1997 - VO2/

When I headed to Toronto to attend the Canadian YLs' "CLARA GALA" late in 1997, I managed to fit in a few extra places as well. Firstly I visited the Maritimes, catching up with Ken VY2RU and his XYL, Ella VE1PEI, who took me to Peggy's Cove then back home to Prince Edward Island where we dined on freshly caught and cooked lobsters. Jack VE1XT showed me round Marconi's memorial "receiving" site on Nova Scotia, and Minnie VE3DBQ's 2 brothers-in-law (both Daves - VO1NF & VO1TK) took care of me in St. John's, Newfoundland, whilst Carl VO1UL welcomed me to St. Anthony, at the tip of Newfoundland.

After visiting ancient Viking sites, I boarded the mv Northern Ranger, a coastal working vessel which stopped at 48 different settlements along the coast of Labrador loading and off-loading cargo. Of the 19 passengers on the12-day cruise, 6 were radio amateurs (plus 1 maritime pirate!). I was able to have my one and only 2m contact in Labrador - from one side of the ship to the other! We made our own entertainment at night with 3 of the crew playing guitars, whilst King Neptune came aboard though we weren't anywhere the Equator, and I was inducted into The Royal Order of Screechers by "kissing the codfish" (dried!) and downing a tot of Screechers rum. The further north we went, the colder and more barren it became, however the sunsets were awe inspiring and the Northern Lights danced across the clear skies at night.

Following the CLARA GALA I visited Niagra Falls then headed north to Churchill, Manitoba, on the shores of Hudson Bay, to look for polar bears. I spent a couple of days travelling on a Tundra Buggy and eventually spotted 3 bears playing close by but had to make my first helicopter flight further afield to see 7 more bears, all just waiting around for the Bay to ice over. Then it was back to Vancouver and Elizabeth's QTH - again!

Peggy's Cove, Nova Scotia

2mx contact, Labrador

Labrador Fishing Settlement

King Neptune

Labrador Sunset

Niagra Falls, DYL preparing to board Maid of the Mist

Polar Bears, Churchill

ALARA members at the CLARA GALA: l to r. Elizabeth VE7YL, Lois WB3EFQ, Aola ZL1ALE, VK3DYL, Raija SM0HNV, Barb KA3VXR, Ruth IT9ESZ, Margaret VE3BMN

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