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In August 2016, RAC Ontario South Director, Phil McBride, VA3QR/VA3KPJ, was part of a team of 11 operators who embarked on a DXpedition to St. Paul Island  (IOTA NA-094). Phil is currently a member of a team of eight operators for a return to St. Paul Island from July 31 to August 8.

Phil will be providing regular updates here on the RAC website and on social media via our Twitter and Facebook accounts.  All images are used with his permission.  You can find out more about Phil and follow his journey via his blog and Twitter account and also on the CY9C St Paul Island DXpedition website.

Here is the first installment…

Note: Phil and the rest of the team have arrived safely on St Paul Island as shown below. Please stay tuned for the next instalment coming soon….

Phil McBride and his son en route to CY9C II DXpeditionJuly 30, 2019:

CY9C II – Parked in Dingwall,
Nova Scotia

Well we made it. Connor and I left Acton, Ontario at 7:40 am EDT on Sunday morning (July 28), and made it to our AirBnB in Dingwall, Nova Scotia at 6:30 pm ADT on Monday evening (July 29).

I spent a great deal of time HF mobile on this trip, and it was a lot of fun. I spent most of my time on 20m and 40m, but talked to a few Eastern Canadian locals on 3.760 MHz on Monday morning.

I was also happy to make contact with the NA1WJ at the 2019 World Scout Jamboree in West Virginia on 20m and Connor (a 2nd year Scout) was able to speak to a 17 year-old named Olivia from the United Kingdom before the band shifted.

When I got to Cape Breton, I switched over to the Sydney Amateur Radio Club’s island repeater network and made contact with some of the folks I spoke to the last time I was here.

It should be mentioned that Monday was Connor’s 12th Birthday, and the fact that he agreed to spend it in the truck driving for 10 hours from the New Brunswick – Quebec border to Cape Breton should be an indication of how excited he is for this trip.

Barry Smith, Pat, N2IEN’s aircraft mechanic and logistics guy, beat us here by a couple of days and found us a great spot for helicopter takeoff/landing and cargo management.

This morning's blogging chair.
This morning’s blogging chair.

All of us wrote complete manifests of our equipment and weighed everything in advance, so managing the on-loading process should be a great deal easier than last time.

Murray, WA4DAN, and his wife and wife’s friend arrived a couple of hours after Connor and me, and the six of us had dinner at the Markland Resort around 8:30 pm ADT yesterday. Will, AA4NC, Bill, K5DHY and Dan, W4DKS, arrived in Sydney, Nova Scotia later last night and stayed near the airport there and are making the trip to Dingwall today – probably as I’m typing.

Of course, no DXpedition would be complete without some kind of problem cropping up out of nowhere. When Pat, N2IEN and Lee, WW2DX, left New York in Pat’s helicopter yesterday, they were forced to turn around and return to base due to an instrument failure. They are both perfectly fine and were in no danger as far as I’ve been made to understand. They were able to order the required parts and are scheduled to get to Dingwall sometime this evening. We’ll spend the day taking final inventory of our gear and working out if/how this delay will affect our planned operations.

We are all very much looking forward to getting on the air. For now, I need to find another coffee. More to come soon!

– Phil McBride, VA3QR/VE1