Sunday, January 30, 2011

NORWAY

By 1878 it became evident that the lighthouses at Oksøy and Odderøya were not sufficient for safe navigation in the difficult and highly trafficked waters of the Kristiansand fjord. The Grønningen Lighthouse was erected on a small skerry in the entrance to Kristiansandsfjorden, about 3 km (2 mi) south of Fidje, Norway. The 14 m (46 ft) square cylindrical masonry tower is attached to a 1-1/2 story masonry keeper's house and the buildings are well preserved. It is fully automated with a modern fog warning device and a third order lens. Today, the lighthouse is used as a hostel in the summer months for day visits and overnight stays.

USA

The Detroit River Lighthouse is located seven miles off the city of Gibraltar, Michigan, where the Detroit River widens into Lake Erie. In July 1884, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers built a crib and a pier at the river and finally the tower was first lit on August 20, 1885. The 49 ft (15 m) round cast iron tower incorporates a 2-story keeper's house and is attached to a 1-story fog signal building. The upper half of the lighthouse is painted black, lower half white; the roof of the fog signal building is red. The tower was rebuilt in 1951 and automated in March 1975. The lighthouse is located in the midst of one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world and operates one hour before sunset to one hour after sunrise.

SCOTLAND

The area around the headland of Buchan Ness was for many centuries the point from which trading and whaling voyages departed across open ocean. The granite tower was built in 1825 and the light established in 1827: a 35 m (115 ft) round white tower with red bands. There are 166 steps to top of tower. In 1978 it was converted to electricity, and in 1988 it was automated: its white light is visible for 28 nautical miles (52 km). In 2006, the keeper's houses and other light station buildings were restored and in 2008 the light station was opened for holiday rentals.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

CANADA

Pulteney Point Lighthouse is located on the west end of Malcolm Island, British Columbia, marking the entrance to the narrow Broughton Strait. The island was uninhabited in 1900, when Finnish immigrant coal miners founded a settlement named Sointula there. Five years later, due to the growing shipping traffic, a square wooden tower was built and its white dioptric light was lit for the first time on September 12, 1905. The current 9 m (30 ft) square cylindrical concrete tower was built in 1943 and this is a staffed light station with a keeper's house and other buildings. Pulteney Point offers a beautiful cedar trees landscape and visitor come to observe seals and orcas surfacing from the cold blue water.

CANADA

The Cape Mudge Lighthouse is located at the southern tip of Quadra Island, in the southern entrance to Discovery Passage, British Columbia, Canada. The original wooden tower was lit for the first time on September 16, 1898 and replaced with the current tower in 1916. It is a 12 m (40 ft) white octagonal concrete tower with two 2-story red-roofed keeper's houses. Cape Mudge is now high-tech with an automated weather-observing system and a solar-powered light, horn and videograph fog sensor.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

FINLAND

Isokari is an island about 20 km (13 mi) west of Uusikaupunki, on the Gulf of Bothnia in the province of Western Finland (Länsi-Suomi). Located the highest point of the island (50 m above sea level) the historic lighthouse was built in 1833 under the supervision of Chief Pilot Gustav Brodd. The 37 m (121 ft) round old-style masonry tower is painted with red and white horizontal bands and is still active.

AUSTRALIA

Smoky Cape Lighthouse is an active lighthouse located on Smoky Cape, a headland 5 km east of the town of South West Rocks, New South Wales, Australia. Standing on a granite headland 140 meters above the sea, it was first lit in 1891 to direct boats towards the entrance to the Macleay River. The 17 m (57 ft) octagonal concrete tower is attached to a 1-story service building and its first order lantern and lens system is still in use today. In 1962 the light was electrified and around 1988 it was automated. The principal keeper's house is operated privately as a bed and breakfast and the cape is a popular point for whale-watching.

NETHERLANDS

The Netherlands is a small country with a long maritime tradition and home to a large number of historic lighthouses. Hellevoetsluis is a small fortified city on Voorne-Putten Island in the western Netherlands, in the province of South Holland. The history of Hellevoetsluis is connected to the sea for a long time ago. Thanks to its strategic location the city grew from the beginning of the 17th century to be the homeport for the Dutch naval fleet.
Hellevoetsluis Lighthouse is located on the west side of the entrance to the commercial harbor, on the north side of the Haringvliet. The 18 m (59 ft) round cylindrical white tower was first lit on September 1st, 1822 and was partially rebuilt in 1901. More recently, it was restored in 1965 and the building was about to collapse in mid-2004 when it began a large restoration. The renovated lighthouse was reopened in 2005 and tourists can visit it every last Sunday of the month from May through August.

SOUTH AFRICA

The lighthouse in the Donkin Reserve was built in 1861 on a hill behind the harbor of Port Elizabeth, South Africa. The original lighthouse had a height of 17 m (55 ft) but as the city grew, its lights decreased the effectiveness of the lighthouse, and so in 1932 the tower was substantially rebuilt. The octagonal tower raised to 26 m (86 feet tall) and four buttresses were added at that time, giving the tower an Art Deco design. The lighthouse was painted white with a red lantern dome and was attached to a 1-story keeper's house. Near the lighthouse is a sandstone pyramid built by the city’s founder, Sir Rufane Donkin, as a memorial to his wife, Elizabeth, after whom the city was named.
The light was decommissioned in 1973 and the keeper's house now houses the city's tourist information center. The tower, a popular tourist destination, has seven levels and is open for climbing. It is also the best place for an overall stunning view of the city and excellent photos.

ISRAEL

Jaffa (Arab. Yaffa, Heb. Yafo) is the oldest and perhaps most famous of the ports along the Israel’s coast. The Palestinian Arab city of Jaffa is military occupied by Israel since 1948, and is part of the unified city Tel Aviv-Yafo since 1950.
Jaffa Lighthouse was built by French engineers in 1865 on a hilltop located at the waterfront. It was built as part of operations carried out by the Ottoman authorities to improve the port facilities, mainly due to the increase in export of citrus fruit. The current round cylindrical concrete tower, painted with red and white horizontal bands, was built by the British in 1936. Israel relocated port operations to a modern port about 6 km (3.5 mi) north of Jaffa and the old harbor now serves only small craft. The historic lighthouse tower is being maintained as a daybeacon.

ISRAEL

Tel Aviv Lighthouse, also known as Tel Kudadi Light, is an inactive lighthouse in Tel Aviv, Israel. It is located near the beach on the north side of the Yarkon River Estuary, on the foot of the Tel Aviv South Breakwater. The tower was built by British authorities in 1934-1935 to help ships approaching the shore pass local sandbars safely. The 17 m (56 ft) square cylindrical concrete tower was painted in a black and white checkerboard pattern. In 1965, when Tel Aviv port was officially closed due to the opening of the Ashdod Port in the south, the light was shut down.

ISRAEL

Ashdod is a city located 32 kilometers (20 mi) south of Tel Aviv and its port is Israel's largest port. The modern port started to be designed in 1957 and its construction took eight years. The port began operations on November 21, 1965 and the Ashdod Lighthouse was lit in 1966. The 42 m (138 ft) cylindrical concrete tower carries an array of communications gear as well as a lantern. The upper half of the lighthouse is round and is painted in a red and white checkerboard pattern; the lower half is triangular and is unpainted gray concrete.

SCOTLAND

The Cloch Lighthouse is located on Cloch Point, Inverclyde, 2½ miles (4 km) west southwest of Gourock, on the eastern shore of the Firth of Clyde, in Scotland. Designed by Thomas Smith and built in 1797, the 14 m (46 ft) round cylindrical stone tower warned boats away from “The Gantocks “ - a dangerous reef of drying rocks close to shore. The white tower features a single narrow black horizontal band and is attached to 1-1/2 story stone keeper's house.  The light has a range of 14 miles (23 km) and was originally illuminated by an acetylene flame, with the lenses floating on a bath of mercury and rotated by a clockwork mechanism, which had to be wound by the light-keepers every few hours. A foghorn was added in 1897. The name Cloch comes from the Gaelic for stone.  

SOUTH AFRICA

Cape Point is a promontory at the southeast corner of the Cape Peninsula, which is a mountainous and scenic landform at the extreme southwestern tip of the African continent in the Republic of South Africa. 'The Point' has not been called the 'Cape of Storms' for nothing, and has been treated with respect by sailors since it was first sighted by Bartholomeu Dias in 1488.
The first lighthouse at Cape Point was built in 1857 at the top of Cape Maclear. The 8 m (27 ft) round cylindrical cast iron tower was prefabricated in England and shone from 1860 until 1919. It is situated 248 meters (816 ft) above the high water mark which made it ineffective by fog and mist with its light often blocked by low clouds. On 18 April 1911, the Portuguese liner Lusitania was wrecked just south of Cape Point prompting the relocation of the lighthouse. The new tower was established lower at the cliff (at 87 meters – 286 ft).
Cape Point Lighthouse is located about 60 km (40 mi) south of Cape Town beyond the end of Cape Point Road and a funicular railway (The Flying Dutchman Funicular) provide access to this upper lighthouse.

USA

The Barnegat Lighthouse, colloquially known as "Old Barney", is located on the northern tip of Long Beach Island, in Barnegat Light, New Jersey. Vessels bound to and from New York along the New Jersey coastline depended on Barnegat Lighthouse to avoid the shoals extending from the shoreline. The swift currents, shifting sandbars, and the offshore shoals challenged the skills of even the most experienced sailor. Lt. George G. Meade, an Army engineer began its construction in late 1856 and it was commissioned on January 1, 1859. The 172 ft (52.5 m) lighthouse is still the third tallest brick tower in the U.S: the lower half of the tower and the lantern roof are painted white, the upper half of the tower is bright red. The light was deactivated in January 1944, and given to the State of New Jersey and only in 2008, the Friends of Barnegat Lighthouse State Park, a local civic organization, raised funds to reactivate the lighthouse after many repairs. The “Old Barney” was relit on New Year's Day 2009, exactly 150 years to the day that it was originally lit in 1859. The top of the lighthouse is accessible via its 217 steps and continues to attract thousands of visitors all year.