Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Flight home

I am writing tonight's blog entry from the airplane en-route from San Juan to Orlando. I've been chasing Chris and Budd for a couple of days to get the paper notebooks Budd had been using to log transcribed into the computer. It looks like a jumble to me, but Chris and Budd assure me that they've got it all. So, my next update for the on-line log will be the last unless somebody shows good cause we've missed something.
Preliminary statistic on the log show
  • 2400 QSOs
  • 82 DXCC entities
  • 23 zones
  • 47 states (missing NV, AK, and HI)
  • 271 CW contacts
  • 98 PSK31 contacts
  • 22 RTTY contacts
  • 2042 SSB contacts

I had 1277 contacts on bands from 75m through 15m (with only 1 contact on 40m) and could have had many more if not for the side trips to the volcano observatory, the boat trip tour around the southwestern coast (the only way to see what remains of Plymouth), and, of course, the Superbowl. I could have had more contacts, but would have missed out on some of the beauty of that island. David Lea gave the group a four hour comprehensive tour one day that really opened our eyes as to how much Montserrat still has to offer. I have gladly traded those potential QSOs for the time we spent away from the radio.
I am seriously short on sleep. I was up very late again last night straightening out Budd's log. Of the last few nights, I was up until 4AM, 5:30 AM, and 2:30 AM just trying to keep all this data straight. I hope the work on the web site, on-line log, and pictures have been fun for those on the other end of the pile-ups.
When I return, I must begin the QSL manager duties and I need a good set of log files to do that. Much as I hate to say it, Budd's are a little iffy. Finding a better way to log while beach portable, bicycle mobile, and pedestrian mobile is a challenge Budd will have to take up before our next DXpedition. Budd mentioned to me just this morning that he needs to find a better system. It is a very exciting way to operate and really shows off the power of lightweight operation, but it also puts a tremendous burden on the portable operator to capture the data correctly.
In the mean time, all I can do is put up the data I've got and try to fulfill QSL request as best I can. Sandy informed me that yesterday's mail contained 22 envelopes looking for cards. Time to get those cards designed!
I have been scribbling notes into my 100 Pound DXpedition notebook collecting my thoughts on what went right, what went wrong, and what I need to do next time. It will be a while before I get those in any shape so you can see them here.
On the way back we all asked each other the question, "Where next?!" I've got some ideas... but it is getting late. Perhaps I'll mention something tomorrow night (I'm such a tease!).
Finally, I would like to make a point here of thanking the DX community for treating me with respect and kindness on the air. Conditions were not always great and I needed to ask for more repeats than I would have liked, but everybody helped me work through it. We did not do all we had promised (no 160m, no 6m, though we tried) and nobody sent us a nasty note about it (yet {grin}). And, in general, when I said I wanted to work a particular station, the pile-up let me do it. Thank you. 73 from VP2MRD/NE1RD.


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