NPOTA Entity: San Juan Islands HP41
SOTA summit: N/A
Activation Date: Oct 2, 2016
Portable operation: Yes
Radio: Elecraft KX2/KXPA100 operating at 50 watts
Antenna: SOTABeams Dipole
Bands used: 20m and 40m
Furthest QSO: ~2,400 miles with Bruce N1LN in North Carolina
Hike in: Yes, 1/4 mile
Solo operation: No, with Guy (N7UN/NS0TA)
ATT Coverage: Excellent
Photos: Copyright Paul Gacek 2016
It all started with a pig and more precisely a crime committed against the witless pig that now lay dead on the ground. It’s owner clamored not for revenge, nor retribution, nor atonement. They simply wanted justice. Everyone agreed that justice should be rendered but none could agree if it should be Canadian or American justice. The Canadians were convinced that the San Juan Islands, like Vancouver Island, were a part of Canada and the Americans felt that the San Juan Islands, lying to the immediate west and north of Washington State, must be American.
They talked, they argued, they shouted and when all this resulted in nothing the infantry came, the warships came, the Royal Marines came and last but not least the engineers came. A fort was built on the brow of a hill and the guns commanded an unforgiving view of land and sea threatening any approach of the Royal Navy. Reconnaissance parties probed the strength and disposition of their respective opposition. The British, in true colonial style and with an eye on the long view setup vegetable gardens, barracks, a hospital, all rather nicely located at the edge of a sheltered bay. The hardy Americans camped out in their hill top fort and points below.
Its the mid 1800s and only a few decades on from the last time Britain and America squared off over land. Maybe sensing more of a brotherhood than a desire for fratricide, arbitration is traded for conflict. Decided over what is considered natural shipping channels, the San Juan Islands are deemed to be a part of the USA. Case closed.
So here I am this early morning on a Sunday chatting with Douglas Hasley, National Park Ranger and fellow ham operator (K7BIY). He guides us through the exhibition and brings to life the story of San Juan Island and this piece of Anglo-Amercian history. With all the history it seems only appropriate to setup up our radio station on Fourth of July Beach.