Sunday, 16 August 2015

Sunday on the bands.......

Loading the ferry just after dawn.
I was up before the crack of dawn today and with the truck loaded last night, it was off to Prince Edward County to activate Point Petre Lighthouse (CAN-026) for the ILLW.

To get to Point Petre we had to travel about 60 Km west to the Glenora Ferry, where I met up with Don-VE3MNE, and the ferry over the narrows to the town of Picton.  If you've never been to Picton you have to go, it's a beautiful and busy little town.

Once in Picton we had arranged to meet Bill- VA3WOW, from Belleville, for breakfast at the Lighthouse Restaurant.  We hadn't seen Bill since the Bicycle Tour last June, so it was good to catch up on things.

What a great day!!  It was horizon to horizon blue sky and the temperature in Prince Edward County was close to 29C by 1000 local.  However......isn't there always a "however"?  The propagation numbers today were terrible.  At 0600 the numbers were SFI=88,  SN=46, A Index=44, and K Index=5.  Twelve hours later those numbers have not improved very much at all, and in fact we have had a moderate (G2) to strong (G3) geomagnetic storm.

So given the above propagation news, I'm delighted to say that I managed to work a grand total of seven stations, including three lighthouses, all on 20m, and they were:

VO1OK at CAN-040, Lobster Cove Head Lighthouse in Gros Morne National Park, Newfoundland.
W4LX at US-004, Port Boca Grande Lighthouse in Florida.
T41C at CU-009, Cayo Jutias Lighthouse, Cuba.
KF5WCP, John in Van Buren, AR.
K5YLJ, Terry in Trumann, AR.
VY2DAC, Dave in Charlottetown, PEI.
WY5I, Don in Port St. Lucie, FL.

While I worked 20m, Don-VE3MNE, tried the other bands starting with 40m and working his way down to 10m.  Nothing was open at all, only 20m.  There was very deep QSB on 20m, signals would be an S9+ one second and a S1- the very next.  It was an extremely hard time copying some of these stations.

Antenna of the day was a 20m Buddipole vertical up at 12', and the radio was my FT-857D which after extensive bench work, has decided to return to life and live another day!

I should also mention that if you ever decide to activate CAN-026 on a very sunny day......take a shade tent, as there is no shade and no big trees nearby to operate under.