March 8: Michael Shouldice VY0CF is new President of Artic College, based in Rankin Inlet
April 4:    Antenna location still TBD
May 5: Our operating building and antenna space has been confirmed by the Nunavut Arctic College on top of the main hill in town next to a lake with clear view to the south. We may be able to simultaneously operate CW and SSB on the same band.
May 8: The standard trip to Marble Island is $1200. We may opt for a much less expensive and shorter boat trip to Thompson Island, still NA-185.
June 11: Just got inside pictures of the Lab and learned the Community Learning Center has the WiFi Internet. Just about packed and ready to go.
June 11: Heard VY0HL on 6m in EN51 so there is some hope of a 6m opening.
June 18: Final packing. Overall = 269 lbs.
                 Hand carry = 26 lbs. Gate check = 65 lbs. Amplifier = 49 lbs. Hex Beam = 38 lbs. Golf case = 50 lbs (oversize). Suitcase = 40 lbs
June 20: Head for the airport...
June 21: After 4 hours of sleep because of a storm reroute of our flight through Kansas to Winnipeg, we arrived with all baggage undamaged at Rankin Inlet at 1:30pm. We have set up the Bravo 7k about 150 feet from the CLC building in a marshy area so we should have a very good ground. Good signals, mostly EU so far on 20m. We have made a couple of CW and Phone contacts so far. We have set up the 6m beacon with the Flex 1500 and the Buddipole on 50.0455. We have pretty high speed Internet at the operating position. We do not know about the B&B Internet yet. Although we have 6 hours of daylight left, we are running out of energy and with a 3am sunrise, we will be able to get some sleep and set up the Hex Beam tomorrow morning. We have learned that the Hudson Bay ice has not broken up yet. It seems unlikely that we will be able to do an IOTA activation unless we hike over to Thompson Island. Perhaps not safe.
June 22: Hex beam up this morning. Discovered the 6m beacon had been transmitting into the unterminated hex beam coax. Now correct. Bands fairly dead in the mid morning hours but pick up greatly in the early to late evenings. Tomorrow starts Field Day. 20m is the best band and we have in-band RFI so we have been drawing straws.
June 23: Walked around the town taking pictures after breakfast (expecting band conditions to be poor in the early morning). Much colder and windier today. The Hex Beam is pivoting, sometimes violently. We have some concerns about rope abrasion at the top (that we can't get to easily). We add two more guy ropes at the middle of the mast. 20m SSB and 17m CW have both been productive this morning. 15m and 30m dead.
June 24: FD is over... Our logs to date have been uploaded to Club Log and are searchable on our site. Our FD operation included 40m, 20m, and 15m. We never heard signals on 80m, 10m, or 6m. We have not solidified our plans but we hope to activate many bands and modes, until Canada Day contest next weekend. We will be investigating the safety and practicality of getting out to Thompson Island but we are doubtful at this point. One of the hose clamps on the Bravo 7k has broken. We think that the local hardware store may have a replacement. We figure we have 4 days of dehydrated meals left and then we will be on the local economy.
June 25: Update on on IOTA. We hope to be able to have two 100 watt stations on NA-185 Thompson Island on EITHER June 28 or 29 from about 1500-2300 hrs CST. This trip will be subject to the sea ice sufficiently breaking up. We expect to be mostly on 20m with possible 17m earlier in the period and 30m later in the period. If we can get our antennas sufficiently separated, we may be able to operate simultaneous CW and SSB stations. Thanks for all of the fun on the huge pileup last night on 20m phone. Thanks for standing by until your number was called.
Early June 26: Had our first non-dehydrated restaurant meal at the Sugar Rush Cafe. $15 for a hot dog and a large serving of fries. Nothing to drink available except water. Headed out to some historical native sites tomorrow morning with the college president. It looks like 40-50% rain forecast on Thursday and Friday. The rain fly we brought might come in handy. At least the temperature is supposed to be in the middle 50's. Not sure about the wind.
Late June 26: During the expected morning HF band doldrums, we were invited to a nice breakfast at the best hotel in town by Mike Shouldice VY0CF and his wife. After a delightful conversation, we then drove around town and then went out to the Regional Park several miles to the northwest of town. We saw an ancient native village and emerging wildflowers. We were about a month early for the massive caribou migration that goes through the area. We expect to meet with the IOTA boat guy in the morning to further discuss logistics. There is another full tour guide that we got a quote for that was used by the 2009 IOTA trip to Thompson Island.
June 27: We met with the boat operator this afternoon. There will be too much wind and rain to go out to the island on Thursday, The present plan is to arrive at the island at 10am high tide on Friday and stay until 11pm or so. He will be providing a generator and a tent. This will be an expensive side trip, but also hopefully a fun adventure.
June 28: High winds overnight, and continuing. Much colder also. Hex Beam leaning, retightened the guy ropes. Bravo 7K Leaning, tightened rope to burlap sack anchor. Buddipole free wheeling with coax connection off, fixed and 6m beacon back on the air. The wind has changed directions such that the off shore ice is returning. It is unlikely that we will be able to activate NA185. We were very happy to find and fix a noise from a switching power supply this morning. High winds this afternoon caused the Hex Beam to free wheel and was torqueing the guy ropes. We managed to quickly find materials to get a rope around one of the spreaders and stabilize it, just as it started to rain. Upon coming back to the radio, six meters finally opened up, mostly to the East Coast.
June 29: Officially NO IOTA activation for this trip. Unsafe ice conditions. We had a nice 15m opening this morning. Rain continuing this morning but the wind has calmed down. All antennas ok. Looking forward to RAC contest activity. We are thinking about possible better 40 or 80m antennas. We have had requests for JT65 on 6m, 160m, LEO satellites, and PSK. Hard to do all of those!
June 30: All HF bands dead this morning! About midnight last night as 20m SSB was winding down, I decided to try 20m CW. I called CQ and worked a few single stations and then at 0530z BEDLAM. All of Europe was calling me at once. Being almost asleep at that point, I was jolted awake. I recorded the pileup. After working the pileup until about 1am I decided to QRT but then saw an email from VK4CC who had been wanting me to stay up until 3am to work him. He said he had been hearing me weakly, so we decided to try an immediate sked. We had a successful QSO which made us both happy. While the bands are dead this morning I am working on log analysis which will be posted to the web site soon. We jointly have 3736 QSO so far. It is raining this morning but almost no wind.
July 16. LOTW is showing 610 matches so far. About 150 QSL cards received, most with SASE and many with a donation. Thanks. We have created a custom QSL card and expect to start mailing them out the last week of July. We have received a couple of cards for VY0RAC which need to be sent to RAC in Ottawa. We have received a couple trying to confirm NA-185. which we can't do, because we never got there. We will simply confirm a normal VY0 contact.

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