Day 7 (Nov 21) – Good progress

Another day on St. Barts – the weather is always the same, it’s sunny with a daytime temperature of 84F (29C) and 78F (26C) at night, with very little day-to-day variation. There’s a mild breeze and of course it’s quite humid. We have our stations set up in the living room with no air conditioning and no screens. Our biggest enemy are the mosquitoes, especially at sunset, but we’re getting friendly with them. Our escape from reality are the bedrooms which are air-conditioned, but sleep is always in short 2-3 hour segments at random times of the day (contest style). Needless to say, we’re not getting much sleep. Today we have no running water but we have a pool to cool off.

Our antenna project today was to move the 160 inverted-L as our guy wires were intefering with construction on the lot next to us. It’s not as good a spot, but there’s nothing we can do. We had to fix one of the VDA’s as the 22 gauge wire shorted on one of the elements. Otherwise things are working well. We have no coax switches to save on weight, so there’s a lot of running around when changing bands.

160m inverted Lantenna  at the new operating position

We put our top-gun 80m op on SSB and he cleaned up with 1000 QSO’s in the log. Tonight we’ll go to CW on 80. Unfortunately 160m was disappointing, with very poor openings to Europe and very noisy conditions. We had a lot of noise just after sunset and couldn’t copy the pileup. It was not a good night for 160, though we did go to SSB and worked a number of US stations and a few Europeans.

Sunrise brought a nice Asian long-path opening on 17m. We went to 10m just before local noon, worked the midwest and West Coast and a few EA’s. The band then opened further into Europe and we had spotlight propagation to southern Poland and OK/OM. We logged dozens of SP’s, all weak but very copiable. Otherwise it was all G’s, F’s, EA’s, CT1’s and EA8’s, as you might expect. As they faded, the band shifted to the East Coast and we’re sitting here at 19Z still running the US on 10m. The other two stations are on 20m SSB which is just a bottomless pit of Europeans all day long and 17m CW and SSB with non-stop Europe and the US.

Our QSO total is now 26,700 at 19Z. Tonight we go to 80m CW for the first time! We’ll be on 160 again, which is a needed band for many of you.

See you on the bands and keep filling those band maps on Club Log!

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