Gone Fishing !

..to polish up my German skills, 'cuz mein Deutsch ist so shockin' schlecht !
Will be on for CQWPXSSB from DR1A super-station (and YL-friendly) !
Very good luck to everybody, have fun and will be more than happy to see you in the log !
Alles gute !

Schrödinger's kitty (SX1ISS, my way)

I'm very happy and satisfied with the recent school contact conducted between Athens primary school pupils and astronaut Timothy Creamer who was onboard ISS !  I was extremely honored to have the pleasure of being part of the SX1ISS team: for a series of reasons, here just a couple of them:

Radio talking, because 20 young people used ham radio equipment to have their voice sent out of thin air whilst tens of pupils were watching. Frankly speaking, I don't expect that all of them will get involved with Amateur Radio: everyone's hobbies are different and that is what makes us all so unique. But we are similar in the fact that hobbies comprise those activities that bring us the most enjoyment. So, even if one or two pupils out there have the ham-radio virus sleeping within, then this event will be a strong trigger to assist them unfold their interests and skills later on, in order to join the ham radio ranks.

Then, it was amazing to share the excitement of all those young ladies and young men when they touched the astronaut world by hearing Timothy coming back to their fellows' questions. Their happiness is mine, too. The pupils were cooperative, outgoing, pleasant, smiling, patient and many of them quite stressed of course (maybe as much stressed as I was !)

Since I discovered all about Ham Radio after having read an article about an ISS School Contact this event was very important and moving for me, personally.

On the other hand, the RAAG guys have been working hard on this project for a long time now, devoting most of their spare time to have everything done on time. It's not the technical part of it, bust mostly the picture that will be publicly shown - that's the case with school contacts. And before some people decided to initiate this project, nothing of this was happening. Just like the Schrödinger's cat experiment, I think.

We are all here, alive, with the batteries fully charged .. but can you hear any sparks ?  Can you feel any smell of flux off a soldering iron ?  Some people perceive the colors more vivid than others, some feel that electricity flowing through whilst we all perceive the flow of time in a different way. Did you say that you feel butterflies in your stomach ?  No, colors have no taste and feelings have no smell. But I am not really sure.

We all do our very own inner research within, discovering numerous things. I believe that the research itself is the most important part, not the outcome. So, when we manage to gather altogether, at the same place, then the time flow stops and the feelings twirl, like snowflakes do.

So here you have the box, sealed and some say that there is a cat inside, dead or alive, or both ! You will not find out the truth unless you decide to open that box. You are not certain, you have your doubts (so I'd do too !), but be sure for one thing: you will find my cat in there !

Cliff, Manos, Christine, Giannis, Natasa, Stamatis, Giorgos, Markos, Makis, Sotiris.10 people that make up 10 reasons to keep loving Amateur Radio. If I'd add the ones who I was fortunate to meet for the very first time then list would grow much longer :) Altogether they made me live up Athens better than home and the 3 days felt like a couple of hours. So many things in such a little time.

Now that I am back home, I am thinking about all these. My friends. The pupils. Their drawings and costumes. My CW QSOs. The DX whispers from the Pacific. My SSB QSO with UA0BA/0 по русский. My 9hr road-trip (each way). The breakfast Christine prepared for us yesterday. What was that ?  Oh, very british hot tea with lemon, waffles with maple syrup, and fresh fruit since you ask.

This is not Schrödinger's cat. This is Charlie, oldtimer, famous DXer, DXpeditioner and CW operator !

When spring comes just on time ! March 2nd - A photostory for the king of Bieszczady !

Laika just can't help herself waiting on going on her first expedition !  So she thought that from this day on, she'd polish up her CW skills !  Laika started calling CQ on 20m with her straight key, signing /QRP !  Loves working the pileups !

After a while, she had an awesome pileup calling her, so Laika decided to go seriously QRQ and keep the rates high !  Piece of cake !

Laika's greatest ambition though, is to teach Miss Achu CW, so that both of them could go on YL expeditions and work the world together !

And so Yuly was motivated by Laika, to take her first CW course !  At the basis of that course Yuly was willing to work hard and master the morse code !  At this particular picture is obvious how excited she feels !  :-)

And so we began:
-"K" is dah-di-dah, listen !" 
-"M" is da-dah, listen to this too !
-Okay, got it.
..after a few times repeating this...
-Now, let's go practicing with these two letters !
-Ahh I've already forgotten them !  Both !
And so Yuly decided to leave the CW stuff for Laika, since morse code wasn't her cup of tea.

Laika's son, Sputnik, will follow his mom at the expedition, however he will be operating SSB only. Don't be misleaded by this picture: Sputnik, -contrary to his mother's outgoing and playful character- is very shy and the worst.. he is afraid of his own shadow !

After having finished our radio & CW sessions, we took a short walk around to enjoy the landscape. Here you can see in front Vyrros Rocks which is a very popular climbing field for the local climbers and the "gray" mountain in the back is Menikio, which has a unique, wild beauty - it's also the serious "playground" of the local hang-gliders and paragliders. Quite different from Bieszczady though.

One blooming plum tree we found on our way - wish you could smell this !

The last photo shoot of Laika during sunset before we both went home.
QSP from Laika: "Catch you up Stany at the lower segments of the bands !"  ;-)

VY 73 es cwfe !

Dedicated to someone who needs a trigger to come back to his CW training again !