Early in morning on yesterday, 40m was quite open to the East Coast through the long path. The window opens only for an hour or two but is still a pleasant to make QSOs with the East Coasts. Just before the sun rises, the band opens up all of a sudden. The opening is so impressive.
I have talked a few stations in the East Coast. One was Al W1FJ, whom I have known since '80s. I have met him in person twice, one time at my QTH in his business trip in mid 80s and the other time at K1YT in my visit to Mass in 1991. He kindely asked me, hearing a rumor of my visit to Seattle next summer, if I would visit there again. So far, I should say no for my wife could not have a long vacation yet. I told him I would return to the New England area in the near future. His rotary dipole was doing a great job. His signal has been S8/9 all the time. John W8FJ also called me with his vigorous signal. He seemed to have spent a pleasant Christmas with his family. His new grandchild must be a real pleasure for him this time. His signal from a 2 element was also very loud all the way. He told his location opened quite well to the direction to JA through the long path.
There used to be quite many stations working through this path. A barefooter with a wire anntena was actually coming through well enough for a decent QSO. But so far as I watched around, the band was pretty empty. The hams must be busy doing the other things or I have missed a good chance to watch it. But I am still afraid there are decreasing number of hams enjoying ordinary QSOs through such an attractive path.
No use complaining of the modern trend that they enjoy ham radio just like a game. I could do little against such a movement in this hobby. I would go on enjoying it in my way. It is the only thing I could do. One of my New Year's resolution should be that I would go on my way!
See you often in 2012, my friends.