Mise Tales Forty-Seven

For an update on what a Mise Tale is then please see Mise Tales One.

As mentioned earlier on the front page of my website, any photos or cartoons, or short bits of information, when it is removed from the front page, will also be included again later in the next next Misc Tales posting. That way you can keep track of it, search for it, or copy it.

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Wind MapOn October 18, 2014, a large storm was hitting the British Columbia, Canada coastline. The photo above shows the winds as a visualization of global weather conditions, forecast by supercomputers, updated every three hours. Click the photo for more recent details. Move around the map with your mouse. Zoom in also. Check out the menu in the lower left corner for more information.

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Lighthouses Attract Birds!

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Bardsey Island lighthouse, UK

It sounds impossible, but the very bright light emanating from a lighthouse at night attracts  birds. This happens on the most remote of lighthouses, some far out at sea.

What interest would birds have in a lighthouse?

Well sometimes it is because the light beacon attracts numerous insects which the birds feed upon. In other cases birds fly to the lighthouse lamp because it is the only attraction in their universe, just like a boat will navigate towards the safety of a lighthouse. 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

Animated Map of Global Wind Conditions

One of the duties of a lighthouse keeper is the reporting of the weather for the boats, aircraft and also for forecasting. One of the things reported is the wind speed. From all around the world the wind speed is recorded and reported from countless weather stations.

Below are two screenshots of a new webpage showing a:

Visualization of global weather conditions as forecast by supercomputers. Weather data, generated from numerical models at Earth.NullSchool.net,…

earth wind map_01

Earth wind map showing winds over the Atlantic Ocean

 

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Earth wind map showing winds around the Philippines, with special consideration for the Tropical Depression in the lower right (the tight swirl)

The photos above are static screen shots – the website is live! Navigate around just like in Google Earth using your mouse and the scroll wheel. Zoom in, zoom out. Enjoy!

 

Reprint – Sentinels Encased in Ice

Sentinels Encased in Ice by Elinor DeWire

from WeatherWise November-December 2011 

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The ice was here, the ice was there
The ice was all around;
I t cracked and growled, and roared and howled
Like noise in a swound…
—Samuel Taylor Coleridge
The Rime of the Ancient Mariner

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Caption: St. Joseph Pierhead in Michigan as it appeared on December 20, 2010. Continue reading

Vanishings – The Missing Lighthouse Keepers

These two tales on Youtube were brought to my attention. Quite the mystery! 

 

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What a Nice Christmas Present

What a nice surprise! Today on Facebook the lighthouse keeper, Colin Toner, who is residing at my old workplace at McInnes Island posted a fantastic video of the lighthouse. Please watch in full screen to get the full effect.

Watch as the MBB105 helicopter approaches the island in the rain. You can see the rain striking the windscreen on the front of the helicopter.

Later get a tour of the light and a walk around the island in the stormy weather. Take note of the heavy seas. That is life in winter on the west coast of Canada.

Thanks Colin for the memories, and special thanks goes to Tineke Veenhoven for creating the film!

For a larger and higher quality version please go to Youtube. I had trouble getting it to embed here.

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.

Mise Tales Twenty-Seven

 

For an update on what a Mise Tale is then please see Mise Tales One.

I found two new lighthouses – not manned, but not in my lists. One is:

ViajeTierraSanta-Portugal-Cascais1

 

The Santa Marta Lighthouse and Museum located in Cascais, Portugal

 

and

gásadalur village in the faroe islandsOne on the Faroe Islands island of Vágar near this photo of  Gásadalur village. One of two lighthouses on the island is located SE of the village on the entrance to the Sørvágsfjørd, which leads to the fishing port of Sørvágur on the southwest coast of Vágar. Located on a bluff on the south side of the fjord about 4 km (2.5 mi) west of Sørvágur. 

 

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I was going to post the above beautiful village photo on my page of Fantasy Lighthouses which will be coming up, but then I discovered it had an actual lighthouse of its own. How cool is that?                        

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 And to round things out, my recent story on Night Photos and the Lighthouse had some fantastic photos, but then this one below came to my attention, and I bring it to yours. It is St. Catherines Lighthouse on the Isle of Wight – beautiful photo.

st catherines isle of wight

Something Even Better?

alberta-fire-lookout

photo – Stuart Gradon Calgary Herald

Something Even Better than working on a lighthouse?

In an email with an ex British Columbia (BC) lighthouse keeper he mentioned that he was going to work in Alberta, Canada as a Fire Tower Lookout!

What does that have to do with lighthouses?

A lot from many people’s perspective! Both jobs have the isolation and romance that a lot of people seek in a job. When I was younger I know it was always in the back of my mind.

Again the same questions pop up – Wouldn’t it be lonely? What about wild animals? What happens if you hurt yourself? These and many more questions are asked, but to the adventurous, it is part of the adventure. Anyways, take a look at the photo at the top – that is an Alberta lookout tower but not as you or I probably imagined it – sitting on the ground!

The photo is taken from a 2011 story by Calgary Herald reporterJamie Komarnicki Mystery and mountains: A look at Alberta forest fire spottersContinue reading