Working Europe SSB from the Pemi
September 2013

This afternoon I rode my bicycle along the Pemigewasset River.
Today I brought a microphone along! I worked Italy, Svalbard Island
and Estonia using five watts and SSB. This was a first for me.

Judy and I rode down to the old bridge to Hill. It's right near
the spot where Knox Brook flows into the Pemi. We stopped
in a small grassy spot, and I set up the KX3 under an oak tree.

I tossed a 33 foot wire over the branch and sat directly under
it, so the wire was vertical. I started out on 17M CW. Right
away I worked S50R in Slovenia. Leo gave me a 599 and I
gave him the same. When I told him I was QRP, he sent, "FB
FOR UR 5W NICE." Next I worked the Canary Islands.
EC8AFM gave me a 559. He was a solid 599. Then I switched
to SSB.

ES3AX in Estonia was calling CQ. August gave me a 58. He was 59. I
remembered his call and mentioned that we had worked before on CW.
He also remembered. What a thrill. Tuning up a bit I heard Flavio
IZ1JLG calling CQ from Italy. He gave me a 55 and we chatted for
a moment. Then I worked JW9JKA in Svalbard Island, the Norwegian
arctic. Svein was on a DXpedition to Bear Island EU-027 and had a rough
time getting my call but we completed the exchange and he gave me a 52.
I didn't realize this was a rare catch until I received an email from Dave,
W0CH who suggested I check closer.... Not just Norway, but Svalbard.

Next was another Italian station. IK6SNR, Lucio gave me a 59. When I told him
I was QRP, he said that copy was easy and audio was excellent. I was really
excited and equally surprised that I could make contacts so easily using 5W
on voice.

I went back to CW to calm down a bit... Pavel OK4RQ gave me
a 599 and when I told him I was QRP, he sent, "FB UR QRP S-9."
What more could I ask for? I packed up and headed back
downstream toward the car. On the way, I rode alongside a
beaver! The swimmer was so long, I thought it was an otter. But
when it caught a glimpse of me, there was a loud splash of his tail
as he dove beneath the water. As the sun started falling behind
the trees, I stopped and took another snapshot of the river.