Monday, November 23, 2009

Glace Bay Nova Scotia

Last summer, my wife and I and our six dogs took our first long trip with the RV.We went to Canada via VT, NH, ME, NB, NS, QC and ON. While we made good preparations for the trip, we managed to keep our pland flexible enough to allow for changes as we discovered new things to do and places to visit.

After the thrills of driving the Cabot Trail with a 30' RV, certainly one of my high points of the trip, not Kathy's though...

Well, I was cheating a bit, as the Oregon GPS was showing a topo map and I knew what was expecting me well before I reached the next curve...

It was while we were driving that Kathy discovered on her Blackberry that Marconi had a station in Nova Scotia. Once we arrived to our cmground, I investigated a little further and decided I really wanted to see the place. We made sure it would be open when we expected to get there, made a few changes in our plans, and we went to Glace Bay. Here is what we found.


A modest but nice museum commemorating Gulielmo Marconi's work and especially the establishment of his second station from where he communicates across the Atalantic Ocean with his station in Poldhu. While there now is controversy whether Marconi actually heard the letter "S" sent across the Atlantic in Morse code dit-dit-dit, and I won't touch that any further, there is no question that transatlantic transmissions emanated from this station at Glace Bay. The towers were wooden so the only thing that is left from 1901 are the foundations as you can see in the pictures below.


The museum has a nice station and the local ham that was operating it offered to let me use it. I opted to use my own portable station in the RV with my TransWorld antenna. Making contacts was not easy as I was so close to the VE1VAS's yagi antenna, which was transmitting CW at 1KW, but eventually I made a contact with a European station, LY20A from Lithuania. There was an Italian station I really wanted to talk to, as I'm sure an Italian ham would have loved being contacted from that location but unfortunately he went QRT. Here I am, in Glace Bay, with my little portable station in the RV, and with Kenna my yellow lab and Stryder my working SAR dog, a chocolate lab (you can barely see his head at the bottom).