The trip to OY is over, and the experience was a roller coaster like no other. But, before I begin, I’d like to extend a huge thank you to everyone who contacted me during the stay, and a thanks for every QSO made. I worked FT4, FT8, SSB, and CW as much as I could between eating, showering, and sleeping.
Friday morning (and I really mean morning) I got up at 03:00 and headed to the airport to catch the first plane to Bergen, Norway. After arrival and waiting for several hours in Bergen, it turned out my next flight to Faroe Islands was cancelled due to fog and terrible landing conditions. A new flight was scheduled the next day, meaning I’ve lost one full day of radio operations! I’m by no means a math surgeon, but 1 out of 3 days is a noticeable loss.
All passengers were moved to a nearby hotel, and I tried my best to be QRV from there but there were absolutely no possibilities to hang an antenna there. Believe me, I tried!
The next day we went back to the airport and started flying to FAE as planned. After a couple of hours and a few power naps, we landed safely on Faroese ground. Time was running fast, and I had to move quickly to make it to the SAC CW contest in time!
I picked up my rental car and headed for Tòrshavn, which was a 45 minute drive away. My hotel, Hotel Tòrshavn, was easy to find and as soon as I had checked in I started looking for a good location for my antenna. The staff was extremely helpful and friendly, and I am very pleased with their hospitality.
After scouting for a good antenna spot, I noticed the office building behind the hotel had a flag pole in the back yard. Since it already was Saturday and after closing hours, I took a chance and carefully borrowed it to raise my EFHW. I stretched out a couple of radials was finally QRV! I also discovered that the said building had brass rain gutters. Needless to say, they came in quite handy as counterweights later on!
From this point on, I ran as much FT8, CW, and SSB as I could. The working conditions were quite challenging, especially at night time. 40m and 80m was saturated with S9+ noise day and night, so working SSB was a no-go, with only a couple of exceptions. FT8 happily ate every band I threw at it. After sunset absolutely all bands died out, which gave me a perfect opportunity to catch some sleep.
I also got to visit OY6FRA and met with OY6OF Ólavur who showed me around and let me try running from their shack a little bit. Unfortunately fror me, the conditions were not the best at that time, so I wasn’t able to work many stations. Thanks anyways Ólavur, we’ll stay in touch and I will come back!
Late Sunday night (or should I say early Monday morning?) I dismantled the antenna, packed up, and caught a well-deserved three and a half hours of sleep before heading back to the airport. We had some hefty turbulence taking off, in a couple of the “drops” we experienced I was literally weightless, hanging only from the seat belt.
On my way home yet another flight was cancelled for reasons unknown. My flight was rebooked into a new tight schedule, involving running from gate to gate, pulling 30kg+ with equipment and had to be checked in for every flight. Boarding passes suddenly expired, booking references got deleted, and many other sweat-and-panic inducing experiences hailed over me. But you know the saying; what doesn’t kill you only leaves you traumatized and scarred for life, so I lived to tell the tale and got back home, only a few hours later than planned.
I’ve just uploaded my logs to QRZ.com and LoTW, and the total count is 600 – a nice, even number. It could have been much more under better working conditions, but I’ll save that for the next time.
Once again, thanks to everyone who worked OY/LB5SH, thanks to all CW operators who patiently QRSS’d to get the QSO through, and to everyone I met and bumped into during my stay on the Faroe Islands!
Already working on the next trip, so stay tuned…