Bzzz… All that buzzing you heard on the bands on Sunday was the annual running of the NJQRP Skeeter Hunt contest. Happily, I got home from my recent vacation in time to join in the hunt.
The theme of this year’s contest was “water – the breeding ground for Skeeters!” In the spirit of the theme, I headed down to Upper Schuylkill Valley Park along the Schuylkill River near Royersford, Pennsylvania.
It had been raining all morning and it was drizzling when I got to the park and started setting up. Because of the inclement weather, I opted to operate from inside my truck. I put my usual 19.5-foot vertical on the back of the truck and fired up my KX3. I tested the rig on 40M by working a SOTA station in Vermont and a special event station in Illinois.
As I was operating, a fellow was curious about my antenna and walked over to ask about it. As I started to explain what I was doing, we both recognized each other. As it turns out, we were childhood friends and grew up less than a block away from each other. He happened to be visiting in the area and took his grand-kids fishing in the river. We hadn’t seen each other in more than 40 years, so we spent a half hour chatting and getting caught up. If he hadn’t been curious about my antenna, we never would have noticed each other. What an amazing coincidence!
Back to the contest… I operated for about an hour and a half. There was some deep fading on the bands but 20M eventually seemed to open up a bit. I bounced between 40M and 20M, alternating between CQing and search & pounce. When it started raining again, I figured it was a good time to wrap things up. I ended up with 20 QSOs (18 skeeters) in 11 SPCs.
Here’s my log:
UTC BAND CALL MODE RST-S RST-R SPC SKEETER NUMBER 1703 40M N3AQC CW 559 449 PA Skeeter #77 1713 40M KD3CA CW 589 579 PA Skeeter #44 1720 40M VE2DDZ CW 569 559 QC Skeeter #35 1723 40M N8RVE CW 559 559 OH 5W 1727 40M WF4I CW 579 559 NC Skeeter #70 1733 40M WQ4RP CW 559 559 NC Skeeter #11 1804 20M W5IQS CW 559 559 TX Skeeter #170 1807 20M KF5RY CW 559 559 TX Skeeter #26 1811 20M NN9K CW 599 599 IL Skeeter #64 1817 20M AD0YM CW 599 449 MO Skeeter #16 1821 20M NE5DL CW 559 559 TX Skeeter #25 1825 20M NQ3N CW 599 579 FL Skeeter #141 1829 20M WB4OMM CW 579 579 FL Skeeter #98 1841 20M N5GW CW 599 569 MS 5W 1844 20M KD0V CW 569 559 MN Skeeter #99 1851 20M W3HZZ CW 559 559 GA Skeeter #131 1907 20M N0JBF CW 559 559 MO Skeeter #37 1913 20M K4BYF CW 599 549 FL Skeeter #107 1915 20M K4BAI CW 559 589 GA Skeeter #163 1920 40M NK9G CW 559 559 WI Skeeter #6
As always, the Skeeter Hunt was fun, even with the lousy weather. Thanks to Larry W2LJ and the NJQRP Club for once again putting on this great contest!
72, Craig WB3GCK