First let’s start with the following chain of events.
On January 31st, at 0600z, the team announced that they have arrived at Bouvet! There was fog and freezing rain that greeted them. Later that day, at 1500z, Ralph, K0IR, reported: Bouvet Island came into view at about 0600 UTC today. We dropped anchor at 0810 UTC in approximately 25 meters of water off the east side of the island between Kapp Meteor and Swarthamaren. The temperature is 2 degrees Centigrade. Thirty five knot winds are blowing out of the northeast with a driving rain. Visibility and ceiling are estimated at 1 mile and 500 feet, respectively. We are poised and ready when our weather window arrives. Our first “strike” team selecting and securing a site will be EY8MM, K0IR and Alejo Contreras (Chilean Antarctic explorer, guide and mountaineer).
On February 1st, at 1300 UTC: Ralph, K0IR, reports: Our ship is still at anchor off the east side of Bouvet. Winds are 35 to 40 knots, and the ship is pitching and rolling up to 30 degrees. This makes flying and a landing attempt impossible today. The temperature is hovering at around
0 degrees C. Visibility has improved. We are poised and ready when a weather window opens. We had our maritime mobile station up for a few hours, but had to take it down again to avoid damage caused by the extreme motion of the ship. Hang in there with us!
AND THEN THE UNTHINKABLE HAPPENS —
Valerie, NV9L, posted the following on FaceBook: On February 3rd, at 2000z, During the last 72 hours we continued to experience the high winds, low clouds, fog, and rough seas that have prevented helicopter operations since our arrival at Bouvet.
No improvement was predicted in the weather forecast for the next four days.
Then, last night an issue developed in one of the ship’s engines.
This morning the captain of the vessel declared it unsafe to continue with our project and aborted the expedition. We are now on our long voyage back to Punta Arenas. As you might imagine the team is deeply disappointed, but safe. There is already talk about rescheduling the DXpedition