Category: DX

VP8ORK The DXpedition to The South Orkney Islands


Activating the far-away islands of the Antarctic is one of the toughest challenges in amateur radio.  Only a handful of entities outside this region can come close to their logistical, environmental and financial hurdle.


The South Orkney Islands, VP8/o, easily fall into this category, which is why they were a perfect target for the “Microlite Penguins DXpedition Team”.


Our small group came up with the idea for a DXpedition to these islands back in early 2007 after discussing the possibility with the owner of the ship “Braveheart”.  Safe and reliable transportation with 24 hour off-shore life support is absolutely crucial in places like Antarctica, and without an experienced vessel like Braveheart we would not have even considered the idea.  Eventually the team grew to 13 people: 9V1YC, K0IR, W3WL, W7EW, VE3EJ, WB9Z, K9ZO, ND2T, N1DG, N6MZ, N4GRN, EY8MM and K6AW.  This highly experienced team had travelled to 6 different DXCC entities in the Antarctic region as well as numerous other top-ten destinations.


Dxpedition to Sable Island: March 2011

Arrived_on beach

“Sable Island – FINALLY

By Randy Rowe, N0TG



“Sable Island -FINALLY”, seems to be an appropriate title for this Dxpedition.  For those that may not have followed the operation since the first announcement, this was the team’s third try.  The initial discussion of going on a dxpedition began in late 2008 between long time friends AA4VK, WA4DAN, and me – N0TG.  The three of us, with others, experienced dxpeditions together to Navassa Island and Desecheo during 1992 and a few non-rare places as well, and have stayed in touch ever since.



We began planning in 2008 and early 2009 we announced our intension to put on an operation in late September.  However, soon after that announcement, there was a serious health matter in my immediate family and the team decided to hold off and consider rescheduling later.  After a few months the health matter was successfully resolved and we announced the operation was rescheduled for October 2009.







After last year’s DX-pedition to Christmas Island as VK9X/G6AY, our next logical step was a DX-pedition to the Cocos (Keeling) Islands in 2011.  If my memory serves me correctly, Jim, G3RTE and discussed it whilst we were in VK9X, although no decisions were made until a few months after we’d returned home.  Initially, Jim declined the trip as his XYL and he were planning a trip around the same dates.  Richard, G3RWL expressed an interest but we were unable to agree on mutually convenient dates due to our other commitments.  Fortunately, Jim’s plans for a family trip fell through around September 2010 and planning then started in earnest for an operation between 22nd February and 5th March 2011.