Well we made it. Connor and I left Acton, ON at 7:40AM EDT on Sunday morning (July 28th), and made it to our AirBnB in Dingwall, NS at 6:30PM ADT on Monday evening (July 29th).
I spent a great deal of time HF mobile on this trip, and it was a lot of fun. I spent most of my time on 20m and 40m, but talked to a few Eastern Canadian locals on 3.760MHz on Monday morning. I was also happy to make contact with the NA1WJ at the 2019 World Scout Jamboree in West Virginia on 20m and Connor (a 2nd year Scout) was able to speak to a 17 year-old named Olivia from the UK before the band shifted. When I got to Cape Breton, I switched over to the Sydney ARC‘s island repeater network and made contact with some of the folks I spoke to the last time I was here.
It should be mentioned that Monday was Connor’s 12th Birthday, and the fact that he agreed to spend it in the truck driving for 10 hours from the NB/QC border to Cape Breton should be an indication of how excited he is for this trip.
Barry Smith, Pat, N2IEN’s aircraft mechanic and logistics guy, beat us here by a couple of days and found us a great spot for helicopter takeoff/landing and cargo management. All of us wrote complete manifests of our equipment and weighed everything in advance, so managing the on-loading process should be a great deal easier than last time. Murray, WA4DAN and his wife and wife’s friend arrived a couple of hours after me and Connor, and the 6 of us had dinner at the Markland Resort around 8:30PM ADT yesterday. Will, AA4NC, Bill, K5DHY and Dan, W4DKS arrived in Sydney, NS later last night and stayed near the airport there and are making the trip to Dingwall today – probably as I’m typing.
Of course, no DXPedition would be complete without some kind of problem cropping up out of nowhere. When Pat, N2IEN and Lee, WW2DX left NY in Pat’s helicopter yesterday, they were forced to turn around and return to base due to an instrument failure. They are both perfectly fine and were in no danger as far as I’ve been made to understand. They were able to order the required parts and are scheduled to get to Dingwall sometime this evening. We’ll spend the day taking final inventory of our gear and working out if /how this delay will affect our planned operations.
We are all very much looking forward to getting on the air. For now, I need to find another coffee. More to come soon!
vy 73 de VA3QR/VE1