3Y0J: Did you know Bouvet Island is a POTA entity?

Did you know that Bouvet Island is a Parks On The Air (POTA) entity?

I didn’t know this until my buddy Eric (WD8RIF) pointed it out.

Bouvet Nature Reserve (LA-2524)

Here’s the entry for Bouvet Nature Reserve (LA-2524) on the POTA website.  It’s possible you might have even seen LA-2524 spotted recently on POTA.app.

I suppose the Bouvet Island DXpedition team (3Y0J) are all POTA activators whether they know it or not!

I also assume the 3Y0J team would need to create an account and submit their logs to the POTA system for LA-2524 hunters to get credit.

It would be pretty amazing to confirm LA-2524 because it’s doubtful anyone will activate Bouvet Island anytime soon after this current DXpedition team.


Bouvet Island (Source: 3Y0J Facebook Page)

Bouvet Island is one of the rarest DX entities on the planet: it’s number two on the DXCC Most Wanted list (at time of posting), second only to P5 (North Korea).

I don’t consider myself a DXer or contester, but many of my local ham radio friends are hard-core DXers.

I do have some DXing and Contesting exposure, though, because I typically attend and volunteer to help at the annual W4DXCC conference in Tennessee.

One of the things I’ve learned attending the W4DXCC conference is the incredible amount of energy and resources it takes to execute a DXpedition like 3Y0J. It takes many years of planning, lots of money, lots of permits, top-notch healthy operators, and, frankly, lots of good old fashioned luck.

Steve Hass posted this image on Facebook and noted, “3Y0J camp location on the hill.”

The 3Y0J team had difficulty (understatement) setting up on the island due to weather conditions. Here’s one of their latest updates detailing how they landed via their Facebook page:

3Y0J Bouvet Island 2023 Update [February 7, 2023]

Interview with 3Y0J Team Co-Leader Ken LA7GIA.

“Everything is OK in the camp. The guys are good. We have a few antennas up. Running some pileups and preparing for the storm which will arrive in a few hours and last until Thursday. The boat will pull away from the island a bit. The antennas and camp are being secured. The winds are expected to be 60 knots. 9 members will stay in the camp during the storm. They will try to run two bands this evening and tomorrow. They will take down one antenna. They will run 30m and 17m using the Spider Pole on 17 and the aluminum DX Engineering antenna on 30m.

The operation has proved to be extremely difficult. The most extreme expedition I’ve been to. Setting up the camp has been a lot of work.

We will focus on CW and phone but there will be FT8. We have just discussed this today. We are running low power, only 100w. We have no amplifiers. We have three antennas set up. We are considering setting up 20m as well. So we will have 30, 20, 17, 15.

The beach landings were accomplished by holding onto a line attached to a buoy and floating 15 meters to the beach in our survival suits. This is quite extreme. We float in all the equipment as well. Then carry the equipment 800 feet up to the camp. We have videos of this. We spent a few days to set up the antennas and tent then prepared for the storm that is coming.

Everybody is in good shape. It’s quite hard to stay here. A lot of wind, but today was a quiet, nice, and sunny day . This will change, and there will be a lot of rain. The day we arrived was a lot of wind and rain. Activating Bouvet is not like activating an island in the Caribbean. It is really windy, cold, and exhausting to bring equipment up here. It’s a different DXpedition than we thought we should do. It’s a challenge, but we hope we can stay on the island for some more days.

Regarding dupes, please only call us if you hear us. We have very good receive here on [Bouvet] Island. We do not have any facility to upload the log on the island. We are saving on fuel and connection for this. When we get back to the vessel, we will likely upload. We don’t know when the first upload will be. Going to Marama is very time consuming project because of the procedure involved. (Ken describes it.) The first upload may be in the weekend. Again, if you don’t hear us, don’t call us.

Nothing more to report. Hopefully people understand the complexity of this operation. Hopefully we will be able to stay another 7 to 10 days. We are working on plans for how to continue the operation despite the difficult weather conditions here at Bouvet.”

Steve N2AJ
Media Officer & NA East Coast Pilot
3Y0J Bouvet Island 2023 DXpedition

They’re hunkered down in their tent and doing all they can to be on the air during this bout of rough weather.

Let’s hope they can move more gear, operators, and antennas to the island in the coming days.

Logging 3Y0J

One of the 3Y0J crew on Bouvet Island. (Source: 3Y0J Facebook Page)

I’m going to give it my best effort to log 3Y0J.

It’s not going to be a cake walk.

For one thing, this may very well be the last time Bouvet is activated by people (boots on the ground) in our lifetimes.  I think you’ll find that DXpeditions like this–those that are very high risk–will soon be activated remotely. A remote, fully-self contained station will be set up on-site and most of the contacts will be made using remote ops in the boat or from across the world from the comfort of their own QTH.

As mentioned in the announcement above, the 3Y0J team hope to be on the air for a bit more than a week (7-10 days from February 7). DXpeditions like this are often cut short when weather forecasts indicate difficulty getting people back to the ship in one piece. If you feel you must log 3Y0J, I wouldn’t wait a few days for the pileups to subside.

Speaking of pileups, the 3Y0J pileups are some of the largest I’ve ever experienced. It will take skill to log 3Y0J if you don’t have a blowtorch station.

And then there are the QRMers

Gjermund LB5GI on watch duty onboard Marama (Via the 3Y0J Facebook Page)

This is the side of amateur radio none of us like to see or hear. Frankly, I don’t even like mentioning it, but I think it’s important for newcomers to understand what they’re experiencing as they try to work 3Y0J (in split mode always) and also understand that there are some deceptive stations out there.

This being such a highly-anticipated DXpedition with so many folks tuned to 3Y0J calling frequencies, it gives an extremely large audience for jammers and QRMers to cause a maximum amount of disruption.

I hesitate to call these folks “LIDs” because the origins of this term refer to inexperienced ops who may simply be making mistakes out of inexperience or ignorance. With any DXpedition, there are always newbies who don’t understand split operation and call on the TX frequency. That’s to be expected and, frankly, I’m forgiving about that. Once a good op makes the mistake, they’re unlikely to ever do it again.

Sadly, the intensity of intentional jammers–those deliberately causing harmful interference to 3Y0J’s operations–is just insane. This is happening on both SSB and CW frequencies. I’m sure they’ll try to interfere with FT8 as well.

On top of that, there are a number of “pirates” posing as 3Y0J and spotting themselves to the DX cluster. If you’ve worked a 3Y0J station and felt it wasn’t too difficult because the signal was strong and there wasn’t a lot of competition, then you’ve likely worked a pirate. Double check for a confirmation after the 3Y0J team does a log upload. Also, check for announced frequencies on the 3Y0J Facebook page.

It’s a bit of a circus and it’ll likely take all of your skill to work 3Y0J.  I think FT8 (in F/H mode) will turn out to be the path of least interference to logging Bouvet.

Video interview with 3Y0J Team Co-Leader Erwann (LB1QI) earlier today

Have you logged Bouvet?

Please comment when/if you confirm Bouvet! I’m very curious if they’ll submit their logs via POTA to give hunters credit for this rarest of parks!

11 thoughts on “3Y0J: Did you know Bouvet Island is a POTA entity?”

  1. Yes it’s true that Bouvet is a POTA entity! I discovered this by chance while operating FT-8 last week using Gridtracker and noticed the tree symbol in the S Atlantic!

  2. Good news, thanks for sharing.

    By the way, here in Canada we have Sable Island (VE-0120) and St-Paul Island ( VE-0122) which are parks.

    As a curiosity the last and only activation of Sable Island, ?? was by AI5P with only 137 QSO and it is dated 2013-09-30 !!!

    And it is according to Park on the air web site!!

    73 Mike

  3. DXpeditions have come along way. There’s a famous ad from QST about the fifties Clippertoh expedition. An SX-88 and equallyl arge and heavy transmitter. May have been AM.

    In the sixties Gus travelled by himself, Collins, I think a KWM-2, in a suitcase. So much more portable. He’d grab a ride, andbfind locals to help him set up.

    When he went to Bouvet, I think in 1962, he hitchiked on an icebreaker that was doing a survey. A little bulkier supplies there, needing a tent and generator. As his assistant, he took someone from South Africa. He wrote about it in 73, Ithink Oct and Nov 1967. Part of a long series about his travels. He wasn’t rich.r

    And yes, he likely had bottles of Coke on Bouvet.

  4. The top of the glacier is also a SOTA summit – Olavtoppen 3Y/BV-001

    This team won’t be climbing there – the 3Y0I were considering it as their planned operational location on the island would have been better for access to it.

    73 Ed DD5LP.

  5. I saw a video of how messy those pileups are. There was a snowball’s chance in double hockey sticks that I would work that. Thanks but no thanks.
    This actually prompted me to read the DX code of conduct and brought up one of my biggest pet peeves when operating: tuning on the DX frequency. There is nothing more distracted than having a 1.5 kW station tuning while I try to work a QRP station at a summit or park.

    1. Hear, hear! It happens to me more frequently than I’d like. Sometimes, I do think it can be by mistake. Some radios are set to run the ATU anytime there’s a mismatch within its parameters. This is why I made the IC-705 set to manual tuner initiation when paired with the mat-705. Once, I tuned acrtoss the same band to work a station and when I tried to send the station’s call, the ATU engaged for like 3 seconds and froze the dial so I couldn’t stop it. 🙂

      But most of the time, you’re right. It’s just someone being careless tuning up and not caring if their signal is interfering–especially with the Bouvet DXpedition.

  6. Thank you for the Bouvet information, as I didn’t even think about it.

    Fortunately I was able to work them on 30 meters while they were there.

  7. Worked on 21053 1540z 7 Feb. off of pota spotter. No bites whatsoever, only rbn hits. Bogus posting bogus contact, no log. Kind of a waste of qrp maneuvering. No reply on email question. Too big money for qrp guys. 73 ab8mr.

  8. Apologies if I sounded cranky. My cousin had read that the call had been pirated by some. I had a solid 229. I’ve been doin noise floor stuff qrp for 24 years. Nets up on novice 40 on the edge of AM Lol. When I hear my call come back I know it unless qsb eats it up. I’ll be curios to see what does or does not pop up on my stats. I do know that no others got him before storms moved in. Maybe 40 rbns and that’s it. So chances are I’m on a note at best , probably tossed. Activation numbers never happened. We will see. It’d be cool to have that considering I’m so low power. I don’t want a card. Just like to know. Haha. 72 and all the best to you activators. I’m normally milliwatting. Catch you on the air. Rob. ab8mr.

  9. Just saw on my POTA statistics that the contact with 3Y0J Bouvet now counts for POTA. Many thanks to the team.
    vy 73 Harald DL1AX

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