“You are likely aware that three of us; Bob, K4UEE, Erling, LA6VM and Ralph, KØIR have begun work on a DXpedition to Bouvet in early 2018.
We have transportation assured by Nigel Jolly, who is planning on using a larger vessel than the Braveheart to accommodate a team of 20. Erling has been working with the Norsk Polar Institute, updating our existing permit, and sees no obstacle to that process. This is a costly project, but we think doable.
Here are the challenges of this DXpedition:
Time: To allow for a long voyage and difficulties and delays in landing due to high seas and bad helicopter flying conditions, we need a seven week window of time to conduct this DXpedition.
Expense: This is a costly project, involving a long voyage and helicopter landings. Be prepared for an individual outlay of $15,000, plus travel and lodging to our point of departure. That place is likely to be Punta Arenas, Chile or Capetown, South Africa, depending on our vessel’s schedule.
Physical Hardship: The Southern Ocean can be nasty with a rough voyage resulting. Seasickness can be a major issue. There is likely to be a lot of heavy lifting, carrying and other strenuous activity. Physical fitness is important. Expect lots of maintenance work.
Creature Comfort: It is crowded aboard ships with little personal space. On the island, there will be no heated sleeping quarters and quarters will be crowded. There will be wind, snow, sleet, fog and low visibility making things difficult.
Risks: We are not young people. While we will have extensive first aid supplies, they cannot address major medical events and severe trauma that would ordinarily be treated in emergency rooms or intensive care units. Safety is of paramount importance to mitigate against injuries aboard ship, overexertion and accidents. There are inherent risks in helicopter flying.
Group Dynamics: It is vitally important that all of us are team-orientated and considerate of others’ space, feelings and needs. Many of us on this team have traveled before and understand this well.
With all these things in mind, we feel that with the right team, we can have and outstanding and very successful DXpedition to Bouvet.”
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