I got home from Church this morning; and was actually able to spend a few hours behind the dial. It was nice to hear 20, 17 and 12 Meters busy with activity. One would have thought that 15 Meters would have been busy also; but I didn't hear any signals on that band. I sent out some CQ's for a while and got no answers.
On 12 Meters I was able to work the US Virgin Islands, KP2HC and Belize, V31GT. On 17 Meters, I was able to work Belgium, OQ5M and Ireland, EI6IZ. 20 Meters yielded England. MØEDX and the Balearic Islands, EA6UN.
I've heard and worked Jurek EA6UN many times with 5 Watts. He was simply pounding into New Jersey with a very good signal. I just wanted to say "Hi" to Jurek and to let him know that he was being heard well on the East Coast.
A little later, I was listening to a station running a frequency on 17 Meters. I was surprised to hear him confirm a QSO with my friend Bob W3BBO. It's rare but always cool when you hear a DX station come back to a friend of yours. However, this person wasn't giving out his call very often; so I gave Bob a quick phone call to ask him who he had just worked. I think he was taken a bit back by my phone call; and was surprised to hear from me. We usually confine our communications to the radio waves or Echolink. Turned out it was a Nigerian that Bob had worked, 5N7M. Soon after our call ended, this Nigerian had run out of stations calling him and started calling CQ again; and this time was giving his call quite frequently. Unfortunately, my 5 Watts wasn't making it; as he wasn't hearing me even when he wasn't getting any takers. Since I have never worked Nigeria before, I pumped the K2 up to the full 20 Watts out, figuring that I might get lucky enough to get Nigeria in the log. No such luck - even with the full K2 gallon.
But that's OK, you know? Ol' Sol seems to be perking up these days, with activity being heard on bands that have been very dormant for a long time. I'll get another chance, I am sure. One of the key requirements for being a QRPer is patience. If I don't work you today..... that's just fine. Sooner or later ...... I will!
73 de Larry W2LJ