There is a boat out there . . . click the button below . . .
Imagine you are a lighthouse keeper on the graveyard shift on a foggy night. All you hear are the diesel engines running, the foghorn blowing at intervals. As you stare out into the gloomy mist you hear this sound. It is a boat, but what kind of boat? What kind of motor?
Many old-timers will recognize it as the sound of a classic make and break Easthope 2-stroke marine gasoline engine on idle. It probably belonged to a fisherman waiting out the fog so he could see where he was going. It was a sound that carried through the fog just like the foghorn.
To hear it again brings back many memories. If you wish to see the fishboat that housed this engine take a look at this Youtube page.
Here is a great video taken on board the Coast Guard ship CCGS Sir Wilfred Laurier as it services the mountain-top radio sites using the onboard helicopter. Great shots of the Queen Charlotte Islands (Haida Gwai) and the old lighthouse and radio station at Cape St. James.
The majority of lighthouses shown in this book are American, but as a friend of mine wrote:
I received a lighthouse book for Christmas – from an ex -lighthouse keeper and I groaned when I opened the parcel. “Oh yes, forty photos of Portland bloody Head I suppose.” No, well yes, a couple, but Canadian lights and British Columbia lights – 4 pages on West Vancouver’s Pt. Atkinson, plus photo of Cape Mudge, and for comic relief Brockton Point (Stanley Park). – thanks JDR
So, not all bad news. The book is not coffee table format so it will fit easily on your bookshelf.
Lighthouses of North America – Beacons from Coast to Coast
by Sylke Jackson and published by Firefly Books
320 pages, 8 1/2″ X 11″ X 1″ 300 color photos, resources, index EAN: 9781770852495 ISBN: [ 1770852492 ] plastic-laminated hardcover $35.00 CDN / $35.00 US Continue reading →
From the Prince Edward Island Lighthouse Society comes this beautiful descriptive map of ALL the lighthouses (manned and automated) on Prince Edward Island (aka PEI), the smallest of Canada’s provinces. It consists of the main island and 231 minor islands. Altogether the entire province has a land area of 5,685.73 km2 (2,195.27 sq mi). (Wiki) Continue reading →
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.
The British Colonist is the forerunner of the Victoria Daily Colonist newspaper from Victoria, British Columbia (BC) Canada. It is an old newspaper and originated in 1858 in the Gold Rush period of BC history.
As this site is mostly interested in BC lighthouses here is a page from May 04, 1913 that will interest you. It is entitled The Lights that Guard our Coast and is on page 25 of the full newspaper listed in PDF format here.
If you wish to download your own PDF copy of this newspaper, left click your mouse on the large italicized “i” in the upper right menu of the page above and and right click your mouse on PDF and select “Save link as…” and then save it to your computer.
Tell Tale Productions Inc’s. documentary “Lighthouses” – the film has been completed and has had its world broadcast premiere on CBC Television’s Land and Sea Sunday, November 24, 2013. If you missed it you can see it online on CBC Land and Sea.
Another beautiful video called “Salmon Confidential” showing the life cycle of Sockeye Salmon, and the problems they are encountering now with salmon farms, and other unknown fish diseases. Thirty-six minutes long but well-worth the watch because of the beautiful photography of wildlife on the British Columbia coast, both above and below the water.
The Canadian Coast Guard HQ at Victoria, British Columbia–what a beautiful building! This view is from the Blackball Ferry deck on approach to the harbor. Those buoys look like Dreidels lined up on the rocks for Hanukkah! – posted on Facebook by author and friend of mine Elinor DeWire
Canada just acquired a new (used) hovercraft from England. It was shipped to Vancouver, British Columbia by the boat shipping company Peters & May. On their Facebook page they posted some wonderful photos of the loading of the hovercraft on one of their ships. Quite a feat!
Vancouver, British Columbia – The Honourable Gail Shea, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, and the Honourable Alice Wong, Minister of State (Seniors) and Member of Parliament for Richmond, today announced the arrival in Canada of the new hovercraft to be stationed at Sea Island in Richmond, British Columbia – the CCGS Moytel.
[private]“Our Government is committed to investing where it counts in the interest of the Canadian Coast Guard. In fact, our Government has invested more in the Canadian Coast Guard than any government in Canadian history,” said Minister Shea. “We will continue to ensure the men and women of the Canadian Coast Guard have the equipment they need to do the important work we ask of them.”
Upon completion of construction, the new hovercraft was shipped to British Columbia and will soon travel to Sea Island. Following a period of training for Coast Guard staff and inspection to ensure the vessel’s optimal condition following shipping, the vessel will be accepted into the Coast Guard fleet.
“Our investment in the CCGS Moytel, a world-class modern hovercraft, is another example of our Government’s commitment to ensure the safety of fishermen, recreational boaters, and sailors in and around Vancouver Harbour,” said Minister Wong. “The name of the new vessel is in Halq’eméylem, in recognition of our First Nations’ contribution to the province’s history, culture and economy.”
The new hovercraft will be named the CCGS Moytel. Moytel is a Halq’emélem word meaning “to help each other.” Canadian Coast Guard vessels are given names that promote Canadian sovereignty, culture, geography and history. Names of vessels are selected to raise the profile of vessels and the work they do by honouring and celebrating people and places of regional and national significance.
As a replacement for the CCGS Penac, the new Moytel will be a heavy-duty, more versatile amphibious vehicle capable of patrolling inland waters. A larger more powerful vessel than the CCGS Penac, it has a greater range of capabilities and features including a bow ramp that will enable it to transport supplies such as rescue equipment and vehicles.
Since 2009, the Government of Canada has delivered over 100 vessels to the Coast Guard, including: 6 Hero-class Mid-Shore Patrol Vessels (CCGS Private Robertson V.C., CCGS Caporal Kaeble V.C., CCGS Corporal Teather C.V, CCGS Constable Carrière, CCGS G. Peddle S.C and CCGS McLaren); the hovercraft CCGS Mamilossa; 5 Search and Rescue Lifeboats; 2 Specialty Vessels; 3 Near-Shore Fishery Research Vessels; 30 environmental barges; and 60 small craft. [/private]
And from a former lighthouse keeper and friend of mine, Chris Mills, comes this wonderful view of a Fresnel lens – photos and a video showing the lens in action.
Facing the Sea: Lightkeepers and Their Families By Harold Chubbs and Wade Kearley Foreword by Lorne Humphries Genre: History: General Imprint: Flanker Press Format: Hardcover, 132 pages, colour photos and illustrations Pub Date: October 2013 Price: $34.95 ISBN-10: 1-77117-301-7 ISBN-13: 978-1-77117-301-8 Shipping Weight: 0.9 kg
About this Book In Facing the Sea, authors Harold Chubbs and Wade Kearley have captured an important era in the maritime history of Newfoundland and Labrador. These tales of rescue and tragedy, of love lost and redeemed, describe first-hand what life was like for lightkeepers and their families in twenty-five light stations along the exposed and often inhospitable coast of Newfoundland and Labrador. Most of these stories are told here for the first time in print, and each story is rich with new details and insights from the perspective of these remarkable men and women. Order Now!
The photo at the left shows the lamp, lens, mercury bath bearing, and winding apparatus which was installed on the Pachena Point lighthouse in February 1908. The lens is a 1st order Fresnel lens made by Chance Brothers of Birmingham England – one of the largest sizes possible, and it all sits on a wooden tower!
The glass lens, 3 m tall, 2.5 m wide and weighing 400 kg was brought by boat around Cape Horn. The 1000-watt bulb in use now puts out four million candlepower and is visible from Washington State’s Olympic Peninsula. (reference)
The Canadian Coast Guard (CCG) carries lighthouse keepers and their supplies (groceries, mail, household goods, etc) usually by ship or helicopter. This story describes the inner workings of the Canadian Coast Guard light icebreaker Sir Wilfrid Laurier as told by my friend Abe Van Oeveren. I have been on several ships and they are indeed a complicated piece of machinery run by very competent men and women.
Abe’s comments to me about the story when I asked permission to reprint:
The account is based on material gathered on several trips blended together to make a story that flows end to end. To make it readable I avoided talking about too much crappy weather which keeps everybody on board the ship unable to fly up to Van, Naden or Barry, or how the ship’s crew’s collective mood changes as the 28 day typical patrol proceeds. Continue reading →