One of the rarest entities on the West Coast was Monk Apollo, Mt. Athos and SV2ASP/A
I made Honor Roll with a really crummy QSO (and funny – see below) QSO with (sort of) the Good Monk on 40M SSB – New Years Evening, 2013. This was 11 years (or one solar cycle) from when I started chasing DX and DXCC seriously. I busted my butt antenna wise to get a dipole up 70′ – the highest antenna I have ever gotten up – which had to come down due to my neighbor cutting down a massive Monterrey Pine – a “weed” of a tree in the East Bay Area of the San Francisco Bay.
Yep – that was the antenna launch party! Ham Friends make everything better . . .
This was the monster – now long gone . . .
Right while I was calling the Good Monk, SV2ASP/A – a New Years Party Reveler – and guest from the East Coast – turned on the bathroom light – which put an incredible hum on my radio. Then, when I was calling – a Greek ham decided to “assist” me and “help” Monk Apollo with my call. Sure – I made the call, barely, but assisted. Not my proudest hour.
HOWEVER, a couple months later I got a very clean and clear QSO with SV2ASP/A – on 17M CW no less – and the operator was really awesome. Rumor had it that is was a Finnish Ham and a friend of The Good Monk. It was 100% legit – in the clear, etc, and just before the 2013 Visalia IDXC, so I could go and know that I really had worked Honor Roll 100% under my own steam and with my own station and antennas.
The story is best told now.
But I really feel that because of this special status of Monk Apollo and SV/A, that DXCC has now changed forever . . . I do think that if you were to start today toward #1 HR – (practically speaking) you would never make it – too many entities are being knocked out of contention.
I went full hog on this starting in 2001 – because I thought I could be the last person to ever make #1 HR – and I now believe this more than ever. At least the way the program had been set up after WWII.
The ARRL might change DXCC – but there will be this “before and after” SV/A and a handful of other entities that sink into the abyss along with Mt. Athos . . .