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Bouvet Island arrival

Arrival Bouvet Island. Official 3YOJ photo via facebook.

HAM Radio Team Reaches World’s Most Remote Island

John Konrad
Total Views: 18251
February 10, 2023

By John Konrad (K5HIP) Last week, after a long and treacherous voyage, a team of amateur radio operators arrived on the world’s most remote island, Bouvet Island. Using the callsign 3Y0J, they are now transmitting a variety of signals, including Morse code, digital modes, and voice transmissions, in an effort to reach out to other amateur radio operators around the world. The expedition’s goals are simple: to contact as many amateur radio stations as possible from a remote location.

A dependent territory of Norway, Bouvet Island is an uninhabited subantarctic volcanic island located in the South Atlantic Ocean. It is the most remote island in the world, situated approximately 900 nautical miles south-southwest of the coast of South Africa and 1,400nm north of Queen Maud Land, Antarctica. The remoteness of this island makes radio signals originating from it very rare.

The 3Y0J team worked hard for two years to raise the estimated $650,000 for their DXpedition. They received donations from individuals, corporations, and amateur radio organizations around the world. Additionally, the Northern California DX Foundation (NCDFX) awarded them a grant of $100,000 to charter the sailing yacht S/V Marama. The yacht was designed by Dominique Presles and constructed with aluminum by N2A shipyard in St Nazaire. It was inspected by Bureau Véritas. While sailing, some of the team members used their own callsigns and added /MM to them for HF-band activities.

The official expedition website includes a wealth of engineering diagrams and information on setting up communication systems in remote parts of the world.

“Amongst other, we quite recently attended a climbing course to prepare for the rough vertical 90 degree climbing to be expected at Bouvet” wrote the co-leaders of the expedition. “This knowledge will enable us to safely rescue an injured operator from the camp. Next week we prepare for attending a glacier course to train for a 300m glacier crossing at the Bouvet glacier. This comes after engaging with former Norwegian Polar Institute employees that have visited Bouvet more than 60 times.”

As of their latest update the team has already made contact with nearly 7,000 radio stations around the world. Ships interested in adding this most unusual radio link into their official logbooks make contact via the frequencies and schedules published on their website.

The expedition is taking place in memory of Norwegian Polar Institute scientist John Snuggerud and NASA astronaut Captain Charles E. Brady, US Navy (N4BQW).

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