2004 CQ WW 160m CW
QSOs = 1498     State/Prov = 55      Countries = 62      Total Score = 1,066,455

George and I decided to have an arm chair expedition and went to the Carribean for the first time. Comparing with Toronto 160 meter sounds completely different down there. The contest started very well and we have logged almost 600 contacts in the first five hours. Then the qso rate dropped rapidly. Some EU stns were loud but not as loud as before the contest so I think condx were not the best although we worked a bunch of them. Saturday afternoon George and I were sokin? up the sun in the garden and around 3:45 I went in to the shack to check the band. To my surprise I could hear DX stations. For an example DL6RAI, DK1MM, HB9ATA, F6IRF and few others were already 579 to 599 before four o?clock local time. The sun sets only at 5:30 so it was still way up high. The only problem was that nobody heard us at all. I was chasing them for a while than gave up and rather called US. To my biggest surprise I had the same result with them. They were CQ-ing into my face like I didn?t have antenna at all. I started to worry a bit but we have came to the conclusion that it must be one-way condx. We were cq-ing but got only very few reply. Things got better almost immediately after the sun was behind the horizon. The evening started very good and we didn?t even use the pennant RX antenna because we could receive stations on the vertical. However this situation changed dramatically during the night. The noise became so strong that I had big difficulties to pick up stations. Signals were actually way better than the first night and EU signals were very good too. I had huge pileups time to time but unfortunately QRN got really bad. I was very angry and frustrated. Even the sound of the surf from the ocean seemed lot stronger on that night and it was driving me crazy. I tried to close the window but I had to guard my frequency in the very crowded band too. If I had just one more arm? I was exhausted and my head was full with the static crashes. Fortunately it was time for George to take over the station and he saved me from having a nervous breakdown?hi According to George the band settled down later and it was quiet again until it closed down completely in the morning. Sunday afternoon was pretty much the same regarding the early DX condx, however we didn?t fell for the trick at this time and left them alone until sunset. All in all it was a great contest and a great experience. We could probably have a few more multipliers, if we had dx cluster going. I am sure we made some mistakes and missed many mults, but we enjoyed it and had a super time. Thanks to Bud, K4ISV for letting us to use his nice station. Hope to see you again in another contest. 73 Lali and Geo