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

Oh No! Not Another Accident!

 This story could be titled Oh no, not another accident or to be more truthful How to give a helicopter a bath!

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If you keep up with aviation news you may have heard about a Canadian Coast Guard (CCG) helicopter that crashed in the Arctic. Continue reading

Mise Tales Thirty-Two

 

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

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Click the image or use this link to see the National Geographic article If All the Ice Melted.

 

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Navigational Light to be Fixed Atop Marriott Hotel
May 16, 2013 by KNEWS filed under news

Georgetown-Light-House

Georgetown Light-House

Port Georgetown Lighthouse, Guyana
The Marriott Hotel will have a revolving light atop as a navigational aid for vessels leaving and entering Port Georgetown. In fact, even as the hotel is being constructed the contractor is expected to have the light in place and functional.

A source close to the management of the Maritime Administration Department (MARAD), said that the Marriott Hotel when completed will be taller than the lighthouse. The structure will obstruct light emanating from the 103-foot lighthouse located at Kingston.

But Cabinet Secretary, Dr. Roger Luncheon at his post-Cabinet press briefing last Thursday said, “This revelation has not been brought home to Cabinet about another reason for disparaging this transformative project initiative (Marriott). Now we are interfering with light from the lighthouse.”

Dr. Luncheon jested that a new improved light house would be constructed.
However, according to the source, the lighthouse would not be obsolete since it will still function as a navigational aid for vessels travelling south. Meanwhile, vessels travelling in the northern direction will be guided by light originating from the light affixed to the Marriott Hotel. – . . .  more Continue reading

Moving Day 1970s

Crates awaiting lowering to the ship - photo Glenn Borgens

One of the problems with moving to another lighthouse was that everything had to be crated and or well-packed to withstand the dangers of the transportation and handling by ship and/or helicopter. It also had to survive unexpected falls and/or water damage, both fresh and salt.

When my wife Karen and I first moved on the lighthouses we had no material for crating so we had to get professionals from a moving company to do the work for us. They did a very good job but were very expensive.

When we got the bill we did not have the money to pay for it, so we told the man we would leave half the furnishings there in the warehouse and get them shipped out next month when we got paid. He was having nothing of that and eventually dropped the price to something we could afford. Continue reading

Santa Claus Visits Lighthouses Too!

Besides the mail, the other most important event on the lighthouses was the arrival of Santa Claus! 1

Santa at McInnes Island

One cannot imagine the excitement of the kids during the week before the scheduled Santa arrival. Depending on the station, this could take place anywhere from December 6th to December 18th. Couldn’t leave it much later otherwise Santa wouldn’t get all his other work done. 

Cookies were baked, rooms were cleaned (really!) and the best clothes laid out. 

By the way, Santa had his own special helicopter – sometimes a big one, sometimes a small one! 

In the early days he was transported by ship and flown off the ship by a very small helicopter so that he could visit the lighthouse children. Later he had his own private Coast Guard helicopter for the day and night, which flew him out of Victoria, BC or Prince Rupert, BC.  Continue reading