Hijack!

The hijack of a ship on the British Columbia (BC) coast is a rare possibility, but with all the controversy over oil spills and destruction of coastal rain forests, the possibility is still there for terrorists or others to hijack a ship on the BC coast and hold the government for ransom.

In the rest of the world, piracy, or hijacking of a ship, is not unknown and shipping companies have had to find many ways to keep their ships safe. Speed is one method, but a fully-loaded freighter does not go very fast.

Today, October 17, 2013, a new website for me, Marine Insight, mentioned:

Infographics: Anti-Piracy Weapons Used on Ships

Anti-piracy-infographic

Anti-piracy-infographic

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Floating Instrument Platform (FLIP)

Flip

 

What do you think a lighthouse keeper would do if he spotted this floating on the ocean in front of his lighthouse? My first reaction would be to run and call for help!

This article came from the Military Photography website on Facebook with credit to  Scripps Institution of Oceanography

Launched in 1962, the bizarre research vessel Flip (Floating Instrument Platform) can go from a horizontal to vertical position while staying afloat and stable in heavy seas – even in 80-foot waves. That allows it to perform oceanographic research measurements with great accuracy. Inside the crew areas is a strange Escher-like world of doors in floors, portholes in ceilings, and tables bolted to walls. . . more

[su_youtube url=”http://youtu.be/3hYafJIr1B4″ width=”460″ height=”360″]

Later I was thinking it is too bad that this technology was not available for the Canadian weather ships that used to be off our Canadian coasts. They could have operated nicely with a ship that only rose three (3) inches in eighty (80) foot waves!

More information and links on this Wikipedia article.

Reprint – Restoring Canaveral Light – Brick by Brick!

 

Restoring Canaveral Light – Brick by Brick!

 

The mission statement of the Cape Canaveral Lighthouse Foundation is  “To Assist the 45th Space Wing in preserving, protecting, and interpreting the Cape Canaveral Lighthouse and its historical significance to the Florida Space Coast, State of Florida, and our Nation.” The US Air Force owns and maintains Cape Canaveral Light, but the Foundation exists to be of assistance in its restoration and to share its remarkable history.

In many ways Cape Canaveral and the Lighthouse is a bridge between the age of exploration and exploration yet to come; a bridge between the sea and the stars!

On October 13th, 2012 I attended a gathering at the Canaveral Lighthouse with my father to celebrate the progress having been made on the restoration of this special and significant beacon. Although, we had visited the light by special permission a couple of years ago in order to photograph, I did not then have the opportunity to see the interior of the tower. Saturday, October 13th, could not have been a more perfect day to gather, discuss goals, walk the newly built Keeper’s Brick Paver Walkway, and climb!! I have to say right here that I was amazed that my 88 year old father was able to navigate the stairs better than I did!  The metal lighthouse is lined with brick and the winding stairs curl upwards around a center pole with no hand railing along the brick walls. Of course, it was probably because I was lugging my heavy camera!! Probably!! Continue reading

Reprint – Cape Canaveral Light – Warden of the Sea, Launchpad to the Stars!

 

The following story is the first of two parts on the Cape Canaveral lighthouse by Judy Lovell, a photographer extraordinaire, who runs a WordPress blog called Janthina Images.

Besides this article, and the one following, please view her image gallery on her website as well. In the gallery she has some lovely photos of Florida lighthouses with prints available for sale. Enjoy, and drop by her website occasionally for different articles. If you wish to view the image gallery as a slideshow, please click here.

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Cape Canaveral Light – Warden of the Sea, Launchpad to the Stars!

They fill that night with Knowledge. A thousand ships go by,
A thousand captains bless them, so bright and proud and high:
The world’s dark capes they glamour; or low on sand banks dread,
They, crouching, mark a pathway between the Quick and Dead —
Like star points in the ether
They bring the seamen ease,
These Lords of Wind and Weather
These Wardens of the Seas!

…Edwin James Brady…

Lighthouses have long stood at the edges of the world, lonely outposts maintained by devoted souls to ensure the safety of ships at sea. But, only one remarkable beacon was destined to illuminate the path for ships of space! But how did this happen? How did a lighthouse built on a hook of sand jutting out into the Atlantic to protect mariners from dangerous currents become a front row witness to the advent of the Space Age?

Rocket Launch with Canaveral Lighthouse is courtesy NASA Continue reading

The Lightkeepers by Graham Chandler

Originally published in the January/February 2007 issue of Legion Magazine

We hadn’t expected gourmet Hungarian goulash served up on Royal Doulton china. But at the Cape Scott light station on the remote northwestern tip of Vancouver Island–a place that is normally engulfed in wet grey and storms–today is an exception. The sky is azure, there’s not a puff of wind, and Principal Keeper Harvey Humchitt and his partner Assistant Keeper Todd Maliszewski have house guests.

After sweating through 24 kilometres of squishy rain forest trails we’re no match for the fine linens and silver flatware spread impeccably before us on the dining table. The trek through the forest is the only way to get here without a boat or helicopter. After a couple of greeting barks from their dog Lady, Humchitt welcomes us to Cape Scott. Continue reading

Book Review – The Light Between Oceans

A new book has been released about the adventures of a lighthouse family on an Australian lighthouse. The title is The Light Between Oceans. The lighthouse is fictitious as  the story is a fictional and moral adventure, but the reviews show that the author, Ms. M. L. Stedman has a masterpiece here. Read some of the reviews below and see what you think. If anyone has read the book, please comment.

When Tom decides to become a lighthouse keeper, he’s given a placement at Janus Rock. It’s a tough posting on a square mile of green, accessible only by boat, that ”dangled off the edge of the cloth like a loose button that might easily plummet to Antarctica”. The closest community is Point Partageuse, a town long neglected by the outside world until the outside world found use for its young men in 1914. http://www.smh.com.au  Continue reading

The Lighthouse as a Sovereignty Symbol

Philippine flag over Pantag Shoal

In the early days of exploration a flag of ownership was placed upon new-found-lands to claim ownership, even though on the other side of the island, or bay there may have been another flag from a different country.

One problem with a flag – it doesn’t last very long.

But build a lighthouse and claim ownership and that light is visible to all peoples for years into the future. Build it high enough and it is visible for 360 degrees. Put some men on it and it becomes your property. Hmmm!

A country's exclusive economic zone - Wiki

Right now in the news there are two island disputes in the South China Sea area that involve China and the Philippines – a stand-off over the Panatag Shoal (Huangyan Island; aka Scarborough Shoal) where China is contesting the Philippines’ internationally recognised exclusive economic zone, and China and Japan – an age-old dispute  surrounding the group of islands called Senkaku by the Japanese and Diaoyu by the Chinese.

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Triangle Island Light and the HMCS Galiano

Back side of Triangle Island - Jack Bowerman photo from http://www.roughradio.ca

On the morning of October 30, 1918 in the vicinity of Triangle Island lighthouse, the HMCS Galiano foundered and sank.

Not much is known about the sinking, but the story is associated with the Triangle Island lighthouse because that was their last port of call. Triangle Island is remembered as the most remote, isolated, lonely and wind-swept piece of rock in which the government placed a lighthouse.

A friend of mine, John MacFarlane, created a website about all things nautical. In an email notification I learned about an excellent historical record of the HMCS Galiano written by Stephen Rybak.

Here is a taste from the article:

Miss Emily Brunton had been hired by the six bachelors staffing the radio station as a housekeeper. The 35 year–old Miss Brunton arrived on Triangle Island in 1916 and had introduced a little civility and good cooking to the station. It was to be her first trip off the wind-swept and treeless rock in 18 months.

Rybak, Stephen (2012) The Wreck of HMCS Galiano 1918. Nauticapedia.ca2012. 

 

Continue reading by clicking on the Nauticapedia link in blue just above.

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Triangle Island lighthouse was discontinued only a few years later, but an interesting sidelight to the story is that the main light is now on display at the Sooke Regional Museum just outside Victoria, BC. See the photo below:

Triangle Island light - © Alec Provan

 

 

Howard Frazer Chamberlin Family Adventures c.1930s

– Narrated by Sharlene Macintosh with help from her cousin Zellie Chamberlin Sale (granddaughters of Howard Frazer Chamberlin, lighthouse keeper c. 1930 – 1941)

Nootka Light -photo - Bill Maximick of Maximick Originals

My grandfather was Howard Frazer Chamberlin who was lightkeeper at a few lighthouses around Vancouver Island  – Nootka , Pine Island , Quatsino , Trial Island  come to mind – my Mom knows them all. His brother, Charles Benjamin Chamberlin was also assistant at Nootka.

My Mom, Mina Peet (née Chamberlin) was born in Oct 1933 while her Dad was a lightkeeper. He originally did various jobs such as farming, prospecting, trapping, and logging with horses. He had a sawmill at Coombs, BC and he was injured while logging with horses on Vancouver Island. He was put into hospital where he met my grandmother Dora Anna Wordsell who was a nurse. 

They married December 12, 1928 in Nanaimo, BC. They had three daughters: Connie (who died in 1985), Pearl, and Mina. The first child, a son, died up near Prince Rupert, BC right after birth, so my grandmother was sent the next time to New Westminster, BC  to give birth (at a real hospital) where her parents lived, and the second two times to Victoria, BC.  Continue reading

Quarters and Rations (Q&R)

Quarters and Rations (Q&R), seen on many Canadian government employee pay cheques as Q – R IN KIND is also know as Rations and Quarters (R&Q) in the Canadian military.

It is a topic over which I fought against the Coast Guard bureaucracy my whole working life. I wanted it defined for the lighthouse keeper! 

It is paid – why can the keepers not have the benefits? When I was working I had the personnel office in Prince Rupert in a turmoil. I even filed a grievance with the Union, and all the bigwigs in Vancouver could not find out what our benefits were and said let it drop. 

When I worked for the government in the north of Canada, and today on many postings where government personnel – police, military, weather observers, ships crews, radio operators, airport personnel, etc.  are sent into isolation to do work for the government, they are given Q&R benefits. (Is anybody missing from this list? Please contact me and let me know.) Continue reading