Archive - December 2010

Wollaston (SA-031) & Diego Ramirez (SA-097)


Weather and Sea Conditions Expected During the  DXpedition.

The waters around the Cape are particularly hazardous, owing to strong winds, large waves, strong currents and icebergs; these dangers have made it notorious as a sailors’ graveyard. The terrain is entirely treeless, although quite lush due to the frequent precipitation. Winds were reported to average 30 km/h (19 mph), with squalls of over 100 km/h (62 mph) occurring in all seasons. Diego Ramirez is 106 km south-west of it, in the Drake Passage. Temperature in January-February ranges from highs of 14°C (57°F) to lows of 5°C (42°F). Snowfall can occur in the summer anywhere south of the Beagle Channel. The cold and wet summers help preserve glaciers. In summer, the wind at Cape Horn is gale force up to 5% of the time, with generally good visibility. Greatest rainfall is in March, 137.4 mm, while the least is in October, 93.7 mm.

The Strait of Magellan, Beagle Channel, and all other passage between the islands that are part of the Wollaston and Hermite groups are notorious for treacherous williwaw winds, which can strike a vessel with little or no warning; given the narrowness of these routes, there is a significant risk of then being driven onto the rocks. Several factors combine to make the passage around Cape Horn one of the most hazardous shipping routes in the world: the fierce sailing conditions prevalent in the Southern Ocean generally; the geography of the passage south of the Horn; and the extreme southern latitude of the Horn, at 56°S.

The prevailing winds in latitudes below 40°S can blow from west to east around the world almost uninterrupted by land, giving rise to the “roaring forties” and the even more wild “furious fifties” and “screaming sixties”. These winds are hazardous enough in themselves that ships traveling east would tend to stay in the northern part of the forties; however, sailing to Cape Horn requires ships to press south to 56°S, well into the zone of fiercest winds. These winds are further exacerbated at the Horn by the funneling effect of the Andes and the Antarctic Peninsula, which channel the winds into the relatively narrow Drake Passage.

The strong winds of the Southern Ocean give rise to correspondingly large waves; these waves can attain enormous size as they roll around the Southern Ocean, free of any interruption from land. At the Horn, however, these waves encounter an area of shallow water to the south of the Horn, which has the effect of making the waves shorter and steeper, greatly increasing the hazard to ships. If the strong eastward current through the Drake Passage encounters an opposing east wind, this can have the effect of further building up the waves. In addition to these “normal” waves, the area west of the Horn is particularly notorious for rogue waves, which can attain heights of up to 30 m (100 ft).

Ice is a hazard to sailors venturing far below 40°S. Although the ice limit dips south around the Horn, icebergs are a significant hazard for vessels in the area. In the South Pacific, during the summer in Southern Hemisphere, icebergs are generally confined to below 50°S. However, the Horn remains below the latitude of the iceberg limit. These hazards have made the Horn notorious as perhaps the most dangerous ship passage in the world; many ships were wrecked, and many sailors died, attempting to round the Cape.

At the time it was discovered, on 25 January 1616, the Horn was believed to be the southernmost point of Tierra del Fuego; the unpredictable violence of weather and sea conditions in the Drake Passage made exploration difficult, and it was only in 1624 that the Horn was discovered to be an island. It is a telling testament to the difficulty of conditions there that Antarctica, only 650 km (400 mi) away across the Drake Passage, was discovered as recently as 1820, despite the passage having been used as a major shipping route for 200 years.

PW2D Cards dispatched…..


am pleased to report that the Qsl Cards for the PW2D Contest Station arrived from the printer a few days ago and the first 35 direct Qsl Card requests have been mailed this morning (29th December 2010).

The PW2D team are part of the Araucaria DX Club that promotes and encourages contest and dxing in Brazil. The Station is located near Mogi das Cruzes, half way between the city of Sao Paulo and the Port of Santos, Brazil.

Thanks to Gennady UX5UO for a speedy turnaround time for the printing, click here if you are in need of a Qsl service.

Happy Christmas…..


Happy Christmas to all my readers, hope you all have a prosperous New Year and a Peaceful 2011!

Bamboo Island, Cambodia


Peter XU7ACY / NO2R and Wim  XU7TZG will be Qrv from Koh Russei aka Bamboo Island, IOTA AS-133 as XU7KOH from 0600UTC 20th December 2010  until 0600UTC 23rd December 2010.

Bamboo Island is one of a group of small islands in the Gulf of Thailand located about 10 km. from the port city of Sihanoukville in southern Cambodia.

Qsl via Patrick ON7PP

ON3 licence upgrades…..


Well done and congratulations to my friends Gino ON3SSB and Peter ON3WAB (M6ONL) who have received notification of their Licence upgrade.

From January 2011 their Callsigns will change to Gino ON2SSB and for Peter ON2WAB.

I am sure everyone will still recognize them on air so here is wishing them both well from their friends across here in the UK!
(Photo: Peter ON3WAB left, Gino ON3SSB right)

MØIAA & MØGGR/p GFF-214 (all time new)…….


Wx permitting, Ian MØIAA and Andy MØGGR will activate Fairburn Ings (GFF-214) West Yorkshire this Friday 17th December 2010 using their own Callsigns (/p).

The operation will be on 80, 40 and 20M Bands where appropriate running 100w into OCF and/or Dipole antennas. Fairburn Ings is an all time new and first time activation so be ready for the pile up! Qsl will be via MØOXO (Click here if you are in need of a Qsl service.)

Snow is possible at the location on the day of this activation so good luck to them.
Please give the guys your support and we wish them well with the event.

GFF Honour Roll Award – now available….


The last in the series of GFF Awards, the GFF Honour Roll Award (HRA) is now available from the GFF team.

The HRA is available to the stations that have worked, heard or activated at least 50 National Parks or Nature Reserves Worldwide, those being listed in the WFF Award Program. It is hoped that in due course it will be available via the EW4DX LogSearch Database but it may take some time for it to become ‘live’ on that system.

The first HRA’s were issued today to Gino Vandeweghe ON3SSB and Peter Destoop ON3WAB/M6ONL, well done to both.

You can find more information about ‘GFF’ and their various awards on my website by clicking here and for more information on the GFF HR Award then click on the Certificate above to be directed to the information.

Bored?………well here’s a few Dxpedition sites for you to browse!

GS2MP - Yaesu Heritage Year 2010 & Award  01 Jan - 31 Dec 2010  On Air!
HD2M - Contest DXpedition to Nobel, Ecuador  QRT 04 Dec 2010
HI7/OT4R - Punta Cana, Dominican Republic (NA-096)  02-20 May 2011
HKØGU - San Andres Island DXpedition (NA-033)  QRT 02 Dec 2010
J28RO - Republic of Djibouti  06 Jul 2010 - 06 Jul 2012  On Air!
J6 - St. Lucia Buddipole Expedition (NA-108)  05-13 Dec 2010  On Air!
K6VVA/VE7 - Quadra Island (NA-091)  02-05 Jun 2011
K6VVA/VE7 - Point Lay Barrier Island (NA-242)  21-24 Jul 2011
KC4AAA - Amundsen-Scott South Pole Base (USA-21)  Temporarily QRT
LU1XR - Tierra del Fuego Province (ARG-23)  On Air!
LU1XS - Tierra del Fuego Province (ARG-23)  On Air!
LU1ZG - General Manuel Belgrano II Base [Army] (ARG-06)  On Air!
LU1ZV - Esperanza Base [Army] (ARG-04)  Temporarily QRT
LU2XT - Tierra del Fuego Province (ARG-23)  On Air!
LU2XZ - Tierra del Fuego Province (ARG-23)  On Air!
LU3XX - Tierra del Fuego Province (ARG-23)  On Air!
LU9XT - Tierra del Fuego Province (ARG-23)  On Air!
LX75ØD - City of Diekirch 750th Anniversary  01 Jul 2010 -30 Jun 2011  On Air!
OJ1ABOA - Aboa Station (FIN-01)  Temporarily QRT
OR4TN - Princess Elisabeth Station (WAP BEL-02)  29 Nov 2010 - 24 Feb 2011  On Air!
PJ5/SP6IXF & PJ5/SP6EQZ - St. Eustatius (NA-145)  QRT 03 Dec 2010
R1ANB - Mirny Base (RUS-07)  Temporarily QRT
R1ANC - Vostok Base (RUS-13)  Temporarily QRT
R1AND - Novolazarevskaya Base (RUS-09)  On Air!
R1ANF - Bellingshausen Base (RUS-01)  Temporarily QRT
R1ANP - Progress Station (RUS-11)  16 Dec 2009 - 30 Dec 2010 (approx)  On Air!
R1ANR - Novo Runway (MNB-06)  Temporarily QRT
R1ANY - Novolazarevskaya Station (RUS-09)  On Air!
S9DX - Sao Tome & Principe DXpedition (AF-023)  04-17 Feb 2011
T31A - Kanton Island DXpedition (OC-043)  Apr 2011 for 9 days
T32C - Kiritimati [Christmas Island] (OC-024)  Sep-Oct 2011
T6PSE - Afghanistan DXpedition  May 2011
TN5SN - Brazzaville, Congo  20 Aug 2008 for 3-4 years  On Air!
TO2Z - Reunion Island (AF-016) [holiday style]  09-22 Apr 2011
V31ME & V31ML - Belize Islands Tour  10-26 Jan 2011
V73QQ & V73RRC - Marshall Islands (OC-087 - OC-278)  30 Nov - 16 Dec 2010  On Air!
VK4LDX/P - Magnetic Island (OC-171), QLD  10-12 Dec 2010
VK9C/G6AY - Cocos-Keeling DXpedition (OC-003)  22 Feb - 05 Mar 2011
VK9NA - Norfolk Island (OC-005)  07-21 Jan 2011
VK9NN - Norfolk Island DXpedition (OC-005)  05-19 Dec 2010  On Air!
VK9X - Christmas Island DX Holiday (OC-002)  14-20 Jan 2011
VP8/O - South Orkney Islands DXpedition (AN-008)  27 Jan - 08 Feb 2011
VP8AWU - Port Stanley, E. Falkland Island (GBR-25)  On Air!
VP8BKF - Mount Pleasant Airport, E. Falkland Island (GBR-25)  Temporarily QRT
VP8CMH/mm - RRS James Clark Ross Polar Ship  On Air!
VP8CXV - Mount Pleasant Airport, E. Falkland Island (GBR-25)  Temporarily QRT
VP8DIF - Husvik, South Georgia Island (GBR-27)  Temporarily QRT
VP8DLB - Mount Pleasant Airport, E. Falkland Island (GBR-25)  On Air!
VP8DMH - Rothera Base, Adelaide Island (GBR-12)  On Air!
VP8DNA - Mount Pleasant Airport, E. Falkland Island (GBR-25)  Temporarily QRT
VP8LP - Port Stanley, E. Falkland Island (GBR-25)  On Air!
VP8ML - Walker Creek, E. Falkland Island (GBR-25)  Temporarily QRT
VP8NO - Port Stanley, E. Falkland Island (GBR-25)  On Air!
VP8PTG - Walker Creek, E. Falkland Island (GBR-25)  Temporarily QRT
VP8ROT - Station "R" Rothera (GBR-12)  Temporarily QRT
W4T - Tangier Island + IOTA Contest (NA-083)  27-31 Jul 2011
XE2JA/XF1 - Alcatraz Island (NA-167)  Postponed
XRØZN - Juan Fernandez Archipelago (SA-005)  Postponed due end of 2010
XR2ØØR - 200yrs Independence of Chile  21 May - 31 Dec 2010  On Air!
XV4SP - Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam (AS-128)  26 Nov - 06 Dec 2010  On Air!
ZD9BCB - Gough Station (ZAF-05)  On Air!
ZD9GI - Gough Island (AF-039)  30 Oct 2010 - 01 Sep 2011  On Air!

tnx to VA3RJ!

Snow disruption & record temperatures in UK…


Snowstorms and freezing temperatures are disrupting travel across the UK for a fifth day as airports cancel flights and train operators limit services.

The earliest widespread snowfall in the U.K. since 1993 has frozen over roads, disrupting traffic, with icy weather likely to last until at least Dec. 8th. The U.K.’s Met office warned of widespread icy roads across Scotland’s Highlands today and forecast temperatures to drop as low as minus 20 degrees Celsius in Scotland this morning and as low as minus 5 degrees Celsius in London and the southeast of England.

The area worst affected in the U.K. was the North with Yorkshire and Northumberland bearing the brunt. A spokesman for the Automobile Association said the rescue service responded to 18,000 calls on Dec. 1, and had 100,000 in the past six days. We are now in our 7th day without any Mail service so delivery of Qsl Cards has a serious delay.

Temperature at my address is currently -12.6 Degrees Celsius, almost breaking my record of -13.7 Celsius in 2002.

06th December 2010 -13.9 Celsius