Sunday, 19 August 2012

Point Petre Lighthouse

Glenora Ferry
For a Sunday 0530L came pretty early!!  Luckily I had loaded the truck the night before so the noise was kept to a minimum,  "SWMBO" could sleep in peace, and I wouldn't be in trouble for waking her up at that unGodly hour! 

Once again the weather was just glorious, bright blue sky, with just a few clouds blowing by, and the Timmy's coffee nice and hot. 

Then it was off down Hwy 33 East to Glenora, meet up with Don-VE3MNE on the road, hop on the small ferry over to Picton and a stop for a good breakfast at the very appropriately named Lighthouse Restaurant.

The drive from the restaurant to the lighthouse takes about 30 minutes over some pretty remote country roads through farming country.  Point Petre is at the very tip of the South-West corner of Prince Edward County.  The whole area is a wildlife and bird refuge, and it streches for many miles along the shore of Lake Ontario.  This area has been left as remote as it has because it was, in an earlier life, an anti-aircraft artillery range for the Royal Canadian School of Artillery (Anti-Aircraft) based nearby at Camp Picton.

Camp Picton in 2012
The school provided training for anti-aircraft gunners, gunnery radar operators, technical assistants and artillery instructors. A number of operational artillery units were also located in Picton, including the 127th and 128th Medium AA Batteries, Royal Canadian Artillery (RCA) and the 2nd and 3rd Light AA Batteries of the 1st Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment, RCA. The RCAF also maintained a small detachment at the base to provide aircraft targets for the gunners. 

Camp Picton closed in 1969 as it was surplus to DND's requirements.  Today it is used by small private aircraft and the Royal Canadian Air Cadets.

We started to setup as soon as we arrived at the lighthouse, which still looks as pitiful as it did last year, with its supporting building looking shabby and all boarded up.

Don and I both brought our FT-857D's.  I put up a 6m dipole and a 2m four element yagi, and Don put up his "chilicon vertical Mk.2" with 12 radials of various lengths and operated up on the HF bands.

The bands were not in very good shape today as we quickly found out.  All bands seemed to have some very deep QSB, and the conditions were really bad. We managed a grand total of eight contacts in five hours...pretty miserable really.  We had no response to our CQ's on 2m SSB and 6m SSB at all, just empty air.

Our HF contacts included five US lighthouses.  Our small log is as follows:

W4J at Lighthouse US-0025 on 20m
WS1SM at Lighthouse US-141 on 20m
N1NC at Lighthouse US-116 on 20m
N8MR at Lighthouse US-253 on 20m
N2CMC at Lighthouse US-011 on 40m
W9IMS in Indianapolis on 17m
EA8AM in the Canary Islands on 15m
KA4WJR in Ocala, Florida on 20m

The SFI today is 97;  the A index is 11; the K index is 2; and the SN is 56.  Of the three years we have activated this light for the ILLW, this has to be our worse showing ever.  Hopefully next year we can redeem ourselves.

Setting up outside the fence at Point Petre
Thanks to Tim who posted us and our frequencies on the DX Cluster.

1 comment:

  1. Yes the conditions all around were not that great but it was great you were still able to activate the lighthouse. Very nice shots as well and interesting history.