In the past 3 years I have been running on 6m with just a half wave vertical.
This afternoon I had a pleasant surprise. I detected KP4EIT (Puerto Rico) with FT8, not a massive signal, but S/N of -6dB I tried a call, and after two tries he came back with a report of -18dB. New continent for me.
Not bad for a vertical on 6m, even if I run about 200W into the antenna (350W at the PA).
I see nearby stations decoding and calling other stations in that area, but no decodes here. But I am happy with country #53 in a 3 year period of very low solar activity, and a simple antenna.
I have detected stations from North and South America, and Asia, as well as, o course, Europe and Africa on FT8.