Bad weather and busy times

I have not been good about updating my blog – I hope to get caught up in the next few days.

One reason for being busy were a number of storm systems which passed through Guam in October. On three occasions, one week apart, we had a forming tropical cyclone pass near Guam, resulting in heavy rain and winds.

The first such storm caught me by surprise. It was passing just to the South of Guam, and we were only expecting 25MPH winds. Before I went to bed, I was outside and the winds seemed a little higher than normal. I sensed something was not right, but there was nothing I could do. After all, the forecast was for winds less than 30MPH, well within the limits of my Spiderbeam and mast.

I woke the next morning to heavy, heavy wind gusts. When I looked outside, this is what I saw:

Mast folded over in the wind

The winds had folded over my mast – but I was lucky as there was no damage to the antenna at all. In fact, I worked TM2MS on 30m with the antenna in this configuration! I am guessing the winds exceeded 60MPH that morning – ripping up the side of the hill. The mast acted as a fuse of sorts, which kept something else from breaking. It was really pretty easy to fix, with a new section of pipe.

The storm passed to our south and then took a sharp turn to the north again, passing just to the west of the island.

During this period I left the antenna on the ground, to keep it from getting damaged. Amazingly, I was able to work TN2MS on 15m through a large pileup with the antenna sitting on the ground, as well as XZ1Z on a few bands.

I was able to work TN2MS with the antenna sitting in this position. This shows how good this QTH is, also how good the ears of the TN operator was!

We had two other storms pass during October, and I had good practice taking down the antennas and then putting them back up. The Beverage receive antennas also suffered damage, due to falling trees. Fortunately I was able to get everything repaired before the CQWW DX SSB contest.