Last week was a tough one at work with several really long days and an out of town stay. That left me looking forward to a relaxing weekend at home with nothing specific on the agenda despite the ARRL DX CW Contest.

It’s tough to completely ignore a big one like this, so Saturday afternoon I waded into the shallow end of the event. I spent an hour operating QRP on 40 meters and put a small number of stations in the log. While the band wasn’t in great shape, it’s amazing how much better things work when lots of people are available to call.

Though it was a chilly 22F here, the magic of radio transported me to warm Caribbean waters. The Caymans, Costa Rica, Curacao, Bonaire, and the Virgin Islands. And just before wrapping up, I worked another bit of paradise, Hawaii.

We slept in on Sunday morning and enjoyed a lazy start to the day but before noon I was back in the shack for another hour. This time, it was QRP on 20 meters and another dose of Caribbean weather. French Guiana, the Bahamas, Montserrat, and Barbados. After that it was the Azores, Spain, Croatia, the Canary Islands, Madeira Island, and then even more Hawaii.

Nothing remarkable was worked but there’s almost always a surprise. Turns out, I didn’t have Barbados on 40 CW so that could be a plus, if he confirms.

Most of all, it was just plain fun, and a nice treat to call a DX station and have them call me back at the bottom of this wretched solar cycle. Radiosport enthusiasts are highly talented operators whose skill and patience never cease to amaze me.

DX Worked: ZF1A TI7W PJ2T PJ4A KP2M KH7B NP2P 8P5A KH6LC ZF9CW CR3DX EA8RM NP4Z VP2MSS 9A3XV 9A1A CU4DX C6AGU EA5RS FY5KE