International Lighthouse and Lightship Weekend, or ILLW, is an annual event held on the third full weekend of August each year. The event was the brainchild of John Forsyth and Mike Dalrymple who were members of the Ayr Amateur Radio Group in Scotland. The event started in 1998 and has developed into an international gathering of amateur radio operators from an estimated 95 countries. In Britain the Association of Lighthouse Keepers, or ALK, conducts International Lighthouse Heritage Weekend on the same weekend as the ILLW in August. The ILLW is currently managed by an Australian amateur radio operator, Kevin Mulcahy, who has been involved since 1998.
On August 20 of this year, two amateur radio operators broadcast from Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouse on the New Hampshire Seacoast, Randall Bashta and Patrick Morrison. They are interviewed in this episode.
Jeremy D’Entremont is the author of more than 20 books and hundreds of articles on lighthouses and maritime history. He is the president and historian for the American Lighthouse Foundation and founder of Friends of Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouses, and he has lectured and narrated cruises throughout the Northeast and in other regions. He is also the producer and host of the U.S. Lighthouse Society podcast, “Light Hearted.” He can be emailed at Jeremy@uslhs.org