The afternoon sky did not look too promising, so Don and I hurried and began to set up the site.......and really, we finished not a moment too soon as the rain hit us and continued to come down for the next seven hours. Luckily the wind never came up and rain just came down straight, not sideways. I'm pleased to report we didn't get wet!
After Friday supper of steak and veggies everyone descended on our site as we had it almost completely tarped off with two 15 by 20 tarps and everyone could stay dry under them. The single malt arrived with Dave VA3ORP and the radio talk began. It was a good evening with everyone getting to know each other or catch up with old friends.
Saturday dawned with a good sign - a blue sky! After a good breakfast of sausage and eggs it was antenna erecting time. We put up two antennas, the now famous 31' vertical "Chilicon Special" and a 44' doublet, and started to play radio. The bands were excellent with 15m, 17m, and 20m just hopping with signals. Just after lunch a good number of the Ottawa area hams arrived including VE3EMB, VE3CBK, VE3EUR, VE3MPG, VA3AMX, VE3GTC, and the star of the show: VA3QV. It was a Who's Who of QRP.
The bands were pretty crowded and occasionally we had a bit of interference from the large number of radios on the air at the same time. However, with a little bit of juggling and changing bands we managed to all have fun. I'll tell you though, that No. 19 Radio Set has a pretty wide signal.
Just before supper the sky started to turn a bit dark and it did manage to rain for about 10 minutes. We had all decided to order pizza from Capilano Pizza in Kemptville before hand so Michael collected the money and sorted things out. It was decided because of the weather and our large tarps everyone came and ate and spent the evening socializing on our site again. Once again VA3ORP's portable bar arrived with the single malt.
Yes I know Lancaster's didn't take part in the Battle of Britain, but I did look for Spitfire or Hurricane Beer and couldn't find any.....so it had to do! I'm sure the few of "The Few" who are still alive really wouldn't mind.
Saturday night was pretty cold and it did get down to +2C, and I for one had to get out of my sleeping bag around 0230L to add a pair of sweatpants and a fleece top in order to get warm. I've already asked for a new sleeping bag for Christmas as the one I have is just a bit too old, but we survived.
It rained again for a few minutes Sunday morning, just before we started to take down the camp. Of course that meant that the tarps got wet again and had to be packed away in that state. Soon the radios were packed away, antennas dropped and rolled up, and the vehicles packed. About 1130L we departed for a restaurant in Kemptville for a really good brunch, but I didn't write it's name down so I can't share it. Then it was back onto Hwy 15 for the long drive back to Kingston.
This year's winner of the long distance award went to Eric VA3AMX who had a good CW QSO with a VK7 in Tasmania with 5 watts into a G5RV Junior.
|Chris VA3CME with his new KX3|
|The center piece of Ying VA3YH's 20m Spider Beam|
|The homebrewed 20m Spider Beam by Ying|
|The inside of Dave VA3ORP's WW2 Bell Tent - complete with |
Persian carpet !!