Two Hours of RAC Canada Day in Spite of COVID QRN

Only two hours, on Sunday at the very end of the contest: 22:00z to 23:59z. The rig was the KX3 at 5W, the Antenna was the 15-year old W3FF Buddipole set to resonate in the 20m band (local time was 18:00 to 20:00 and no other band was expected to outperform this band). The venue was the little backyard under the maple trees (see the picture). All contacts were expected to be in CW: the key was manual via the small Palm single paddle. Logging was also manual. From the onset it became evident that the band had, at least in this location (FN25ej), a deep QSB, hence patience was required to wait until propagation enhanced the received signal strong enough as to perhaps be able to reciprocate by transmitting my QRP signal via the same ionospheric bounce. With the Sun already past its meridian most QSOs were expected to be towards the West. However, some of the stronger signals came from East Europe: 4O, LZ and EA8. Then yes, QSOs were logged from three western provinces: SK, AB and BC, with VE6RAC being the only RAC bonus station. The contact in Ontario was in Tom VE3CX in Kamistikia (Thunder Bay, on Lake Superior) at a distance just short of 700 miles. I have been contacting Tom in the RAC contests for fifteen years. I also heard Maurice VE3VIG making a contact ahead of me and although I did not contact him, I was very glad to hear his call (Maurice VE3VIG was my very first HF QSO), Not a smashing result, but enough to keep a presence in the RAC Canada Day contest, even in spite of the COVID-19 QRN (or is it QRM…?).