Central and Arctic Region

Closed Stations
Marine Communications Officers
(61.05.12N 69.33.24W)

The station of Cape Hopes Advance was established and first operated by Canadian Marconi and then by the Department of Transport. The station officially opened on July 1, 1929.

Cape Hopes Advance was located on the northwest point of Ungava Bay, facing the Hudson Strait to the north. It was approximately 300 miles north of Kuujjuaq (Fort Chimo) which was the closest settlement of considerable size and also the relay point for supplies and mail. In the immediate vicinity, at approximately four miles from the station, there was an Inuit settlement known as Koartak with a population of approximately 100.

At the station itself, only single accommodation was provided and meals prepared by the station cook. A hired casual laborer (Inuit) performed work to be done around the site and his family was also provided accommodation on the site.

Winter operations consisted of synoptic weather observations, both main and intermediate, which were compiled by a staff of 2 operators. During summer operations, a staff of 3 operators maintained a 24-hour watch throughout the navigation season which took place from early July to the end of October. Until 1947, it appears that the station was open only during the arctic navigation season. The radio operators and the cook were dropped off the first ice breaker that went by at the opening of the navigation season and picked up at the end of the short arctic summer by the last ice breaker to leave the Hudson Bay.

All station's traffic consisted of weather observations, ship-shore traffic, administrative traffic and a small amount of domestic traffic that was relayed to Frobisher Bay (Iqaluit) via a point-to-point circuit in telegraphy. Nottingham Island, Fort Chimo and Clyde River also communicated with Frobisher on that circuit.

There were no medical or dental services in nearby Koartak. The nearest certified medical and dental help was in Fort Chimo.

Communications between Cape Hopes Advance and Koartak were carried out by canoes in summer and by skidoo in winter. A skidoo and a canoe were provided by the Department for this purpose. Outside communications were carried out by a weekly aircraft service to Koartak. There were two periods known as break-up period (May 15-July 15 approx.) and the freeze-up period (October 1-December 15 approx) when there was no aircraft service whatsoever.

The station was closed at the end of the 1970 Arctic shipping season.
Unifor Local 2182
Cape Hopes Advance / VAY
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