Day 9 (Nov 23) – Happy Thanksgiving!
No turkey dinner here, we’re all taking turns at the radio or sleeping. The pool is delightful during operating breaks and the weather is always the same – beautiful!! We had no running water for 1 ˝ days, it turns out we depleted the water storage tanks under the house which collect rainwater for domestic water. The property manager finally switched us to city water. The construction work next door is wearing on us, there are two backhoes breaking up ledge and the sifting it into various grades of aggregate. There’s no topsoil on this island, so you have to make your own. The noise is annoying, to say the least. Fortunately they don’t work weekends, so it’ll be quiet for the CQWW weekend. With the work involved in site preparation, it’s no wonder why properties around here start at $2M and up!
The bands have deteriorated significantly. The daytime high bands have not produced any surprise openings. Today even working the US has been tough on 12m and 10m. The “money band” without a doubt is 20m, except for a noontime pause due to absorption. We enjoy sunset the most. Aside from the spectacular view to the west, as soon as the sun drops over the western part of the island, the bands come alive with JA’s coming in like gangbusters on 40m and 20m. We’ve been generating huge JA pileups. We’ve also worked JA’s on 80m at both sunrise and sunset, but not too many on 15m. For K1CC, running JA’s without polar flutter is a new experience.
We spent the 2nd night on 80m on CW and logged over 1100 QSO’s that night. But 160m has been poor, ever since that unforgettable opening to Russia our first night on 160m. The aurora has been obvious to us yesterday and today when we hear US stations with a flutter. Florida stations always come here S9. And there’s a lot of pipeline propagation to Texas and the midwest here on the high bands.
Tonight we plan to hit 40m SSB hard. We need to reorient our phased verticals for a better shot into Europe in preparation for CQWW this weekend. Also on the “to do” list is to configure Win-Test for the contest tomorrow and set up our Telnet filters. Most importantly, we need to get some rest. Tonight, as usual, we’ll be on 160m as much as conditions permit.
This weekend in CQWW CW we’ll be M/2 with 2 stations and 4 ops. The two phone-only ops will operate the WARC bands on SSB and provide us with moral support and make coffee for us. They’ll be our technical crew for all the little problems that arise. One of them is fixing the very thin wires on the VDA’s which occasionally burn out or short out, even though we’re only running 500-600W. Turning antennas will be the job of our support team, as they require running outside and twisting the mast to the proper direction (and making sure it stays that way in the breeze!). Our spirits are good and we’re enjoying this operating marathon.
We know that many of you have worked us on several bands by now. Although our CQWW operation will not win us any plaques, we would like to make a good showing. Please work us in the contest on every band possible, even if you worked us this past week. As an incentive, we offer a souvenir from St. Barts for everyone that works us on 5 bands. It will be mailed out to all the CQWW CW 5-banders after we return back home.
Happy Thanksgiving to all and see you on the bands today!