Chasing SOTA from the Ocean shore

Holidays in the Atlantic coast are always a bit risky in terms of WX.
After 2 or 3 days with lots of Sun and temperatures above 30 C, we got the sky back grey this afternoon. However, the temperature was still good and we went to the beach.
I brough my SOTA equipment and set up as you can see in the following picture.

As soon as I switched my FT-817 on and got to 20m CW, without even having yet looked to SOTAwatch, I found by chance @TF3DX/P starting to CQ. I called him and got picked up immediately, so we completed our QSO. Thank you!
After my QSO I remained on the frequency and copied with pretty good signals a US chaser from the state of Colorado. This told me that propagation conditions seemed to be good and I hoped for some NA activator chased.
One activator from W5 and another from W0 were not copied, but I saw on SOTAwatch the alert from George @KX0R, who usually puts a good signal from Colorado into this side of the Pond, so I decided to wait stalking for him. George started on 40m, where I didn’t copy any trace of him nor any NA chasers, as expected. Then he worked on 30m and again I copied nothing of him nor any NA chasers. He finally came to 20m CW and there I was able to copy him very weak with QSB and also quite a good number of his NA chasers. I called George several times but being his signal received at my side 219-319 QSB, I knew that a miracle or George exceptional good ears were going to be necessary. I believed for some few occasions that George was coming back to me, but his signal was too weak and the QSB so lethal that I couldn’t finally confirm copy of my full callsign and his signal report. So, NIL.
I would have liked to wait a bit longer until Sunset in the hope that the Sunset effect would enhance enough our signals for a quick QSO, but I think George went QRT or QSY and my family asked me to pack up and go home. So we did.
We were close to make it today, George. Hopefully, there will be another chance soon.


That looks like a great spot for almost any activity. I am envious of you from the AZ desert.

I hope to catch you one day on SOTA. 73 Tom NQ7R

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My teenager daughters are doing some row boating this week:

And after taking them to the training place, I took my SOTA kit and tried to chase some activators while waiting for them to finish.
This was my set up, which produced excelent results:

The counterpoise wire peeled off end was inside the sea water.
In less than an hour I managed to chase 4 activators including one in OY Faeroe Islands.
This is my chasing log:

I’ll probably be setting up there again some other day during my holidays in Ferrol city and I hope to chase you soon on some other summit.



The wednesday WX forecast anticipated rain for thursday but it wasn’t the case and we got a nice sunny day, with just some clouds in the morning and mainly blue sky in the afternoon, so we went to the beach.
I set up my SOTA chasing beach station approximately as I showed in this picture of previously this week:

I found George KX0R was activating on 17m and once on the frequency, I was copying most of his chasers and even himself, weak with some QSB. I called hime several times trying to be copied but didn’t succeed. When his signals were becoming better and I was starting to believe that I would finally make it, he finished his activation on 17m and QSYed to 30m, where I didn’t copy a trace of him nor his chasers. After 30m he went to 40m and I kept waiting for him to hopefully come to 20m, but he finally didn’t… :frowning: shame…

Today, Friday, my daughters went again to the rowboat club for a new training session and I set up close by.

Unlike my previous day in this same spot, I found a terrific permanent QRM on all bands, not letting me copy any weak signal.
With lots of troubles, I managed to chase Ignacio EA2BD/P but I didn’t copy Jorge EA2LU/p who called me right after my previous QSO.
Luckily the QRM started to reduce and I wonder whether was there any reason relating the tyde level and the amount of QRM, as I noticed that the QRM was high at first, when the tyde water level was very low and was slowly reducing as the tyde water level increased.
See this picture taken at the end of my chasing time there wen the tyde water level had risen and the QRM had almost disappeared completely.

I felt frustrated in the beginning because I felt I wouldn’t be able to chase anything today due to the high level QRM, but this improved little by little until I managed to populate a chaser log with 6 contacts in 1h and 16 minutes. This is the log:

I had a lot of fun and I found very interesting the issue with the possible retation between QRM and tyde water level. I’ll have to investigate this further…
Thanks dear activators, it was a joy and a big satisfaction to chase you today.