Once Upon a Foggy Night . . .

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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.

EasthopeMarineSign

 

 

 

Removal of Foghorns on the BC Coast c. 2003

 The article below was written in 2003 by Sherrill Kitson, wife of the lightkeeper Rene Kitson, and herself a qualified lightkeeper at the time.

This story will illustrate why lightkeepers, and not electronic sensors, are better weather observers. We can smell the fog, and many a mariner will back us up on that statement.

Now, all we can do is smell the fog, and hope that nobody gets hurt because there are no more foghorns.

(The text below is in a picture. If it is too hard too read, hold down the CTRL key (STRG in Deutsch) and rotate the wheel on your mouse forward or back to increase the photo size – it works on most computers and operating systems.)

 

 

The story is reprinted here with permission of Fisheries and Oceans Canada from their publication Shorelines 2003 (which does not appear to be available online – if anyone knows a link, please let me know).

Fishing in the Fog – Pulteney Point c. 1970s

The following story came to mind when a friend of mine from Victoria made a comment on this website.

The water on the Inside Passage called Queen Charlotte Strait is know for its enveloping fogs which cover all land and sea, sometimes for days at a a time.

Pulteney Point (top middle) and Kluxewe river (bottom middle)

In the early 1970s I was stationed at Pulteney Point Lighthouse – my first appointment to the lightstation service. What a delightful place it was, and the keepers, Walt and Joyce Tansky were the best  to have for a person starting on the lights.

One summer’s day my friend Rich was visiting for a few days salmon fishing. I had a fifteen (16) foot (5 meter) canoe. I was very familiar with it, but Rich still had to learn. Continue reading

A Return to Foghorns a Boon to Safety Even in Age of GPS

photo - Chris Mills

A return to foghorns a boon to safety even in age of GPS

by Glen Farrough,  Vancouver Sun, September 08, 2011

It’s been roughly eight years since the Coast Guard silenced most of the foghorns on our coastal lighthouses, for a saving of $75,000 per year. The main reason used to justify this move was the increasingly widespread use of global positioning system (GPS) devices.

But this same Coast Guard still feels it’s necessary to have all their visual aids to navigation in place. They maintain their system of day markers, cardinal buoys, lighthouses, etc. Continue reading