The weather was the big story of the weekend. A major winter storm descended on the area on Saturday dumping first ice, then snow. We didn’t get nearly as much snowfall as had been predicted, but the ice coating and strong winds made it more interesting. The power lines sagged and groaned as the temps plummeted into the single digits, but the power stayed on and we survived.

Saturday was the SSB version of the NAQP and with nothing better to do than worry about the weather, I jumped into the action. I set my sights low and aimed for just fifty contacts. It was just me, 100 watts and a wire, on 40 meters only and it didn’t take long to reach my goal. I could have stuck around and added a lot more but that was enough.

I don’t do much phone work though in preparation I was tuning around on Friday afternoon and had a nice QSO with N8BEG on 7.153 MHz. Rob is not far from Traverse City, Michigan and was operating from a camper on his property.

That was my first phone contact of 2019 and now I have 51.

I thought the band was in good shape for the contest. Despite the spartan nature of my station, I worked all up and down both coasts and had an enjoyable good time. Except for the frequent stops to ask if my name was Jeff with a “J” or a “G”. Next time around I’m going to use “Leo”, my middle name, and avoid any confusion.

Amongst all the SSB work I did manage to make a little more headway in my SKCC quest for the next level. My total toward Tx7 now stands at 344 and I still hope to make 350 by the end of the month as sifting for unique numbers is getting annoying.

When I left the house for work this morning the Moon looked full and especially bright. The temperature here was -4F and my wire antenna was still in the air but it’s more than ready to be retired. I just hope it hangs in there until slightly warmer weather when I have a chance to replace it. Fingers crossed.