With a late morning start due to arriving late and two hours of time difference I've started of by installing the holiday-setup.
For this I've been preparing a home-brew windom-antenna using a air-wound balun.
No problem at all setting this antenna up on the space I've rented due to the very nice and big garden.
The first big surprise was to hear absolutely nothing on 40 meters..
And I'm not talking about ham stations but absolutely no noise at all!
Walking over the band heard some stations from the US talking with EU, clearly some propagation going on,
albeit signals where quite weak but very very clear due to the absolutely silent background.
But calling with 100 watts I didn't seem to get any signal through..
20 meters didn't seem to work any better although also here I've heard several cross continental EU-US contacts
As a second antenna I've prepared a, also home-brewed, dipole antenna for 20 meters.
I've tried this antenna as I've started to wonder if there wasn't any problem with my window antenna that I've actually never used before..
But also the dipole was as quit as hell :-)
Eventually I've figured out what was going on, especially on 40 meters.
Normally from Europe even with no propagation one is always able to make at least some contact on 40 meters albeit just a few hundred kilometer, and up to maybe 1500 km or so if propagation is a little bit better.
But of course in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean even 1500 km is't enough to even get to the closest mainland shore in any direction... :-)
The disadvantage is of course little chance on contacts but the advantage is the absolutely wonderful zero-noise level of the band.
So what I was hearing was literally the signals flying over from the US to EU. These signals where very very weak but crystal clear audio.
Where one would on 40 meters normally put some attenuation on, now I was putting on my pre-amp :-)
As propagation improved with the evening arriving I've finally made my first contact.
In the evening I've visited the radio-club of "Ilha Terceira" (translated "the third island") what must be one of the nicest buildings of a radio-club I've seen in Europe.
What radio-club as a separate meeting room,separate office room, radio-shack room, general space with bar and fully equiped kitchen, etc ... ?
This one does !
Talking to the local ham's my propagation story was confirmed, you can hear the propagation going on between EU and US but even a kilowatt can't get you to be heard..
Without the very low noise-lever one wouldn't normally even hear these conversations because they would be flooded with several s-points of noise....