Refuelling a Lighthouse

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photo credit Ron Amundsen

British Columbia (BC) lighthouses mostly have diesel generators unless they are close enough to a large town or city to allow a power cable to run to them.

So how does one refuel a lighthouse as most of them are sitting fairly high above the water line and very distant from a local gas station?

Well, thanks to the lighthouse keepers at Scarlett Point lighthouse and Ivory Island lighthouse for giving me permission to use their photos, I can now show you. 

Scarlet

Scarlett Point lighthouse – Google Maps

Ivan Dubinsky at Scarlett Point lighthouse, north of Port Hardy, BC has been photographing anything that moves and does not move at his lighthouse with his new camera and posting them on Facebook. He now has quite a few followers admiring his photos.

OK, back to the refuelling. There are many ways that I have seen it done. From most to least expensive we have helicopter slinging in fuel drums or bladders, hovercraft carrying fuel in it’s tanks, and Coast Guard ships pumping it into a fuel barge and moving it to shore.

           CG253_Ivan_DubinskyRefuelling Entrance_Ivan_DubinskyCCGS Bartlett_Ivan_Dubinsky Continue reading

Updates

lighthouse-clip-art_422123_sm_6-150x106As most of you know, and I keep reminding people, this lighthouse website began as a simple list of lighthouse keepers after I retired from 32 years of lighthouse keeping in 2001. I created the first website for historical and genealogical purposes. After a few years, and much help from the public, it developed into this second website.

The database listing all the keepers resides on my personal computer and is updated on the website whenever I get more information. From the database I create a printout of the information and post it on this site. Last time I checked I had . . .

. . . collected 1129 British Columbia (BC) lighthouse keeper names on 96 different lights, for a total of 1922 changes / moves / appointments.

One of the lesser-known bits of lighthouse information is that lightkeepers did not always reside in a lighthouse – notice the term lightkeeper rather than lighthouse keeper. These men kept a light burning for mariners but lived on the land rather than maintaining a lighthouse. Most probably they held day jobs as well, as the only duties for the mariners was to row out to their light before dusk and light the lamp, and then row home. Just after sunrise they would row out again, extinguish the light, refuel the lamp, and clean the lens in preparation for the evening lighting. It was not a hard job except in stormy winter weather.

Not many of these men are remembered but I have managed to record a few in the database. If interested read near the bottom of the database page for my request “I need your help“.

Just recently I received an email from a Ms. J. Milton about Channel Rock Light which I had not been able to locate. Here is the information I now have on this light:

  • Channel Rock*……………- This was a light in Uganda Pass between Cortes Island and Shark Spit on Marina Island. One of the keepers was John Poole, followed by Alex McKee – I don’t know the exact dates.
    A writer, Gilean Douglas, moved to Cortes Island in 1948, to the property homesteaded by John Poole. That property is known as Channel Rock. – thanks J. Milton for the information.Unknown location could it be LL 258, on N. end of North Channel Islands, near Saltspring Island, chart 3478? (1914 – 1943){/private]

Please, if you know some information about any of these unknown lights or their keepers please pass it on to me. Thanks – retlkpr

 

Shine Bright Like A Lighthouse. A Love Affair With Maritime History.

Shine Bright Like A Lighthouse. A Love Affair With Maritime History.

John Sylvester, Country Magazine May 15, 2014

Peggy's Cove

Peggy’s Point Lighthouse (Photo: John Sylvester)

Having grown up in Nova Scotia, I have fond memories of scrambling over the curved granite whaleback rocks below my aunt’s cottage near the community of Peggy’s Cove.

Even though that’s the home of Nova Scotia’s most famous landmark, Peggy’s Point Lighthouse, I didn’t pay much attention to the lighthouse in those days. The tide pools and shallow caves of the whalebacks were more enticing. As an adult, however, I’ve grown to appreciate and cherish these beautiful beacons and the maritime tradition they represent. . . . more

See more photos and information under his story in Country Magazine called Lighthouse Preservation in Atlantic Coast Canada

Editor’s Note: Find additional information on Quebec, Newfoundland and Prince Edward Island lighthouses, along with ideas for exploring the surrounding towns, right here on our blog!

And be sure to read John Sylvester’s new eBook: A Photographer’s Guide to Prince Edward Island, a downloadable PDF for mobile devices, available at: www.photographersguidetopei.com.

Dreams of Being a Lighthouse Keeper

For years past, adults and children of all ages had dreams of growing up to be an adventurous lighthouse keeper. That dream is slowly dimming as the world automates its lighthouses.

The following article from The Guardian  brings to our attention the dimming of the dream in the UK

The lure of the lighthouse for our islanded souls
With the last lights set to go out, many of us will miss these concrete symbols of our humanity

by Joe Moran The Guardian, Saturday 12 April 2014.

Lighthouse, County Durham

The tower lights, the ones that rise impossibly out of the sea and carry the most romantic connotations for landlubberly ignoramuses like me, were the most dreaded by the keepers.’ Photograph: Owen Humphreys/PA

Growing up, I wanted to be a lighthouse keeper. Just like Moominpappa in Tove Jansson’s Moomin books, my ambition was to live on the loneliest lighthouse on the remotest skerry farthest from land. It didn’t end well for Moominpappa, the island he and the other Moomins settled on being barren and desolate, inhabited only by a silent fisherman who turned out to be the ex-lighthouse keeper driven mad by loneliness. It didn’t put me off.

I have since met many compatriots who have had the same dream, for there is something about lighthouses that seems to speak to our islanded souls. more . . .

Guess What!

Back in 1969 on my first lighthouse at Pulteney Point we had a third keeper on station. Wayne and Beth were a very friendly couple who lived the hippie lifestyle. One of the things Wayne used to do every morning at daybreak was wander down to the shoreline right in front of his house, bend over and look at the sunrise between his legs, and then scoop up a few handfuls of seawater and drink it. To each his own I guess!

water

A Single Drop of Seawater, Magnified 25 Times

OK, you’ve seen the title of the photo above taken from the website This is Colossal. On there they state:

You know when you’re horsing around at the beach and accidentally swallow a nasty gulp of salt water? Well I hate to break it to you but that foul taste wasn’t just salt. Photographer David Littschwager captured this amazing shot of a single drop of seawater magnified 25 times to reveal an entire ecosystem of crab larva,diatoms, bacteria, fish eggs, zooplankton, and even worms. Read more about what you probably don’t want to know at Dive Shield. We do admit the little crab larva in the lower right-hand corner is pretty darned cute. (via Lost at E Minor) Prints of this photograph are available at Art.com.

Two of the World’s Oldest Lighthouses

Under the title Can you shed light on it? by the Grimsby Telegraph and posted: on May 01, 2014 Tim Mickleburgh said:

The world’s oldest lighthouse (the Pharos of Alexandria) was built by Sostratus of Cnidus around 270 BC.

Spurn

The oldest UK lighthouse? The lighthouse and lightkeeper’s house at Spurn.

It was a pyramid-shaped tower of white marble on the island of Pharos (in Greek the word Pharos means lighthouse) off the coast of Alexandria, Egypt.

It was estimated to be 400ft tall, and was one of the Seven Wonders of the World, a listing designated by Antipater of Sidon in the second century BC.

This formed part of Alexander’s Harbour, Alexander being of course Alexander the Great.

Alas, the lighthouse was destroyed by an earthquake in 1375 AD.

Unfortunately, the Guinness Book Of Records never provided a listing for the oldest British lighthouse. – read more

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The oldest lighthouse in my home country of Canada was built in 1713 and went into service at the French fortress of Louisbourg on Cape Breton Island in 1734.

What is the name and location of the oldest lighthouse in your country? Write me a note and let me know and I will post it here.

Fishing Boats of the BC Coast

Fishing boats do not have anything to do with lighthouses you say!

Well they do, because without fishing boats (plus vessels of other types) and the men that man them we would have no need for manned lighthouses, so fishing boats are important for lighthouses and the British Columbia (BC) economy.

Trolling, Seining, Gillnetting – don’t know one fishboat or fishing method from the next? Well take a look at this page from Fisheries and Oceans Canada. It will help clarify things.

Commercial Salmon Gear Types in the Pacific Region   Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Continue reading

Light at the End of the World

Light at the End of the World
Three Months on Cape St. James, 1941

by Hallvard Dahlie (orig from Raincoast 18, 1998) with notes from Jim Derham-Reid (last keeper on Cape St. James before automation)

Image1A strange interlude in my brief seafaring life took place in the fall of 1941, when I signed on as assistant lighthouse keeper at Cape St. James, a light perched on top of a three-hundred-foot rock at the very southern tip of the Queen Charlotte Islands. I had quit school earlier that year, at the age of sixteen, and found a job on the CGS Alberni, a lighthouse tender operating out of Prince Rupert. But when she had to go into dry dock at the beginning of September for a new wartime grey paint job and a bit of refurbishing, I chose to take a stint out at the lighthouse rather than scrape barnacles and paint for three months. Continue reading

Private (Model) Lighthouse For Sale

Private (Model) Lighthouse For Sale – via Journal Pioneer

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Wall looks out from the top floor his lighthouse.

 

New Annan fisherman looking to sell unique lawn ornament
NEW ANNAN – Anybody want to buy a lighthouse? Chris Wall of New Annan is selling his.

It’s three storeys tall and is a scaled down replica of the Cape Tryon Light.

It’s currently sitting on Wall’s front lawn in New Annan, on the headlands of the Barbara Weit River.

Anyone who’s driven by his property would probably have noticed the structure – it’s pretty hard to miss. The lighthouse is the pride and joy of his carpentry hobby, said the career lobster fisherman, but he’s recently decided that it’s time to move on to his next challenge.

So he’s offering up his lighthouse to a good home for $15,000. . . . more

Continue reading

Book – The Nauticapedia List of British Columbia’s Floating Heritage (Volume 1)

The Nauticapedia List of British Columbia’s Floating Heritage (Volume 1)

– A new book by John M. MacFarlane 2014

This is a must have for all BC boat lovers.

Click the photo for the webpage.

Nautipedia