Skeeter Hunt 2018

NJQRP Skeeter Hunt LogoBzzz… 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-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.

This was my view of the Schuylkill River during the Skeeter Hunt contest. This was taken shortly before it started raining again.
This was my view of the Schuylkill River during the Skeeter Hunt contest. This was taken shortly before it started raining again.

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!

My "stationary-mobile" set-up. You can see the antenna that attracted both skeeters and a long-lost childhood friend.
My “stationary-mobile” set-up.  My antenna attracted both skeeters and a long-lost childhood friend.

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

 

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