Plus, I kind of think that unless you broke a million points or nearly won the darn thing, it's kind of over-the-top to write a blow by blow summary, as if you had the contest of a lifetime. Most everyone else who would be interested in reading it was right there with you, so they already know how it was, when the bands opened to Europe or Asia, etc. I like reading about station setups and how different equipment performed more than I do about how many new countries someone worked.
What I continue to be impressed with, however, is the return rate of LOTW after an event such as this. As soon as the contest was over, I sent in my cabrillo log to ARRL and also uploaded all 656 QSO's to LOTW. It's less than a week later and I've received 212 confirmations back, for a return rate of 32%. Just goes to show that contesters continue to be above average users of LOTW. My normal return rate runs roughly 16-17%, but seems to be climbing steadily. I've read some other comments supporting this.
There's also an ongoing discussion on the CQ-Contest reflector about stations in the US calling other US stations during the contest. One side says to work them and move on, the other says that you should take the time to correct them or start calling "CQ DX" or "CQ DX test" or some other variant, hoping that you get the point across. Yeah boy. I'm having a real hard time accepting that this is a critical, make or break problem. It does, however, seem typical of the discussions you find there.
In fact, twice during the contest I had this happen to me. I was strictly search and pounce and I had two US stations come back to me with "no US, no US". Well, guess what, I wasn't calling either station. What these guys don't realize sometimes is that a DX station may be calling CQ nearby or on the same frequency. I just moved on rather than waste time.
Like so many CW contests, I started with the FT-1oooMP but switched to the K2 after a couple of hours. I have the 500 and 250 Hz filters installed in the Yaesu but the K2 at 400 Hz just does such a better job. Plus the QSK is no comparison. Late on Sunday when things thinned out I went back to the 1000. Seems to keep things fresh, a change of pace.
No problems at all this time with the WinkeyerUSB. I think I've finally gotten the RF problem licked with some clamp-on ferrite and re-routing the USB cord. Also, I found that switching to the dipole late in the night gave better results on 40 and 80 than the vertical did. Early in the evening it was a different story. Interesting. I continue to be impressed with the hex on 20 and 15, but I'm sure that conditions helped tremendously. Nothing on 10 for me - one measly QSO.