This is Sassy’s eleventh Canadian Winter since, newly born, she was hauled to Ottawa from her birthplace in Florida. This year, Winter has been a roller-coaster with record temperatures at both ends of the scale happening within the same week. Sassy has been braving the cold quite handsomely under her big gray tarp (see her at mid-picture on the left panel), while her slip at the NSC marina (center of the picture on the right panel) remains frozen solid with the docks almost buried under the snow covering the frozen and dormant bay.
Radiowise, it has not been a very active Winter either. Poor propagation at the solar minimum and the forced use of the gutter downspout as the only possible outside HF antenna at the QTH have kept the eagerness for DX contacts to a minimum. Nevertheless, even thus challenged VA3PCJ and VE3DTI have found possible to keep an occasional presence in local 80M nets (Pot Hole and Pot Lid Nets) and a participation, albeit limited, in the RAC Canada Winter Day and several SKCC events.
In April, VE3DTI/VK2 hopes to return to the air (QRP/P) from Armidale, NSW, Australia. Fourteen QSOs were logged from that location a year ago, many from DXCC’s difficult to reach from Canada: JA, FK, E5, 3D2, ZL and, of course, VK (http://www.hamlog.eu/VE3DTI/VK2/logpage1a0.html). This was accomplished using the W3EDP Jr. antenna in a horizontal configuration, but this year, a vertical configuration will be tried with the aid of a 32′ SOTABEAMS telescopic travel mast.
In the meanwhile, to kill the blues, a 1024-piece puzzle has been finished: “Autumn Garland” by Tom Thomson…