Each August for the last 4 years Curt Black, WR5J and Bill Harris, W7KXB have traveled to Patos Island to activate the Patos Island Lighthouse for International Lighthouse and Lightship Weekend (www.illw.net). Patos is nearly the northern-most point in the San Juan Islands and a hard place to get to. It is also a perfect place to operate radios and bask in solitude, nature and DX pileups from Lighthouse chasers around the world. The noise levels are so low you would swear there is no antenna connected – until the signals arrive – seemingly out of nowhere.
We’ll talk about the challenges of operating from a combined State Park and National Monument as well as the historic challenges of activating lighthouses in general. The island has no fresh water and since visitors are discouraged from hunting in state parks, we bring everything we will need for about 5 days. The logistics of getting an effective radio presence in a remote location have been honed over the past years. There will be pretty pictures.