Bear Island was discovered by Willem Barents in 1596. He gave it the name because a polar bear was shot when Barents and his crew entered the island. Bear Island Radio is located at 74,30 N 019,01 E about 120 nautical miles northwards to Sørkapp on Spitsbergen. The size of the island is 178 km2. At "Tunheim" in the northeastern part of the island the Devonian coal-seams have been worked . The landscape on the island is very flat except of the southern part which has a mountain area with the highest peak "Miseryfjellet" 536 meters. There are some few huts around which is own by The Norwegian Meteorological Institute. The only inhabitable houses are the Bjørnøya Radio and meteorological station located on the northern tip of the island.

Station from the air
Winter 2001/02



During the period when the island is surrounded by ice, polar bears and arctic foxes often cisit it, while a small race of blue foxes is resistent. There are also many birds.

Cape Elisabeth
Polarbear near the station
Cape Kaare


9 persons and 5 dogs man the station. The dogs are mainly there to warn the crew when the polarbears visits the station. Both the arctic foxes and the polarbears are totally protected today. On the island there are about 600 lakes, with fish (char) in about 200 of them.

Bear island


I was active from Bear Island (IOTA EU-027) from November 2001 till May 2002, and operated all HF-bands plus 6-meters. I used a Kenwood TS-2000, IC-706 and a Kamplus TNC for RTTY, Pactor, Amtor and Gtor. The antenna was a multiband Barker & Willamson folded dipole. Due to severe weather conditions with heavy iceing, it is difficult to use large beam antennas. During the winter I worked lot of DX via F2 on 6M using only 100Watts fed to my multiband antenna. The clubstation JW1I was sometimes activated by JW3FL, JW9LAA and myself.

My first card
Second card (front)
Second card (back)
Worked via F2 6M Jan. 02