Joint Story for 21DX/041BE and 21DX/037BE activities.
Last year when me and David operated from EU176 archipelago, we started to discuss what island to activate next year. David found some interesting ones in EU138 arcipelago. So this year it was my turn to drive 700 km to south Sweden and meet up with David at his qth.
I started my trip after my work on Thursday afternoon. I arrived at Davids qth around midnight. The band was opened very strong during my 7 hours in the car and this big openings made me very happy. My main goal was to have better propagation than last year 2015.
At Friday at lunchtime me and David met Kristoffer 21DX092 for the first time in Karlskrona city. We were in a hurry not to miss the ferry. David had arranged a very nice cottage on Stenshamn island 041BE. We had a 12km drive to the ferry from Karlskona to the harbour in Torshamn. The weather was very beautiful with sun, no clouds and 25 degrees.
We arrived at Stenshamn island 041BE during the afternoon. We were met up at the harbour by our host. He helped us to transport our luggage on a small wagon to our cottage. At the QTH we immediately started to mount up the 4 ele yagi and arranged our radio qth for the coming Island Festival. Kristoffer 092 had made a very good work with our portable mast, loop antenna and many other practical things. David brought with him the CB radio and power supply and cables. Myself I just had to bring myself a very good mood.
During Friday afternoon the band was almost zzzz all day. Not much was happening.
On Saturday David went up early and started with a bath in the sea at 04.00.The band was zzzz and when 014 woke at 07.00, David and Kristoffer was already in front of the radio since a few hours. They had only logged a few qsos because of bad propagation. This unstable propagation continued the whole day and we had not many stations better than signal 51-52. During the afternoon we had a few hours with almost total silence.
We decided to visit the harbour to investigate the possibilities to rent bicycles. We would use them on Utlängan island 037BE. The island was quite large 2-3km long and 1 km wide with cows and sheeps. We found a few good places near the sea for our small mast and the loop antenna.
A few hours later we were back at the cottage at Stenshamn island 041BE. We quickly put on the radio and noticed sadly that the band still was very calm and it continued this way the whole evening.
Kristoffer woke up first this morning , then David, and finally me.
This morning we noticed very low signals on the band. Only a few qsos were logged. The band was not even opened up at lunchtime. We discussed when we should activate 037BE and we decided to stay on 555 to see if band would wake up, but it never did, were only sporadic openings until lunchtime.
For Utlängan island 037BE we decided that two of us would go in advance and the third person would operate from 041BE Stenhamn Isl until antenna and radio was mounted up at 037BE Isl.
Me and Kristoffer did go to 037BE and found a good location for our loop antenna. The antenna was mounted around 20m from the sea. We told David that we were ready and he started to move from 041BE to 037BE. Me and Kristoffer started to call CQ. The propagation was still zzzz like before during this weekend. But we easily worked a few stations the first minutes on air. The Signals were quite stable from a few Danish stations it was a bit harder to work Poland and Germany for us. We were happy our loop antenna was working very well and the battery was also in good condition. The weather was also very nice, perfect for IOTA. We stayed a few hours on air. The band opened up to South America and we were able to work a good friend from 3 div. After half an hour without propagation we decided to close down the station.
Sunday evening started very bad the band didn´t open up, only very small signals were heard. Suddenly I received a phone call from an dx man from middle Sweden telling me aurora was coming. My friend was right. For about an hour or so, we had very strong aurora and we worked many friends from 21, 56 and 47 div. This felt like a very good end of this weekend and was first time for us with strong signals on the band. At Midnight we went QRT. We put down the Yagi and the mast in the dark. Thanks to all for trying to work us. We tried our very best.
We will be back!