Returning to Aylmer Island (ON-295) for the W/VE Islands QSO Party

On Friday August 28 “Sassy” returned to Aylmer Island and the following day it was on the air as a participant in the W/VE Islands QSO Party. The sailing conditions were a bit more challenging than two weeks before and eventually a second anchor had to be deployed to counteract the slow but steady current of the river.

The boat was swinging at its bow anchor (a 5 Kg Bruce) with the current (set SE) at cross-direction with the wind (WSW) and it was noticed that during the lulls and on the extreme angles when swinging to port, it was approaching shallower waters. Rather than re-anchor in another position which would only transfer the problem in case of shifting winds, it was decided to deploy a second anchor from the bow in order to limit the swing to port.  The new 4 Kg Rochna was rigged with a proper rode, and a tripline with a floater, and was dowloaded to the dinghy while the free end of the rode remained attached to the boat (the line was deployed from the dinghy as it was rowed to position). At abt 100′ from the boat and at a 60º angle with the rode of the Bruce the anchor was slowly lowered into the water from the side of the dinghy. Once it touched ground the dinghy was rowed a few feet towards the boat to prevent the chain from falling straight above the anchor and possibly fouling it. The tripping line was adjusted to match the depth of the water and the anchor was then set from the boat.  When weighing anchor there was no need to weigh first the Bruce since the wind was keeping the boat away from the shore, so the dinghy was rowed to the floated and the Rocna was lifted from the water using the tripping line. Weighing the Bruce was done from the bow of the boat. The Sportyak is a very suitable dinghy for this type of maneuvre because of its maneuverability. its amazing stability and its low free-board.

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A different position was chosen for the station than that used a couple of weeks before: under another oak-tree this time on the South beach of the island. The radio and antenna were the same as before. Propagation conditions were very poor and only S&P in 20m was possible. SSB was difficult, so most contacts were made in CW. Only two contacts island-to-island were completed: with GA027L and FL098S. The first of these two contact was initiated in SSB but was subsequently confirmed in CW proving once again that CW succeeds where SSB does not.

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