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 is 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.
Long driving to the North through snow, rain and fog
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 assembled Spider Beam on high bands.
Phased vertical arrays on 40 and 80 meters
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.
Igor VE3ZF installing vertical on 80 meters
Finally, at the end of the week, I was graced with arrival of my friends Patrick VE3HZQ
and Igor VE3KAO.
Pat VE3HZQ assembling vertical on 40 meters
With our labor combined, we managed to raise even more antennas: G5RV, Cushcraft AP8A, 2 beverages 160 meters each and erected Spider Beam to 10 meter`s height.
Spider Beam will be erected on 10 meter`s height in the next few minutes
In hindsight, the Ontario QSO Party was great, I especially enjoyed the by multi-hours
EU`s and W`s pile-ups on 40-20-15 meters. Multiplier on low bands was collected mostly
by Patrick VE3HZQ. Last hour was remarkable as well – Igor VE3KAO did a lot W6 on
10 meters CW.
Igor VE3KAO doing W6 on 10 meters CW
I would like to give my thanks to the W6-clubs – 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 QSO Party.
Igor VE3ZF: Ontario QSO Party 2014 well done!
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. It was unfortunate that for entire week I had to put up with the sometimes difficult weather conditions that had befallen me, but at the end of it I feel accomplished knowing I got the results by my own abilities and will power.
Team VE3ZF: Igor VE3ZF, Pat VE3HZQ and Igor VE3KAO
I would to thank Max VE3CCN for his great help during preparation to our expedition.
Also thanks to all, who called us during Ontario QSO Party 2014 and see you next year!
Without snowshoes antenna`s installation was impossible!
Sunset on Manitoulin Island
And some time later:
At the Annual Contest Club Ontario 2014 BBQ meeting team VE3ZF was awarded for Over All 1st place in OnQP 2014.