If there’s one lesson that’s been driven into my head over the years, it’s “Never underestimate the power of saltwater”.
When the team at 3B9SP first announced their DXpedition and posted their details online I looked first at that all-important component: what antennas they’d be using. When I saw SpiderBeams and verticals with no parasitic elements, I gave up much hope of them having a strong signal on any band.
Fast forward to this morning…
At 7:30am my local, the sun is already up. West coast stations in W6 and W7 are spotting 3B9SP on 40 meters via long path but those stations are still in darkness so I don’t even bother to QSY, knowing it’s too late for me to hear them on that band. Besides, I’m not really long-path capable with a dipole. I’ve seen such spots before and I can never hear the target stations. No need to chase that wild goose again.
Instead, I’m waiting for them to build on 12m – which they are.
After breakfast and a walking of the dog it’s now 9am local and the sun has been up for 2 hours. They’re still being spotted on 40m long path so in a “what the heck” moment, I tune to their freq of 7005 kHz and there they are, plain as the shining sun.
Too late to go after them though – other things to do this morning, but I won’t let that happen again.
For RF purposes, saltwater is pixie dust.