Friday, September 24, 2010


The U.S. state of South Carolina has a relatively short and straight coastline facing southeast on the Atlantic Ocean, with Charleston as the principal harbor. Lighthouses survive at eight historic light stations in the state. For the past decade preservation efforts have been focused on the critically endangered Morris Island Light. Several other lighthouses need attention, including Georgetown, Hunting Island, and especially Cape Romain. The U.S. Coast Guard continues to operate lights at only two of them, Georgetown and Sullivan's Island.


Morris Island Lighthouse is located on Morris Island, on the southern side of the entrance to Charleston Harbor, north of the town of Folly Beach. South Carolina. This is the second oldest light station in the South of the U.S.: the first tower (42 ft) was built in 1767. A second taller tower (102 ft) was built in 1838, but was destroyed during the Civil War 24 years later. The actual 161 ft (49 m) round brick tower was illuminated on October 1, 1876 and “survived” with some damages to a cyclone (1885), an earthquake (1886) and a hurricane (1989). Erosion of land endangered its stability and in 1962, the lighthouse was decommissioned and replaced by the new Sullivan's Island Lighthouse at the north end of the harbor. A non-profit foundation Save The Light, Inc raises funds and coordinates the stabilization, erosion control and restoration of the lighthouse.


The Vorontsov Lighthouse is a famous 26m (85ft) round cylindrical tower with red gallery, landmark in the Black Sea in the port of Odessa, Ukraine. The first wood tower was established here in 1862 and named after Prince Mikhail Semyonovich Vorontsov, one of the governor-generals of the Odessa region. In 1888, a new concrete tower was built and blown up later during World War II by the Soviets (1941). The actual light was rebuilt in 1954 and is located at the end of a curving breakwater that protects the southeastern corner of Odessa's harbor.


The Lighthouse of Ploumanac'h is located on a rocky promontory at the northeastern entrance to the harbour of Ploumanac'h, town of Perros-Guirec, in northern Brittany, France. The first lighthouse was established in 1860 but it was destroyed during the World War II in 1944. The current lighthouse was built in 1948: a 15m (49 ft) medieval-style square pink granite tower with castellated gallery and a small lantern. The official name Lighthouse Mean Ruz was born into a cacography expression Breton Men Ruz, meaning pink granite. La Côte de Granite Rose (Pink Granite Coast) is a stretch of coastline with unusually pink sands and water-sculpted rocks.


Cape Agulhas Lighthouse is South Africa's third oldest light station and second oldest surviving lighthouse (after Green Point). First lit on March 1st, 1849, its design is modeled on the original Egyptian Pharos of Alexandria. It is a 27 m (89 ft) sandstone tower painted white with two red horizontal bands, rising through the center of a 1-story keeper's house.
The lighthouse marks the geographic southernmost point of Africa and the junction of the Atlantic Ocean (cold Benguela Current) and Indian Ocean (warm Agullhas Current). When seafaring Portuguese vessels rounded this cape tip in the 15th century their compass needles would swing unable to determine True North from Magnetic North. As a result, in 1488 the Portuguese navigator, Bartolomeu Dias, name this ocean site “Cabo das Agulhas” (Cape of Needles).
This historic lighthouse was deactivated in 1968 when deterioration of the sandstone walls made the tower appear unsafe. Twenty years of public effort led by the Bredasdorp Shipwreck Museum secured a complete restoration and reactivation in 1988. Today the keeper's house includes the only lighthouse museum in South Africa and a restaurant.


The Cape Reinga lighthouse stands on a spectacular site overlooking the meeting of the Pacific Ocean and the Tasman Sea, at the northern extremity of New Zealand. First lit in 1941, this lighthouse replaced the Maria Van Diemen Lighthouse built in 1879 on nearby Motuopao Island. The 10 m (33 ft) octagonal concrete tower with black lantern roof was originally powered by diesel-generated electricity. The station was automated and the last keeper was withdrawn in 1987. In April 2000, the light was powered from battery banks charged by solar panels. Approximately 10,000 people visit the Cape Reinga lighthouse each year.

Monday, September 6, 2010


The Isles of Shoals are a small group of islands and rocks 9 miles (15 km) southeast of Portsmouth, lying partly in Maine and partly in New Hampshire’s Atlantic coast. The Isles of Shoals Lighthouse sits atop White Island, the most southerly of the islets. The first lighthouse on the island was built of rubble stone in 1822, but exposed to the full fury of the Atlantic, the original tower began deteriorating quickly. The actual 58 ft (17.5 m) cylindrical white brick tower, attached to a 1-1/2 story keeper's house was built in 1859. In 2005, the tower and the keeper's house were restored, but a northeast storm in mid-April 2007 did much damage on the lighthouse: the walkway was demolished, the foghorn and solar panels for the navigational system were swept away.


Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouse is located on the grounds of the Portsmouth Harbor Coast Guard Station, adjacent to Fort Constitution State Historic Site in New Castle, New Hampshire. The 48 ft (14.5 m) cast iron tower, painted white with lantern and gallery black was built in 1878. Early in 2000 the American Lighthouse Foundation leased the tower for preservation. A support group, Friends of Portsmouth Harbor Light, works for preservation and restoration of the light station. Since then, the tower was restored and repainted and the walkway to the light station was rebuilt to improve access.


Lake Sunapee is a long, narrow lake located in western New Hampshire, United States. In the late 19th century, the beautiful lake became a popular destination for travelers who boarded steamships seeking for resort hotels and family estates sprinkled along the shoreline. In 1891, the steamer “Edmund Burke” struck an underwater ledge at Loon Island. The accident led to the construction, in 1893, of a wooden lighthouse on this small island near the middle of the lake. The original Loon Island lighthouse was destroyed by fire after by a lightning strike in 1960, but it was rebuilt in the same year. In the 1980s, the 25 ft (7.5 m) hexagonal wooden tower, painted white, received solar panels.


La Corbière Lighthouse is perched atop a rock just off the southwestern tip of Jersey in St. Brelade. It was lit on 24 April, 1874, for the first time, and was the first lighthouse in the British Isles to be built of reinforced concrete. The 19 m (62 ft) white concrete block tower was automated in 1976 and is one of the most photographed landmarks in Jersey, a popular tourist site for its panoramic views. A causeway links the lighthouse to shore at low tide and there is an alarm to warn visitors to clear the causeway as the tide rises. The lighthouse at La Corbière features on the Jersey 5 pound note and the Jersey 20 pence piece.


Cascais is a coastal town, a cosmopolitan suburb of the Portuguese capital, located 20 kilometers west of Lisbon. The former fishing village is nowadays, a popular vacation spot for both Portuguese and foreign tourists. The Santa Marta Lighthouse is located on the south point of land in Cascais, adjacent to a large marina. Built in 1868, it is a 20 m (66 ft) square masonry tower, covered with tiles, painted with blue and white horizontal bands and a red lantern. Adjacent to the lighthouse are the ruins of the 17th century Forte de Santa Marta. Located on the site of the fortress, the Santa Marta Lighthouse Museum preserves the historic lighthouse and is the first museum dedicated to the lighthouses of the Portuguese coast.


Cabo da Roca (Cape Roca) is a cape which forms the westernmost point of both mainland Portugal and mainland Europe. The cape is in the Portuguese municipality of Sintra, west of Lisbon district. Cabo da Roca Lighthouse was first lit in 1772 atop a spectacular cliff that rises out of the Atlantic Ocean to approximately 140 metres above sea level. The 22 m (72 ft) square stone tower rises from a 1-story keeper's complex with its lantern painted red. In 1997 the town council of Sintra erected a plaque at the lighthouse that reads in part, "Cabo da Roca: Onde a terra se acaba e o mar começa" (Here ends the land and begins the sea), a line from the famous 16th century Portuguese poet Luís de Camões.


The Cavoli Island Lighthouse is a 37 m (121 ft) round masonry tower attached to a large 3-story, fortress-like keeper's house. La Isola dei Cavoli (Cavoli Island) is a rocky 40 hectare (100 acre) island about 800 m (1/2 mi) southeast of Capo Carbonara, in front of the port of Villasimius, Sardinia. The tower painted with black and white horizontal bands is located on the highest point of the island. The Cavoli Island is a research reserve administered by the Università di Cagliari and hosts a university scientific research centre.