The Pond is Frozen – The DX is Hot

Hanz W1JSB and I hiked to Knox Mountain this afternoon. There was ice on the pond, but we worked St. Martin, Cape Verde Island and Curacao.

We were lucky to cross the first bridge. After crossing it, we noticed that one of three main supporting logs had collapsed. This was no surprise because we’ve seen holes developing in several places, and we were always careful where we stepped.


The owners tore down the second bridge a couple of years ago. Hanz and I placed a board across some rocks last spring. It’s served us well for a crossing, but today we notice ice hanging down from the board.


We knew this was treacherous… and we were right. The top of the board was slick with smooth ice. We quickly thought to spread some dirt across the surface and that worked like a charm. We crossed with no trouble.

At the pond, we were a bit surprised to find it completely covered with ice.


Today it was in the mid-thirties but the sun kept us from feeling the chill. I set up under some tall pines behind the cabin. I chose the spot because even though the sun was low in the sky the shadows hadn’t reached there yet.

I threw the line nearly 40 feet over a branch and pulled up a wire. I operated exclusively on 15 meters and the band was full of DX. I had to work split on two of the stations, but the KX3 was up to the challenge.


I worked three quick stations in barely five minutes. First I heard FS/K9EL in St. Martin calling CQ and I answered. I received a quick response and we exchanged 599 signal reports. The second was D44AC in Cape Verde Island off the coast of Senegal in East Africa. Again the exchange was 599. Finally, I worked PJ2/N7WA in Curacao just north of Venezuela. Again we exchanged 599s. Hanz didn’t feel like operating, so we packed up and headed back down the trail.

The forecast is calling for rain or snow tomorrow. The warm days are probably past.

Jim Cluett, W1PID, is a regular contributor to and writes from New Hampshire, USA. Contact him at [email protected].

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