Igor, VE3ZF, has shared with us his expedition to Manitoulin Island where he operated during the Ontario QSO Party. It was quite the adventure.
This year’s expedition to Manitoulin Island has surprisingly asserted itself above its predecessors, as a summit of defiant obstructions and feral in all elements association. When I called my friend that lives on Manitoulin, 2 weeks prior to Ontario QSO Party 2014, I first learned of the massive snowfalls that have buried the area in 4 feet of snow. My friend informed that the constant wind dropped the temperature to -14 degrees, and that my usual dedicated area for setting up antenna was impossible to use.
The only redeeming news was that there was a tractor at hand, which has been used to clear the path to my cottage. I had my fingers crossed that perhaps some compassionate deity would have cleared the foul weather by the end of the fortnight, but this was not the case even temporarily over my week long stay on Manitoulin.
I spent the majority of the week in snowshoes, which didn’t simply become standard footwear, as much as an extension of my appendages. Failure to embrace this sudden change in lifestyle, meant that you would at least once put your faith into a particularly solid looking path and fall straight through, with your lower body suddenly swallowed by several feet of snow.
So during the course of the week, wearing snowshoes, I was installing phased verticals on 40 and 80, Inverted Vee on 160 and Spider Beam on high bands. I would like to particularly note that the ‘half a person worth of snowfall’ made the installation of the antenna an incredibly difficult task to accomplish, which I somehow managed with only my own 2 hands.
Finally, at the start of the weekend, I was graced with arrival of my friends Patrick VE3HZQ and Igor VE3KAO. With our labour combined, we managed to raise even more antennas: G5RV, Cushcraft, AP8A and 2 beverages 160 meters each. In hindsight, the Ontario QSO Party was great, I especially enjoyed the by multi-hours EU and W`s pileups on 40-20-15 meters.
I would like to give my thanks to the W6-stations – their activity was very helpful during OnQP. The miserable weather and difficulty setting up aside, our LOG counted 1690 QSO’s at the end of Ontario QSP Party.
On top of that, not even hours after OnQP finished, Murphy’s Law once again demonstrated the degree to which it is a tangible force to be reckoned with, by raising the temperature into the positives and beginning to melt the mounds of snow. The entire week that I had gotten very unlucky with the unfortunate conditions I had accept, but at the end of it I feel accomplished knowing I got the results by my own abilities and will power.
Thank you to all, who called us during OnQP and see you next year!
73! Igor VE3ZF