I know that several readers of this blog managed to get across "the pond" on 6m yesterday using the multi-hop Es opening. I managed to get a few glimpses of the dxMaps screen to see how everyone was getting on, but I was pretty tied up on the band myself.
I might add that as I only moved here after the solar cycle decided to deflate, I do not have much of a track record on six. So I have only managed to cross the ditch with 6 metres from here on two occasions - once to VO1SO (GN37, 3621km by SSB) on 18 June 2011, and then to WP4JCF (FK68, 4186 by JT65) on 17 June 2014. So total DXCC count to date = 2, Newfoundland and Puerto Rico.
You would have thought that I might be looking for such an opening around the middle of June this year. I wasn't. I was daydreaming, as usual.
As I often point out (at length), 6m has been a bit of a missed opportunity for me. Even at the peak of antenna expansion, I only had a 3 element up there, and for most of my time I have only used a Diamond HB9CV-alike. Just 2 elements.
So when I noticed the usual suspects near the South West tip of Portugal working across the pond I did not take much notice. They can get across the Atlantic to North and South America fairly easily. Despite this, I thought it was worth a chance and turned the antenna to 285 degrees and called CQ on JT65. After a short while I noticed AB1NJ (Vermont FN34 4920) calling CQ and I was off. I even turned the power up to 125 watts (which is as much as the antenna can cope with).
I stuck to JT65 for the whole session. Later I worked KB1ESS (Massachusetts FN32 5069), KB2FCV (New Jersey FN20 5337), W3CP (Georgia EM74 6452), KB3OZC (Pennsylvania FN20 5449). After that I was called by TF3MSN (HP84 1440) before taking a break. Then I wanted to work Canada and managed a QSO with VE2DLC (Quebec FN58 4424). Finally, I worked TF3ML/P (HP93 1375), though I had worked him earlier, before this opening. Still, he was really really strong, so I felt I should tell him so.
Not only my first Continental US contacts on 6m, but five in a row, and all in different states. Very nice. Each of those contacts exceeded my best dx for the band before yesterday.
Plus Canada. It took a few moments to realise that Newfoundland and Canada count as one DXCC. During my schooling at a proper "Empire Loyalist" type school - to use a Canadian expression - I knew that Newfoundland had joined Canada in the 1940s, but the DXCC status eluded me. Dodecanese, which joined Greece about the same time, counts as a separate DXCC. Confused? You will be...
Most of these guys had good antennas and I don't. Most of them seem to have kilowatt linears too. It did not bother me that I might have worked more using a Yagi and full legal power, or more still using CW. It was just great fun as it was. There may not be another big 6m opening for me for years.
I hope those of you who could get in on it enjoyed this opening.