Reprint – A Grain of Beach Sand – Photography Book by Gary Greenberg

Reprinted with permission from Maya at the Completely Coastal website. Her article was published September 7, 2012 and can be found here.

A Grain of Beach Sand – Photography Book by Gary Greenberg
“To see a world in a grain of sand…” These are the words of William Blake. Artist and scientist Gary Greenberg takes them literally!

beach-sand-

Beach sand

 

Dr. Gary Greenberg turned his microscope on beach sand! Photo via Art.com. 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

Reprint – Finders Keepers

Finders keepers
Published: 31/07/2012 with permission from the Aberdeen Press and Journal

Earlier this month, we revealed that the Northern Lighthouse Board was selling off three lighthouses near Stonehaven, Lossiemouth and Thurso, with price tags ranging from £75,000 to £270,000 – along with a foghorn at Girdleness, in Aberdeen.
All the buildings, once a beacon for sailors and fishermen, would be ideal for those willing to spend some time and money creating an unusual home.

Rua Reidh Lighthouse, on the other hand, is ready to move in to. The keepers’ accommodation, at the foot of the tower, has been run as a successful home and holiday accommodation for years.

This B-listed home sits in a stunning location, on the cliff edge at Melvaig, around 12 miles from Gairloch on the west coast – officially named as the happiest place in the UK last week – and overlooking the Isle of Skye to the south-west, Harris to the west and Lewis to the north.
It is for sale at offers over £325,000.
Building of the lighthouse was started by David Stevenson, one of the famous family of lighthouse engineers, in 1910. Two years later, it was helping steer boats safely through the seas. Continue reading

Government Contracts to Paint Lighthouses

The title is a tiny bit misleading. The government is not contracting to paint the lighthouse (is not doing the job themselves using government personnel as in the olden days) but is contracting out to private persons to do the work previously done by government workers.

An interesting article on the Peggys1 Cove lighthouse in Nova Scotia says:

 

Peggys Cove lighthouse crumbling
Province, feds negotiate while structure suffers

 

However, dealing with the problem is not as straightforward as sending someone the tab. Peggys Cove is owned by the federal government, which is currently getting out of the lighthouse business. The Nova Scotia government is in negotiations to take over the site, but no date has been set for completion of the talks.

So who is going to paint Peggys Cove, and many other abandoned lighthouses?

One of the commenter’s on the above site made the following reply:

Here’s the link for all those interested in bidding. Go create an account on Merx and bid away your $400.00 to paint it.

http://www.merx.com/English/nonmember.asp?WCE=Show&TAB=1&State=1&hcode=DSmmOnl5zU6FVjU16CWLSQ%3D%3D

Now that Merx site is very interesting. It shows Canadian Public Tenders for jobs the Canadian Government puts out for bids. I searched but could not finds anything lighthouse-related, but maybe you will have better luck. Let me know if you find anything.

There are some interesting jobs available, but one thing comes to mind. What has happened to the Public Works Department of the Canadian Government? They used to do all the painting and construction projects..Does Public Works no longer exist?

Aha! I found it! It is now called Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC). They pay me my pension, but do they do anything else? Check out PWGSC website and see if you can find out.

Not much there about painting old lighthouses. Lots on procurement and disposal though. So I guess they just buy stuff and dispose of it when no longer needed. Is any reader working for PWGSC that can better fill us in on the workings of PWGSC?

So, unless the community is going to do the work and pay for the job itself, I guess Canadian lighthouse are headed for a dim future (pun intended).

FOOTNOTE:
1 Peggys Cove (2009 population: approx. 46), also known as Peggy’s Cove from 1961 to 1976, is a small rural community located on the eastern shore of St. Margarets Bay in Nova Scotia’s Halifax Regional Municipality.- Wikipedia

The Diaphone Fog Signal

The Diaphone Fog Signal by Jeff Laser

reprinted with permission from Terry Pepper and his website

Diaphones were a once familiar sound heard throughout the Great Lakes from the early 1920s until the late 1960s / early 1970s when most lighthouses were automated. 120 such installations existed on both U.S. and Canadian waterways in the 1950s. The two most commonly heard Diaphones were the “Standard” Diaphone, which gave a full steady upper tone that terminated in a heavy “grunt” tone, and the classic two-tone Diaphone that produced an upper tone followed by a full steady low tone of equal or greater duration than the upper tone.

 

Robert Hope-Jones

In 1895, Robert Hope-Jones, an English pipe organ designer and builder, developed a special tone generator for his famous WURLITZER organ; the WURLITZER was a popular musical instrument in the days of silent movies and live stage performances. The new tone generator consisted of a casing that contained a slotted cylinder with a similarly slotted piston. Air was channeled through the casing in such a way that it caused the piston to reciprocate within the cylinder. The major portion of the air was discharged through the slots in both the piston and cylinder as the piston stroked back and forth in the cylinder. As the air passed through slots in the piston, it was “chopped” which caused a vibration that was amplified though a long cone shaped trumpet. Hope-Jones labeled this new tone “diaphonic” (meaning two or more tones”). The new tone had a full, powerful harmonic structure that could be heard over some of the other tones on the pipe organ. He called his new tone generator a Diaphone. Continue reading