I have had a bunch of things going on the last couple of months, and my on the air activity has suffered a bit. But the other night I turned the rig on before going to bed. I went to 20 Meter phone, and gazed at the spectrum scope. Nothing. I turned up the level a bit, and still nothing. Tuned around a bit to be sure, and I saw a signal on the scope. Tuning back to the signal, at first I wasn’t sure who I was listening to. Was it a US ham working someone? I wasn’t sure at first but after a minute or so, I heard CQ DX, this is Sugar 79 Victor Uniform. Sounded familiar, but couldn’t remember what country it was. But I gave him a call, and he came right back. Ravi, in the Seychelle Islands (Indian Ocean). He gave me a 5×5, and I gave him a 5×6. There was some QSB, but had no issues. He quickly informed me we worked in 2021 on FT8.
After the QSO, I listened around for a few minutes. There were signals on 14.074 FT8, but nothing else. I guess it is like a herd mentality, you don’t hear anyone, so no reason to try. Of course, when everyone does this, the band seems dead. But it may not be propagation, just human behavior.
I am clearly guilty of this myself, as I seldom call CQ, except maybe on CW.