Saturday, September 23, 2023

Today was good HF day

Amid all the usual busy-ness of a typical Saturday. I made time to get to the shack and turn on the radio. Maybe I have tropical storm Ophelia to thank for this as her visit eliminated the possibility of getting any yard work done!

I got on 30 Meters around 11:00 local time and at 15:32 UTC, while dial twiddling on 30 Meters, I happened to come upon a QSO in progress. One of the participants was NJ2BB, the Battleship New Jersey, which is about an hour's drive south of me, in Camden, NJ.

It was an interesting conversation between the op on the battleship and a Navy veteran in Ohio who served on the Forrestal and the Wasp in the 50's. Anyway, when the QSO was over, I tail-ended the "73s" and threw my call in. Sure enough, I got an answer back! The op on the New Jersey was Tom and we had a brief exchange, and when he heard my QTH, I received an invitation to come down to Camden some Saturday morning to sit behind the key!

Back in 2012, Marianne and I brought Joseph and Cara down to Camden to visit the Aquarium. We spent quite some time there and after we took a stroll over to the New Jersey. We didn't board her, but I remember being impressed with her size. I certainly would love to go and operate from the radio room some Saturday morning. I'll have to do some research on how to go about that.

If I remember correctly from a documentary on the History Channel, the New Jersey is the most decorated battle ship in the history of the United States Navy. As I recall, she served in WWII, the Korean Conflict, the Viet Nam conflict and finally, in the Gulf War. It would be an honor to board a ship with such rich history and which served so proudly.

I also worked five POTA stations on 40 and 20 Meters. 40 Meters was in excellent shape with low noise and loud signals. 20 Meters was noisier, and the signals seemed to be lower, but I was still able to make contacts.

It was so good to be behind the key again!

72 de Larry W2LJ

QRP - When you care to send the very least!

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