I spent a few minutes on the air this morning. According to my log, these were my first contacts since September 13. The SKCC weekend sprint was underway amid the larger chaos of a major contest weekend — the ARRL’s November CW Sweepstakes.
It was great to hear the wall-to-wall activity and only made hunting for the straight keys a little tougher than usual.
Thirty minutes. Five quick contacts. All on 40 meters and of course, all on CW using a straight key. Arizona, Maryland, California, Pennsylvania, and Louisiana. Thousands of miles spanned from East coast to West and diving into the deep South from here in the Heartland.
100 watts and a wire — the TenTec Eagle was flying high. Cranking the DSP tight brushed away the SS crowd and it was easy pickings.
Each Weekend Sprintathon (WES) is usually themed for bonus points and this month was no different. Military veterans were being singled out for service and working them brought bonus points. I usually don’t track these and didn’t this month either, though there were some long serving vets in the scrum. One fellow had spent 21 years in the armed forces and I imagine many in the event were covetous of a contact with him for those bonus points.
But contesting is just not in my DNA. Sometimes I lurk in DX contests, but only to work a new one. I’ve nothing against the practice and rather enjoy all the activity it brings to the bands, but my attention span is too short. I can’t stay in the chair for hours on end with cans clamped to my head. That’s why I prefer sprinting. Quick in, quick out, and I really couldn’t care less about scoring or competition.
I guess I’ve just reached a point in my radio experience where I simply enjoy touching the key and getting a response. Doesn’t have to be a faraway contact or a long, fascinating rag chew to make me happy.
Just fist bumping with like-minded souls in the aether.