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Subject: Part II St. Paul Island DxPedtion

X-Via: N8PGR

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This is the account from my notes starting on June 27th Thursday about 3600 miles from South Dakota driving about 400 miles a day. We were south of Ingonish on Cape Britton on the Cabot Trail close to our distination at Bill's VE1AAO.

I pulled off to let the cars stacked up behind us pass as the Cabot Trail is hilly and winding.

A car pulled around us and a fellow got out and it turned out to be VE1AAO Bill Budge our host. He gave us directions to his place. We got to the Cape Britton park entrance and finally convinced them we did not need a permit to go to Bill's place and on up to our departure site at St. Lawrence Bay. We arrived at Bill's and got parked, again we needed the 4 x 4 to get into a rough area with bushes but it turned out to be very level and we only had to use one set of boards on the drivers side to level. I was able to get the truck off and up the hill in 4 x 4 to have it out so we could use it to haul our gear to our departure site to St. Paul. We had supper with Bill and Audrey and had a great visit with Bill telling lots of great stories about St Paul Island where his dad was the light house keeper and they lived there until about 1960 when he was a kid. He told about all the run arounds he had with the coast guard on trying to get his parents out to the island one last time and in getting the amateur radio landing permit and in getting the name of some people for his book. He had great pictures and we discussed at great length our landing options. We got settled into the 5th and Anthony, Bill's son and girl friend stopped in to see us. Bill did give us the forecast for Saturday which had NW winds which is not good. The mosquitoes were bad as it got dark.

June 28


It is nice and cool this morning and we are up and going. Bill said the WX forecast is better for St. Paul tomorrow morning. We discussed going very, very early in the dark getting to the island at first light. Audrey stopped by on her way to work and said the house is open and to go in as we needed to. Today we will get the gear out of the 5th and ready for transport to the island. We will also have to get the things out of the Expedition. We may take 3 vehicles to get the gear and 7 people to the Bay of St. Lawrence to our boat. We are to talk to Robert the Captain today to see about getting the gas and departure time. Burned out my cordless drill battery charger using the inverter.

Bill said Duane wanted to go to Atlantic Cove but he would rather we go to Petries Cove and we said it was essential we go to Petries as the propagation would not be good for six and greatly effected on HF to the USA , Eu, Asia and Pacific.. This was a real concern and I believed we would get to Petries and get on the island with no problem.

We worked all day getting things ready. Around noon Bill and Holly headed for Sydney to pick up Duane WV2B and Arliss W7XU who were flying in. It seem like there were a million things to do and the list just did not seem to shrink. It seemed difficult to get organized as the packing ahead and the long trip out made it impossible to be organized like one wanted to be. Toward late afternoon Audrey said the Captain had called and if we wanted gas at the dock we needed to bring the containers we had so they could be fueled in the boat. We roped in the 32 five gallon containers and headed for the Bay of St. Lawrence. Before we left we learned Arliss had missed his plane so they would be late. Anthony, Bill's son went along with Jim VE9DH and myself as we had never been there. We found Robert the Captain and found him to very nice. We gave him a bad time about his smoking and all the gas. It obviously was a very dangerous situation if there were any flame or sparks, etc. We made arrangements to leave for the island at 3 am so it was going to be a short night.

We then headed back to Bill's place and the crew from Sydney showed up. Arliss had also lost his luggage so it was quite a termoil! They took him to Walmart to get some clothes. BTW before we left at 2 am a courier brought his luggage. That must of cost them some money! We had a great visit and supper. Don Young who had relatives that were on the island during the time people lived there was also there. We got about 2 hours of sleep and about 2 am were off for the boat about 1 hour away. It was an exciting time and the emotions ran high that we could get on the island.

Next will be the trip to the island and the landing!

Ed and Edith

[MID: 1421_W0SD Sent Via: N8PGR Date: 2002/07/18 18:44:13]