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CY9C II: Phil McBride heading home
Heading home. Thanks everyone!

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 and his team have been providing regular updates here on the RAC website and on social media via our Twitter and Facebook accounts. Thanks for sharing your experiences with us! 

You can find out more about Phil  via his blog and Twitter account and also on the CY9C St Paul Island DXpedition website.

CY9C II: Day 9 –  Loading Up

As I type this, Connor and I are on the mainland in Dingwall, Nova Scotia waiting for the chopper to return with the third load from St. Paul Island. We closed operations at 1140z 2019-08-08 after working the last of the JA stations we could hear on 20 and 40 CW and FT8. I’ve sent the last log file to ClubLog, and it contains all the HF, 2m/6m, EME and AMSAT contacts for your perusal.

For those of you who can’t find yourself in the log, please stay tuned to the CY9C Website for instructions on how to request log changes. We understand that there may be thousands of FT8 contacts that were lost due to software glitches in the early days of the expedition so we ask for you patience in sorting this all out. We’ll make sure you get in the log (because we want the numbers too 🙂 ).

My original plan was to stay on Cape Breton for the evening and then get driving tomorrow, but we broke down early due to the threat of bad weather in the afternoon, so Connor and I are going to try to adjust our reservations and make a bee-line for the QC/NB border and try to get home a day early. While mobile, I’ll be hanging around 14.210 MHz or thereabouts.

Our QSO count will be well over 27,000, and considering the small size of the expedition team, only 4 stations, and a G1 storm right in the middle of the event, we’re pretty proud of our numbers.

The feedback and support that I’ve received here, on Facebook and on Twitter has been positive and fantastic and I would like to thank all of you for helping to make this awesome experience even better. Many thanks to Alan Griffin, the Marketing and Communications Director for Radio Amateurs of Canada for posting these entries to the RAC Website over the course of the event.

None of this would’ve been possible without Pat Dolan, N2IEN and his EC120 helicopter – there is almost no way to get to the North-East point of St. Paul Island without one, and his contribution to this event as CW and Satellite operator were crucial to its success.

I was really happy to be able to work with Will Roberts, AA4NC, Lee Imber, WW2DX and Bill Engel, K5DHY, again, and it was equally great to meet and work with Dan Sullivan, W4DKS, on this trip. None of this would’ve gone off as well as it did without the support and leadership of Murray Adams, WA4DAN, who did an excellent job putting this event together with Randy Rowe, N0TG, who supported us from afar. Special thanks to Barry Smith, and Greg from Dingwall for their logistical support in making CY9C live again.

I would be remiss if I didn’t thank my wife, Cassandra McBride, VA3MEW, and my youngest son, Callum, for their understanding and support at us being away for two weeks (while they went galavanting in Iceland). And Connor, you made this trip even more extraordinary than the first one – I am glad that I was able to share this unique experience with you.

With that folks, thank you for reading my scribbles over the past 9 days. I wasn’t a very active writer before CY9C II came up, but maybe I’ll try to spend some more time writing about all things Ham Radio.

– Until next time, 73, Phil McBride, VA3QR/CY9

Sunset on St Paul Island at the end of Day 4 of the CY9C II DXpedition