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ZS8M Marion Island Announce

The 67 th Relief Expedition to Marion Island arrived on the island on the 15 April 2010 aboard the SA Agulhas. Amongst the relief group is Pierre Tromp ZS1HF a adventurist, radio amateur and SAWDIS weather observer. (I can add many more interests but the article will then be to long) Pierre will be responsible for all radio communications on and from the island alias his occupation for the next year will be know as radio technician.

Marion Island is a small (290km) island approximately halfway between Cape Town and Antarctica. It must have one of the environments least interfered with by man. This island only has a population of about ten people, each of whom is there on a fourteen month contract. The team usually consists of a diesel generator mechanic, three meteorologists, a radio technician, and a medical officer. The other team members are made up of researchers who are interested in the wildlife (Penguins, elephant seals, albatrosses and other bird life) or plants on the island.

On the amateur radio front, Pierre will be active from the island. Times and QSL info, etc to be announced later. Pierre will be using a special unique call sign ZS8M. Marion Island is IOTA AF-021. The base camp's Gridsquare locator is KE83WC. He will be QRV on Frequencies: 160 to 10m, 6m and 2m SSB, HF digital and satellite.

Pierre send the SAWDIS the following email:

" We arrived on Marion Island on Thursday late afternoon. Transfer was by a Kamov helicopter (a Russian moster!) and a Bell 212. Friday 9 April was hell. We had very heavy seas and I was a sick as a dog! Eventually got some "mutti" from the ship's doctor. We blew one of the ship's two motors on Saterday morning (10th), making the voyage a day longer, but we arrived safely. The food on board was 5 star, I guess I picked up another 5 or 10 kg. What the hell, I have 13 months to loose it again.

The choppers were busy transfering people and freight on Thursday and Friday. Everyone is now on Marion Island. The other chopper is a Bell 212, the bigger brother of the famous Huey chopper made famous in Vietnam. The next few days will be busy with unpacking our containers, installing
a new HF radio system and doing maintenance at the huts. We still need to pump 167000 liters of diesel from the ship into the tanks required to run the generators. If all goes according to plan, the ship leaves for Cape Town mid-May.

I will update you all as I go along. If you get no answer within a day or so, then I will return it once I get from the field.

Cheers from Marion Island..... By the way, themp was a cool 4,8 deg C
today......Brrrrr. Dis bleddie KOUD hier!!!!


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