Somerset Island, Nunavut, Canada IOTA Expedition
NA-225
K9AJ/VY0 and K9PPY/VY0

After leaving Ottawa, Canada on July 12, 2003 we arrived at Arctic Watch at the mouth of the Cunningham River on Somerset Island at approximately 6:00 PM the same day. Somerset Island is located approximately 2400 miles North of Ottawa and 60 air miles due South across the Parry Channel from the town of Resolute Bay on Cornwallis Island. Our operating site was on the far North end of Somerset Island in the Cunningham Inlet ( N 74 04 / W 93 48 ) which was accessed by ATV vehicles from our Arctic Watch campsite. We operated from an abandoned Beluga Whale research station, a very small two-room structure that offered us shelter from the elements and protection from passing Polar Bears. Our operating equipment was a TS-50S with a HF2V vertical and a FT100D with a Sigma V vertical, powered by a small diesel generator supplying us with all of our requirements. We operated simultaneously on 10 and 14 Mhz. the only usable frequencies due to very poor conditions and our close proximity to the North Magnetic Pole. A total of 5000 QSO’s were made by K9AJ and K9PPY during the expedition period with a majority on CW due to very bad flutter conditions on SSB. Weather conditions were windy with temperatures averaging 35 F and snow flurries with 24 hours of total sunlight. During our stay we saw a large number of Beluga Whales, Musk Ox, Seals, Polar Bears and a variety of birds that inhabit this barren landscape where food is very scarce. We would like to thank all of our supporters, the Mediterranean DX Association, Island Radio Expedition Foundation, IT9EJW QSL printing and especially the staff at Arctic Watch for their help and enthusiasm to make this expedition a great success.

 

 

Artic watch view – aerial

 

Arrival on Somerset Island

 

Antenna assembly

 

HF2V radial system

 

Operating shack

 

Operating shack above Cunningham Inlet

 

30meters operating position

 Jim (K9PPY) at 20 meter operating position

 

Mike (K9AJ) at 20 meter operating position

 

Local transportation

 

Iceberg in the Northwest Passage

 

Cunningham Inlet, Somerset, Island