Yesterday June 19th 2010 seven Mancorad W9DK Club members traveled to Washington Island, Wisconsin – US Island WI-001L – to visit and operate from George W9EVT’s Mega-Hamshack as part of the WI9DX Washington Island DX Club.
A 5:45am departure took us to a 8am Northport departure (first of the day this time of year) on the Washington Island Ferry Line’s ferry boat the “Washington” to the Island. Thirty minutes later we were on-island and quickly having to remember to wave to every passing car, a wonderful Washington Island tradition!
After dropping most of the team at the Red Cup Coffee & Cafe ( reviews ) young Victor KC9NWB was dropped off at an Island based buddy’s home where he is spending much of the week. The Red Cup was outstanding as usual, and it was a real pleasure to drink carefully crafted coffee outside in such a pleasant place!
Not wanting to arrive at the W9EVT Hamshack too early, we made the next stop the “Stavkirke” wooden chapel. Click on the link for pictures, but this is one my favorite churches, and over the years we’ve attended services and performances several times in the building. Photo session and donations done, it was off to Schoolhouse Beach.
Unlike the photos on the tourist website linked, I was the only one who waded into the still very cold water.
Next stop was the W9EVT hamshack at Greengate Farm.
I will cover the Hamshack in another post, once we’ve pictures uploaded. Doesn’t seem smart to write “wow” several hundred times over & over to allow for a single “wow” for each radio in the shack!!!
Alison KC9MPL and Miki KC9NVZ made a ladies side trip to Siever’s School of Fiber Arts while the Hamshack tour continued.
Lunch was had a Nelsen’s Hall, a bar & hall that even the prohibition couldn’t legally close!
We were joined by Susan & George’s daughter Amy, who is home on vacation from a teaching assignment in The Federated States of Micronesia in the Pacific (yes V63-land for us DX fans!), and the Board of Directors of the Thorstein Veblen Historic Cottage preservation project, part of the Island Heritage Conservancy. John Moore and Jerry Maiers both made time in their busy day to meet to discuss my firm’s contribution of roofing materials to the project. The Green Bay Press Gazette did a nice Veblen Cabin Article covering much of the project.
Before we finished lunch, several of us joined the Nelsen’s Hall Bitters Club, by drinking a shot of Angostura Bitters. Most of the group didn’t, and it is a level argument who was smarter!
While I had made a number of 6 meter QSOs during the morning tour using my own call, the remaining chunk of time in the afternoon was spent working under the WI9DX Club call sign, and mostly on 20m at 14.180
I “primed the well” checking for clear frequency and getting the QSO’s started before turning over affairs to Rich KC9LOA and Tim N7TAL – who did a great job learning what it is like to be at the receiving side of a mini-pile up.
Winston KC9FVR did diagnostics and worked with George W9EVT to sort out network & internet issues, and fixed a configuration issue on George’s MacBook Pro that had started interfering with email & connectivity.
Alas it was time to leave to catch the last ferry for the day off the island, and after thank you & good byes, we made way to the 5 pm ferry, pausing only to pick up a Blue Berry pie.
Once back on the mainland, we made our way part way down the Door Peninsula for our featured diner stop – Al Johnson’s Swedish Restaurant. The roof top goats were out and we had an excellent waiter of Transylvanian extraction who took a moment to tell us of the Siebenburgen (seven forts or castles) of the region. Al Johnson passed on this month at 84, and there were very touching memorial leaflets and posters up as a tribute. I’m going to admit to evening my day with breakfast, as Swedish Pancakes with Lingonberry Preserves & Swedish Meatballs are enough of a treat to have breakfast in the evening!
We had a great ride back to Manitowoc, listening to podcasts & big band music from a band I play in, and even though I cruised past an exit (wrong lane – duh) we were back & home by 9:30 pm.
Pictures to follow later this week and if you were one of our QSOs WI9DX QSLs for the day can go to the W9DK address (good on QRZ) and my K9ZW are fine direct.