Urban DXPedition Attempt

Well today was one of those days….

After hearing the news that the Rideau Canal Skateway was opening in Ottawa I figured it would be a perfect time to take a walk along the Canal and end up at Pig Island and make an attempt of a CISA activation.  CISA for those you who have not heard of it stands for Canadian ISlands Awards which is like IOTA except for Canadian Islands.  They also can be inland islands unlike IOTA.

As you increase  magnification you will see Pig Island

just to the left of the red marker balloon “A” (in the canal)

As you might of noticed the title of the blogpost says “Attempt” and in what follows you will see that at least I had a nice hike…  Its been a while since I have tried a CISA activation and its also been a while since I brought “Murphy” with me but today…  oh well!!!

The day started with a fairly simple ride on Public Transit from the bus stop close to my place to Ottawa University…

From Ottawa University I walked southbound along the Canal Pathway to the Pretoria Bridge…

At the Pretoria Bridge I was able to access the Canal itself and walk along the ice south towards Pig Island with a stop at the  Patterson Creek.

Please note that from here on in … to Pig Island I had a bit of difficulty getting Google Maps to figure out that the Canal was Frozen and I could walk on it.  Therefore the route shown on the maps is not the route I took.  Google Maps would not let me walk on water… even if it was frozen at the time…  But everyone knows I can actually walk on the water…

Beavertail Pastry is a Canal Tradition in the Wintertime

They have a warm up area complete with vendors at Patterson Creek.  Gotta love indoor washrooms as well…  I sat at a picnic table and opened up my thermos of hot choclate and took a break…

These facilities are right on the ice…

After my break I continued on south along the ice to Pig Island

In the summertime when the Canal is filled you can add 6 feet of water

Now as you go south on the canal where you see the map taking a right into Frank Clair Stadium at Landsowne Park …  If you look to your left you will see Pig Island.

You can see the North Side Stands in the distance

Now there is a saying that “Getting there is half the fun….”  Well today getting there was all the fun because when I got there I could not find an easy way to get my Par Endz Fed antenna set up without risking injury to myself or members of the general public passing by.  Bear in mind that as this was the opening day for the Canal Skateway that it was fairly busy and stretching out a 40 foot wire was going to be harder than I had thought when I packed up the gear to make the trip.

Today was a prime example of having the wrong antenna at the right time….

So today was a beautiful walk (hike) along the canal followed by steaming hot choclate on the canal itself.

Old Picture but it fits the theme of the post…

Antenna  will be a 10-15-20 and 80m Vertical with tripod and single counterpoise

Tomorrow with the right antenna (like my vertical) will be an even better day when I try it again.  Tomorrow Martin VA3SIE will be coming along…  Martin and myself have activated 2 Islands so far with Maple Island ON 277 in September 2005 and Bate Island ON 283 in December 2006 and with any luck Pig Island will be officially activated as a CISA Island in Janurary 2011.  What a way to start off the New Year…


3 Responses to “Urban DXPedition Attempt”

  1. GW7AAV Says:

    Better luck tomorrow Bob. I am almost paranoid about making sure I don’t fail on a radio outing. If we are out with RAYNET I will have three handhelds each with spare batteries, any number of antennas and mag mounts, my FT-817 and a FT-857 on the passenger seat. All in addition to the two rigs installed in the car and their antenas. SOTA trips are nearly as bad which is why my rucksack weighs two and a half stone. One trip last year we were struggling on HF and the wind broke both my dipoles and a fishing pole (mast). VHF was nearly as bad but we scrapped through with a lashed together pole and a dipole held together with a sticking plaster. Fortunately the next day we found a ‘Maplins’ store were I bought wire, connnectors, solder and soldering iron to mend the dipoles. Next day the sun shone and we had loads of contacts on HF and VHF was working fine too. Hope you have a great time tomorrow.

    Regards Steve

    • VA3QV Says:

      Well Steve thanks for the good wishes…. Todays efforts were just an oh shucks…. Normally in my portable kit I carry both antennas…. Buddistick and a long wire (W3EDP or now the Par Endz fed) but as todays trip was by public transport… Yes I did take a city bus to a dxpedition…🙂 I repacked what I thought I would need in a smaller easier to carry bag…

      My normal antennas of choice are wire and so I just left the Buddistick out of the kit bag… As you only can get to the island in the winter time… I don’t own a boat… I never thought of antennas fitting on the island before….

      So we try again tomorrow and will make the 25 contacts in two countries which will be needed to get the CISA activation…

      We will be active on 20m around 1600 utc or so before then it will mostly be on 40 and 80m

      We will be using Victor Alpha 3 Real Cold Spot as the groups call…


  2. Dittie Bear's Adventures » Attempt #1 to activate ‘Pig Island’ for C.I.S.A. Says:

    […] A wire antenna would be very difficult to erect on this island and I was fore-warned. […]

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