I was feeling a little down about my results with the NAQCC sprint last night. Heck....who wouldn't with ONE contact and not hearing ANYTHING on the QRP sections of the bands. That was the most horrible band condition I've ever worked.
There was nothing spectacular on the bands this morning as I CQ'd my hour on 40 meters and I didn't expect to work anything on 20 meters this afternoon during my daily hour.
But I WAS hearing a few stations on the other portions of the bands.
I decided to change my strategy from the "come and get me" method to the "search and pounce" method. I tuned to the standard 14.060 QRP freq and heard a VERY weak F6 signal. I immediately realized it was a French call sign but it was only there on the "peaks" and at best 229. I decided to "pounce" and see what happened because I was only copying the F6 and the H at the time.
As he "peaked" once more, I sent my N8ZYA/N8A call and to my wildest surprise he answered me!
It took several exchanges before I had his call sign correct, and several before I was sure he had mine correct, but at the end, we both exchanged the basic info for the contact. I was amazed that the "path" stayed open long enough for the exchange. Jean (F6HFX) lives in Labouheyre France....a commune near the mountain range between Spain and France.
This is what I love about radio....you NEVER know what you will work when you throw out your call sign. I have NO explanation (probably grey line) why he was able to hear me. Especially with the bands being what they've been the last several days.
All I can say is "he was there" and for me..., another surprise contact just when I needed it most!
Jean (F6HFX), fortunately, is an E-QSL member and I sent him my QSL card along with a short e-mail. I hope he downloads the log soon and returns my card.
There's still another couple of days for the "special event contacts" so (other than my daily hour on 40 and 20 meters) I'll be in the "search and pounce" mode now.