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IOTA, The Weather and other mutterings

We had another short session here at the Regatta Park, Spring Point, Acklins Island, yesterday morning.

I started early, when VOAcap said 15m would open to the EU and Russia. I’d had some email from Russian stations requesting a 12 UTC start so I decided to give it a go even although the sun was only just up.

Early, it might have been but I’d been awake for hours since the wind dropped and the boat had been invaded by ‘no-see ums’ which were biting the XYL and I. Consequently I wasn’t feeling that sharp.

I found myself a clear QRG but of course if the band isn’t open all the frequencies are clear Hi! So after a few minutes of calling CQ I was informed the frequency was in use and found another one. A bit of finger trouble then ensued somehow since it became apparent there was a pileup on my QRG and the only person that didn’t know about it was me! I usually use the 2nd Rx in the K3 to monitor the TX frequency every few minutes and it paid off. A few button pushes later and I had a bunch of callers. Sorry folks!

The band was a bit up and down which was helpful in a way since I was typing through a cloud of Mosquitos and I needed the space created by the slower pace to spray myself with insect repellent!

An hour later it was time to pack up but at least we had worked a few of the Russians who needed an ATNO and some mates from the UK as well as a bunch of other countries. 80 QSOs in all – not so bad considering the conditions and lack of sleep!

The reason we had to pack up was we had to visit the island administrator. We had permission to stay in the Bahamas until the 24th of Feb but we needed to extend that and the administrator is the only person on the island who can grant an extension – and, she’s only part time shared with another island! So we had to be at her office before 10am and it was quite a few miles away. Fortunately, it’s a really friendly island and the 500 inhabitants (on an island almost 100 miles long) are happy to give anyone a lift. The problem is, you might see on car every 30 minutes! To cut a long story short, we got our extension for a month!

Oh, the weather! Well, I guess I won’t be QRV this weekend. Here’s the weather map for Saturday and here’s a picture of how it is today!

IMG_0711

IMG_0712

25kts is a bit stressful for any Spiderpole not to mention trying to hear the traffic with the howling wind. That said, if I went to the Regatta Park at Spring Point, I could sit in the almost completed toilets but I’m not that desperate to operate besides which, getting the station onto land through the 4 FT waves might be a bit of a problem.

So I think I’m going to hunker down on the boat for a few days. Maybe I’ll cut a dipole for 30 and 40m so that the higher band conditions improve 😉.

I also have plenty of Morse practice to do – maybe one day I will QSO with LA5HE on 30m!

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