One night while working 20m FT8, I ran across ZL1NA/MM. I usually look up /MM callsigns on QRZ to see if I can tell anything about them. I was surprised to find out ZL1NA/MM was the station aboard the RV Braveheart on the way to South Orkney Island for the VP8PJ DXpedition. While waiting for them to arrive and get setup, I found this video from the 4 years ago. I was impressed with the video and very excited to work VP8PJ once they were QRV.
I saw some spots on the DX cluster just to find out that they were not real. Watching for updates from the Perseverance DX Group via twitter, I waited for the real stations to be on the air.
I finally found them on 14.185mHz USB QSX 5-10 up. I pointed my Mosley in their direction, switched on the VL-1000 and began calling. I could hear them very well so I continued calling for over an hour. Unfortunately, I didn't get a response and then the band went quiet.
The next day, I found them on 20m FT8 and 17m FT8, but was unable to make contact. Finally, I again heard them calling CQ on 14.185mHz USB QSX 14.195mHZ. I gave 1 call and got an immediate response...well they replied "Whiskey 4 Lima Sierra you're 5 9." Worried, they didn't copy my whole call, I called again and said "Whiskey 4 Lima Sierra Golf...Lima Sierra Germany, you are 5 9 in GA". Their reply was obscured with QRN but I believe they copied 100% and then said QRZ again.
Thus far, they have not uploaded logs. So I'll keep checking and try to work them on another band/mode as well. I tried for quite a while to work them on 7.056mHz FT8 F/H, but didn't get a reply. I want to make sure I get them confirmed in my log!
|W4LSG to VP8PJ South Orkney Islands DXpedition|
The South Orkney Islands are a group of islands in the Southern Ocean, about 375 miles north-east of the tip of the Antarctic Peninsula and 524 miles south-west of South Georgia Island. They have a total area of about 240 square miles. The islands are claimed both by Britain (as part of the British Antarctic Territory since 1962, previously as a Falkland Islands Dependency), and by Argentina as part of Argentine Antarctica.
73 and good DX de W4LSG sk
VP8PJ uploaded their logs and my contact has been confirmed!
I was able to work VP8PJ again over the weekend on 80m and 60m FT8!