I've been thinking a lot lately about the thrill of unusual contacts on the radio. Yesterday I worked a new Island. This was only my second contact in this part of the country.
Prince Edward Island is sort of "out there by itself" and when I heard this new call sign (VY2) I didn't recognize it as a Canadian station. Every Canadian station I've ever worked has had the VE prefix. (and this is about number 30 for me).
I seem to have a "pipeline" into the northeast and get unusual signal reports at distances around a thousand miles in that direction. I can actually draw a "line" into this part of the northeast with the 599 and 579 reports. This afternoon my RST was 579 with my 5 watts of power. (QSB and QRN was really terrible on the Canadian side but my RST at the beginning was still 579)
It's a real thrill to me when I work station like this one because I don't think there's a lot of hams on this island.
When I think back on my best contacts over the last several years, I think of a camper set up on a picnic table somewhere near the Appalachian Trail, an operator transmitting from an old submarine, a ship on the Great Lakes, an airplane (those are really rare), a lighthouse, or dozens of stations celebrating and promoting "special events".
Other times it's just an operator with an extremely good "fist" and his spacing, his abbreviations, his choice of words in the QSO, or the subject matter. Despite all the DX out there now as the bands are picking up, it's still a thrill for me when I work something unusual.
This afternoon, Prince Edward Island fell into one of those categories.
(picture courtesy of Wikipedia)