The luck of the 1/4 Irish

My folks are over on holiday, so I took them to Gougane Barra for a day out. It’s a favourite beauty spot of ours, with St. Finbarr’s Oratory (see photo, below) and also the Gougane Barra Forest Park, which is a great place for a picnic.

St Finbarr's Oratory

St Finbarr’s Oratory, Gougane Barra.

Anyway, back to radio… Of course, as soon as I returned home the radio was straight on! A quick glance of Dave Edwards’ LiveMuf showed a good hot-spot of Es activity, along with some 2m QSOs already shown on the cluster. The main activity looked a little out of range from here, but I could hear TM77A on 144.300MHz via tropo, off the back of their antenna in IN77, so there was the possibility of some path extension.

Just a few minutes after tuning to 144.300MHz, I heard Raf, IH9YMC (JM56xt/2307km) call cq from Pantelleria Island (IOTA AF018)¬†with a great signal, as clear as day! A quick call resulted in a good QSO at 18:23z and I think Raf was just as surprised as I – he said he was running QRP. I heard Raf again after our contact but the propagation can’t have lasted more than a few minutes, and nothing else was heard.

I was tired after five or more hours of driving and it all happened too quickly for me to get the audio recorder running, so no clip, sorry!

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