It started out as a very ordinary day, with very little activity on the bands. Indeed 20 metres seemed very quiet and there were no exotic spots to be seen whatsoever. My first contact of the day was LZ10ARDF who I had worked previously on 40. It was a special event station of the Bulgarian Federation of Radio Amateurs. Then I worked SV7HRJ/2 in Thessaloniki. So a normal enough start.
Then it started to get interesting. I worked into Kazakhstan to UN7QF who was genuinely delighted to work into Ireland because it was his furthest contact of the day.
I worked Michael Higgins, an Irishman, in Tenerife, on 17m. He was EA8EQ but his Irish callsign is EI0CL. A very nice contact in my opinion but then as an Irishman I'm biased!
My first new country of the day was United Arab Emirates. I worked A61KM/M in Dubai. I had heard him CQing but then he was spotted on the cluster and all hell broke loose. He was weak but eventually came up in signal and when I shouted he heard me. It was great to work Khalifa because he was working just 100 watts mobile. Thanks for the nice contact !!
He was soon followed by 4X4FR Rafi in Tel Aviv who was strong on 17m. That was my first contact into Israel on 17m, so thanks!
I worked VE3DDB Johnny in Toronto also on 17m which was another solid contact, 57 each way.
Then it was Fred K8CW's turn in Ohio, again on 17m. We were 59 each way. Up then was AA1KS, Rick in Eastport, Maine, who told me he was within sight of FIVE lighthouses, three of them in Canada and two in Maine. At that stage it was 4.51pm, so 20 metres and especially 18m were well closed to all except some Stateside contacts.
The last contact of the day was perhaps the best. HV0A was on from the Vatican City on 40 metres and all the world was calling him. But as the evening dragged out there were less and less stations calling him so I took a quiet opportunity to shout in and he gave me 5 and 9. So another one in the log. Thanks Francesco!
All in all, a good day.