2005 started on January 1st at 0141 UTC with a Straight Key Night QSO with Bob WB8QLA. 2005 wrapped up with a QSO with Jim W4QO on December 31st at 0217 UTC. 365 days of at least one QRP CW QSO a day. The year ended with a total of 1778 QSOs on all the HF bands, save for 12 and 10 Meters.
It's hard to believe that I reached my goal! Band conditions have been so crummy this year. There were times during Coronal Mass Ejections, when radio conditions were all but in a black out; that it seemed that I might have gotten farther using smoke signals instead of RF. But the Morse Code and CW just never let me down. CW and Morse Code did get through when nothing else could have!
There were several highlights to my Amateur Radio year; but three stand out in my mind:
1) The completion of "QSOa Day" for 2005. I had no real idea of the complexity of the task. Juggling family obligations, social schedules with propagation, band conditions and operating time seemed daunting at times.
2) Working SPØPAPA on April 9th. This was a special event station operating in Poland, celebrating the pontificate of Pope John Paul II the weekend of his funeral. All of my grandparents immigrated to this country from Poland. By birth I am an American, by ancestry I am a Pole. John Paul II and this QSO meant a very great deal to me.
3) The one that got away! In July I came THIS close to working Iraqi station YI6ZL. He heard my QRP signal through the pile-up and came back to me with "W2L?" looking for the rest of my suffix. Unfortunately, I was creamed by a W4 station who obviously couldn't understand what "W2L?" meant! Completing that QSO with Iraq on 5 Watts and beating out a humongous pile-up would have been sweet!
So now it's officially 2006 via Universal Coordinated Time. In a half an hour, I'm going to put the kids to bed; and then head down to the shack and Straight Key Night to get it all started, all over again. At times, life is good!
73 es a very Happy, Healthy, Joyous and Prosperous New Year to you all!
de Larry W2LJ