2012 Howe Bay DX-Pedition, Saturday 27 October to Friday 2 November
On this page, as we were in the planning phase, we billboarded our plans to try to keep everyone in the loop at the same time.
Traditionally, our dates (and this dates back to Miscou NB days) were governed by the cottage proprietors and their inability to operate in late-fall conditions.Another interesting feature about early November angles was that at sunset in PEI it's about to break dawn in northeast Japan, and the terminator slices SW towards the Phillipines and into Western Australia, with darkness everywhere to the west of that line, including Korea. Given that the terminator does not invade Antarctica at that time of year there may be some longpath gambles if Europe is attenuated by a high K.
Once the preferred week was formally chosen and confirmed, DXers consulted their work/family plans, and four were able to confirm.
On 10 June 2012 I made a trip out to the Howe Bay cottage site. I approached carefully in the event it was occupied. I didn't want to appear to be a prowler. The property appeared deserted this day, however. Still, I did not approach too closely.
The cottage is exactly where Bruce figured it would be, down a long an quiet dirt road (Claudesway Lane) that leads off the Howe Point Road. Below and to the right is a view taken from about half way along the lane, with the two-phase power lines very plainly seen. The area was very "radio quiet." More about that later.The lane was well graded and not very muddy, despite some recent robust rains that had fallen in the previous 24 hours. There were some recent tracks, although the road did not appear to be heavily traveled.
It is easily passable by passenger car, and as I discuss below, there appears to be some year-round residential occupation in the area of the DX cottage.
The lane continues straight at a right angle from Howe Point Road, and then ends at a "T" intersection, with the sweep of traffic clearly to the right.
There are other homes and cottages in the area. With a few of them it was not easy to tell whether they were seasonal or all-year residences. The lot on the left side of the DX cottage appears to be occupied by a year-round family residence, and on the right it is bounded by another vacation home / rental property.As one turns in the driveway leading down to the cottage, the building itself is obscured by those trees on the left of the laneway. Howe Bay is visible in the distance.
I stopped the car at mouth of the driveway and proceeded on foot, first stepping to the left into the field.
From the field the whole cottage comes into view, with the bay beyond.
I continued all the way to the treeline on the left and walked toward the bay.
As I got closer to the house I could make out the adjacent rental home on the right, and also noted at the mouth of the driveway that it was for sale. It is called the "Chateau des Sables" and is also a rentable vacation property. Going for $3000 /week in the summer, the rate drops to $1500 through the fall until the end of November. If you want to DX from here and "our" cottage is full, here is the Web site for the "Chateau des Sables" in case you're curious.
Off through the eastern treeline that is to my left in this photo, there is another dwelling, which appears to be an ordinary family residence. I heard quiet but unmistakable sounds of activity there, but the house itself was not clearly visible through the trees from this spot. It is easily seen from the road on the way out.
This was as close as I dared approach without permission in advance, so I snapped this photo and made my way back to the car.
While in this area, before leaving, I took out my Sangean DT-400W ultralight radio and did a quick bandscan for noise.
Put simply, there was none. The AM band was dead quiet on the Sangean. Once back at the Toyota Camry I also used the stock radio to verify there was no noise, buzzes, burrrrps, hash, nor anything else.
This photo, to the right, is featured on the cottage owner's Web site and provides a nice view in the direction of the South Atlantic, with Howe Point itself visible in mid-frame on the left.
Other than the residences on either side, and one other residence on the other side of the road away from shore, there appears to be nothing that might generate any RF. For all I know both homes have gigantic plasma TVs that run all night but, at least during my visit, there was nothing on the bands at all, except the ubiquitus Newfoundland AM stations (870, 790, etc), Sydney on 1140, Caraquet on 810, and WFAN on 660 with hints of WCBS and WBBR. CKDH 900 in Amherst is now, of course, gone to FM.
So, that's the upshot on the first site visit.
Updated as of 29 July 2012
|Awaiting||Unable||Interested||Intensely Interested*||Confirmed to attend**|
The above summary is not cast in stone of course, and is being used for planning purposes. If we get more than four confirmed attendees (once a date is chosen) we will have to look for a larger spot.
- "Intensely Interested" means likely to attend, but possibly date dependent
- "Confirmed to attend" means stay overnight to maximum number of nights chosen (4-7) and participate in full share of accommodation costs (1/3, 1/4 etc.)