Sunday, 21 August 2011

International Lighthouse and Lightship Weekend - The Story

The International Lighthouse and Lightship Weekend is over!!  The day started early with a meet up on the highway with Don VE3MNE and Ron VE3GO at 0630 hrs.  We travelled down Hwy 33 to the Glenora Ferry and easily made the 0730 fact we were the first three cars on the ferry.

The weather was awful, with really heavy rain, thunder and lots of lightening crashing and booming around us as we made for the ferry.  In fact it was so bad we started to think we would not be able to activate Point Petre this year.  It was still very bad when we met up with Bill VA3WOW from Belleville as well as Matthew VE3OCC and Doug VE3ZDG from Picton.  We met up, appropriately at the Lighthouse Restaurant in Picton.  The food was great!!

Point Petre Lighthouse
After breakfast it was a mad run through the rain back to our vehicles and off we set through the back roads of Prince Edward County.  It took about 20 minutes to reach Point Petre Lighthouse, and just as we arrived.....the rain stopped.

Lots of changes to the area since we where there last year.  No grass cut this year, and the keepers house is now boarded up and looking a bit neglected.  A few minutes after we arrived one of the Environment Canada guys who look after the weather station there drove up and invited us in to see the lighthouse. 

While some of the guys went off to see the lighthouse, the rest of us started setting up, keeping one eye one the sky for signs of more bad weather.  We put up a 80m OCF dipole, a Buddipole as a 20m vertical, and a 6m hamstick dipole, all with no trouble.  We were on the air by 0930L, and the SFI for the day was sitting at 102, the A index at 3, and the K index at 0.

Don VE3MNE ran the 40m station, using his FT-857D, and ended up on a couple of occasions being quite busy.  It's amazing how many hams where looking for the lighthouses.  Don ended up with 28 contacts for the day.  The 20m station, also using a FT-857D only made 10 contacts, but the band was not very good, the QSB on 20m was very bad.  We did make a couple of contacts with lighthouses in California and a DX contact to Germany.  No contacts were made on 6m, but that was probably due to the height of the antenna above ground.  Ron VE3GO made a couple of contacts on 15m CW as well.  We operated a VE3FCT.

Very large log periodic antenna
The lighthouse is right across the road from the CFB Trenton HF Transmitting site.  There are nine towers on the site as well as two log periodic antennas.  This site is used to talk to RCAF aircraft around the world, but luckily it isn't in use on Sundays.

Don - VE3MNE
At about 1345L we started to hear thunder crashes coming through on our rigs and the sky was starting to get pretty black, and we could hear the thunder off in the distance, so we decided to call it quits. We quickly dropped the antennas and loaded the gear up.  We were about three-quarters of the way loaded when the rain hit, and boy did it pour, and it poured down all the way home to Kingston.

All in all a great day.  Thanks to the Prince Edward Club for the use of their 2m repeater, and to Ron VE3GO for taking the photos. 

Many thanks to the Ayr Amateur Radio Group in Scotland for sponsoring this event, we really enjoy it.

Next year will also activate, hopefully for the whole weekend, we will start looking for a suitable candidate shortly......maybe Prince Edward Point Lighthouse, at the other side of the County.

For alook at what the other half of our group did at Nine Mile Point Lighthouse, click HERE.

All Photo's by Ron-VE3GO © 2011


  1. Looks like a good time was had by all and it was great the weather held up for most of the time. I was not able to hear to much at my QTH regarding lighthouses. Very nice post and pic's as well.

  2. Glad to hear you enjoyed the weekend. CU in 2012.