Johan/PA3EXX and two LU radio amateurs will attempt to maintain two stations on the air for up to 4 days.
Escondida means hidden in Spanish, as the small rocky island is virtually covered by the sea in high winds, which can start suddenly. The rocks are home to large colonies of sea lions and cormorants, generating intense ammonia smell, which creates serious breathing problems. Landing and camping on the rocks are extremely difficult and require careful logistics.
The project is based on 16 months of logistical work, with support from numerous LU hams, non-hams and Government of Chubut officials. We are especially indebted to Jose (LU2WAZ), his colleagues from the Radioclub de Puerto Madryn, Federico (LU6KK), Carlos (LU1EBR) and Cristian (LU1WCR). We would also like to express our appreciation to Simon (IZ7ATN), Ezequiel (LU1EEZ) and Mark (LU7CAW), who independently were keen to embark on a similar project 5 months ago and graciously stepped down when they became aware of our plans. Thank you guys for your great sportsmanship!
Our scope is to give everyone around the world a chance to log us. However, we would like to underline that the operation will depend entirely on the weather conditions. Since in case of emergency the team cannot leave the island at night – if staying on the rocks after dark will be deemed unsafe, this will reduce our daily operating time, as the team will have to travel day-light hours between mainland and the island. At this time we have applied for a special callsign, and a website is under construction.
QSL cards will be available through Cezar/VE3LYC, either direct or via the bureau. A call for financial support will be posted on the expedition website in due course.