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Subject: St. Paul Island DX-Pedition -Part I Travelogue
St. Paul Island is a deserted Island about 25 miles north of Cape Britton in the Cabot Staits. It is called the graveyard of the Cabot Straits as so many ships have been wrecked there and so many people have lost there lives. It is about 1 mile wide and 3 miles long but narrows some places to about 1/4 mile across. There is a small island on the north end of the big island. In amateur radio many of us try to see how many countries we can make contact with. For radio purposes there are about 330 countries. St. Paul is quite rare and is #75 on the needed list. The reason it is quite difficult to make a contact with is that you have to get a coast guard permit to land, have a $3 million dollar liability insurance policy, hire a boat to bring you and get you and the landing is very difficult as it is very windy there and there is a cliff all the way around the island making it a very difficult job getting the equipment on the island. iIt is only accessable in June, July and August and possibly the first week of September. The rest of the year it is just to cold and windy and wet! It is a tents only for protection against the elements as existing building are pretty much fallen down and are illegal to come within 30 meters of them.
This sets the stage for what has been nearly 2 years of planning. The biggest difficulty is getting the permit from the Canadian Coast Guard. It is Socialism at its finist! Disgusting, nobody can seem to get anything done other than telling you they can't get it done. Unbelieveable, I could fill pages with the run around we have gotten. We actually got verbal and e-mail permission at the last minute and the actual document arrived while we were gone to the island and in fact that document was in duplicate and both had to be signed and notorized, which cost $40 and sent back in a supposedly we will get one copy back which will be the final permit. The $3 million liablility policy for 10 days cost $600 and the boat cost $750 and our call sign CY9DH cost $60 and we had gasoline at about $2.00 a gallon but when converted to American dollars and split seven ways it really was not bad at all other than the frustration with the permit. If it would not be for Bill Budge VE1AAO who lived on the island as a kid when his father who we met was the south lighthouse keeper. If you want to know more about St. Paul do a search on the WEB. Also Bill has written a manuscript which looks like it will be published. If you are interested we can get a copy for you. We have a standing order with BIll for 10 copies. Bill is a great guy and the book will be great, I can guarentee!!!
We had to bring everything from home to live, eat and operate from the island. We brought 32 five gallon gas containers, two 4000 watt generators, radio gear, antennas, tents, food, etc. A mamoth job! Our friends the Thompsons, Holly and Arliss, actually Holly drove out and Arliss flew out brought there Expedition packed full of things and we had the 5th. We came out together. At Bill's place, right on the Cabot Trail we put things together. Backing up, just as we were ready to leave we found Arliss's generator would not work and we had to go by Sears on the way out and buy a new one.
In the next couple of travelogues I will use my daily accounts and supplement them starting on the preparation day. We made contact with nearly 13,000 people while on the island.
Ed and Edith
[MID: 1420_W0SD Sent Via: KN6KB Date: 2002/07/17 21:10:25]