I was, as usual, somewhat late getting started this Es season. However I was there for most of it despite a heavy slate of personal challenges this summer. Overall I feel it was the poorest Es season in my nine years on the band, but there were some exceptional moments!
There were two good openings to Japan in late June. During one of them I had high local noise and could not participate. In the other I worked JE1BMJ and JA1BK, both of whom peaked 599. I heard many others but was not successful in working them. Nevertheless, any opening to Japan via Es is good from north central Maine. As far as I can determine, I remain the northeasternmost station in North America to work Japan on 6 meters via this propagation mode. This makes three seasons in a row with at least one JA in my 6 meter log!
There was a surprise opening to the middle east during which I worked 4X4DK (after several years trying) and A92IO. Wow!
One evening a nice opening produced a QSO with JW7QIA. Talk about high latitude Es! What made it all the more interesting is that there were more southerly paths to Europe at the same time. Other QSOs that evening included SM5EDX, ON7GB, and CT1FFU.
Sound clips and more info are on the 6 Meter Sounds page of my web site.
A nice, if all too short aurora in early August was a welcome change of pace. I hope solar cycle 24 can manage a few more of those, and perhaps even one or two “real” auroras. 🙂