2020 CQ WW SSB VP9I

Call: VP9I
Operator(s): N1SNB
Station: VP9I

Class: SO(A)AB LP
QTH:
Operating Time (hrs): 40
Location: Other North America

Summary: Compare Scores
Band QSOs Zones Countries
160: 115 3 3
80: 508 12 30
40: 780 12 35
20: 1471 19 54
15: 604 17 49
10: 37 8 8
Total: 3515 70 179 Total Score 1,839,500

Club: Yankee Clipper Contest Club

Comments: [email] 2020-10-26 00:58:35
I am very happy I was able to get to Bermuda to this contest, with travel restrictions and world events making most travel impossible.

But getting here was interesting.

I had to take COVID test in Boston and then pay extra money to get authorized by Bermuda to visit once I could prove a negative PCR COVID test within days of departure. When I got off the nearly empty plane, I got tested astride the tarmac by someone in a Hazmat suit next to the “Welcome to Bermuda” sign and proceeded to my quarantine as I awaited results (negative!)

I was also bringing Ed, VP9GE (my host), a refurbished rotator. I had it in my suitcase and, of course, it made the drug-sniffing dog go crazy, and the suitcase got opened, and the entire airport security team joined in the questioning.

Hurricane Epsilon added to the worry. It was a tropical depression that was stalled SE of VP9, then the day before I left (last Monday) it strengthened and turned towards Bermuda. I decided to proceed anyway even though the weather was going to be an issue for days

It was a close run affair and the hurricane shaved the island on Thursday to Friday with a long period of powerful winds. Ed’s tribander was down for repairs and stayed that way until the storm passed. The gale winds subsided by Friday afternoon. I spent several anxious days waiting for high winds and the destruction of the low band wires.. – luckily, neither materialized.

The contest itself was fun – but I think the lack of expeditions really shaved my score of dozens of easy mults that are usually very very easy to work here. Running 100w and a tribander w/wires made it very hard to work remaining distant mults.

I suspect there was increased competition for the mults out there – and it seemed that stations were mainly paying attention to their own part of the world. I didn’t work any Middle East stations, none from continental Africa and only one from Asia. I couldn’t get through to any VK/ZL on 40/80 and this is usually an easy QSO at daybreak. I worked only a handful of eastern EU stations and missed numerous easy mults.

Running Europe was also exceptionally hard and only occasionally successful. I simply wasn’t loud enough to be heard by second-tier European stations – even working top tier stations in Europe was difficult.

I also had to go get another COVID test at the post office (yes, 3 TESTS!) mid morning Saturday. The test was scheduled by the government and was non-optional and non-time flexible. It was the painful double nostril “brain scrape” variety that left me seeing stars – who needs sleep when someone in a hazmat suit in the post office can wake you up with a 6 inch swab up your noise?

VP9 WW SSB gurus N1SV and K1XM gave me some tips on what to expect here – and they prepped me for the reality that the mornings are incredibly frustrating. 12z-16z is S & P here and the rate is very very low. The afternoons were much better, particularly on 20m,

Because of the lack of expeditions and out of a sense of goodwill, anyone that asked me to move to another band got an “affirmative” to their request. I completed 29/30 pass attempts (sorry Bob, KQ2M – I could hear you…but no dice.

N9NB and W3LPL were my only 6 band QSOs. Best hourly rate was 276.

On to Sweepstakes.

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