Gilmour, the largest of the 34 volcanic islands which form the Ottawa group, is situated 160 km W of Puvirnituq, Quebec, in the Hudson Bay. The only available transportation was a 26 ft boat named Tullaaq (Baby Loon), whose crew was the only one to accept the challenge. With a sump pump and cabin ventilation out following a short circuit at sea, and the main engine dead 40 km from the destination, we continued sailing slowly using a small, spare engine. The night was dramatic as we fought very hard at one point to avoid sinking by frantically bucketing water overboard and moving everything forward to shift weight, before plugging several holes that appeared from out of nowhere.
We landed 700 m away from the end of a long and meandering, north striking bay. By the evening the weather worsened, becoming windy and rainy. Next day we were pounded by 80 km/h wind, unsure the mast would hold, while temperatures neared 0oC. My radio equipment consisted of an ICOM IC-7000 with 100 W and a multi-band vertical wire with a 10 m fiberglass mast. During three days 3,087 QSOs were logged, 49% on each of 20 m SSB and 30 m CW, the rest on 20/40 m CW, with 2,602 stations from 66 DXCC on 6 continents:
Main engine fixed, the return went well until past mid-distance to the mainland when the gear broke and we had to go back to the spare engine. With changing weather in the forecast, a larger boat came to our rescue and towed us to shore. Meanwhile, a CC-130 Hercules plane dispatched by the Search & Rescue Center stayed with us for some time, just in case. Flanked by boats and motor canoes, we reached the port at sunset.
I am deeply grateful to my wife Lucia and son Tiberius for their strong and continuous support all along. Mario Aubin is graciously thanked for his logistical help in bringing this project to life. I am particularly indebted to Jakussie, Peter, Qalingo and Sailasie for their skills and dedication, so very critical to our survival and success. By naming the southern tip of Gilmour Is. ‘Cezar Point’, they kept a piece of me up north, a symbol of the bond established between us following our unforgettable adventures.
The financial support received from the International Radio Expedition Foundation, German DX Foundation, Chiltern DX Club, ICOM – Canada and Clipperton DX Club is graciously acknowledged.
W5BXX and VE7DP are gratefully outlined for their enthusiasm, encouragement and significant support. Special thanks to top - JM1PXG, DK8UH, G0PHY, K6DT, OH1JO, PA3EXX, RN6BY, UA6AF, VE7IG, large - DL1BDD, EA8AKN, I2YDX, IK8DDN, JA1BPA, JA1QXY, JE1DXC, JF4VZT, JA8MS, ON4ATW, VE7QCR, VE7YL, KD1CT, W3AWU, W5BOS, N6AWD, N6PYN, and generous donors - G3KMA, G4SOZ, G4VMX, HB9DKZ, I1SNW, IZ2AMW, I4MKN, JA1SKE, JH1QVW, JE2QYZ, JA5IU, JR0DLU, SM3NXS, VE1VOX, VE3FOI, VE3IQ, VE3JV, VE3LDT, VE3UW, VE3XN, VE3ZZ, VE6VK, W1NG, W1OX, WB2YQH, K3FN, WA3GNW, WA3HIC, W4DKS, W4LSC, W5GAI, KB5GL, W5PF, AB5SG, W6RLL, W7CNL, K7SO, K8NA, W8NGA, W9DC. I would also like to thank all those who included some support with their QSL request (see VY0O page at QRZ.com for the complete list).