Friendship Cruise Communications

Latest News (2011)

May 31: Larry Bullard's Report

Larry Bullard writes:

I had never run a boat in a sandstorm! Now I can say, “I have been there — done that,” What a day Sunday was in the Canyonlands! I can't imagine how bad it was up on the repeater sites. I could not see the rims because of the dust. The wind made for some awesome waves on the river, also.

We took a beating driving out. Friday and Saturday were excellent days with very nice spring weather. I will pass, though, on any more Sand-Sundays. The Cruise was still a memorable experience that will provide some good campfire stories in the future.

Once again communications were great throughout the cruise. I enjoyed listening to all the radio traffic and updates on what was happening. Thanks to all of you who ate sand on the overlooks and for the SDARC who spent the holiday providing good communications from Green River, Mineral Canyon, the repeater sites, rescue boats, and MGM/Potash boat ramp. Nobody ever said setting up an EmComm was easy, but the weather certainly provided a challenge. Everyone excelled and it was appreciated.

My thanks to everyone for exhibiting their many talents and skills in support of the Friendship Cruise. I hope I may return the favor some day.

— N0WRK Larry Bullard, Grand Junction, CO

We always appreciate Larry's information on what's happening on the water during the Cruise. He is right that SDARC is to be thanked for all their efforts at MGM Bottom and also for the great Sinbad linked repeater system that many of us find valuable while driving to the Cruise area and when going home. However, the operators at the other fixed locations were not all provided by any one club. If we were to guess the primary club allegiance of the operators it would probably go like this:

Green River Utah DX Assn
Mineral Bottom DCARC
Panorama Point UARC
Canyonlands Overlook   DCARC

But that's an oversimplification. Many of us belong to multiple clubs such as a local club plus the Utah VHF Society. And, for those of us who drove down from the Wasatch Front, the Friendship Cruise wasn't an official function of any club; it was just a chance to try our skills and have some fun.

May 20: Miscellaneous updates

May 10: Kelly is Going to Canyonlands Overlook

Mike, K7DOU, tells us that he has succeeded in recruiting Kelly, KV7V, to go with him to the Canyonlands Overlook repeater site. That makes it an adequate crew to set up the temporary repeater for the Colorado River side of the cruise.

May 8: Larry Bullard Will Be on the Cruise

We received e-mail from Larry Bullard, N0WRK, that he will, again, be doing the cruise and be on the air. He has been very helpful in past years giving us an extra reporting point on the water.

May 7: Flow Rate Chart Updated for 2011

Today, we made the first entry on the flow rate chart for 2011. (Of course it doesn't look too impressive yet with just one data point each for the Green and Colorado.) Flaming Gorge is releasing 9050 cubic feet per second (CFS) from the dam to make room for runoff. That is more than double the typical amount for this time of year. When the Yampa ramps up in a few weeks, there should be no problem having enough water on the Green!

I believe all the year-specific pages are up to date now. Let me know of any needed updates at

May 6: Bud, KF7NOK, Volunteers

Bud, KF7NOK, has volunteered to help out. The parties at both Panorama Point and Canyonlands Overlook could use at least one more operator, but in both cases are waiting for one or more “maybes” to confirm. If one or both parties end up short, we can put Bud to good use.

May 2: News From SDARC

JJ, K7JNJ, tells us he will be with Bret Mills, WX7Y, on a Sheriff's rescue boat. Other members of the SDARC club will handle communications at the dock and trailer storage at MGM bottom.

April 28: The Cruise is On!

We talked to Kathy Ryan today and determined the Cruise is on for 2011. Other bits of information:

Leftovers from 2010

June 21: Note from Larry Bullard

Larry Bullard, N0WRK, writes:

Sorry I have been slow commenting on the Cruise this year.

Once again thanks to all of you for another great cruise and NET. Friday's wind was something to experience on the river. Exceptional wind, waves and we even had a water spout from a whirlwind crossing the river. The rest of the trip was uneventful.

Excellent comm. as is your standard now. It was great talking with all of you. The assistance at the takeout by the SDARC was exceptional also.

My thanks again for a job well done! You have the Comm. plan nailed on this adventure. I am hoping the Cruise will continue as I am getting concerned about the low number of participants. I think there were more support staff then participants this year.

Hopefully we will all be back next year.

73 N0WRK, Larry Bullard, Grand Junction, CO.

June 12: Belated Wrapup

It's all history now and the 2010 Cruise was quite successful from a communications point of view. Both temporary repeaters worked well throughout their times of operation and there were few communications problems.

Last year we had had a bit of a problem with the Green River fire station hearing the Panorama Point repeater well due to multipath distortion. This year it was the other way around — the multipath was on the signal going the other direction, i.e. from the fire station to the repeater. John Hardy, K7ALA, solved the problem neatly by using two rigs and two antennas — one to transmit and the other to receive.

The registration was apparently an all-time low at 27 boats. One good feature was that no one needed rescuing. None of the boaters needed to be towed or repaired. The worst it got was one who took on some extra fuel to be sure to make it to MGM.

There was a bit of panic near the end when there seemed to be one boat missing. It had to be between Rescue 5 and Rescue 6, but wasn't. It finally turned up at the confluence after having been hiding in Horse Canyon. Elaine tells us Rescue 6 had tried going up Horse Canyon but after stalling on a sand bar decided,

“Naw, no one would have gone up here.”

Many thanks to all who helped! We have been asked to pass along any photographs that might be interesting or that might document our communications activities for the archives. Send photos to one or both of the following:
Kathy Ryan:
JoAnne Chandler: (historian) 

May 26: Update from Larry Bullard

Today we received the following from Larry Bullard, N0WRK:

Plans are for my party to go on the river early Friday AM before 0900. We will stay till Monday morning. I will be on the air again for the entire event. I will be with another old time Friendship Cruiser named Mark Peterson of Grand Junction. We will both have red inboard jet boats. Check with me when you get a net set up. I will monitor 147.12 to begin with and will also monitor 146.52 until the NET is active.

Call if we can be of any assistance on the river. Both of us are old members of the Mesa County Search and Rescue and can help if an emergency arises.

Thanks again to all of you for all you do each year.


May 26: Flow Rate Chart Updated

The flow rate chart is finally updated for 2010. Flow rates are drastically down from 2009, but at least both rivers are now above 15,000 cubic feet per second.

May 24: Details falling into place

Things are coming along reasonably smoothly. The best news is that the current forecast for the weekend doesn't show any rain expected for the Green River area.

Brent Thomas and Lou Little will be going to Mineral Bottom again. They expect to be on the air sometime Friday evening. Elaine Jones, N7BDZ, will be going on Kathy and Randy's boat. Chuck Killian, WB6YOK, may be able to go on another rescue boat, although he is checking his ability to get off work and Kathy Ryan is checking with other rescue boat operators to see when he would first be needed.

Mike Collett, K7DOU, the first and most frequent operator at the Canyonlands Overlook repeater will be setting it up again along with Dick Abbott, K7MZ. They expect to be on Friday night or Saturday morning.

April 26: The Cruise is On

We received e-mail from Kathy Ryan on the 26th that the Cruise is on. Here's what we know so far:

Everything else is still undecided or unknown. We'll keep this updated as we hear from or contact more people.

-Gordon, K7HFV (

Send further news, additions, or corrections to