Most DXers have served their time, so to speak, CQing and rag chewing and trying to make contacts during the lean times. I was licenced (October 2009) during one of the lowest sunspot lulls in the past century. So I've been there, done that, worn the t-shirt. Now don't get me wrong - I don't mind working Europe and Russia. In fact, I just like making contacts on HF, no matter where they are. After many years of being a listener, being able to talk to these guys and gals is a great pleasure.
But before I powered down the shack and everything in it, I decided to give 30m a go. With 20m dead, it was highly likely 30m would be gone to sleep too. To my surprise, I worked a few. There was an Oscar Kilo, an Echo Alpha QRP, a SM, an OE, another OK, and then . . .
Dit dah dah dah, dit dah, dit dit dit dah dah . . .
JA3? Japan, at this hour of the night? Surely I am getting his call wrong. PA3 maybe? So I give "JA3?" and, sure enough, he comes back with JA3FYC. Wow! Japan on 30m at 10.13pm!! I have him 559, he gave me 579. It really made the whole night! It gave me a lift, so I decided to carry on for a few minutes.
Next to call after the JA3 was 7N1PRD/0, also in Japan! Two in a row. Well that was just magic! He was a bit weaker, so I gave him 539 and he gave me 559. Surely now was the time to go to bed, with a big smile on my face!!
But moments later I spotted something on the DX cluster. A 9M6 station - East Malaysia - working Europeans! I QSY'd down to his frequency and, sure enough, there he was, 9M6XRO/P, listening up! He was on 10.107.6 so I put 10.108.5 into the second VFO and put the split on and gave a call - EI2KC.
He came back straight away with EI2? so I gave him the call three times, fearing he might be working another EI2! He got me though, no problem, and gave me a 599! I gave him a 559 and tnx and GL and GD DX and all that and said 73. A new country in the bag, late at night on 30m. That was one great night. And what's more, the op, John, is on an island, Sebatik Island, for an IOTA expedition, and is there for just four days, September 24-28. Great to get him in my log!
I worked three new countries on 30m, bringing my total worked to 60. I know Japan and East Malaysia were two, but can't figure what the third one was. But I didn't care. I went to bed with a huge smile on my face!