Let the 2016 pileups begin! Two major January DXpeditions will be among other smaller efforts, with all aimed at providing a new one to the madding crowd. Look for the Palmyra Island and South Georgia Island/South Sandwich Islands activations, starting around mid-month.
The Pacific Islands DX Group’s K5P DXpedition to Palmyra hopes to be on the air on January 12 and will continue until January 25. Palmyra ranks among the Top 10 most-wanted DXCC entities. Initially a 12-member team was set to depart and activate K5P. Due to a change of aircraft that will transport the team to the island, the team has been trimmed to nine operators. The team is planning to leave Hawaii for Palmyra on January 11. The Pacific Islands DXpedition Group has been awarded permission to activate Cooper Island in the Palmyra Atoll.
The Group notes that another Palmyra Atoll activation may not take place for many years, since access is severely restricted, and permission is difficult to obtain. The team said that without the cooperation and support of the Nature Conservancy and the US Fish and Wildlife Service, the DXpedition would not be possible. The DXpedition’s co-leaders are Craig Thompson, K9CT, and Lou Dietrich, N2TU.
Meanwhile, the 14-member Intrepid-DX Group VP8 DXpedition team to the South Sandwich Islands and South Georgia will set out on January 9 from the Falkland Islands on the R/V (research vessel) Braveheart for a 37 day voyage. Both entities are rare. The team will use VP8STI from South Sandwich and VP8SGI from South Georgia.
“Our plans have us activating South Sandwich Island first, as it is the #3 most-wanted DXCC [entity] in ClubLog,” the group said on its website. “We will be active on South Sandwich for 8 full days, weather and sea conditions permitting. We expect to start our activation of VP8STI on January 17.” South Georgia is the 8th most-wanted DXCC entity, according to the ClubLog Most Wanted DXCC List.
The DXpedition’s website describes the South Sandwich Islands as “a cold and inhospitable placem” and Southern Thule Island, where the group will operate, as “one of the most remote places on Earth.”
Following the South Sandwich operation, the team will voyage to South Georgia and activate it for 8 days starting on or about February 1. Altogether, the VP8STI/VP8SGI team plans to spend 10 days on each island, including setup and teardown.
“Our goals are to operate fast and efficiently and to provide as many all-time new contacts with these rare entities,” team co-leader Paul Ewing, N6PSE, said on December 31. “We will make the extra effort to work the most remote and difficult regions.” Upon returning to Stanley in the Falklands, the team will operate as VP8IDX for 5 days with an emphasis on 160 meters, he added.
Individual team members are covering much of the DXpedition’s $425,000 estimated cost, with the rest coming from club, foundation, and individual donations.