Nibbling at Africa

There is an award on QRZ that I’ve been on the verge of getting for a couple of months, but the final accomplishment on the list seemed nearly impossible with my current humble hamstick setup.

I needed to make confirmed contacts on at least SIX continents to get the Continents of the World Award, and the final hurdle was the African continent.

The closest I had ever really gotten was a signal report out of the Canary Islands, located off the coast of Morocco. But 17m really turns out to be a nice DX band.

I got a hint last week that I might be able to actually get the African Continent when I saw a signal report hit smack in the middle of that body– in Kenya.

Unfortunately, there were no stations that I could hear broadcasting at the time out of the area. But I chalked it up as an omen from the ionosphere that I could actually catch it someday.

And then I got a nibble the following week from a station in the Canary Islands– I had them by the toe! —but the communication dropped before it could be completed. OOh! So close!!

Today in the middle of the afternoon I started seeing a station from the Madiera Islands popping up on 17m in FT8. I had no idea where that actually was, but it sounded interesting.

Now you see them, now you don’t– we played hide and seek for around 2 hours as they popped up, vanished, popped up, disappeared… and I finally figured out where they heck they were– sitting just a little further west of the Canaries. Lo and behold, I had signals landing there off and on.

And then, in the late afternoon we finally met in the middle and completed a contact! Even better, the station confirmed almost immediately!

Worked All Continents Awarded

It almost feels like cheating, to count an island a few hundred miles off the coast as “Africa”. Really it’s just a nibble! But it counts! Bwahahaha!

Worked All Continents Awarded today, Sept 22nd, 2021!

Gloating aside, I guess they classify Madiera Island, which is an autonomous region belonging to Portugal, as Africa because it’s actually sitting on the same tectonic plate as the African Continent.

But it still feels a little like breaking a piece of gingerbread off the “house” in the forest and eating it, like Hansel and Gretel. 🙂

A DX Kind of Day

DX seemed particularly easy today on 17 even beyond the exciting chase of “Africa”.

Today’s DX haul also included:

  • Belize (Been chasing this guy FOR-Ever.)
  • Chile (x2)
  • Venezuela
  • Japan (x2)
  • Canada (x4)
  • Spain
  • Us Virgin Islands

I had a total of 55 17m contacts today, including a bunch more states for WAS on 17m. (I currently have 32 states, plus 5 more worked but not confirmed.)

I also logged my 1600th contact in total today since starting on HF at the end of May. That’s a lot of radio time!