May 6 to 12, 2004
by Jean Burnell
My first visit to the Round Cove
B&B in Cappahayden, Newfoundland, had been in
July of 2003. July is generally the worst time of
year to DX in Newfoundland, so I was hoping for
much better conditions on this trip. The venue is
not as good as our old site, a few kilometres south,
since there is less room for really long antennas
and the antennas must pass under the power lines.
(See the picture.) Nevertheless, I was able to deploy
a 350 m antenna towards Europe, and another towards
Brazil and southern Africa 550 metres long. Extending
the latter was tiring work through extremely dense
DX conditions were never impressive,
although there were some fair moments. When the
antennas were finally in place, around 2330 UTC
on May 6th, I checked the antennas and receivers
(Drake R-8A and a Sony 2010 for back-up) by tuning
to Radio Sawa from Djibouti on 1431 kHz. Reception
was pretty good: SINPO 54544!
European Beverage leading to the back of the
Round Cove B&B
One of my main goals on the DXpedition
was to log some of the new European stations that
had come on the air in the past year. The only one
of these that was unequivocally identified was Superloustic
from France on 999 kHz. This was present, although
usually hideously QRMed by Spain, every evening.
I was surprised one evening to hear Glenn Hauser's
distinctive voice on 1584 kHz, which ended up being
a "first" log of Studio X from Italy.
British local stations were present on many frequencies,
but there are not many "new" targets left.
I logged the newly renamed Easy Radio London on
1035 kHz, but all the others were re-loggings.
African signals, with the exception
of very common stations like Mauritania, Guinea,
and VOA São Tomé, were absent. The
action towards Brazil was also very modest, in spite
of the large amount of time I spent digging for
Brazilians. It is true that 15 to 20 ZY big-guns
were easily audible every night, but the smaller
stations were generally mute. Papacaça AM
on 1470 kHz was the only "new" station
logged. Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay, which are
some of my favorite DX targets, offered only their
most commonly heard stations.
By and large we treat North American
stations as QRM, but occasionally an unusual one
grows muscles and forces me to log it. For instance,
very early one morning WVRQ in Viroqua, Wisconsin,
(1360 kHz) decided it had to be heard over WKAT
and WDRC, both of which were in the beam of the
Jean about to start DXing
in the late afternoon
Like much of Newfoundland, the
scenery around Cappahayden is both desolate and
impressive. This is real wilderness. In the afternoons
I enjoyed hiking on the East
Coast Trail along the edge of the Atlantic.
I never met any other hikers, since May is early
for tourists, and most weekend outdoorsmen from
the urban centre of St. John's need not come this
far for a stroll in the woods. I saw a couple of
icebergs far from shore, but I was told that there
had not been many this Spring.
I must thank my wonderful hosts
at the Round Cove Bed & Breakfast, Ollie and
Ken Perry. They made me feel at home, or maybe more
than at home! They insisted that, although their
place is nominally a bed and breakfast, I required
three large, cooked meals every day. I ate far too
much, and I needed the walks.
In terms of DX, it was not one
of the more exciting visits to Cappahayden. On the
other hand, all but the most banal catches from
Cappahayden are far beyond what I can hope to hear
at home in Nova Scotia. I appreciated the opportunity
to be in a spot where prime DX can at least be expected.
on DXing.info on March 2, 2005