It took twenty minutes of calling, and trying to figure out where Tom Linder was listening "up" from 14.007, before the German-born CW operator finally heard me - in Rwanda! Confused? Don't be.
9X0TL. To be honest I didn't think I was going to get him, on any band. I told our local big DXer Thos EI2JD on Saturday that, and I quote, "I would be delighted to get him on any band. Just once!"
And so come late Sunday night, when hard working professionals like me should be tucked away in our beds, ready for the day ahead, I couldn't resist sitting at the desk in the shack with my homebrew CW paddle between my finger and thumb, trying to get this rare one into my log. Within minutes of starting his CQ, he had decided to work split and was calling "up". The question was - where he was listening? The answer was - anywhere between 1 and 2 KCs up. So it required a bit of moving around to find him. It didn't help that a few minutes in I heard him working EI2JD (the same Thos mentioned above - well done Thos) so I gritted my teeth for the challenge. I was rewarded eventually with the beautiful sound (in morse code, you understand!) of EI2 ??
"Oh yes, he's hearing me. Better be patient and not mess my call up," I thought. Yes, I've done it plenty of times. You get excited and start tapping the key or paddle with a bit too much adrenaline pumping and, all of a sudden EI2KC becomes EI3KC or EI2KY or EI2CC and then things get messy. Thankfully I was able to give him EI2KC confidently and after receiving his 599 report, I have him "R R TNX 599 599 73 TU DIT DIT".
Just looking at my log, I see that the stats are interesting. I haven't updated you in a while, but here's how it stands in terms of DXCCs worked on the various modes:
CW: 149 DXCCs worked
PHONE: 124 DXCCs worked
RTTY: 32 DXCCs worked
Total DXCCs worked to date (since October 30th 2009): 172
Total DXCCs confirmed by paper QSLs: 33
Total DXCC's confirmed by AG eQSL: 74
As I always say, not bad for 100w and a wire and a vertical!