VK0EK – March 6 – April 20, 2016

Will sail for Cape Town, South Africa, Dec. 15

Dec. 8, 2015. Today a major milestone was reached: Virtually the entire expedition cargo, including tents, furniture, facilities, equipment, supplies, tools, and some personal gear, was packed in a sea container and sent to the Norfolk, VA, port, for staging. In an ironic twist, delivery of one of the antennas was delivered a day late, but the container also arrived a day late so all the gear was in fact loaded, and none left behind. On Dec. 15 it will sail for Cape Town,South Africa, to be put in storage awaiting the team arrival around March 1, 2016.

The cargo occupied about 800 cu. ft. (36 cu. m) and weighed about 8000 lbs. (4 tons, 3600 kg.). A few items, including the four BGAN satellite terminals and the digital microscope, were held back for testing and further development of the software, and will be air-shipped to Cape Town in late February.

The bulky pieces of the gear, including the main Airbeam tents, the associated air compressors and space heaters, the two frame tents, and various personnel bags. The flesh-colored spiral-rolled item inupper right is a spare airbeam, supplied by HDT Global but considered extremely unlikely to be needed. In the background, team members are completing the packing of radio components, antenna guys, tools, office supplies, and various small items.
Radio Team Leader Dave Lloyd K3EL checks the filters and packs them in a secure shipping case, helped by Dave and Manny. Most of the radio equipment was packed in these cases, which are extremely strong, watertight, and stackable. These same cases were used to ship gear on several previous Cordell expeditions, including Heard Island 1997 (VKØIR), San Felix 2002 (XRØX), Kure Atoll 2005 (K7C), and Clipperton Island 2013 (TX5K).
The first of the 18 cases containing mainly radio equipment are loaded into the container. Glenn Schumacher W4XR uses his vehicle equipped with a pallet-jack attachment to put them directly into the container. Ken Karr NG2H checks the list, to ensure that an accurate record is kept of the contents, essential for both customs and for accessing the items.
The entire shipment filled about half of the 20-ft. container. The cargo has been subjected to rigorous standards of cleanliness, to conform to the biosecurity protocols established by the Australian Antarctic Division (AAD) as a condition of the permit for the visit.
And there it goes! In one week it will be on the high seas, and we will see it next when we arrive in Cape Town shortly after March 1, 2016.

Four team members (Bob Schmieder (KK6EK, Dave Lloyd (K3EL), Adam Brown (K2ARB), and Ken Karr (NG2H)), aided by the local support group Dave Scott (KN4ZQ), James Kirkham (K4JK), Manny Rodriguez (K4MSR), Glenn Schumaker (W4XR), and Lee Moyer (K4ISW), did the prep and loading. Documentary pictures were taken by Dave’s wife Anne and Ken’s wife Cheryl.

Above, the team relaxes over breakfast, enjoying the culmination of 3 years’ of planning, development, preparation, accumulation, testing, cleaning, packaging, labeling, listing, and–finally–shipping. (Left to right) Manny, Glenn, Ken NG2H, Anne, Dave K3EL, Adam K2ARB, and Dave. Bob KK6EK was behind the camera.


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