I say that with just a hint of sarcasm because unless you've been living under a rock, everyone who is anyone in the ham radio world knows about ST0R and the DXpedition to South Sudan. And just in case that wasn't enough motivation, there's another one, albeit very overshadowed, to Lord Howe Island, VK9HR. After a summer full of radio blah's and rotten propagation, having two fine DXpeditions going on at the same time is nearly too much to stand.
In fact, there's an awful lot that's been hard to stomach. The on-the-air behavior has been atrocious. To be expected, I guess? I was not active for some of the big-time DXpeditions prior to 2008, so I don't have a real point of reference. And some of those since then, such as Desecheo and Ducie, that qualify as big time for the rest of the world have been chipshots for the US. So, what do I know? Maybe this is tame by comparison?
I've managed to work both. So for those of you with 100 watts and coathanger antennas, take heart, you'll get them. I did not post an obligatory brag spot, so I'll let this qualify.
I suppose what really irks me is listening to the other side of the pile-up, the callers. So many purported Honor Roll and Top of the Honor Roll DX'ers acting like babies. I've jotted down a few calls and looked them up. No manners whatsoever. They should be ashamed. And I can't begin to count the number of super DX'ers who apparently don't know how to work split. How can this happen? Mistakes? Sure. Repeatedly? Hmmm. Maybe it's time for the old-folks home? Some of them do appear to be getting on up there. I guess I'll be there soon enough.
But it's all part of the game and what fun would it be to get through if there wasn't a challenge? I look at some of the calls who have worked ST0R and VK9HR on several bands and modes and I wonder if they're having the same fun as I am with my one measly QSO to each? I hope so because those two quick QSO's really made it worthwhile to me. For a pipsqueak like me, my one QSO with each is enough - the pressure is off. Anything else is gravy. But for those who have band and mode slots to fill, does the pressure ever stop?
Lord knows that I'll keep trying for more, but if I don't get them, oh well.
One thing of note, after struggling for 2 or 3 days to work ST0R with the 590, I finally succumbed to realizing that having a 2nd receiver (or a bandscope) would make a huge difference. Especially trying to locate the ops who tended to jump all over creation or trying find quiet, less crowded spots to transmit. So, out of frustration, I resorted to the as yet unsold FT-1000MP and finally got through using the 2nd receiver to find a clear spot.