Self-Marooned in an Island with only a W3EDP and a KX3

On Saturday August 27, 2016, in addition to the regular and occasional stations on the air, several radio amateur contests were raging simultaneously in the High Frequency portion of the spectrum all over North America: Kansas QSO Party, OHIO QSO Party, Hawaii QSO Party, YO DX HF Contest and the W/VE Islands QSO Party.

I had participated in all these in the past and decided to give it another try from the very same island that I had qualified a year ago: Aylmer Island, ON-295 – the “Dead Chest Island” of the Ottawa Valley. This is a small rocky island in the middle of the Ottawa River about 7 Km NW of the Deschènes Rapids. Being a water-locked island it is only accessible by boat. I had planned to sail to the island on Friday but couldn’t. Hence I sailed at dawn the same Saturday, and had the opportunity to take some unique pictures of the marina before sunrise (and also to dodge the Pokemon Go players that roam the park around the marina later in the day). ­­­­­­

Aylmer Is. 2016 01

I anchored some 50 Ft. from the South shore of the island in 7 Ft. of water and proceeded to transfer the equipment (and myself) to the Sportyak dinghy. After a few oar strokes and a quick assessment of the area I decided to set the “shack” on the west side of the island under the shade of a young American Elm and not much older Manitoba Maple and Silver Maple trees. I rested the S9 telescopic mast on the Elm and brought the twinlead to the 4:1 unun connected to the Elecraft T1 mini-tuner “remote”. A short RG-58 coax lead to the KX3.

Aylmer Is. 2016 02

For furniture I had the rather comfortable Swedish “WalkStool” and a small “TravelChair Side Canyon Aluminum Folding Camp Table”. The first contact was made at 9:30AM local time and the last was logged at 16:12 also local time.

Around 16:00 dark clouds started to roll in from the NW and I decided not to spend the night in the boat, and not much later than 19:00 (local) I was recovering on the deck of the club house with a Barking Squirrel Lager in one hand and an elk burger in the other.

The W/VE Islands QSO Party log from Aylmer Is.(ON295) shows 48 QSOs: 4 QSOs island-to-island: NS-003 St. Paul Is. (SSB, 20m), GA-031L Pine Is. (SSB, 20m), NC-019S Colington Is. (CW, 20m) and WA-003S Camano Is. (SSB, 20m), 3 QSOs with NPOTA stations, 11 QSO in the OHQP, 25 IN THE KSQP, 2 SKCC QSOS, 2 QSOs DX (DL&YV – the DL was in the YO HF DX contest), and one QSO with Vicente LU4DNC (which for a moment made me dream of having reached Tierra del Fuego: he was /W4, in FL). With a total of 18 Multipliers and 92 Points my tentative score estimate is of 1656. And I have still Cabrillo’s to submit for the KS QP, the OH QP and the YO HF DX.

The very special QSO with Ben KV4RH was already reported in a previous article in this blog (https://thewakesileave.wordpress.com/2016/08/30/a-memorable-qrpp-qrpp-kx3-kx3-efw-efw-qso-with-qrm/).

Not bad for an old sailor self-marooned in an island with only a W3EDP and a KX3.

A single man on a dead man’s chest—
…Yo-ho-ho, and a KX3!
CQ and the devil be done with the rest—
…Yo-ho-ho, and a W3EDP!

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