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Sun Oct 25 20:58:35 EDT 2020

                    CQ Worldwide DX Contest, SSB - 2020

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

Class: SO(A)AB LP
Operating Time (hrs): 40

 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


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 be able 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 proceed to my quarantine as I awaited results

I was also bringing Ed, VP9GE (my host) a refurbished rotator.  I had it 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 clearly 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 very strong 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

I suspect there was increased competition for the mults out there - and it
seemed that stations were largely paying attention to their own part of the
world.  I didn't work any stations from the Middle East, 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 thet 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

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.   

I'll be in Belize, restrictions permitting, for CQWW CW.

73 jeff n1snb

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