Saturday, September 28, 2019

Wet but still great activity from Ameland

In the afternoon of Friday Sept 27 I arrived on Ameland Island (part of EU-038) for a weekend with my in-laws, celebrating their 50y honeymoon anniversary. Knowing I would be on an island that also contains PAFF-0073 - the last unactivated PAFF - I was keen to take my radio with me.

We would travel to the island without a car so I prepared my bicycle so it could transport a lot of stuff.

Mountain bike customized into trekking bike with a lot of extra weight

Getting nearer to the weekend two forecasts were worrying - a geomagnetic storm with Kp up to 6 and rain with strong winds were both on the agenda for the weekend.

I chose to take a smaller pole (12m) than I usually deploy and decided I would take my mobile amp and a stack of LiPo's as they would give me just a bit more chance if conditions would be poor even though it meant my bags would be heavy.  

Strong wind on the island

When I was on the island checking the rain radar I knew I would not stay dry however I would plan my activity. So I took my rain clothes and a lot of plastic to cover my gear and went out.

Ominous clouds over the dunes at Ameland

I found a nice place in the dunes overlooking the sea. It started out nicely with some sun. There was an almost immediate pile-up on 20m that seemed to continue forever. 

12m Spiderbeam pole in the dunes fighting the wind

Conditions seemed good enough with some particular strong skips - with the benefit of sea water nearby surely. Quite a few NA stations came by some with signals up to s9 like Tom KG8P from MI and Norman N9MM from TX (a rare KFF p2p for me).

Unfortunately the rain came as expected and two times I had to "sit it out" for half an hour by just covering all the gear and myself (quite a challenge for an impatient guy like me to just sit there for 30 minutes waiting). 

I was out in the dunes for some 3 hours with 2 hours of effective radio time on 20m and 40m. By the time the third rain shower appeared I'd had enough and went back to the cottage to get dry and warm.

Later that evening - I was at the yellow circle
In the 2 hours it was busy enough. Being just before or at the start of a solar storm seems to be a lucky timing after all. I logged 238 QSOs (34 DX) from 38 DXCC, including 13 W states and 3 VE provinces. Odx was 9700km to PY1.

1 comment:

  1. Prachtig zo een activatie. Jaren geleden ook ongeveer zo gedaan in de duinen van Schiermonnikoog maar had een mindere antenne, zat QRP en ook veel regen. Een hele belevenis. Ik was helaas niet bij de radio. Heb zo ie zo de laatste tijd heel weinig tijd voor de hobby. Alleen laat in de avond soms op 60m aktief. 73, Bas