Sad news today that Mark, ON4WW, will not be doing the Bouvet Island DXpedition next year.
Mark's plan was to do a solo DXpedition and to do it over a three month period. Over that amount of time nearly every ham who needed Bouvet Island could have had it in their logbooks on numerous occasions, and on several bands.
Unfortunately, Mark was unable to collect sufficient funding for this adventure. For some reason the big DXpedition supporters and donors were not very interested in this event and not many donations came through.
Mark had received permission for Bouvet from the Norwegian Polar Institute, his wife (very important!!), and his employer to have 5 months leave without pay. I'm sure Mark is bitterly disappointed that his year long planning has been all for nothing.
I think Mark's plan to go solo, although a bit controversial, is one way of keeping these DXpeditions to far away and remote locations sustainable. If we look at the cost of doing some of the more recent DXpeditions, including K1N, they have been out of this world. I truly believe that smaller and more compact teams are the answer to keeping the skyrocketing costs down.
For safeties sake I think it would be a lot safer to go with a minimum of three people, going solo does seem a bit dangerous to me, but that's Mark's decision to make, as he knows his own limitations better than anyone.
One must ask if we really need five to eight HF stations on the air, all at the same time? Or, could a DXpedition get by with just two or three? Do we need to be spending thousands of dollars transporting beams and Yagi's to these remote sites.........when many of us work the world on simple dipoles at home with no problems? Perhaps the whole idea of how Expeditions are conducted needs to be reconsidered and discussed in depth. Bigger is not always better!
While I occasionally dream of doing a major DXpedition to some far off remote location, I think for now I'll stick with my own mini-DXpeditions to Wolfe and Simcoe Islands, where the most expensive aspect of the trip is buying lunch on the way back. That's more in keeping with my budget.......
|Bouvet Island from the sea|