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Old 08-14-09, 11:22 PM   #1
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Lighthouses

Let's see what's on your coast....

Bald Head Island Lighthouse



No longer active, but still a pretty neat one to see....

The first lighthouse on Smith Island was the Bald Head Light, completed in 1795. It was on the banks of the river at the island’s southwest point and was quickly threatened by erosion. It was pulled down in 1813 and a new lighthouse was commissioned to replace it. In 1817, Daniel S. Way built the new lighthouse, “Old Baldy,” for $15,915.45. Old Baldy was always intended to light the mouth of the Cape Fear River and was never intended to illuminate the Frying Pan Shoals off the Cape.

Old Baldy was built of soft red bricks, many of which were reused from the first lighthouse, then covered with a plaster mixture of sand and lime. The 110 foot tower is an octagon with walls five feet thick at the base. During its active life, the lighthouse was whitewashed on a regular basis. The lanthorn, or lantern room, made of iron, copper, and glass, came from the first lighthouse as well. It is offset to allow for more support and to accommodate the keeper, who had to clean and make repairs to the outside. The original fixed light was powered by 15 lamps. It was built as a parabolic reflector with hollow wick lamps, fueled by whale oil, and arranged on a metal rack.

Over the years, Old Baldy’s light changed as a signal. In 1834, a new mechanism was installed to flash red with a 30-second delay. During the Civil War, the light was darkened but relit in 1879 with new Fresnel lenses, a revolutionary design the produced powerful parallel beams of light. In 1893, the light was changed to white and new lenses installed. In 1903, it became a “fourth order” fixed light. Old Baldy was deactivated in 1935, and for a brief period served as a Coast Guard radio tower before being abandoned to the elements.


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Old 08-14-09, 11:26 PM   #2
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Ocracoke Lighthouse



Ocracoke Lighthouse’s modest height (75 feet), subdued color scheme (solid white), and tranquil setting (a small island on the east side of Ocracoke Inlet) belie the dramatic history of its surrounding area. The calm waterway that today carries pleasure boats and small fishing craft witnessed its share of treachery, heroism, and adventure long before the lighthouse stood sentinel over the inlet.

Ocracoke hardly had an auspicious beginning; it was put on the map after an English sailing ship was wrecked on the shoal-ridden inlet in 1585. But its eventual useful role as a waterway access to various inland ports pales in comparison to the high drama played out in its waters. True, the gifted and dashing Sir Walter Raleigh landed on Ocracoke at least once during his explorations of the new world, but the real excitement came from another reckless Englishman—Edward Teach, better knows as Blackbeard, the most ruthless and dreaded of pirates.

As the second oldest operating lighthouse in the North Carolina, Ocracoke Lighthouse is of historical interest, and the grounds around it and the keeper’s cottage are open to the public. Although the days of piracy, exploration, and heavy trade in the Ocracoke Inlet are over, the islanders’ distinctive accent is one of the most well-preserved of early-American speech, and gives visitors a taste of how the language of Sir Walter Raleigh and Blackbeard would have sounded.

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Old 08-14-09, 11:42 PM   #3
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Our lighthouse and pier is pimp. Tomorrow we are putting a slip n slide on the end of it and sliding off the edge into the water!
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Old 08-15-09, 12:17 AM   #4
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Lighthouses don't offer much protection from sirens luring ships onto the rocks.
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Old 08-15-09, 12:19 AM   #5
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With some lighthouses at the water's edge, doesn't water constantly beating at the base eventually crumble them?

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Old 08-15-09, 06:26 AM   #6
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Is this somewhere on the coast of NoCal? . Or just some pretty lighthouse picture?
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Old 08-15-09, 06:31 AM   #7
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Jupiter Light house.
I can almost see it from my beach.
Tiger Woods backyard

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Old 08-15-09, 06:35 AM   #8
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Sullivans Island, SC. Near my parents shack.....

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Old 08-15-09, 08:47 AM   #9
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Well, since I'm in CO at the moment, I'll cheat a bit and put up one from where I grew up:

Portland Headlight - the most photographed lighthouse in the world!

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Old 08-15-09, 08:55 AM   #10
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Let's see what's on your coast....
First, you're evil.

We visited practically every lighthouse on the Atlantic Coast. Good stuff.

Our favorite, Tybee Island after a hurricane.



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Old 08-15-09, 09:02 AM   #11
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Is this somewhere on the coast of NoCal? . Or just some pretty lighthouse picture?
It's a picture that my dying friend's daughter sent me (not sure where it's from), telling me that it represented her mom.

She said that it guides the ships to safety, warns them, 'takes care' of them but eventually through years of taking a beating (in this case she was referring to the cancer her mom has) it eventually will crumble and fall.
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Old 08-15-09, 01:48 PM   #12
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This is in Big Spring Park downtown. It's from Huntsville's "Sister City" somewhere in Norway I believe.
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Old 08-15-09, 02:08 PM   #13
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Palos Verdes lighthouse, just south of Los Angeles, alerting ships heading for the Long Beach harbor.


Piedras Blancas lighthouse, near the Hearst Castle along PCH, north/west of Los Angeles.


Marina Del Rey, Santa Monica Bay, north of LAX. I see no lighting rig inside, so it's been decommissioned.
I ride through MDR frequently on my beach cruises. They have live free music there on the weekends, and
there's also a bike shop, food, drink and restrooms, so it's a frequent stop.


Another view.
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Old 08-15-09, 02:47 PM   #14
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Cape Neddick, Maine

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Old 08-15-09, 03:46 PM   #15
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Old 08-15-09, 04:00 PM   #16
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We're going to Long Beach Island NJ on Monday for 3 days, one town away from the Barnegat Lighthouse on the northern tip of the island:

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Old 08-15-09, 05:53 PM   #17
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Manistique, Mi



Marquette, Mi



Whitefish Point, Michigan

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Old 08-15-09, 07:47 PM   #18
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Georgetown Lighthouse


Looking out towards the Atlantic Ocean, the Georgetown lighthouse sits at the mouth of Winyah Bay leading in to historic Georgetown ten miles away. Many of the locals around Georgetown call it the North Island lighthouse as it sits on North island and some didn’t even know what I was talking about when I referred to it as the Georgetown lighthouse. It is after all, about twelve miles away from Georgetown by boat on North Island. The first lighthouse on the island was built of wood in 1801and the lantern was lit with, at that time, plentiful whale oil. Two years later everything was washed away by a storm. Another lighthouse was built of brick in 1812 but major damage during the Civil War put an end to its usefulness.

The present Georgetown lighthouse rose from the ashes in 1867. It’s the oldest active lighthouse in South Carolina and stands eighty-seven feet high with six foot thick walls at the base. It has one hundred and twenty-four spiral stairs inside cut from solid stone instead of the more common cast iron. A simple but stately two-story keepers house just in front of the lighthouse, all surrounded by a white picket fence once finished off the scene. Now only the lighthouse remains along with the cistern and a few small buildings that were built more recently.

You can only reach the Georgetown lighthouse by boat. The day we visited it was foggy. Not just a little foggy but "can’t see anything" foggy. I asked a fishermen for directions and he pointed the way with reservation but wished us good luck as we put our small boat in the water. I figured it could only get better and eventually the fog would lift. We hugged the shoreline for a mile or two, then made a left, crossing the bay. That would, according to his directions, land us at the lighthouse. The interesting thing about lighthouses is that when you most need them they may not be of any assistance. Just as I was almost ready to admit defeat and turn back with nothing but thick fog surrounding us, we practically ran into the beach. The lighthouse beacon normally seen from about fifteen miles away was only a faint beam of light struggling unsuccessfully to peer out through the dense cloud of white soup. If we had been a ship instead of a twelve-foot aluminum boat we most certainly would have beached ourselves hard on the island. Fog horns, although used in the northern states, were not commonly employed in southern lighthouses. Mariners simply had to sit tight in conditions of fog until it lifted before trying to enter an area along the coast.
As the bow of our boat plowed itself into the sandy beach, a young husky man approached and wanted to know out intentions in being there. After explaining that I was doing a book on lighthouses, his demeanor softened and he offered to give us a tour but not without first asking us to disabling our outboard motor by removing the spark plug. I was confounded about his request until he explained that the lighthouse and small outbuildings served as a camp for young but hard-line felons. They were out here on the island trying their best to rehabilitate themselves but I guess not to the point that the temptation of a small boat to the mainland might be available for a convenient unscheduled departure. After being shown around the grounds and lighthouse the cover of fog had lifted suddenly exposing the full length of the handsome white sand beach with the lighthouse standing out like an exclamation mark against the contrasting dark foliage of the island.
Since that time, the boot camp type program has been discontinued and the island is deserted. Today you can bring a boat over there but since it’s a private island, you’re not supposed to walk above the high tide mark. The best way to get there is by private boat but there were several tours to the island by ferry from Georgetown, at least when I was there. Georgetown also offers tours of its historic downtown district.
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Old 08-15-09, 08:48 PM   #19
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Southport, North Carolina


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Old 08-15-09, 09:18 PM   #20
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too late,...


Fortescue, New Jersey

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Old 08-15-09, 09:19 PM   #21
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Currituck Beach Lighthouse



On December 1, 1875, the beacon of the Currituck Beach Lighthouse filled the remaining ''dark spot'' on the North Carolina coast between the Cape Henry light to the north and Bodie Island to the south. To distinguish Currituck Beach from other regional lighthouses its exterior remains unpainted and gives today's visitor a sense of the multitude of bricks used to form the structure. Automated in 1939, the night beacon still flashes at 20-second intervals to warn ships hugging the chain of barrier islands along the coast.

The Currituck Beach Lighthouse is known as a first order lighthouse, which means it has the largest of seven Fresnel lens sizes. The original source of light was a U. S. mineral oil lamp consisting of five concentric wicks; the largest was 4 inches in diameter.



Before the advent of electricity, a mechanical means was required to rotate the huge lenses that made the light appear to flash. A system of weights suspended from a line powered a clockwork mechanism beneath the lantern --much like the workings of a grandfather clock. The keeper cranked the weights up by hand every two and a half hours.

Like other lighthouses on North Carolina's Outer Banks, this one still serves as an aid to navigation. Today a 1000-watt bulb comes on automatically every evening at dusk and ceases at dawn. With a 20-second flash cycle (on for 3 seconds, off for 17 seconds), the light can be seen for 18 nautical miles. The distinctive sequence enables the lighthouse not only to warn mariners but also to help identify their locations.
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Old 08-15-09, 10:38 PM   #22
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Jekyll Island, Georgia

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Old 08-15-09, 11:56 PM   #23
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We've got lots of them out here. I haven't got my pictures sorted, so these aren't mine, but I've been to all of these and there's more I haven't seen.

Cape Disappointment:


North Head:


Yaquina Bay:


Yaquina Head:


Heceta Head:


Cape Mears:


Tillamook Rock:


And lastly, the ugliest lighthouse I've seen - Warrior Rock:
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Old 08-16-09, 12:31 PM   #24
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Old 08-16-09, 03:57 PM   #25
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The new Point Loma lighthouse.

The old Point Loma lighthouse.
Both are about 3.5 miles from my house.
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