The South Orkney 2020 DXpedition (VP8PJ) team has been focused on this project since January of last year and it seems to have come together nicely, with only few bumps in the road and no major problems or surprises. The team is ready to leave home late next week and will all stay at the same hotel in Punta Arenas where they will meet up with Nigel Jolly (RV Braveheart) on the 12th for dinner and a last minute briefing before the ship arrives.
If plans hold, the radio operation should get underway on February 21st and run for about two weeks.
These islands were last activated as VP8ORK in 2011 by the Micro-Lite Penguin Expedition Team which made almost 64,000 contacts. By the time the VP8PJ team arrives, it will have been 9 years since its last activation. Given the cost and difficulty in reaching this remote dot on the globe, it could be a very long time until it is activated again.
At the moment, South Orkney is 16th on the Most Wanted list.
The estimated cost of the operation is $325,000(USD). Individual team members will shoulder half that cost, but they hope to raise the other half from the DX community. The team kindly requests your donations. If you work the Dxpedition and donate $10(USD) or more BEFORE they set sail your LoTW confirmation will be processed from the island. All other donors (that work them) will have their confirmation processed via LoTW when OQRS opens.
Donors of $50(USD) or more will receive LoTW and free QSL card(s).
The South Orkney Islands lie in the Scotia Sea about 600 km northeast of the Antarctic Peninsula, 1440 km southeast of Tierra del Fuego or 800 km south of the Antarctic convergence. They were discovered by American and British sealers in 1821 and have since served as a base for Scotch, French, and Argentine sealing and scientific expeditions.