Always Amazing – A Washington Island Report – Part 2 – The BPL Report, Bitters Club and Island Fun

Some more Washington Island WI-001L Observations.


On the Island IBEC has run through the Washington Island Electrical Coop their BPL product. Hearing mixed reports on different aspects of this. Reports are that IBEC has been very helpful in notching to minimize RFI from the system, but that the service is not up to the speeds or reliability expected at the user level.

First hand reports from current BPL subscribers on Boyer’s Bluff Area, East Side of the Island Area and first hand experience at our rental on the North Shore of the Island confirm that the experience once outside of the town is not good. One user said they would be better off to buy postage stamps and ask that web pages be mailed to them, as when their BPL works it is so slow as to be the same speed as mail.

Another described the BPL outage last year that kept them from doing their Christmas shopping by internet, so as she described it “we had a QVC Christmas instead.”

So basically BPL usually doesn’t bother the Island Ham very much once IBEC has “tuned for your location” though it also isn’t up to being your station’s internet connection unless you are within a short walk of the BPL source.

Bitters Club

This week both my XYL Alison KC9MPL and I joined the “Bitters Club” at Nelsen’s Bar. Nelsen’s never closed during the prohibition, resorting to serving Angostura Bitters for alcohol with the claim that they were for “medicinal purposes.” Commemorating that “stick to it” each person who drinks a shot of Bitters is issued a card, stamped with the thumbprint in bitters of the barkeeper, and signs the Bitter Logbook. While I’ve renewed my Bitters Club membership each year as long as we’ve been going to the Island, Alison KC9MPL had avoided it until this year. While she held up her end, it remains to be seen if she ever renews!

Here are some links on Nelsen’s:

For any of you who may have traveled Europe, the German “Underberg” is similar taste.

Other Island Fun

We had visitors – once by boat and once by mini-van. Was really nice to have friends track us down and spend time!

There was an unfortunate small aircraft landing scrunch while we were there, though all the important stuff turned out ok. The couple were fine, though the lady was ambulanced off island for observation due to concerns over a prior injury needing checking out, and their dogs were fine. Afraid they did write off a rather nice looking Mooney Eagle though. Always can get more machinery – as it is the people who count!

We caught two concerts – one serious piano work performed at a stunning level, and the other light hearted Denveresque Pop over a sushi meal at Fiddler’s Green Pub.

No trip is complete without at least one stop at the Albatross Drive-In for an “Albi Burger” and a slice of Pizza another day at “Island Pizza.” Timing didn’t work out and I missed on K K Fiske for a Lawyer Fish lunch though.

Looked at Island property for something to rent longer term or buy. Pretty daunting pocketbook consideration with two youngsters at University now and our third joining them in two years.

Set up the FlexControl Knob for George W9EVT with his Flex-5000, and sorted some issues out with his Icom IC-7800’s antenna selection setup. Really light on the number of QSOs – kind of hard to stay inside when the weather simply rocks.

Alison & I quietly recognized our 25th Wedding Anniversary while on the Island. Not a bad start these twenty-five years.

As always we highly recommend WI-001L Washington Island. Learned tonight during the area 160m every night net that a friend Mike KD9TZ and his son were on the Island overlapping our stay, though they were backpacking and overnighted on the next Island out – Rock Island. Hearty souls! Rock Island involves a second ferry ride to this State Park – see

All best and,



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